Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Thomastik-Infeld Rounds...who play them?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by jacove, Jul 30, 2005.


  1. jacove

    jacove

    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    Hi There,

    I've heard a lot of things about these string, but who really plays them...mostly people say they sound great, but often they say that either the bottom end is lacking or the tension is too low...I would love to hear from people who actual play them...will they be suited for a traditionel pop/rock setting?...
     
  2. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    That might depend on which TI rounds you're talking about. There are Jazz Rounds, Powerbass and Superalloys.

    I have Superalloys on my Joe Osborne 4 and love them. The tension is a bit lower than on the D'addario XL's and EB Hybrid Slinkys I have used before but it doesn't bother me. The E string isn't as boomy as most so you might consider that weak but I think the output is better matched to the rest of the strings. Very even output (IMO) across all four strings.

    A couple of friends of mine said they consider the Superalloys to be rather bright but I think they bring out the mids of a Jazz quite well. YMMV.
     
  3. jacove

    jacove

    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    r379, thanks for you reply....I'm mostly interested in hearing what players of the Jazz Rounds have to say...have you compared them to the superalloys...
     
  4. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I just started using Superalloys recently and I have owned a set of Jazz Rounds but it has been a couple of years ago and can't remember enough about them to comment about the tone. TI definitely makes quality strings whatever model you use. Comments have been posted on all (IIRC) TI models within the last couple of weeks so go back through the "Strings" forum (or use the Search feature) and you should be able to find what you need. As always, you can PM individual members for further clarification of their remarks. I've done this and always gotten an answer.
     
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Never used the Superalloys, but I've been an avid user of the Jazz Rounds for almost two years. Only bought my second set this week ;). My first set was on my fretted for about a year, then on my fretless for 4 months. My fretless was then out of commission for 3 months due to wear and lack of a luthier. See, something you'll notice is that there are little indentations on old strings that were on a fretted bass. Well, the EDGES of those indentations are sharp tangs. Because the strings were on my fretless and during the string change, those sharp tangs started digging right into the fretboard and it got "fuzzy" pretty quickly. Recently got my fretless back from a luthier (finally found one) and I also had a light finish applied to the rosewood board. Recently re-strung it with a fresh set of the Jazz Rounds.

    The tone is very "sweet." If you dig solo bass stuff -- not chopsy, Victor Wooten-esque pyrotechnics, but rather solo bass MUSIC, then the tone'll probably add a great deal to it. Mike Dimin, the guy who's playing the kind of music I'm talking about, is a TI endorser and uses the Jazz Rounds. Unfortunately, Mike is no longer with us at TB due to a disagreement on recent administrational decisions, but I'm pretty sure his "Ask a Pro" forum was archived.

    I find them to "lack bottom" initially -- actually, the very first time I strung up with them, I almost took them off immediately because I HATED the sound! Luckily, I kept going with them and a couple weeks later they'd mellowed out and taken on a very sweet, very beautiful tone. There's one thing they just don't do as well as other (much cheaper) strings -- slap. IMO, they still sound good, but they just do not have the right-in-the-gut punch of other strings. That is, of course, referring to the Jazz Rounds. I've never used the Superalloys or other strings, though.

    All around, TI makes excellent strings -- I totally agree with r379 on this one. I've also played their guitar strings (an acoustic set on a Blueridge, and the George Benson signature flatwound set on an Ibanez JetKing 1, both owned by a friend of mine) and have been impressed time and time again with their sound and feel. I also have my upright strung with Thomastik Spirocore Mittels (the tension being, lightest to smallest, Solos, Weichs, Mittels, and Starks) and love the sound (for the most part.) I'm changing strings to Pirastro Obligatos soon for a bit of a change -- I always experiment with strings on a new instrument as soon as I can afford it. Can't wait to buy a set of George Bensons for my brother's old Strat-copy :D.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention, I also used the TI flats on the same fretless for 9 months. I've actually considered buying a second fretless to keep strung with TI Flats (and probably will, when my money situation permits) but I love the sound of a fretless with rounds. Incomparable, especially with the jazz rounds. My fretless is a totally stock, Yamaha BB404F. At a lesson about a month after I changed to the rounds, my teacher and I were talking while I was just playing absentmindedly and he said over and over again what beautiful tone I had. I've played several other fretlesses -- including two Pre-CBS precisions -- but I've never heard a sweeter fretless tone than the one I get from my $500 CAD bass strung up with (now) $70 strings.
     
  6. jacove

    jacove

    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    Aaron, thanks for your reply!!!.....Let me see if I got it right, You say that at the first impression the rounds kind of "lacks bottom", but do they get thicker after a period?, or is just because you need some time to adapt to the different sound....I've always played with a very light touch and practically never slaps...I play mostly pop, rock, blues and so on..., the ol' fingerstyle way...will these strings still be too different sounding to work in this context, do you think...
     
  7. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    I use Jazz Rounds and Superalloy now, and have used Powerbass as well. They are different from each other, but the thing that they have in common is that they last a long time and sound better with time (IMO). I never thought that any of the sets lacked bottom end, they don't emphasize lows over highs. The string to string balance is the best that I have heard.

    The Jazz Rounds might be the hardest strings to adapt to if you have been playing more conventional strings. The tension is low, and the windings are very thin, so they feel very smooth. I like ths way they sound on a J bass, but I used a SansAmp to pump the output up and it helped a lot when playing live.

    The Powerbass sets are most like something like a DR or D'Addario set. The tension is higher than the JR or SA sets, and they have a more agressive sound. I like the way they sound, but I am usually looking for a warmer sound.

    So I'm currently using SuperAlloys on a few basses and really like them. Warmer than the Powerbass, more tension and presence than the Jazz Rounds.

    And don't discount Jazz Flats for rock. They are awesome strings and I couldn't imagine not having them around. It is pretty much a lock that the fretted bass that is getting the most play time is strung with JFs.

    These string discussions are very subjective. Me, playing my basses, through my rigs, at my gigs or through my recording setup, using my ears. Kinda hard to relate all that. Also, you might notice that I'm not the only one who has actually tried all the sets. I hoped that the discussion you read help you get close, and that you give any set of strings a fair chance. If you don't make reference recordings then you will almost always get surprised by the difference in moving from a dead set of string A to a new set of string B.
     
  8. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Fretless rock make a very good point that I negelcted to mention: TI strings take some time to break in before they begin to sound right so if you don't like them, wait a while before you throw up your hands in disgust and take them off. The TIs I've tried all mellowed out with time.
     
  9. jacove

    jacove

    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    thanks guys, I'll try a set of TI Jazz rounds on my J bass, and let you know how it goes...do you think a pre-amp like sadowsky, aguilar db924 etc. will be great to compensate for the lower output...
     
  10. notrt

    notrt

    Jun 29, 2004
    :confused: I'm currently g.a.s.'n bad over a certain headless sixer, which has a 34" scale---I've been playing 35" scale Roscoe 6'ers for a few years; I don't fancy the notion of going back to a 34" B string---I play d'Addario XL nickel roundwounds, and with the 34" scale, I had to use a "custom" d'Addario .145 B-string to get decent string to string tension...

    My local luthier, John Warden (Woodstock, Md.; he's great...) has told me that with certain of the Tomastik-Infield string sets, you can get good string to string tension on a six string set with a lot less string diameter. John tells me it's due to the difference in construction, and particularly with reference to the core materials which TI uses...and also states they're rather pricey...

    Since I dont know sh*% from shinola about these strings, I thought I'd ask first...here are my questions:

    First, as to the notion of "thinner" string guages with the TI string sets---what's the deal here?

    Second, as to recommendations for a 95% fingerstyler...in the secular and gospel contexts---where's a good place to start?

    Thanks to all

    RC a/k/a "notrt"
     
  11. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I don't know that you'll have a problem with lower output and if you do just turn your amp up a little. I don't know that my volume with TIs is lower than with other strings and if it is it's not much of a difference. TI sound different because they are different in terms of construction. TI has been making strings for instruments for, what is it, 150 years or so and their experience with making strings for violins and such allows them to do things their own way. TI strings are expensive because of the way they are made.
     
  12. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    They mellow out with a bit of playing time. I actually made a point of never washing my hands before playing or wiping down the strings after with these strings -- the older they got, the nicer they sounded. Never got that old roundwound dead thud characteristic, even though the strings were in use for a year and a bit. They sit very nicely in all sorts of settings, but IMO, you cannot beat TI Jazz Flats for rock and blues. They're unlike any other flatwound -- huge midrange growl. I used 'em on my fretless all the time in rock/funk/blues/jam band settings from Sept-January, and they sounded great throughout. I'd love to try them on a fretted bass sometime.

    Something you might notice about the Jazz Rounds/Flats is that they have a silk wrapping between the core and the final wrap. I was absent-mindedly chewing the silk ends on the string cuttings when I realized you could expose the string core and actually get a decent look at the silk wrap. To compare, I actually just now spent some time chewing and picking the silk wrap off of a two year old Rotosound Swingbass L66 D string and was checkin' out the differences. Very cool -- I'll actually probably post a pic tomorrow, if I can get a decent shot that illustrates the differences nicely.
     
  13. jacove

    jacove

    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    I took the plunge and ordered a set of TI rounds and put on my favorite J bass. Well, I was really surprised how low the tension was, they seemed almost too loose and thin to really feel like bass strings. Then I plugged in a mixer and listened to the play back, and I was really blown away by the string-to string balance. I noticed a bit lesser output, but nothing serious. I then adjusted the bass, and took it out for a gig. The first gig was really difficult, normally I find myself diggin in when things starts to get hot, but this was a bit hard with the low tension, but the sound was Kickin'...Punchy, growly and balanced....not as much power and fullness, but instead a very strong low mid growl....great sound, especially for J bass. The next day I took out for another gig, and I was much more comfortable with the tension, and actually noticed I had much more flexibility and dynamics in my playing...ON the third day, I decided just to hear/feel the difference to go back to D'addario....but instantly noticed the lack of punch and cut-trough ability, though they sounded more powerful and bigger, they just didn't sound as good. I then tried a set of DR Sunbeams, and they did not even come close in terms of punch and growl.

    All I can say, is that these TI Rounds really has won me over...I think I'll stick with these strings for a very long time :hyper:
     
  14. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Glad you like 'em. TI really does make quality strings.
     
  15. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    :D

    Awesome!
     
  16. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Mike is still around as a regular TB member. :D

    Joe
     
  17. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Still here. Still a member (even paid my supporting member dues)

    Mike
     
  18. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Very good to know!
     
  19. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"

    Thanks.

    Mike