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Shortscale strings with most bottom end

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Marcus Duke, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. Marcus Duke

    Marcus Duke

    Oct 11, 2019
    Maybe “bottom end” is not the best descriptor, but I just purchased a used, shortscale Mustang PJ bass and it came with roundwounds, light scale I think. I like the sound of these strings in the mid to upper range, but not so much on the lower range (e.g., open strings to the 4th-5th fret). EQ helps, but I’m interested in what flats you’d recommend that would better accentuate lower frequencies in the low range (open to half-rounds as well).
    At present, I tend to roll off all the treble on the bass and my Rumble amp and turn the amp’s bass all the way up to get more bottom out of the lower notes (with limited satisfaction), but wonder if some different strings would be the better solution or at least improve the low frequencies in combination with the EQing.
    maeda likes this.
  2. Be careful about boosting the "bass" on your amp too much; instead, try boosting the low-mid for a beefier tone.
    Iristone, Vinny_G and stigbeve like this.
  3. Marcus Duke

    Marcus Duke

    Oct 11, 2019
    Yes, I appreciate the perils of doing that, particularly regarding too much bottom muddying up a stage mix. I’ll try what you said but still think I’d like to try some beefy-sounding flat wounds. Someone just recommended D’Addario nickel wound shortscale strings. Got an opinion?
  4. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I don't think those strings are going to be that much different than what you currently have on your Mustang PJ. Those are not flatwounds, and are made with the same materials as the stock roundwound strings you have on currently.

    If you're absolutely set on putting flats on your shortscale, start with the D'Addario Chromes as they're the brightest ones available for your bass (that I know of). From there, you can go to other flatwounds for a darker sound.
    Dan_reeves likes this.
  5. Dan_reeves


    Jun 14, 2013
    I agree with Jon - I have Chromes on my short scale modded Bronco and they sound nice and deep to my ears.
    Bodeeni likes this.
  6. Marcus Duke

    Marcus Duke

    Oct 11, 2019
    Bright? But that's not really what I seek. I seek a darker, but more importantly, beefier-bottomed sound. I realize I appreciate the Mustang generally has a punchy, more mid-range sound, compared with my Ubass, for example. But I want to "feel" the bottom end much more than what is happening now, where I hear the notes super clearly but don't feel the air being pushed by the lower frequencies.
  7. Marcus Duke

    Marcus Duke

    Oct 11, 2019
    Oh, ok, Dan, thanks for clarifying that: "deep" is the optimal descriptor. Jon threw me a bit with describing them as "bright" but if they're both bright AND deep, … well that would be the best of both worlds for me. Thanks much to both of you!
  8. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    This is a result of your amp more than anything. What Rumble specifically, are you using to gig with?
  9. Marcus Duke

    Marcus Duke

    Oct 11, 2019
    It's the Rumble100, with the 12" speaker.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Eh, I do it all the time and I love it! Just don't push the volume too hot and blow up your speakers.

    The strings I've used with the biggest bottom end are Dunlop flats, GHS flats and LaBella DTFs. The Dunlops have more mid content than the LaBellas and they're less tense and available in a 40-100 set unlike GHS, so they're my favorite, but all three are good. Chromes might have been in the running and I used to like them a lot, but when I use flats, I want thump and deadness, and I could never get the D and G strings to settle down enough until the whole set sounded blah.
    J-Mags and dramatwist like this.
  11. Marcus Duke

    Marcus Duke

    Oct 11, 2019
    Right! I don't push the volume on my Rumble much (10 o'clock for main, maybe 11 on pre), so not overly worried. If I need more, I use my QSC 12. Thanks for the recommendations. I'll look into the Dunlops, I think.
  12. Do you actually mean "turning the bass knob all the way up" like the OP said? Or, are you talking about "boosting the bass"?
  13. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Labella makes a special through body set for the Mustang Bass. They are excellent strings and anything else you try will not be as good in terms of quality (you might prefer the sound or feel of something else but LaBella makes some of the best flats you can get). I have a similar set on my Kinal, although I’m using Dogal flats on a different bass and like them even better for me. The LaBellas are more balanced than Chromes in terms of tension. They are excellent. The through-body set for Mustang bass is 760-MUS. That’s what you want. If you don’t like those I will be surprised, but it would help you to pick another set by another brand once you can determine what it is you dislike about them, if anything. Start with those.
    macmanlou likes this.
  14. Marcus Duke

    Marcus Duke

    Oct 11, 2019
    Dave, I don't have a through-body Mustang. Strings attach to bridge on top. That said, which LaBellas would you recommend, then?
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yes :D If cranking it all the way up is what it needs to sound good, do it without fear. Just bear in mind that there's a fine line between sounding good and overwhelming the room. But if you determine that it's not overwhelming the room, twist away.
    dramatwist and michael_t like this.
  16. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    I get very nice short-scale-fatness using the GHS pressurewounds. Highly recommended! :thumbsup:
    gln1955 and michael_t like this.
  17. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    I recently switched to Pressurewounds on my Maruszczyk short scale and love them. My Mustang is sporting Chromes and will probably stay that way. I use that base for different, mellower music than the Maruszczyk.

    I wanted to like Labella flats on the Mustang but ultimately didn't. The Chromes are a little more lively to my ears.
  18. MustangWally


    Feb 5, 2019
    Houston TX
    I have these on my Mustang PJ into a Rumble 500 with the following EQ (clock) settings:
    Bass: 12
    Low Mid: Full, 5
    Hi Mid: 3
    Treble: 9
    and the Vintage button on. Tone rolled off on the bass - sounds good to me.
  19. I really like the Ernie ball Cobalt flats, they are super defined and thick, yet have a clarity that you wouldn't expect from flats. They seem to bring strong fundamental, when I put them on my shortscale they will hold a solid low c# on the e string when I am bringing them up to pitch after a string change

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