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Strings with Attack

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by M0ses, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Hey all. I'm looking for some string advice.

    For about a year I've been using TI flats. Don't get me wrong, the tone on these things is great. But I am really dissatisfied with them. Firstly, it doesn't seem like the E and A strings are balanced well with the D and G. That's not my biggest problem though. I also have decided the low tension is really not working for me. I can play lightly, but I'm not cool with not having digging in as an option. This sucks because I play near the neck most of the time. My action is not low, but it's not high. I'd like it to be a bit lower, but not "stupid low". Also, they don't have the attack I want. They seem to kind of bloom into a note a little bit, but don't back down from there. The kind of attack/tone I'm looking for is for example the Doobie Brother's "Long Train Runnin'" (although that is a bit exaggerated) or any song off of Chicago Transit Authority. I'm guessing compressors were probably used here but I don't really want to complicate my signal chain, or fork over the cash :D

    So can you recommend me a set of flats that
    - feels well balanced
    - is high enough tension that you can really dig in a lot when you want to?
    - has lots of attack (this is the most important)
  2. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    strings with attack = roundwounds.
  3. strings with attack = flatwounds.

    Like LaBella DTB
  4. deBont Amps

    deBont Amps Commercial User

    Apr 10, 2007
    deBont Amps
    What you are hearing is not a different brand or type of string, it's players using a pick. So if the tone in the two examples is to your liking, use flats with a pick and start from there.
  5. I enjoy the tension on my chromes quite a bit, and from what people say they are as close as you can get to the atack/grind of rounds without going groundwound etc. I can get plenty of bite and grind out of mine by plucking/picking nearer to the bridge, but they don't seem to mind me digging in. Although, in my experience most strings played nearer the neck will require a softer pluck unless you want to suffer some fret buzz. have you tried just living with picking closer to the bridge when you want to dig in?
  6. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Oh great. This is not exactly what I wanted to hear :D I am the worst pick player ever and I really like playing with fingers. I don't really like the tone of rounds, nor the fact that they wear out. Like I said I've been using the TIs for a year and they sound better than when I got them.

    I don't think it's necessarily rounds, though. Jamerson has some "attack", while Entwhistle not so much. Think of it like, Jamerson goes "bummmm" where bu is the attack and mmmm is the sustain, and Entwhistle just goes "buaaaaaaaa".

    I kind of figured the attack thing would go hand in hand with tension, so was thinking about Labellas or Rotosounds, which are supposed to have super high tension.

    Anyone else want to chime in? I'm afraid of the pick........
  7. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    S.S. Fender flats have good tension and attack...
    I used them for awhile..but went back to rounds.
  8. I've been pretty happy with my Chromes as well. I'm using the medium gauge, 105-50 or something. They feel fairly stiff, I was able to drop my action a bit and still be able to dig in without things getting out of control. Have a nice growl when I dig in and slide to a note. Their on a Ric 4003. Good luck. I use both finger and pick btw.
  9. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Try a comp/sustainer. Can be used to tighten attack. And yes best attack sound is with a pick. Try useing either of the two more rounded edges rather then the single pointy one.
  10. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Those examples, I'm pretty sure, are flats with a pick. And yes, compression. Sorry. :)

    At that time (early 70s), it was Fender or La Bella flats most likely. I would think that a J or P Bass with La Bella 760FS strings (well broken in) could get you most of the way there.
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I'd go with rounds for sure. I've never been able to produce what I'd call 'attack' from flats. To me, attack comes from when you get a nice even punch from all ranges...bass, mid, and treble and flats just can't do that. They have less mids and treble.
  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.

    Mar 1, 2021

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