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SIT Power Flats

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Wayne8, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Well, there's been a lot of talk about flats lately and I, like a lot of folks, have been thinking about giving them a try (again). A while back I put on a set of Labella DTFs and took them right back off because I didn't like the sound. That was before Sundogue started his threads about flats in a full band setting as opposed to how they sound at home. Of course, by that time, I'd already sold the Labellas so I started researching posts to try and figure out which strings would work best for me (as well as I could without actually trying them). I was almost decided on Chromes when I came across two posts that changed my mind. One guy was talking about how 'middy' they sounded on his Jazz with Model J's and another guy came back and said, yeah, the J's are 'middy' and the Chromes are 'middy', too. Sounded like not the best combination. And that's what I've got, a Jazz with Model J's.
    Anyway, ended up ordering a set of SIT Power Flats from Juststrings.
    Now, besides the Labellas, I've tried Fender nickle plated, Fender pure nickle and Ernie Ball nickle plated, all in medium light gauge (45-100), which is what came on the bass. All of those were roundwounds. I liked the pure nickle best but still way too much 'zing' and finger noise. Way too much overtones or harmonics (disclaimer-I may not be the best at describing what I hear, but those are things I've read here that seem to describe what I'm hearing) and not enough 'fundamental'. I was sick of weak D strings and G strings that sounded like guitar strings.
    Oh, and I don't pop or slap and don't play 'solo' style bass. Just regular old traditional style bass in a classic rock/blues band.
    Okay. In an effort to get my bass sounding more like a bass (to me), I went up in gauge from 45-100 to 50-105. These strings are pure nickle but they're not true, pure flats. They are advertised as being semi-flat, flatter than a half flat but not as smooth as a 'true' flat. They seem smooth enough to me. I can slide with no problem. Another thing is they are supposed to be the 'Stay In Tune' string. I don't know about that. I've only had them on a few days and I lightly stretched them a couple of times when I first put them on and I had to tweak the tuning a little today. I don't know if that's because they're still settling in or what but I didn't buy these strings because they're supposed to stay in tune forever I bought them because I hoped I'd like the sound and feel. So far, they don't seem to be any better or worse than any other strings as far as holding tune but that may (or may not) improve as they settle in.
    I do love the tone. With the Labellas, there was a sudden decay to the note that bothered me that I don't hear with these strings. The decay is longer, with good sustain. No zing and very, very little finger noise. Exactly the sound I was hoping for. I don't know if it's because of the heavier gauge or being pure nickle or flats or what but the D is no longer wimpy and the G string sounds more like a bass than a guitar. I am very happy with the tone of these. Not 'thuddy' but definitely 'thumpy'. More of the fundamental and less overtones/harmonics, pretty much like I experienced with the Labellas, just longer decay and sustain. I tried a little slap/pop in my poor way and they seem like they can do that, if that's your thing.
    So, another thing folks worry about is tension. I had my Jazz set up with low action. Put these strings on and my neck didn't do anything. Now I didn't measure before and after, I guess I should have, but the action with the SIT's is exactly the same as it was with the pure nickle rounds I had on before (note-the pure nickle rounds had a touch more tension than the nickle plated rounds, requiring a little adjustment to the neck). Granted I went up a little in gauge, so keep that in mind. Anyway, without any adjustment at all I still have low action with no buzz.
    I don't know if these will last forever like folks say 'true' flats do, I hope so. I do know that they sound perfect to me without having to wait for them to break in. Hopefully that will last. I do think I'm going to pick up another couple of sets of these to have around just in case. Oh, and these things are dirt cheap.

    So, for those of you on the fence or thinking about flats for the first time but not sure you'll like them, or even you guys that like flats but haven't tried these yet, I suggest you give them a try. Sound great, feel great, good tension and cheap.

    Sorry so long, just wanted to get it all said.
  2. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I gave them a shot a few years ago and although i liked the tone i couldnt get past the string tension....way to high for me. I prefer TI jazz flats and chromes.
  3. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Nice report. I prefer SS so I use Lakland Osborns. Perfect feel, tone, tension for my style of play.

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