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Tone Question: Fender stainless flats vs. Labella Deep Talkin' flats

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I have a set of Fender flats on my Jazz Bass and they don't sound like the flatwound sound I have in my mind. It may be that, since they've only been on my bass a day, they have some mellowing out to do, but they're a bit bright and harsh sounding. How do the Fender flats compare to Labella Deep Talkin' flats in tone? Will these Fender's mellow out into old school flats tone? My Jazz has a J-Retro on it - does that matter?
  2. reggaeman


    Jul 12, 2005
    I think all strings sound like crap when they are brand new. I'd give them a couple weeks and then decided whether to try something else.

    I've never tried the fender flats but I have tried the la bellas and they rock. I've tried TI jazz flats, chromes and la bellas and la bellas by far have the most authentic old school sound to them. The TI jazz flats are too middy... and the chromes are kind of in between. I like the chromes... but if you are going to try something other than the fenders get the la bellas!
  3. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    As far as flats go, I've only tried RotoSound 66. Not really sure I like them. They almost have a woody sound, similar to a knock on the door.... could be my bass though.

    Sorry I can't help with original question. Actually, hoping I can figure out if I should switch strings myself, just not sure what to get.
  4. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I think giving them a little time is a good idea. If I do decide to try something else it'll definitely be the Labella's. I continue to hear good thing about them. Thanks!
  5. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Bright and harsh sounding does not sound like Fender flats. I would give them a few days. What strength did you get? I have only tried the 9050M myself.
  6. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I've got the same 9050M's. Maybe harsh isn't right but they arent as thumpy as I had thought they would be. I do need to give them about a week to mellow out, though before I decide to try something else.
  7. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    takes a day or 2 of heavy playing. I felt the same way when i got em...are there any other kind of fender flats than the 9050ms? haven't seen any
  8. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    They make the flats in three different gauges. How would the lights be different than the mediums be different from the heavies in tone or sound?
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You're too impatient. You're going to buy a set of LaBellas and find that they get pretty much the exact same sound as the Fenders. I won't say that they're identical but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that they're made in the same factory.

    You need a good month or two of solid 2 hour-a-day playing before you can make a judgment on those strings. They will end up thudding like crazy by then, and it only gets better with time.

    I just replied to another thread where someone asked the exact same question about gauges:

    Usually the heavier they are, the fatter the sound. But I find there's diminishing returns on that once you get into the ultra heavy gauges. Like I don't think a .065 G string sounds any better than a .050, but a .050 sounds much better than a .035. I use a .045 G because the .050 only sounds slightly better and it's harder to play, and the .045 is the heaviest gauge I like that I can play easily.
  10. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I am too impatient! I need to grow in that area, especially in bass playing and I need to practice a whole lot more. I can tell you one thing - I'm loving how smooth flats are on my fingers and I'm not trying to turn down the treble anymore.

    That was me you replied to! I'm just full of questions! Thanks for the information, though. I love how helpful people are here on TB.
  11. . . . said the reggae bassist! LOL. . . don't join a punk band dude! :)

    anybody ever tried the La Bella tapewounds? It don't get no thuddier than that. Play with a pick and some palm muting and it is just heaven right there, put a fork in me I'm done.

    I'm gonna get some flats, based on all the feedback I've seen LaBellas seem to be the front runner. . . didn't like the TI's I played once. . . somebody mentioned 'pyramids' at some point but I have no idea what that refers to. . .

    Peace yawl.
  12. racket


    Jul 26, 2005
    Riverside, Ca
    FMIC Employee
    I switched a couple of weeks ago from Roto 77ld's to the LaBella's. I'm really pleased with the way they sound. I put them on my Lakland Skyline Duck Dunn. The LaBella's are a little thicker guages, and a little smoother feeling strings. Like all strings they sounded a little brite when I first put them on. After two weeks I find to "my ears" that the fundamental is a little deeper, and a little fatter. They are starting to get more thump to them the longer I play them but they haven't quite got the thump of the Rotos yet.
    They are quickly becoming my favorite strings.
  13. reggaeman


    Jul 12, 2005
    You couldnt pay me enough to join a punk a band!
  14. Fender 9050M came on my fretless. They were broken in, and the dullest sounding strings I've heard. I understand they get to this point quickly.

    Mine were on a J-fretless, so thump wasn't a consideration, considering the setup. I save the strings, and might pop them onto my P or L1500, but only if terribly bored. I'm not particularly interested in the very high tension of these strings.

    I'm far more interested in a new set of LaBella Deep Talkin' Flats, or DA Chrome flats, to replace the 5 year old TI Flats on my P-bass. I want more thump, and the TI don't seem to do it on my rig.
  15. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    So far no one's mentioned GHS Precision Flats. I like those, too. They're a bit duller, stiffer and thuddier than Chromes (my main point of reference), but they record really well, IMO. Like all flats, they get better with age. I bought my one and only set back in 1996 and they're doing great. I also tried the LaBella "Jamerson set" once and I thought my hands were gonna fall off. :)
  16. 59jazz

    59jazz Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma Supporting Member

    I'll second that on the GHS Precision flats. Silky smooth, good tension, even sounding across the board and full of old school thump! They'll last for ever.

  17. I have different sets of flats on my basses: Fenders 9050's on my P-clone, D'Addario Chromes on my Hamer 2TEK CruiseBass, GHS Precision Flats on my Reverend Rumblefish XL and Rotosounds (the only flats available at the store I was in and I NEEDED strings badly) on my fretless MIJ Jazz. As soon as I deplete my string inventory, all the basses will be strung with D'Addario Chromes. They have a great, fat sound and a great feel. I'll never buy the Rotosounds again; they sound fine but they have a very round wound-like feel.
  18. larry j

    larry j

    Jul 28, 2005
    Orlando Fl.
    I once changed the La Bella Jamerson set on my 65 P to a new set. I quickly took them off and put the old ones back on. Flat strings need to get really old to get that dead sound. That's why Jamerson, Joe Osborn, Duck Dunn, and Ronnie Baker for instance left their flat strings on forever. Baker claimed to coat a new set in butter and leave them on a spare bass in his closet for a year before putting them on his bass. Makes a great story. Anyway someone was asking recently about the Jamerson La Bella set. I posted that they made me a better player in the long run because I could not f--- around with them on, I had to play for real. The last time I used the 65 was in 2000, so I decided to break it out and try it. Ouch now I understand why when others would play my bass one song was enough. I have the Fender flats that came with my passive american jazz fretless, really old nickleplated round Fender 7250L on my 93 P-J lace sensor equiped passive Precision plus, with some tape by the bridge on the G to dull it down, and new 7250L strings on my Emg equiped Squire jazz. And I've made my living playing for 32 years. :eyebrow:
  19. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Coca-Cola also makes a great flatwound breaker-inner.
  20. I have Fender stainless flats on my fretless and the tone has been excelent. They are also silky smooth and seem to be lasting a long time. They are pretty much what I want in sound. They are also fairly cheap which is always a bonus.

    I have no experience with the La Bella strings.