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TI Jazz flats vs. DR Sunbeams

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Stillwater, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Stillwater


    Feb 18, 2014
    New Jersey
    Im looking for a lower tension set of strings to put on my New Sterling S.U.B. Ray4. Ive narrowed it down to either the TI jazz flatwounds, or the DR sunbeams (in either light or medium).

    I currently play Americana/Roots Rock, but might play stuff like country, alternative rock, etc. also. I do not really play heavy rock music anymore so i don't really need raw power in a string.

    I want a lower tension string, but now super low to where the point where id need to have a very soft attack to prevent the strings from clacking around. Id describe my playing style as having a "medium" intensity attack.

    Thank you guys for the advice!
  2. Jefff


    Aug 14, 2013
    I like TI flats a lot. They seem much more musical to me than any onther flat I have played.

    People will say the tension is too low but to me they feel no looser than most round wounds. They just arent as stiff as most flats.
  3. Dredmahawkus


    Nov 4, 2012
    TIs although flatwound are much more musical and articulate strings....either string would probably be good for your music....but the TIs are much better strings....also you only have to change them like once a decade....so they are worth the money!

    I found sunbeams pretty dead on my jazz bass....and I like flats nickel and roundcore...I thought they would be great...but I am used to thomastik superalloy and again they are so much better sounding strings the sunbeams just sounded dead.
  4. Levin


    Oct 30, 2012
    TI flats and if you can't stand the clack if it's there, take the action higher!
  5. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Stewartsville, NJ
    I think you really have to feel TI's for yourself. I tried a set but they felt too floppy. I still want another set because of the great tone.
  6. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    I tried TI flats on my passive Fender MIM fretless jazz and hated them. I tried them again on my ESP ltd with active pre and emg hz's and other than the incredibly lame slap tone, (which I find unfortunately necessary at times) they sound great. My point being they might sound great on a sterling SUB, they might not. It's an expensive experiment, and Sunbeams are cheaper and sound great on both of my basses.

    If you have money burning a hole in your pocket and you have another bass to try them on later, get the TIs. Otherwise try a set of the 45 65 80 100 Sunbeams.
  7. Jefff


    Aug 14, 2013
    I have the opinion that TIs feel sloppy because most people think that they have to dig in because they are flats.

    If you set them up and attack them like you would a set of D'ddario XLs or similar, I don't think they would seem that way at all.
  8. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Stewartsville, NJ
    This is why I didn't like them. I dig in when I play. I should have removed the Bezel from my Ric and just played closer to the bridge. Now I am going to try another set unless I trade my Ric for a Stingray ;)

    Edit: For the Record, Everything else was perfect about the TI's beside my gripe with the tension. The sound, volume levels between strings, Growl factor(Just amazing). My experience was a perfect string in every way but just too much flop.
  9. PJ Muzikmansky

    PJ Muzikmansky

    Jan 4, 2013
    TI Flats are IMO the most over-hyped string going. Tension is too low (even though I play with a very light touch) and the gauge is too light. Every set I've tried has had a weak G string (and yes...my basses and pickups are set up right)

    DR sunbeams are IMO a better all-round string
  10. Jefff


    Aug 14, 2013
    I have no deal with TIs I don't get them cheap and I have stringed around.

    I have a friend with a Rotosound endorsement deal. I was paying 16.00 a set for any string in the Roto line. The 55's were my favorite and it's not a bad string.

    But I keep coming back to the TIs

    If you really dig in, I would be interested in what strings you use.
  11. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    TI flats have very low tension, lowest you'll find in opinion. I have them on my fretless and use a very light touch when playing fretless. I would go with the sunbeams as they have low tension and are much cheaper. If you like the sound of flats just leave the sunbeams on long enough, and with a little muting you can go from bright to warm sounding.
  12. I think you got to decide if you want a flat or round first.. we are comparing apples and oranges
  13. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    For my Fender MIM Jazz I went with the DR flats. I found the TI too floppy for my attack style. I agree that setup makes a difference.
  14. Britbonic

    Britbonic Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    It's funny I bought TI flats, had them on for awhile, thought the tension was too low, switched to chromes and eventually switched back to the TI's and now I'll never take them off this my AVRI 57 PBass (unless I find a good deal on a real one). I love having variety and currently my 4 basses all have different strings but every time I play that bass I wonder why I bother with anything else. To be fair, they do take some getting used to and much of it stems from playing style. Most of what I'm playing these days is fingerstyle soul/r&b/funk, some blues and rock. I tried using them in an alt rock band I was in for a while and found they didn't work as well for cranking 1/8th note lines and pick playing so have a PBass with roundwounds for that. Found it was hard to have a light touch playing that music and was always fighting against digging in too much.
  15. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    TI's are awesome. that lower tension changed my right hand.
  16. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Chiming in with another suggestion here. I just got my first Jazz Bass as I've been a P-Bass guy all of my life. Tried Sunbeams because I wanted more brightness from this bass - but it was over-the-top and I really don't like the feel of rounds. I've used TI's before and could not adapt to the tension. I play upright bass also, and the TIs while sounding good, felt like wet noodles to me.

    Yet I still wanted something a bit brighter. Chromes were out (don't like the feel or tension), and while I use Pyramid Flats on my P-bass and love them, I think that they'd be too dark.

    I ended up with a set of La Bella Deep Talkin Flats, but light gauge:
    LB_760FL La Bella Deep Talkin' Flat Wound - 4 String Set
    Light: .043 .060 .082 .104

    I've used the bass on two gigs this weekend - one with a classic rock band, other was Motown/funk - and really liked the feel and sound of them. Definitely more tension than the TIs, but about the same as the DRs (maybe just a touch more, but still soft-feeling strings). No clanking, could get bright and snappy with the tone all the way up, darker and thumpy with it down. Neck pickup on full, bridge cranked down just a hair.

    FWIW, your experience may vary.
  17. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    I really liked the TIs and do dig in. Because of the low tension I could set up higher and still play very easily. Also, much clearer tone than with a low setup plus I hate 'Mwah' anyway.