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The "right" strings for a '71 Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by P-punk, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. I've got a '71 Jazz Bass; had it for about 6 months. I've tried several different strings trying to find the "right" ones.

    So far I've tried:

    - Chromes 40-100
    - LaBella DTF
    - Pyramid flats 760 FL
    - GHS Precision flats
    - DR Sunbeams
    - probably some more I don't remember now :)

    and none of them sounds "right". I know that "right" is highly subjective, but I hope you can tell me what strings you've used on your late '60s/early '70s Jazz Bass.

    There's something with the low output pickups from that era that doesn't "match" with the strings I've tried. For instance the LaBella's sounded perfect with my Squier JV, but not that perfect on the '71.

    It's the same with my 11lbs '79 P-bass - the Pyramids and GHS sounds really good on that, but the LaBella's didn't.

    So, please tell me what strings you've been happy with, and why. :help:
  2. No one with a late '60s/early '70s Jazz that wanna share what strings they're using? :bassist:
  3. Catbuster


    Aug 25, 2010
    Louisville, KY.
    Rotosound Swing 66 were what I used with my '73.
  4. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    I'm pretty sure most people were playing Roto 66s in the early 70s, personally I like DR Fat Beams or Circle Ks for Jazz basses.
  5. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    With my '69 Jazz, I used MTD stainless for many years, then went to DR highbeams for another many years. Now I'm using R Cocco stainless.

    I generally don't like using flats on my Jazzes, but on my P I do.
  6. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    for a round, i love low riders on an old fender. imo, the high mids help round out the sound and fill in the information that the low'ish output pickups dont have.
  7. Catbuster


    Aug 25, 2010
    Louisville, KY.
    I had the '73 up until two years ago. I was using the Swing 66 since I first got it in 2001. It's not a '70s thing, it just that I like it.
  8. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    What I mean is that Roto 66s were some of the only rounds available, and a lot of the big bassists were using them them, so it's likely that a lot of people were using them on their Jazz basses in the 70s.
  9. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    The PUPs shouldn't be any lower output than any other era of passive J. Maybe you need a rewind, or to raise the pickups a bit.

    I currently have Sadowsky flats on my '73, it's my Reggae Thump and Growl machine.

    In the end every individual bass has it's own voice and some strings will sound better to you than others on it. keep experimenting!
  10. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Jazz + Hi-Beams = Sonic Heaven
  11. Thanks for the suggestions. I've ordered a set of Lo Riders and a set of Roto 66. Gonna try them first, and then try Hi Beams and the other suggestions after that. Might be expensive in the end, but the bass is worth it.

    IME they are. I haven't tried that many Fenders from that era, but those I've tried have been lower output than newer American or Japanese Fenders. This can of course be pure coincidence, but I think I've read something about it here on TB as well. But I might be wrong.
  12. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    The only way to really tell for sure is measure the output of each pickup with a multimeter.
  13. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    i have a 69 jazz, for flats i like TI jazz flats, for rounds i like DR sunbeams.
  14. The 66 I had came with whatever flats Fender was using at the time and by the 70's I disliked the sound of Flats on a Jazz Bass. PBass yes but a Jazz no. That's a long time ago but I'm thinking I used Rotosounds at that time. Where I lived the choices were limited.

    Today I use GHS Pressure Wounds on a CV Jazz and to me they're perfect for what I want that bass to sound like. Not as zingy or brite as rounds but I still get full tonal range from the bass and they're a very easy string to play. Flats just don't sound good on a Jazz Bass to me so all flats are ignored.

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