Thomastik verses Fender flatwounds

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by butchblack, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. butchblack

    butchblack Life is short. Do good. Find and do what you love.

    Jan 25, 2007
    Waltham Massachusetts

    I'm currently running Fender flats on my Fernandes J bass copy. What difference could I expect by switching to Thomastik flats? They are more then 2x the cost of the Fenders, are they worth the extra $?
  2. king_biscuit


    May 21, 2006
    Night and day. Fenders are stiff traditional flats with plenty of thump and tight E and A strings; I love them. TIs are very soft and middy with less thump and less definition on the E and A strings; I keep trying to like them, but no luck so far.
  3. BetterBottomEnd

    BetterBottomEnd <- Not me I just like looking at her

    Jan 9, 2007
    Cable Wi
    TI's 5-string set tuned up a fourth. It sounds great and feels so nice.
  4. TI flats and fender flats are at the two opposite ends of the tension spectrum, TI's being the least tense and fenders being the most tense. You could go half way w/ a set of Labellas, and they're cheaper than the TI's.
  5. butchblack

    butchblack Life is short. Do good. Find and do what you love.

    Jan 25, 2007
    Waltham Massachusetts

    What I'm hearing from this thread is that the TI's are the brightest among the flat wounds, and I'm trying to tone down a bright bass. I'm hearing a lot of good things about the La Bella Deep Talkin' flats but I like low tension. D'addario chrome flats super soft look almost as low tension as the TI's. Anyone have any experience with them?
  6. r379

    r379 Guest

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I haven't owned a set of TI flats in a while, but as I remember them they weren't bright so much as they were more articulate than other flats. If I've got it wrong somebody please correct me.
  7. jdbutz


    Feb 10, 2007
    Indianola, Iowa
    I've got a set of Chromes and a set of Fenders on my basses. I think the Chromes are brighter than the Fenders and not quite as stiff. The Chromes have more tension than the TI's, at least with my experience. Of all of the flats I've used, I'm a fan of the Chromes.
  8. If you're looking to tone down a bright bass with low tension flats, you might want to look into the 50-100 gauge set of dean markley flats. Out of the flats i've tried so far (Labella, Rotosound, Fender) the dean markleys had the lowest tension. They're SUPER smooth too and sound really traditional, thumpy. I imagine they're closer to the TI's tension than most flats only w/out the brightness and hefty price tag.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    In my expirence the TI's will have no dead spots on them where they are common place in fender sets. The TI's are by far a more quality string.
  10. isn't it the bass that has dead spots and not the strings?
  11. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Never tryed TI's and doubt i will i dig to hard and dont want floppy strings. I put on Chromes a month ago and fell in love.
  12. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    You might want to try a set of the GHS Flats, since you're trying to tone down a bright bass. The GHS flats are not as bright as the Chromes, and they're very inexpensive (much more so that the La Bella's or the T.I.'s). So if you want to try them and you don't like them, you haven't wasted a lot of money. I normally use Chromes, but I have an ancient set of GHS Flats on my '75 P-Bass, and it sounds killer. My two current Jazzes have Chromes.
  13. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I love your avatar, and the explanation with it ("Not me - I just like looking at her"). I can see why. And I'll bet she does, indeed, have a "Better Bottom End"...
  14. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    FWIW (maybe nothing) I don't understand why cost of flatwounds is a purchase consideration when (1) they last very long, and (2) they have so much to do with your signal chain that they can make or break a several thousand dollar bass (or any other for that matter).
  15. butchblack

    butchblack Life is short. Do good. Find and do what you love.

    Jan 25, 2007
    Waltham Massachusetts
    I went with a set of GHS .045-.095 and like them. I noticed that the tension decreased a bit as they broke in, is that normal?
  16. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    After 40-odd years of playing, I've found that TI JazzFlats satisfy my needs very well, whether on a fretless P-bass, or on active fretted fivers (I also string my uprights with TI flats).

    To my ears, they're articulate and very coherent without being overly bright or having any disproportionate overtones, and they generate no appreciable finger or fret noise with the EQ settings I use. My left hand finds the slight decrease in string tension welcome, especially after an up-tempo 4-hr gig.