Thomastik TI Flats - Another Convert!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Yes, it's yet another thread about these strings. I'm currently rehearsing for a Christmas theater show in a few weeks; the material is everything from Sinatra to Bruce Springsteen to Faith Hill to Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It's become apparent that my basses strung with rounds are just a little too abrasive and in your face for some of the material that was originally recorded with double-bass, especially the older jazz and jazz-influenced pop.

    Truth is, I have always hated flats. I love tapewounds in certain circumstances, but very rarely have I ever heard a bass strung with flats that I really liked, even fretless. There have always been two things I've disliked with most flats I've heard. One, they always sounded super boxy to my ears. And I'm a mid-range lover, but flats always emphasized the ugly mids that we try to scoop out in most instances. Two, they always sounded unfocused and tubby in the low-end. Regardless, I knew I had to put a much more mellow string on one of my basses for some of this Christmas material. I decided to take the plunge on the Thomastiks, since they are so highly praised. While I'd never spend that amount of money on a roundwound string, since flats last years upon years, I could justify the investment for the Thomastiks.

    I've had them on a Carvin LB75 for about a day so far and dang, I am impressed. They have everything great about flats, such as the clean tone with little fret noise and present but not abrasive highs, and don't have what I have traditionally hated about flats: boxy mids and tubby low-end. The mids can go from smooth to punchy but never boxy or woody. The low-end is big and enveloping, but never unfocused or flubby. I once read someone here say that you don't need a compressor with flats and I understand what that poster meant. All of the strings seem to have perfectly balanced output, from high G to low B.

    I have a modern country gig tomorrow, so that's a pure roundwound gig. But Christmas rehearsal is on Sunday and I'm pretty excited about trying out the flats there. The modern stuff, like the TOS, Faith Hill, Eagles, etc. will still get the rounds, but the Brenda Lee, Vince Guaraldi, Sinatra, Nat King Cole, etc. will definitely be getting the flats.
    babaseen, smperry, e-flat and 9 others like this.
  2. midichlorine

    midichlorine Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2005
    lots of guys in Nashville are recording with flats now.
    Tis are sweet and I totally agree with you on the tone of them.

    LiquidMidnight likes this.
  3. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    That would certainly explain the fact that so many country bass chord changes are glissed into. I call it the Brignardello gliss (I don't know if Mike Brignardello is the one who originated that, but it's something I hear in his playing - and a lot of modern country bass playing...something that really distinguishes contemporary country bass playing from 90s country bass playing). Flats are very easy to gliss on.
  4. jmattbassplaya


    Jan 13, 2008
    TIs are nice, they just aren't as aggressive as rounds. It really depends on what you prefer. I found TIs to be too polite.
  5. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I played rehearsal with the TIs on Sunday and they were a huge hit. We blew through Guraldi's Christmas Time Is Here and they sounded impeccable, especially when I got to the solo section. Never thought I'd ever dig flats, but these things are pretty sweet. They wouldn't be appropriate for every situation, but there's a lot of material they'd be perfect for.
  6. I know there are threads about it - but will it make any sense to move from TI's JF344 to La Bella Low Tension Flats? I'd like to have a lil more percussive tone, I like Thomastiks but they don't allow me to feel what I play when the acoustics of evironment is bad, GHS Precisions worked better (but tension was horrible).
  7. e-flat


    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    Not to side track the thread, but if you are looking for a string that mixes the attributes of TI and GHS P Flats, I think that the LaBella LTF are a good string to try. They have a more "old school", thumpy and percussive sound than the TI but they don't have high tension. Another option is to get the light set of GHS P Flats (40-95).

    I'm a huge TI Flats fan, and run them on my main P Bass. I ran Sunbeams for ages but can't go back now that I've tried the TIs. I'm sure I'll always try new strings out of curiosity, but for what I want to hear from a P Bass I'm finding it hard to beat the TIs. I also love their low tension, which may be because I ran lighter roundcore Sunbeams for so many years.... not much difference, tension-wise.
  8. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Agreed. I used D'Addario Slowwounds on my P Bass for years before switching to TI's. I have several P Basses that are strung differently and my drummer commented on the TI strung one as being the best sounding of the lot....... and you know when a drummer can tell the difference, it must really be significant.
  9. velalv

    velalv Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Woodbridge, VA
  10. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008
    I have taken TI Flats off and put them back on numerous times. The silk gets a little frayed, but (so far!) the strings keep working fine.
  11. Briton


    Apr 4, 2009
    I have TI's on my P Bass and they are staying on. They seem to be perfect for my P Bass but do not sound so good on my J Bass which I cannot understand.
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