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searching for flats that match my rounds in stiffness

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by maple_machine, Jul 11, 2019.


  1. maple_machine

    maple_machine

    Jul 11, 2019
    EU
    I currently have GHS Balanced Nickels (44-60-80-106 with a round core) on my main bass, and I'm trying to find flats that match these in stiffness (not just tension, for which you can usually find hard numbers). I'm especially interested in TI flats, but I worry that they might be too floppy when tuned to DGCF. Are these comparable to rounds of similar gauge, or are they still a bit stiffer than rounds?

    I would very much appreciate it if someone would chime in on this.
     
  2. Just for clarification...

    Are the Balanced Nickels (44-106) tuned to DGCF as well? Or, are you talking about a set of flats that are similar in stiffness/flexibility tuned to DGCF to the BNs tuned to EADG?
     
  3. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    IME, the Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats are pretty much unique, as far as tension and flexibility go. And, that's because their construction is also pretty much unique. They're even more flexible than the rounds I like to use (GHS hex core Boomers, and EB Hybrid Slinkys). As for other flats? Other than having a round or hexagonal core wire, they're all pretty much the same; although, the slight width differences of the outer wrap, and how much of a gap there is between the windings can affect the flexibility, too. However.. lighter gauge D'Addario Chromes strike me as being pretty flexible; as do the Fender 9050Ms. All the other flats I'm familiar with are considerably less so, IMO. Which is not a concern for me, since I like stiff strings. So, I'd say - try some lighter gauge Chromes or Fenders, and see if they're what the doctor ordered...:cool: Oh.. and, welcome to Talk Bass!! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  4. maple_machine

    maple_machine

    Jul 11, 2019
    EU
    The Balanced Nickels are tuned to DGCF, and the flats would also be tuned DGCF. I use that tuning on all my basses.


    Long time lurker, first time poster ; )

    I would probably do that, but I like balanced tension sets, and single strings are way to expensive in my country compared to normal sets - custom set of Chromes is 60€, while TI flats are 44€! Seems like my only good options are TI flats and LaBella low tension flats.
     
  5. Try GHS Precision Flats CM3050 (45-60-80-105). TIJF, when tuned down to DGCF, would be looser-feeling than the BNs.
     
  6. maple_machine

    maple_machine

    Jul 11, 2019
    EU
    Thanks! The GHS CM3050 are definitely on my list, that supposedly deep/bassy sound might be just what my bass needs.

    In case that 105 E-string ends up being too much, do you know if LaBella low tension flats would be noticably stiffer than TIs? Similar gauge, but maybe TI's special sauce is just that special.
     
  7. I do realize you're more interested in stiffness/flexibility than the actual tension figures, but here's an interesting comparison...

    Balanced Nickel 106 tuned to E = 44.8 lbs.
    Precision Flat 105 tuned to E = 41.2 lbs.

    Balanced Nickel 106 tuned to D = 35.6 lbs.
    Precision Flat 105 tuned to D = 32.8 lbs.
     
  8. vindibona1

    vindibona1

    Apr 18, 2015
    I don't mean to hijack the thread, but when you tune down, do you still think in the actual pitch of the notes or just pretend that you're in standard EADG tuning but simply a whole step lower? While I understand why you might want to tune down, I see a complexity of learning where the notes of an alternate tuning lie. Or perhaps because that's the only way you tune you just learned where the notes are in the altered tuning. I'm just curious because in the brass world trumpets often have to transpose music to whatever key trumpet the music is written for to the trumpet they have in their hands, but on tuba, if they are playing a C, Bb or Eb tuba they have to learn all new fingerings...which is way simple than on a bass guitar.
     
  9. maple_machine

    maple_machine

    Jul 11, 2019
    EU
    I have been tuning this way for the majority of my bass playing life, and yes, I think in the actual pitch - and because I spend a lot of time in DAWs EQing myself, I don't even transpose an octave; the fact that D1 is 36.7Hz is fairly important for me. Really helps when you're pumping sub bass in a Drum'n'Bass or Dubstep track.
     
  10. vindibona1

    vindibona1

    Apr 18, 2015
    Thanks. I'd like to learn more about the whys of down-tuning, but this isn't' the right thread. Interesting stuff. BTW... I put a Drop D tuner on my 4 string... I guess I didn't practice enough with it... and caused me to go 5 string because the notes are always in the same place :).
     
  11. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    In terms of stiffness only? Yes, the La Bellas are stiffer. As I said, the TI's flexibility comes from their unique (and complicated) construction. La Bella LTF's are constructed like pretty much every other flatwound string. I'm currently both strings on two of my basses; the LTFs on an old Rick 4001 with neck problems (incipient negative neck angle), and the TIs on an Alembic Epic...:cool:
     
    maple_machine likes this.
  12. maple_machine

    maple_machine

    Jul 11, 2019
    EU
    Nice, I'll definitely give them a go if the GHS flats don't work out (I'll report back in when they arrive in a few weeks ... international shipping is a bitch).
     
  13. Roundcores would be always less stiffer than hexcores.
    You got to go lighter in gauge to match that feel.
     
  14. Not always... The SIZE of the core itself also plays a big role in determining the stiffness/flexibility.

    For example, the GHS Round Core Boomers 45-65-85-105 (round core) are actually stiffer-feeling than the Dunlop Super Bright Nickels 45-65-85-105 (hex core) due to the small diameter of the hex core used for the Super Brights.
     

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