Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Too Scared to Continue (Installing Flatwounds)

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by KYJazzy, Apr 26, 2005.


  1. KYJazzy

    KYJazzy

    Nov 10, 2004
    Lexington, KY
    I own a MIM Fender Jazz Bass and really want that beatiful Jazz+Flats sound. JPJ is a hero of mine and I bought a set of Fender 9050 ML's (50-65-85-100), which i thought would be best compared to what i have it strung in right now with rounds (45-65-80-100). Granted I knew there'd be a tension increase, but not like....this.

    I tried putting on the E string earlier, all was going well until I realized I was heading into much more tension than desired. the string started to set much higher above my fretboard than the others. My bridge is quite low and the action on my other strings is as well. I've adjusted my truss rod quite a bit just to compensate for the tension from the rounds. as i turned the tuning peg a slight bit more, *JUST* to obtain the correct pitch of the low E, I heard a little noise that sounded like wood cracking. I immediately stopped, and started to unwind the string and put the old one back on. :(

    tonight i decided to give it another try, instead I've started with the G string. the same thing there, i feel like the string is going to snap if i even try to get it to correct pitch. a comfortable action on this string is around the pitch of E three semitones below it.

    so i dont know what to do. i don't want to damage my instrument and these strings seem to be brutal. otherwise, just messing around with a detuned flatwound string on the board feels great and i'd love to use them if i wasn't so afraid the neck was going to snap in half. after adjusting the E or the G close to correct pitch, plucking my A string aggressively resulted in a metal 'twwaang' i could only assume was the truss rod. :eek: but if i keep my current strings, it goes away.

    Any help with what actions to take would be appreciated! :help:
     
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I have some of those on Kramer Alumineck, I also had doubts when I was stringing them up. They are just super high tension. Granted the aluminum neck won't break and there isn't a truss rod to worry about, but I was still cautious bringing them to pitch.

    I would say try it slowly and bring all four to pitch and then go from there. I never had them of a wood-necked bass, but I can't imagine a company putting out a string set enought tension to snap a neck.

    Also, I wouldn't worry about the trussrod sound. My Warwick did that before and it was explained to me that it is fairly normal. Might want to research that a little better though. :eyebrow:
     
  3. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    KYJazzy, you probably need to have your bass set up for those strings. If you don't know how to do a setup yourself, take the bass to your favorite repairman, along with the strings, and tell him what you want to do. He should be able to adjust things up for you.
     
  4. Minger

    Minger

    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    If I remember correctly, then the Fender flats are supposed to have a lot of tension...
     
  5. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    hmmm, so do all flats have more tension than rounds? i'm a bit of an aggressive player and I like to dig in, well lately on my J bass I've been noticing the string dont' seem to have as much tension on them as I would like. Would flats give me more tension?
     
  6. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I also heard flats don't last as long as round wounds??

    If I play with a pick at least 50% of the time, would flats be a bad choice for me?

    sorry for all the Q's....
     
  7. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Most Flats last for years if you want to keep 'em on your bass that long.

    Also, Flatwounds with a pick is one of THE classic bass tones.
     
  8. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Flats generally aren't all that bright. There really isn't a "lasting" involved. They start thumpy and get thumpier the more they are played.

    The Fenders are extremely high tension, imagine the tension as being similar to tuning the average 45-100 roundwound set up a step. That is what they feel like in standard tuning.
     
  9. KYJazzy

    KYJazzy

    Nov 10, 2004
    Lexington, KY
    ahh...are there any normal or low tension flatwound strings?

    I hate high action and I don't feel like messing with the truss rod anymore... i don't know how much the truss rod should be turned (not at a time, I know just a quarter turn smidge), but overall in the bass's life.
     
  10. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    The TI Jazz Flats I have on my fretless ibanez don't feel any tighter than the roundwounds I had on it before I de-fretted it. Might give a set of those a shot...
     
  11. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I use LaBella flats, those babies are tight :) Just as I like them .... The TI's are definitely a little more giving, at least in my experience ...... I'm sure there are others here with a lot more definitive answers, though :help:
     
  12. megiddo

    megiddo

    Apr 5, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    I had TI Jazz Flats on my MIM Jazz that I have just replaced with some RotoSound Steve Harris flats. I would have kept the TIs on but with my Barts they sound kinda dark. (I may go back if I don't like the way the RotoSounds sound) I never had a tension problem with the TIs.
     
  13. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001

    Think Joe Osborn, or early JPJ here :)

    Joe said he put a set of Fender flats on his 1960 jazz bass in 1962, and used them till 1979!!

    Duck Dunn said he used string till they broke, and Carol Kayre has had TI flats on one of her basses for over 5 years now.

    My TI flats are 3 years old, still going strong.
     
  14. Another vote for TI Jazz Flats. I use them on my Lightwave fretless and on my A/E. Never a problem and easy on the fingers during long jams. :bassist:
     
  15. megiddo

    megiddo

    Apr 5, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    I'm taking the RotoSound Steve Harris flats off my jazz today. They raised the action about an 1/8 inch and were kinda "sticky". Not like bubble gum, you can't slide as well. Also I nearly got cramps in my hand because of the increased tension.

    Going back to my TI flats. Guess they spoiled me.

    Never know what you got till its gone! :bassist:
     
  16. KYJazzy

    KYJazzy

    Nov 10, 2004
    Lexington, KY
    TI Jazz flats are EXPENSIVE... :eek:

    where's the cheapest place to get em on the web?
     
  17. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
  18. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I have purchased a few sets here:

    Dude's eBay Store

    (It looks like he's out of 4-string sets of Jazz Flats right now :meh: )
     
  19. I get mine from Steve (Dude) Barr.
    :bassist:
     
  20. EricTheEZ1

    EricTheEZ1

    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    I actually never had a proper setup when I changed from 45-105's to 50-110's (50-70-90-110). The intonation is only slightly off, but everything else is totally fine. I would suspect that a proper setup would take care of it.

    -Eric.