Should you ever really have to change flats?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Goofball Jones, May 18, 2007.


  1. Flats as in flat-wound strings. Is there really any reason to change them unless they break?

    I like the sound of flats, and I think it will a nice addition to a Stingray HxH to tame the growl just a bit...plus when I get it all set up with string height and such, the only thing that should need adjustment over time is the truss-rod, right? Theoretically that is.

    Am I crazy? :eyebrow:
     
  2. I don't know, I'll let you know when I have to change mine:D

    Seriously though, flats do tend to loose some brightness and some sustain over time, but then that's sort of the purpose of flats to have less brightness and sustain. So if they loose to much for you liking, then you could throw another set on, and they'll probably ring out a little longer and have a bit more highs. So if they get to dead or dull you could refresh them!
     
  3. Milk eWay

    Milk eWay

    Nov 23, 2006
    IA
    ...one could break or they could get really dirty, but unless you don't like the whole "dead" flat sound I don't see you would have to.

    Personally, think flats are like wine. They only get better with age. :D
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I thought so too, until I did a recording with my 7 year old LaBellas. It was all bass and no treble whatsoever. Currently I have a 2 month old set of Fender flats on this bass, and now that the ring is gone from them, I think I like them better than the older flats.

    But then again, that could change tomorrow. Who knows?
     
  5. Jo6Pak

    Jo6Pak

    May 2, 2007
    Try some D'A Chromes. They may not be as bright as rounds, but certainly not dull. I use the ECB80 (40-95) sets mostly...
     
  6. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    i play my rounds till they break. i dont think i would do any different with flats.
     
  7. Skypiper

    Skypiper

    May 15, 2007
    Atlanta
    I change mine every month or two, i play a lot at least 35 hours a week and can tell when they start to die. The E string is always the first one to go, it looses the sound and just dosnt sound right. i use D'Addario ecb82 medium gauge
     
  8. I change mine when the intonation goes bad and can't be set properly.
     
  9. xlows

    xlows

    Oct 21, 2006
    Minnesota
    If you really want them to sound new when you keep them, you could always boil them. Other than that, I really don't see much reason (other than a break) to take them off.
     
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    It depends on the sound you want. Many people do leave flats on indefinitely, and there are certainly plenty of examples on this forum and others of people (myself included) who have a bass with flats that are more than a couple of decades old.

    But you have to like the sound. Given that, I can't think of a reason to change unless the strings fail.
     
  11. ishouldbeking

    ishouldbeking

    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    Actually the boiling thing can be pretty harmful to the strings. It will definitely clean the gunk out of them, but it can also cause them to rust from the inside. If you're gonna clean your strings you should try putting them in isopropyl alcohol.

    http://www.tunemybass.com/strings/how_to_clean_bass_strings.html

    Boiling strings is one of those things that kind of works, and is a pretty cool idea, but the water just isn't good for them.
     
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 26, 2021

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