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TI Flats: Yay or Nay?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Woodboy, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. Woodboy


    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    I have had three sets of strings on my Jazz style bass: LaBella Rounds, LaBella Deep Talkin' Flats, and TI Jazz Flats. I definitely prefer the flats, so I won't go into a discussion of the roundwounds. The LaBella Flats really had a lot of extra noise associated with fretting. You could hear the strings being fretted with a click as the string hit the fret. If you weren't totally accurate with placing your finger directly behind the fret, a horrible rattle was amplified thru the speakers. The problem cleared up with the TI Flats. The lower tension causes a few buzzes here and there, but only if I really dig in. All in all, I am happy with the TI Flats. My thinking is that they aren't terribly punchy strings. I am wondering if any of you tone-meisters have tried other flatwound strings in your tone quest. I am definitely into the old school Memphis and Motown sounds. To this end, I am building a P-style bass equipped with an Aero pickup. I am curious about the Fender 9050 strings and the Pyramid Gold Flats. The two reviews of the Pyramids at BGRA are decidedly negative. Any real world experiences would be appreciated.
  2. I have been using TI flats on my fretted bass for five years....almost the same set! I have changed strings once! But you are right. They are NOT old school/ mowtowny in character, though I certainly find them more than adequately punchy (but that varies from bass to bass, of course!).

    Definitely try the Fender flats. Lots of people after the sound you want swear by them. Others, such as me, swear <b>at</b> them. But it's all taste!
  3. gbenner


    May 20, 2001
    ocean, new jersey
    I use and love the Pyramid Gold Flats, they have a nice percussive thump to them. I used the TI's for about a year or so, and if I felt they were just too floppy. IMHO you can't go wrong the the Pyramids.
    GHS Precision are also good old school flats, and a lot cheaper then the Pyramids.

  4. How about the Roto Steve Harris signature set? I hear they are very good too and probobly have a bit more tension than the TI's. I was going to try these on my bass, but i decided that I really like the TI's, so why change.
  5. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    I'll stick with T.I. Flats.
  6. Ditto! Yay!

  7. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    The only two flats I like are
    TI-flats and Roto-77-flats.
    TI-well balanced nice feel
    Roto- a little tighter, more treble sounding
  8. As I mentioned on the "Flatwounds" thread, I'm a Fender flat player (55-105). I get a good thump out of them. I'm very happy. I got the flats because of Ms Kaye's influence, but I'm finding my sound a bit more Day Tripper/Abbey Road; which is not that big a leap I guess...
  9. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I must say I absolutely love the LaBella's on my fretless Wal; they are bright and very responsive. But then again it is a fretless bass.

    They seem formulated for fretless IMO.


    PS - I am going to try Ken Smith's slick wound strings too- i dig the idea and i love his taper core sets.
  10. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    I too went with flats, due to Ms.kaye's influence.
    I only use them on my Pbass now-I use rounds on my Jazz basses.

    I first used Fender 9050ML's, and I liked them a lot. I used TI flats till now. I went back to the Fenders this week.

    The TI's are nice strings. But there were two things I found I didn't quite like;
    They are not as thumpy to me as the 9050ML's
    The low tension made it hard to keep the neck from moving a lot. Having a bit more tension seems to help with that.

    I tried the 9050M's, but I ididn't like them as much as the ML's. Now, once I change the standard P pickup to a nordstrand P, it should be really awesome!

    Overall, the TI's are great strings-they're just not my preference anymore.
  11. a nay from me, I tried TI flats on my old Fender Precision again seeking the Memphis/Motown sound and I took them off after two days, they just sounded dead to me.

    Maybe I'd just forgotten what its like playing with flatwounds but I've seen more life in rubber bands than these strings, everyone to their own opinion but I hated them,
  12. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    You might try GHS Brite Flats. I am using TI now, but the Brite Flats a ground roundwounds that are pretty mellow.
  13. Ditto on the Roto -77s. I've had them on a couple of my basess, and they have a bright sound for a flat string, and just enough tension. I much prefer them to Fender flats.

    One set I could not stand was the Labella 1954 Jamerson set. I had them on my Jack Casady, and I thought they were going to pull the bridge off. The treble I got at 10 was the same treble I got at 6 with the Rotos. I had them on for three days, then they came right off.

    To each his own.

  14. Randy Payne

    Randy Payne

    Jan 1, 2001
    I personally didn't like 'em. To me they sounded like bad round wounds. They don't have the "typical" old school flatwound "thud" sound. They have more of a sustainy sound, with a "round wound wanna-be" high end. This is all strictly a matter of opinion of course. I must say they do have a unique sound, and some people will probably really love 'em. I think it all depends on what you are looking for. If you like the flatwound feel, with a brighter, less purcussive sound, then these are maybe the ticket. For the Motown sound, I liked the GHS Precision Flats better.

    The other thing for me is that I actually like the feel of roundwounds better than flats. Flats seem stickier to me.

    I went back to my GHS Progressives.....
  15. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    The TIs work great on my fretless with Bart soapbars. No neck issues, this bass was built specifically for these strings though. I love the low tension, and I have another fretless with half rounds for a different feel/sound.

    None of this has anything to do with Old School sounds though, I don't go there much. FWIW, TIs are extremely punchy sounding on my fretless.
  16. Planet


    Feb 8, 2004
    I´m into the oldschool Fender P+flats+foam-mute sound too.
    I think I have tryed them all by now.(flats)
    The TI´s are great strings, really great, but it´s NOT the right choice soundwise.The Roto´s 77 are great strings too, and feels right,but are way too bright.They really lack volume too.I could go on and on about them all, but can say that the GHS precision flatwound are the best of them all right out of the package.They dont have the fretbuzz, and have lots of thump and lows/low mids. No sustain, just lots of tone and feels great too.Try the 0,45-1,05 gauge.The tension is just like LaBella.They make my Precision sound fantastic, and i will never go back to anything else.
  17. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Whats the cheapest website to buy TI flats at?
  18. Woodboy


    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Planet, thanks for your input. Sounds like you have tried lots of strings to get "the tone". What is the #of the GHS set you like? GHS makes about quite a number of flatwound strings. As for the cheapest place to buy TI flats: just strings and big city strings have them for a few pennies apart. It has been awhile since I bought my set, but it seems like they were about $35/ set.
  19. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000


    I've tried a variety of flats also. However, when I finally tried TI's I stopped purchasing any other brand and any other string period. Nothing even comes close, IMO.
  20. Planet


    Feb 8, 2004
    Woodboy ; It´s the GHS precision flatwound, gauge # M3050
    boomboom !

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