Smooth Flats

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by relman, Mar 20, 2001.

  1. I am looking for a set of smooth flatwounds w/a smooth, thumpy tone...sorta lije a mix between John Paul Jones and Paul McCartney. The only ones available are

    Daddario Chromes
    Fender Flats
    Rotosound (77's?????)
    Rotosound (Steve Harris)
    I think i can also get Dean Markleys...

    which ones?????
  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I like the Fender 9050's. Very smooth, smoother than D'Addario Chromes. Shinier than GHS Precision Flats. Very thumpy, traditional tone. I tried the 9050 L's which go from .045-.095, and found the G too twangy. I'm using 9050 ML's right now, and even though they're not much bigger, at .050-.100, they sound better to me, especially the G.

    There are other flats available, such as the aforementioned GHS Precision Flatwounds (almost as good as the Fenders, but not quite, IMO), La Bella flatwounds, Ernie Balls, Pyramids (expensive...) and probably some I forgot. has most of them.

    I haven't tried the Ernies or La Bellas, but they get pretty good reviews. I'll probably try the LaBellas sometime, but these Fenders sound awfully good to me.
  3. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Wow! I've only seen Fender strings panned around here... Thought I was the only fan! 9050 ML's on my P-bass. They're nice and broken in... mmm

  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Yeah, I took a set of TI's off to go back to 9050's. It was the right move.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I think the Fenders will give you what you're looking for. I don't like 'em, but that's because they sound the way you want 'em to. I like the sound of TI's, but you probably wouldn't. That's all.
  6. Persuader


    Feb 7, 2001
    Pyramids for Paul Mc tone! I have a set and they are $$ $ 45 , but feel and sound great. The E is muted on purpose says the company and is a 105 but you can get a 95 for a more common response as it rings more -- closer in decay to the A-D=G. They can be researched on Vox Talks because they are the strings of the Beatles... or so it is written.
  7. in the Rotosound page it says that paul used the black it true??? a bass player interview paul says he uses "long shiny ones"....
  8. Persuader


    Feb 7, 2001
    relman; go to the Vox Talks BB and you can learn about everything the Beatles used and also a search on this board for pyramid strings will yeild more info.
  9. how about those rotosounds?????????
  10. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Huh? Are you asking for an evaluation of 77's? I tried them and didn't like them. They're not deep and thumpy like Fender, GHS, or LaBella, nor do they sound anything like TI's (nothing else does either, IME). I thought they sounded kind of thin, and I was using the .050-.110 set! Steve Harris makes them sound pretty good, though, and they certainly have their adherents.
  11. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    I used TI Jazz flats for about a year and while I love their tone I couldn't, in the end, live with their floppiness.
    You mentioned D'Addario Chromes. A couple of months ago I bought a set of Chromes for 5 string (Roscoe Beck). The store just happened to have them and it was a pure impulse buy.Much to my surprise I haven't been in a hurry to take them off. I even went back to the store to buy the last set they had so I could try them on my '75 Precision which I have turned into BEAD tuning.
    The Chromes are fairly detailed in the high end (kinda like a LaBella) with good, but not excessive, bottom end thump.I like Labellas better but,like I said, I don't seem to be in a hurry to take the Chromes off.
  12. Bernie


    Dec 12, 1999
    I liked the Fenders at first but got tired of the twangy G and the muddled sounding E.I prefer the LaBellas Deep Talkin flats.Much better matched from string to string with a deeper though somewhat dark tone.I also have a set of the TI's on my P bass.For me the tension thing is not a problem.These have excellent tone!!!They are a bit pricey at around 32 bucks but well worth it.Good luck!
  13. I've tried many different flats over the years. And, realize that this is a very subjective topic, so there is no right answer other than what sounds good to your ears and what feels good to your fingers. I can only state what I found with the limited number of sets that I've bought and played. You must realize that different gauges from the same manufacturer will oftentimes feel and sound very different. I always buy the biggest sets available. I don't like thin, wimpy strings. Saying that:

    1. Fender Flats: My absolute favorites as far as sound goes. For that good, solid thump with just a touch of ringing sustain, they can't be beat. I find them a little stiff, but not a problem. Smooth to the touch.

    2. D'Addario Flats: My second favorite. Still gives a nice thump, with just a little sustain, but a little less stiff than the Fenders. Smoother than the Fenders, at least for the gauge I'm using.

    3. RotoSound: Thin, no body, and sticky as Hell. I've never found a set I liked, or a bass strung with them that I'd play. (MY OPINION? NOT A FACT FOR EVERYONE!)

    4. LaBella: So so. Not as smooth as Fender or D'Addario. Not a much thump. To much sustain for me. Could use them if nothing else was available.

    5. GHS: Found them to be unremarkable. No real thump. Not particularily smooth, but flat. To much sustain.

    6. TIs: Nice feel to the touch. Way to loose feeling, though. Sound, however, was good. Just couldn't get past the looseness.

    7. Dean Markley: I bought a set a long time ago. Didn't keep them on for long. Can't remember why.

    8. Pyramids: Never used them.

    OK! These are personal opinions and observations. You'll have to make your own mind up. Realize that all of these, and others not mentioned, must have something going for them as they wouldn't still be on the market if they didn't.

    Good Luck.