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TIs vs LaBella flats... THE AUDIO COMPARISON (clips inside)

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by RJHall, May 1, 2015.

  1. Clip 1

    53 vote(s)
  2. Clip 2

    22 vote(s)
  3. I can't hear much of a difference

    15 vote(s)
  4. Clip 3 (added on 5/4)

    0 vote(s)
  1. RJHall


    Dec 25, 2012
    New York City
    I am tracking bass (DIY style) for my band's upcoming album. I posted 2 clips from the 1st chorus (sans vocals). Note: what you're hearing is unmixed and unmastered. We're still tracking and editing and not even close to done.
    • One clip is my MIM Fender 50s Road Worn P Bass; 1+ year old Thomastik JF344s; Aguilar 4P-60 p'ups
    • The other clip is my Fender AVRI 63 P Bass; relatively new La Bella 760FLs; stock electronics
    Both recorded with tone rolled down about 70% at the same input gain settings through a REDDI > Resident Audio Thunderbolt interface > ProTools (with AVID channelstrip compression and ULF roll-off presets). I did my best to equalize the relative volume of each bass.

    While this could very well be a bass shoot-off too, I feel both basses offer the same raw goods. I believe whole-heartedly that strings make the biggest perceivable difference from bass to bass, even more than pickups... and don't get me started about maple vs rosewood.

    Which do you prefer the sound of? They both sound good/equally bad are acceptable answers.

    Your input matters, because at the end of the day I prefer the feel and setup of the TIs. I just need to get a second opinion of whether the LBs sound "better" before I string the 63 up with Tis to match the RW.

    In other words, I don't know if tonal variety outweighs consistency in playability.

    Edit: Here's an updated breakdown of the now three uploaded files (Re: post #36). In case these files display out of order, be sure to refer to the number in the file names as they correspond to the versions below...
    version 1: Fender 50s Road Worn P with Aggys and well-broken-in TIs
    version 2: Fender AVRI 63 P with new La Bella 760FLs
    version 3: Fender AVRI 63 P with new TIs

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  2. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I like the first clip, but it's more because the playing in the second clip sounds a bit punchier and cleaner (as in, I can definitely here where the note stops). First clip tends to sit better with the instrumentation.

    I wouldn't call this a direct comparison, because there are a ton of different variables. If you prefer the feel and setup of the TIs, throw them on the 63 to see if they'll play well with that instrument.
    MaxJJK and RJHall like this.
  3. Toss a coin as far as I am concerned, I can hardly tell the difference. That said, my ears are not what they used to be, so I am likely missing some of the subtle aspects of the tones. Also, I am a Jazz bass guy so with a P, I am less dialed into what that sounds like with TIs for example.

    Big TI fan here, and if I had to guess, I'd say it was TIs on the first one.

    Great track and great playing BTW. Loved the feel, the "bouncieness" of your playing.
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  4. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008
    Pretty similar, and if I weren't A/B comparing them, I might not perceive any difference at all. But given the two, I prefer the first one.
  5. ReneB


    Dec 6, 2014
    Ithaca, NY
    Well, this may not be very helpful as I like how both of the clips sound. The differences in sound are, to my ears, slight, but in the 2nd clip I believe I heard a bit more focus on the mid ranges while the 1st clip sounded a bit 'warmer' to me.
  6. Kenova


    May 5, 2010
    Zagreb (Croatia)
    WOOOOOW!!!! I don't care for sound, it's all great, but song and bass line is GREAT!!!! Give me the song, NOOOOWWWW!!! I don't care if it's done or not!!! ;)
  7. fakeneckplate'65

    fakeneckplate'65 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2014
    Columbus, OH
    I listened on my cellphone, but, I'm going to guess that #2 are the Labella strings. The bass in track #2 seems a little more buried in the mix though. It sounds the most like my MIM with Labella DTF-FS to me.

    I prefer #2, but, #1 is more present in the mix.

    It also sounds like it was played over the pickup rather than near the bridge.
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  8. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    I liked the first cut better, bass seems to be easier to pick out in the mix. Nice playing btw.
  9. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    They sound surprisingly similar, but the second one seems to have more attack and definition, although that could be the playing, the mix, the bass... I'm guessing the second one was the labellas.
    aprod, wisconsindead and trothwell like this.
  10. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    i liked 1 better, i think one is TI. punches more because it's mid city with TI and mid city with Precision bass. they're meant for each other.
  11. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    I voted for Clip #1, the volume and presence is more linear. I think the first clip was done with the Thomastik JF344s...
    bassRunner likes this.
  12. RJHall


    Dec 25, 2012
    New York City
    I just did exactly that! I need to step out and take care of life, but later today or tomorrow, I'll put up a third version of the 63 with TIs! Just have to spend a few more minutes tweaking the setup since the TIs are SO different.

    Correct and thanks!!!! :)

    Rock on—thanks!!! If you want to hear a rough cut, we have to finish vocals first (1 or 2 weeks). There's only drunken scratch vocals so far (our singer forgot the words and drops out a bunch).

    Correct! #1 - TIs #2 - 760FLs.

    I rock a p'up cover, so I'm playing right behind the pickup (as in bridge side).

    I think I do too... thanks!!!

    Correct! These new bellas definitely articulate, but they wear my fingers out in comparison!

    I like you.

    Interesting... and correct. Glad to know I don't suffer from TI bias (well, only a little).
    trothwell likes this.
  13. I like clip 1 better, which is odd because I generally consider myself a Labella fan. The lower notes disappeared a little in clip 2, which is no buenos for bass lines.
  14. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008
    I find it really interesting how similar the two are. As far as flatwound strings, I've mostly played TIs -- have never tried Labella at all -- but reading the forums here I get the impression those two strings are pretty different. They don't sound very different in the mix.
    JMacBass65 likes this.
  15. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    to be honest without sounding like a pompous jackass, if you have good ears they sound completely different. one has tons of midrange content, the other does not and has more low end and top end. critical listening to music on headphones or a stereo can really enhance how you hear things and associate tone. professional mix and mastering engineers take it to even greater heights.
  16. MaccaMan1964

    MaccaMan1964 Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Moved to Miami
    I like the first better; I hear a bit more fundamental and roundness. The second one sounds nice, but more mellow and feels more receded in the mix...
  17. Sound completely different? Lets not get ahead of ourselves. They sound quite similar. Phil Lesh and Marcus Miller sound completely different.
    preside, JMacBass65 and trothwell like this.
  18. Wooly John

    Wooly John

    May 16, 2014
    I like them both - listening on some inexpensive Sony headphones - clip 1 sounded more generic, clip 2 was punchier, but whether that is due to pick-ups, strings, EQ, playing style or any of a million other variable I could not say - in clip 2 the highest notes, around the :24 mark, have more definition - perhaps there is less sustain on the strings makes each note stand out more? - I dunno
    It's really interesting to read what different ears hear!
  19. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    I like the first one, and am a longtime user of T-I (flat and round wound) strings on my bass guitars.
  20. biobass


    Sep 16, 2007
    Princeton NJ area
    Well, I'm in after the reveal, but I listened to the clips, each twice, through my Sony MDR-V6 headphones. I preferred clip one. There was a slightly smoother, fuller sound to it, especially noticeable in the descending line towards the end. Clip 2 had a slight edge to the sound that also works quite well. I am a long time TI user with Jazz flats on my Roscoe Beck 5 and my Fender A/E fretless, Jazz Rounds on my '65 Jazz, Acousticores on my Turner Ren V, and Spirocores on my '39 Kay.

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