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Rotosound Flats

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by basmicke, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. basmicke


    May 31, 2008
    Anyone with experience of Rotosound jazz bass flats?
    I'm interested to know how they compare to Chromes, EB and LaBella.
  2. jbednarski

    jbednarski Supporting Member

    May 31, 2010
    Chicago area
    My four Ps all have different flats on them and all sound different.

    D'Addario Chromes. Brite turning mellower when broken in. Think Oteil Burbridge with the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Great for rock, blues, reggae.

    Fender 9050 stainless. My idea of what flats sounded like when I was in high school and had on my first bass. Last a long time and sound great. Bright when new but break in very nicely to a warmer but still crisp tone. An all-around great flat sound for all types of music.

    DR Flat Stainless. Just got these on the reco of Tim Lefebvre. Sound a lot like the Fenders new but a little crisper. Haven't had them but a day so I can't comment on them when broken in.

    LaBella Deep Talkin Flats. The Jamerson sound. deep, mellow yet articulate. Used also by Stu Brooks of Dub Trio for an all together different kind of sound.

    Rotosound Stainless Flats. Stiffer than all of the about but very playable. Used by John Deacon and Roger Waters. When I play "Money" or "Another One Bites the Dust" they both sound exactly like the recorded versions.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    To me, Roto flats have a little more tension than the EBs, but less than Chromes or LaBellas. They're not as smooth to the touch as some other flats I've tried and they tend to have a nice midrange emphasis. Not as bright sounding as Chromes, but bright in the upper mids and mid-mids. I use them on a Noel Redding Jazz and I like them a lot on that bass.
  4. basmicke


    May 31, 2008
    Great info. Thanks :)
  5. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    I use to use them but gave up on them.
    I had one break (the only time I have ever had a string break) and Roto did nothing about it.
    and, I have had them go dead,
    I know that sounds odd for flats but it happens. Do a search and you will see a lot of people complaining about it a couple years ago.

    I will never use them again.
  6. Ron G

    Ron G

    Mar 16, 2009
    Portsmouth, VA
    One thing I would say "high tension". I'm a fan of GHS Precision Flats.
  7. I'm using La Bella tapes now, but when I do use flats it's always Roto 77s.
  8. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    A year ago I had Rotosound flats installed for less than 24 hours. I took them off, as I found them to be kind of unplayable. I didn't like the feel, I didn't like the sound and there was quite a difference in output across the board. I then re-installed the Chromes I had taken off the day before.
  9. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    I've used them, really liked them on a P-bass. High tension.
  10. They feel nice, but they are quite high in tension. For strict finger/pick style players, it shouldn't make to much of a difference. They seem a tad bit restrained whilst solo'ing in jazz for my liking. Also, they're not good for slapping and tapping (in my experience).
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I thought Rotos were much brighter than Chromes, and once they go dead, I've never understood people calling Chromes "bright." They sound like the old Fender flats to me.
  12. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    My experience with most old flats (except TIs) is they end up sounding that way. The brightness doesn't last on any of them.
  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'll tell you though...it sure seems to last on TI's! And Labellas. Even when Labellas go dead, they have this very piercing high treble. Very weird, dead but very bright. Liked it sometimes but not all the time ;)
  14. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Roto and GHS flats are about the only flats I like. Soundwise, I would place them between Chromes/EB and La Bella as far as treble goes. Very distinct sound than other flats since they are the only Monel flats out there. They are tense, too. But I used a mix of gauges from them when I did play flats.

    95-75-50-30 for a semi-funkmaster gauge. Order the heavy set and a single C string, toss away the .110 E and tune the .030 to G. IMO its a very awesome!
  15. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Yeah the La Bella 760FL set does but I've got a P-bass strung with "standard guage" La Bella flats that died like the rest of them.

    BTW my favorite flats on a P-bass are TIs. Something about their middyness goes well with the low-mid P-tone and their flexibility is so playable on a thick P-neck.
  16. basmicke


    May 31, 2008
    I have purchased the 45-105 med set since thats what I've been using on the Swing bass set. Maybe they will be a bit stiff but I usually like 50-105 EB flats so hopefully they wont kill my fingers :)
  17. basmicke


    May 31, 2008
    Great test!
    Do you feel that Rotos keeps a good tone and sustain as long as other flats?
  18. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001

  19. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I put them on. Ric that I tune to Eb and the tension is perfect for the bass. They have a very unique tone for flats and I really like it.