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Suggest me a gauge of flats...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Deepwoods, Oct 3, 2009.


  1. Deepwoods

    Deepwoods Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    St. Louis
    I got a new P bass and want to string it with flatwounds. I typically use nickel rounds (Boomers) 45-105 set. What gauge flatwounds do you think are good for me? I will probably go with Fender brand because they are readily available and pretty inexpensive if I find they are not for me.

    Thanks!
     
  2. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I like the Fender flats, with the 105 E string. But I love the Roto Jazz Flats, 45-65-85-105 even more, and they last alot longer.
     
  3. Deepwoods

    Deepwoods Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    St. Louis
    I may go that route then. That way if I switch back and forth with rounds, the gauges are the same and my set-up won't need to change. Hopefully they sell them at Best Buy music!
     
  4. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    La Bella FS are also 45-65-85-105, I like them better than the Fenders. Too stiff for my taste.
     
  5. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Don't count on Best Buy music for a wide range of strings. Better to buy from JustStrings.com, the choices are nearly limitless.
     
  6. Meatrus

    Meatrus

    Apr 5, 2009
    England
    Theres another thread going on this at the moment, so I will say the same as I did there :).

    The problem will be that the Roto flats may be the same gauge, but you will find them a lot more tense/stiff, thus probably affecting the truss rod. I recently have dropped a couple of gauges when using flats, and found it much more pleasant.

    The Rotosound flats in standard gauge are veryyyyy stiff/tense, you may want to consider a lower gauge of Rotos if possible. Or the lightest gauge of Fenders which seem to equal that of standard rounds (to me IMO etc).
     
  7. CPplaysBASS

    CPplaysBASS

    Mar 17, 2007
    Ontario
    I have Fender 9050L flats 45-95 on my MIA Jazz and 50's P Classic, and 9050ML flats 50-100 on my P-Bass. When I used roundwounds I used various makes with 45-105 guage.

    The 45-95s give me incredibly balanced tone, deeper than any roundwound I've ever used, and the tension is stiff but not uncomfortable at all. The 50-110 flats have a bit more tension, a bit deeper tone, but less articulation than the 45-95 set. I wouldn't dream of putting the 55-105 set on any of my basses ... I'm prefer stiff strings, but those would be ridiculous ... even more so if you're not used to flats.

    I know having a ".95" E string may sound wimpy, and why I never thought of using them until I read about others on TB using them. I'd recommend them first to anyone who's mostly used to 45-105 roundwounds.
     
  8. CPplaysBASS

    CPplaysBASS

    Mar 17, 2007
    Ontario
    Trust me on this one ... your set up will need to change SIGNIFICANTLY going from 45-105 roundwounds to 45-105 Roto Jazz 77s or Fender 9050Ms (55-105). The 55-105 will pretty much max out your truss rod.

    When I switched from Fender 7250s 45-105 (rounds) to 9050MLs 45-95 (flats), I may have made some minor tweaks, but I recall being surprised at how little a change it was.
     
  9. Deepwoods

    Deepwoods Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    St. Louis
    Wow, I had no idea the tension differences were so great. I actually have a set of TI flats in a 43-56-70-100 that I had gotten at GC from the bargain bin. The A and D strings seem to be quite light compared to the roundwound set I am used to. I will put those on and see how it goes. Either way it looks like no matter what flatwound set I go with a new setup would be required should I decide to revert back to rounds. Who knows, maybe I will be a "convert". The project in which I would use this bass for is covers like Dylan, Hendrix, Dead, some blues, etc.
     
  10. Deepwoods

    Deepwoods Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    St. Louis

    I know, Best Buy would not be my first choice but they are just down the road and I want to get the bass to my tech for some wiring work and a set-up on monday so I can get her back for some rehersals next week. Their prices are pretty much "street" and the kids that work there try pretty hard. I usually end up teaching them a couple of things about bass gear whenever I stop in. One guy asked me how long I had been playing and when I told him 20 years he got real quiet (doing the math) LOL
     
  11. CPplaysBASS

    CPplaysBASS

    Mar 17, 2007
    Ontario
    It does get confusing at times ... I've spent the last 10 months burning through more sets of strings than I have fingers (and thankfully learned to do good setups myself in the process)!

    TI flats are extremely popular with a lot or people and quite unique being flats with very low tension - they are quite different than "typical" flats carried by most stores. Fenders, Rotos, D'Addario Chromes, etc. ... higher tension than most roundwounds. Lots of info on here about all those brands.
     
  12. Deepwoods

    Deepwoods Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    St. Louis
    I know that some would think after playing 2 decades you should set up your own bass. I just don't trust my ear on intonating (stood by the crash cymbal through too many sets) and don't have a strobe tuner. I adjust my truss rod as necessary with the change of seasons, etc. but would rather pay my tech a few bucks to go over things when I get a new bass or change gauges.
     

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