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Switching flatwounds

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by tigerbass, Sep 17, 2008.


  1. tigerbass

    tigerbass

    Jul 28, 2006
    Crown Point, IN
    I have a Squier fretless jazz, the new one that looks like Jaco's, that is currently strung with Fender flats. I do not like them, too high tension for me. I just ordered Thomastik flats, JF-344's, and am wondering how much changing in the set-up there will be going from the Fenders to the TI's? I have a killer mwaa going now. Thanks ahead of time for your help.
    Peace.
     
  2. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    UK
    I didn't like the Fender flats that came with my MIM fretless Jazz either, you're not alone there.

    You will feel the difference and probably have to tweak the truss rod and string height to allow for the lower tension but many TB members love 'em so have fun.
     
  3. billbern

    billbern

    Sep 11, 2004
    Daytona Beach, Fl
    Endorsing: Inearz In-ear Monitors
    My experience is with LaBella flats and TI flats on a 55-01. The tension difference was very large. I had to make a couple of truss rod adjustments over a few days. Then it settled in. Well worth the effort, they're really nice strings if you don't need the zing of rounds.
    Bill
     
  4. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I had fender flats on my Telebass at one point and switched over th DR's. I have to do a complete setup because of the tention difference (they were the same guage). The DR's had much more tension...which took the relief out of the neck, etc, etc. Couldn't be happier though. The Fender flats were not strings good IMO.
     
  5. tigerbass

    tigerbass

    Jul 28, 2006
    Crown Point, IN
    So I guess I'll be looking at neck relief as well as string heighth? Hopefully I can figure this out myself. I can do the round wound set-up pretty good, but took my Squier to my local luthier as soon as I bought it to get it checked out and set-up with flat wounds. Hopefully a search can find me some flat wound set-up tips.:confused:
     
  6. If the DRs had more tension, they would cause more relief, not less.
     
  7. tigerbass

    tigerbass

    Jul 28, 2006
    Crown Point, IN
    BTW, I ordered my strings from Elderly.com and the guy said Thomastiks went up in price by like 30%. They are like $52.25 now, I sure wish I would not have waited so long!:rolleyes:
     
  8. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    I can't see why doing a set up for flats would be any different than for rounds. If you can do a decent set up for rounds, the flats will require the same. How much of a difference from the Labella's? I don't know exactly but quite a bit for me compared to some high tension rounds.

    Set up wasn't difficult at all. I've been using Thomastic JF344 strings for about 10 years or more now. I wouldn't go back to any other string. They just plain sound great. Wonderful to play on too. Just give them a while to warm up with a few days of playing or a gig or two. The sound improves with age.

    I got 8 years of use out of the last set I changed on my most used bass. Another bass is at 6 years and still sounds good. Another one at two years. Definitely worth the higher price.
     
  9. tigerbass

    tigerbass

    Jul 28, 2006
    Crown Point, IN
    Would you suggest just putting on the new flats, tossing the Fender flats...haha, waiting a day or two, then check the neck and string heighths?
     
  10. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    UK
    I think you'll get a good idea what needs doing as soon as you put them on and tune up. Make the adjusments and then you'll maybe need to fine tune the truss rod etc again in a day or two.
     
  11. tigerbass

    tigerbass

    Jul 28, 2006
    Crown Point, IN
    Thanks alot for the responses, they will be here Friday...I can't wait!
     
  12. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    CO
    As with all setups, start with relief. TI flats require medium to high relief. I usually measure at the the 9th fret with feeler gauges and a capo on the first fret. With TI flats I would be looking for 0.015" to 0.020" (holding bass as though I am playing it so gravity is not effecting the measurement). Then I adjust saddles next. I try to follow the fret board radius. For TI flats the action may end up pretty high if you want the string to vibrate cleanly. I have a set on my 61 Jazz and they are a great string. It took me a while to realize they need room to breathe. And I suspect you will want to do a setup immediately after putting on the new strings. I always setup basses after changing strings. If you are new to the truss rod tweak just don't force it and do 1/4 turn at a time with the strings loosened. Retighten and then measure relief. If you have to do this several times I would not worry as long as you are measuring each time you tweak and you do not force the rod.

    It is not clear what gauge of Fenders you are using. But if they are a high tension string, you may need quite a bit of a truss rod loosen to get proper relief with the TIs.

    Dave
     
  13. tigerbass

    tigerbass

    Jul 28, 2006
    Crown Point, IN
    Thanks Dave, a couple of general questions. When you measure at the 9th fret, are you also holding down the string at the last fret? Also am I basically looking to straighten the neck, with just a little relief? I do have a good bit of relief now with those Fenders on them.
    Again thanks and peace, Allen
     
  14. I'm not Dave, but yes, hold down the string at the last fret. You're using the string as a straight edge.

    I don't measure with a gauge anymore. I adjust until the neck is almost straight, so that there's just a smidge of movement when checking at the middle (around the eighth or ninth fret). After a while, you'll know what you like by just eyeballing it. I do use a machinist's ruler for the string height though, measuring from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string. That way, you match the fretboard radius.
     
  15. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    CO
    The Fenders are most likely medium to high tension. This may result in a fair amount of relief if the truss rod is not properly tightened. When you replace them with lower tension TIs, the neck will probably straighten some. You can buy a set of feeler gauges for very cheap to make the measurements. A capo, feeler gauges, a steel ruler (I use calipers), truss rod tool, and bridge saddle tool are what you need. The stickies up top give you lots of great info. I have done a lot of adjustments. And I can go by feel. But I still prefer to make measurements from time to to time just to get things consistent. I also like to record my measurements so if I change strings, I can come back and if the weather changes the neck, I can also find my way back.
     

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