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T.I. Flats E string—Is it just me?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ajn, May 28, 2011.

  1. ajn

    ajn Supporting Member

    Sep 3, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    I am a dedicated flatwound user, and currently have a P strung with GHS Precisions and Jazzes with Chromes and T.I. flats. I also have 2 other basses with tapewounds. In the past I have also used LaBella Original 54s but found them just too thick and stiff. I love flats, and I appreciate them all for different reasons.

    With the T.I.s, I like the lighter feel and tension, which I think they allow me to play more "playfully" than with other flats and, for the most part, I like that they sound the most different from the others. (I know trying to describe sound is is like trying to describe the taste of wine--all imagery of something else--but I would describe them as having a more "hollow/grindy/metallic" and less "thumpy" sound than the others.)

    However, the one problem I have with them is the sound of the open E string. Compared to all the other flats I've tried, to me, the T.I.s just seem to lose too much of the fundamental note of the low E to the harmonics--as if the bottom drops out. (I would say the problem persists to some degree up to about the 3rd fret, so I don't think it is related to the nut.) I have tried the string on both the P bass and a Jazz, and it was the same on both basses. I even called T.I. about it and they were kind enough to send me another E string to try--but it was again the same problem with the replacement string on both basses. So I think I have tested it enough different ways to determine that the issue is not specific to one bass or string, and that this may just be the way the T.I. E string is supposed to sound.

    Am I alone in this experience? Is there something I'm missing? I know the T.I.s get a lot of love here, and I get it because I do find there is a lot about them to like. I'm just wondering if others think the E string sounds just fine?
  2. TripleDouble

    TripleDouble Guest

    Aug 5, 2008
    I have them on a MIJ 62 Reissue Jazz, and don't have that problem at all. I find them to be really well balanced throughout the full range of the bass, and from string to string too. I don't really play with a ton of low end though, not a Jaco spiked midrange sound, but not a full on Jamerson thud either...more a Led Zep II and III JPJ kind of Jazz Bass tone...
  3. engedi1


    Sep 16, 2005
    I have used TI flats for years on my Sadowsky and don't have this problem. you could've gotten a bad one out of the box...
  4. BLDavis

    BLDavis Master of Snarks. Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Ellenboro, NC
    Have you tried lowering your pickup on the bass side just a bit?
  5. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    The thing that drives me nuts about those strings is that the E is WAY bigger than the rest of the set.
  6. P. Bass

    P. Bass

    Mar 17, 2010
    Someone else (elsewhere) mentioned a problem with getting the E to settle in.
    I agree with your take on the disproportionate size of the E.
    What is with that?
    Regarding TI's in general - I can see how these string would appeal to studio work or laid back playing, but how are you supposed to make wet spagetti keep up with a drummer. I mean flats have a certain reputation for driving a rhythm section. :bassist:

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