Short-scale Pyramid Flats users: which set do you use?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Boneless, Nov 21, 2022.

  1. So, I was inquiring about short-scale sets to Pyramid themselves. My Guild Starfire actually needs medium-scale strings (red silk). They come in .40, .60, .80 and .100 gauges. On the other hand, the short-scale set is .40, .55, .70, .100 (green silk, IIRC). The company apparently can make custom sets (for instance, providing the short-scale gauges in medium-scale length). Which do you actually use on basses with a tailpiece? I ask this question because Pyramid Flats seem to be especially variable according to string gauge, compared to other brands, and my long-scale basses with Pyramid Flats sound with very uneven strings. (Apparently the short scale set doesn't suffer from such an issue, but I don't know which set people refer to).
     
  2. S.F.Sorrow

    S.F.Sorrow

    Dec 6, 2014
    Hi!

    I use the short scale set on my Starfire II (as well as on my Höfner and several other vintage short scale basses with a tail piece). The tension is perfect for my taste. As a reference I generally prefer 45-105 with hex core roundwounds on long scale basses and find lighter gauges too floppy with roundwounds/long scale. The Pyramid Gold short scale set feels slightly "lighter" than 45-105 hex core/long scale roundwounds but not as light as 40-100. Perhaps more comparable to 45-105 round core/long scale roundwounds. Please note that when I say "lighter" I refer to the perceived stiffness and "feel", not the actual tension figures. I remember seeing tension figures for Pyramid Golds once (unfortunately I can't remember where) and if they were correct the Gold short scale set must be the most perfectly balanced set of bass strings ever made! Tension is not the same as perceived stiffness though and with the short scale Golds I would say the G-string feels slightly stiffer than the rest. Still a very nicely balanced "feel" though. For me they are the ultimate short scale bass strings. The only ones that come close are the GHS Balanced Nickels but they are of course roundwounds so a different vibe altogether (and the winding length is too short for a Starfire anyway).

    The green silk on the short scale set does extend VERY slightly into the nut on two of the strings with my Starfire but this hasn't given me any problems whatsoever. I guess some sets may have the silk extending further into the nut which may become a problem but if that's the case you can just carefully peel off the silk.

    I've never used the medium scale set so I can't be sure about the winding lenght but I expect it should be fine for a short scale bass with a tailpiece. If you think you might prefer higher tension on the A+D-strings the medium scale set might be the right choice for you. The short scale set feels perfectly balanced to me but if I was forced to use a slightly heavier gauge on two of the strings it would definitely be A+D, simply because no matter what the tension figures say the G-string feels SLIGHTLY stiffer than the rest with the short scale set and also because anything heavier than .100 gets too thumpy and "dead" with Pyramid Golds IMO (which is why I don't like the standard long scale set, it's horribly unbalanced both tonally and tension wise).

    I'm sure both sets will work fine but I can only recommend the ones I've actually tried: The short scale Golds are my favourite short scale strings ever and in my opinion they are PERFECT for a Starfire. As long as you peel off any excessive silk I'm sure you will be fine (provided that you actually like the tone/feel of Pyramid Golds of course).
     
  3. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    Tensions for Pyramid Gold flats? Yo may have seen them here:
    http://www.thestringguy.com/tension.html
     
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  4. S.F.Sorrow

    S.F.Sorrow

    Dec 6, 2014
    Thanks! This might have been where I found them. The tensions listed here are certainly more or less as I remember them. Is this guy trustworthy?

    If these tensions are correct it confirms how I feel about Pyramid Golds: The short scale set may possibly be the most balanced bass string set ever and the long scale set is extremely unbalanced. I've always loved the short scale set, they're my favourite short scale strings by far. I've TRIED to love the long scale set but it's just too unbalanced, both tonally and tension-wise. I've never tried replacing that horrible .105 E-string with .100 though. This might make the Golds more balanced on long scale basses. They are available as singles in LOTS of gauges. It might be worth a try.
     
  5. chode

    chode

    Oct 12, 2019
    i have a set of pyramid gold flats on my precision bass: 45-65-85-105 and after playing on them awhile think they sound good with tension/volume/etc. i had a low output violin bass (eko, quieter pickups for whatever reason) and opted for ti flats on that bass because they were zingier and louder. but on my precision i like them. i think if you give the strings a chance they mellow and even out. same with chromes, they take awhile to warm up and mellow but a nice worn in set are well balanced in tension and volume, i've used the 45-100 on a precision bass and medium scale hagstrom concord bass both with favorable results.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2022
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  6. S.F.Sorrow

    S.F.Sorrow

    Dec 6, 2014
    Did 45-100 feel better balanced than 45-105 on a P-bass? Was the E-string less "dead" and thumpy? I've REALLY tried to like the Pyramid Golds on long scale basses and I've given them a lot of time to break in but the .105 E-string just doesn't work for me. I found it difficult to even intonate it properly. I have often though about putting together a 45-100 set from singles though, or maybe even 40-100. I really wanted to make the Pyramid Golds work on long scale basses because I like the short scale sets so much but no luck so far.

    Vintage Eko pickups are typically rather weak so what you're descriping is perfectly normal. Very cool guitars though! Did you get the TI short scale set for your Eko? I ask because with TI flats I'm experiencing the exact opposite as the Pyramid Golds: I love the TI long scale sets (although I wish the A-string would have been slightly higher tension) but the short scale sets are far too unbalanced for me. The jump in tension from E to A is insane and I ended up getting rid of them.

    All of this will depend on personal taste and style of playing of course. It seems like you prefer a higher tension E-string than me.

    Or did you get the TI "Höfner" set with a lighter gauge E-string? Very few stores have these in stock. The only time I've purchased a set it came with an extra long scale E-string! TI sent be a replacement but it took forever so I installed Pyramid Golds instead. Which means I have a set of TIJF "Höfners" that I've never tried. I should probably give them a chance but with the A-D-G gauges being the same as the long scale set I have a feeling they might be a bit too floppy for my taste on a short scale.
     
  7. chode

    chode

    Oct 12, 2019
    the TI jazz flats were on my P-bass first. i put those on the eko "medium scale" violin bass. medium scale because of the tailpiece (like a hofner or hagstrom). usually you're not supposed to do that but it worked in this case, maybe because the ti-jf are floppy not too stiff. can't really speak to the pyramid gauges i prefer the 105 E and feel/sound of this set more than the 100 E set of daddario chromes. chromes are more resonant but i have a little foam under my strings and am going for that thumpier sound with my P-bass. are pyramids best for that? i don't know but it was my favorite set for that direction in sound when compared to chromes, TI's or a few other brands i'd have to go find can't remember right now.

    i have flats on all my basses. medium scale chromes on my hagstrom concord ii bass, ti jazz flats (long scale!) on my eko violin bass, pyramid gold 45-105 on my precision, and a mixed set on my guild starfire, which has become my main bass since i bought that... it has the 50-65-80-100 gauge labella beatle bass set, but the G was noticeably stiffer (50 is kinda fat for a G so has weirdly high tension, not a balanced set). tried the light gauge G, too skinny and bright (.39)!!! ended up using a random 45-G with green silk to fit better with the 65-80-100 labella beatle bass set on my guild and it rounded those out nicely. labella are the smoothest feeling and thumpier string i've tried so far, but for me wasn't digging too much on my P-bass. although i'll admit i bought the fat 1954 set so i'd imagine the medium-light set might be a winner for P-basses as the high tension was too much i wasn't trying to max out my truss rod on a vintage fender!

    i feel like i can "tell" some players in instagram videos (not cool?) with a nice smooth-warm bass tone are using TI jazz flats. they're a nice string but when i pick up my precision bass i like to be able to dig into some tension between the pickups and neck like a geezer butler, sort of heavy handed, or "fingered" rather.

    all in all it's fun to try out different strings, and it helps when you have multiple basses to try them out on. i have a different set/brand on each bass. i haven't found one set/brand that works best for every bass. plus it would be silly to have similar sounding strings on 4 different basses, part of their charm is bringing out different characteristics partly through string choice. i've never tried tape-wound strings so have been interested in that.

    during lockdown a couple years ago i took advantage of not being able to play out or record by trying out half a dozen different sets, all on my precision bass, to figure out if there was a particular set i prefered. seems like i prefer slightly stiffer sets of strings, except on my eko the jazz flats work great on that, very bright and punchy compared to others. you could probably slap on a set of TI's, but i don't slap anymore, i'm a rocker i play finger style about 75% of the time and use a medium pick the rest of the time. did i forget anything? haha i love talkbass.com !
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022