Sunbeams or TI flats on a P bass?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by raul, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. raul


    Aug 30, 2006
    Planet Earth
    Those of you who have tried them, which did you stay with and why?
    im wondering if they sound in any way similar?
    what kind of music do you use them for? im torn between these two...for rock postpunk funk etc...
  2. The difference between rounds and flats is substantial. Sunbeams are great rounds and TIs are great flats. Based on the music you're playing I would say rounds are the ticket.
  3. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    +1 on Sunbeams. I have them on my 72 PBass, perfect match.
  4. I think they are the best examples of both types of string. Sort of apples to oranges. I recommend the T.I.'s all day long simply because they last forever and sound great just as long. The DR's are a great string also, not too high tension with a full, round sound. Honestly, you can't go wrong with either one but the T.I.'s are the most versatile and will cover every type of music out there, where you may be trying to dial certain sounds out (such as high end) more with the DR's.
  5. ejaggers


    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    TI's aren't for everyone. My research found that more people like them than don't, but a lot of people don't. I tried TI's on my Coronado, and they didn't work for me at all, but I know I shouldn't use light guage strings on a short scale bass anyway. The tension was way too low for me, but I haven't put them on one of my long scales to see if I would like them there. So at present, I'm in the, "don't care for TI's", camp.

    My Pbass has LaBella Deep Talkin' Flats, which is a perfect match.

  6. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    For that style of music I'd say rounds, but definitely not sunbeams. They don't get grindy enough for when you need them to.
  7. TimB 619

    TimB 619 Guest

    May 28, 2010
    I vote Sunbeams.
  8. adivin


    Jul 9, 2009
    New Orleans, LA
    Tried both and ended up with nylon tapewounds GHS.
  9. So you don't care for TI's after trying them on a Coronado?
  10. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Fatbeams are what you should be looking at...
  11. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    If you want the big thunk of flats, for rock, IMO Chromes do it better than TI's. So for that reason, I run Chromes on my 83 P with BAII and I run TIJF's on a boulder Creek ABG fretless. The woody, rich harmonic thing of the TI's works nicely for my acoustic thing.

    I run TI Super Alloys on a Sterling. My fav round. More booty on tap and less tin with those than with any other round I've tried and they last a long, long time.
  12. It depends if you like apples better than oranges.
  13. raul


    Aug 30, 2006
    Planet Earth
    How well do each work with od/dist/fuzz etc?
  14. BassBob1


    Dec 21, 2010
    Ignoring the whole rounds v. flats part:
    TI flats are a pretty unique string. They don't really sound like other flats almost brighter but that's not quite the right word. The thing is they are (for me) too loose feeling/too flexible/floppy. For that reason I can't tell you how they change over time.

    Sunbeams are a nice nickel round. New they aren't as bright as say D'addario nickel XL's (which mellow out quite a bit and rather quickly if that's what you are looking for). They seem to age nicely and last longer than D'addario's. They are full sounding and more flexible than other rounds in respective gauges.

    You have to ask yourself, are you looking for a mellower more fundamental sound or even "thump"? Look into flats. Do you need an edgy sound but nothing too bright? Nickel rounds. Do you want a brighter edgy sound? Stainless rounds or the new Ernie Ball Cobalts.
  15. tonymcbony


    Mar 21, 2006
    Well, for my basses I have three favorites.
    DR Sunbeams rounds
    D'Addario Chromes flats
    TI Jazz flats

    I play rock, prog, alt, post-rock, all that sort of thing.

    Sunbeams are great rounds and have a nice zing that doesn't overpower but lasts a long time. Really pleased with them.

    Chromes have a big fat midrange going on, and work really well in a rock context, more than most flats but are not typical flatwounds.

    TI Jazz are great for getting that upright bass sound out of almost anything. These are much better at the mellower types of music, and the low tension is pretty interesting. Considering the cost of the TI Jazz flats, I'd probably try Chromes first and see if they suited my music and whether I could handle more thud in the music before getting them. Check out youtube vids of Carol Kaye to hear them in action. I'd go as far as to say that if an upright bass would sound good playing the music, the TI Flats will sound good.

    I'm on a roundwound buzz at the moment so I'd probably go for the sunbeams.
  16. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003

    I love TI-Flats. But check out Ken Smith Compressors.
    They sound wonderful on a P-Bass.
    I prefer TI-flars on a rosewood fingerboard. And Compressors on a maple fingerboard.
    As for Sunbeams, they kill on a Jazz Bass.
  17. darkstorm

    darkstorm Guest

    Oct 13, 2009
    sunbeams. very warm roundwounds but otherwise has the sound of roundwounds rather then flats. Sunbeams are to mellow warm for me, but prob just right for your wants.
  18. RFMac

    RFMac Guest

    Jun 27, 2010
    British Columbia
    Both are a great choice. TIs are absolutely great on a P-bass. They cut better than any other flatwound I have tried on that bass. Plus, as mentioned, they don't sound like a true flat. In fact mine pack a mid centric puch great for many things. In fact I did a fill in w/ a band that played some ska and punk stuff and the TIs worked just fine. I would favour the TIs but as said, the Sunbeams will work out just fine. Both are pretty damn low tension though.
  19. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    TI's on a P bass is my "desert island" sound. :)
  20. raul


    Aug 30, 2006
    Planet Earth
    i've got TI's on my CV 60's P bass and they rule! i need to try Sunbeams though...may be getting a VM Amber P bass and i think Sunbeams are going to rock on it as well as getting some Wilde P46 pickups...but man, those TI flats are cool! even with od/dist/fuzz, they seem to be holding up well...even with some mild slapping!!
    i love the rich caramel swirl of tone they have, but they do rock for sure...i can't wait to a/b the two sets...trying to find my perfect go to rock funk postpunk string...