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Tried Chromes & Sadowsky BL flats...La Bellas next?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by bumperbass, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    This string thing is driving me nuts. I currently have 2 Precisions. My go-to bass has DR Lo-Rider nickels. I don't have much of a problem with these tone-wise. I seem to be able to dial in a sound I like pretty quickly after everything's plugged in and the tension's perfect.
    My other P is virtually identical, down to the '62 Original pups. I've tried to dial in a tone with this bass wearing Chromes (not enough thump) and Sadowsky BL flats (too nasally-sounding). When push comes to shove and it's sound check time, I seem to give up and go to my P with the DR's and on goes the show.
    I can't seem to get rid of the 'honk' with the flats I've mentioned. I have a Sansamp RPM and I twiddle with the darn mid controls and I can't get rid of it. I am not saying I don't have enough highs. I am saying I can't get a decent non-honky tone.
    Should I try La Bella 760FL's next? I have La Bellas on my Beatle Bass CLONE and love the thing, but it's used mainly for acoustic shows. We play a variety of stuff, mostly classic rock, early-mid 60's and some country, whatever's danceable.
    Am I on the right track? Thanks.
  2. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    In your position I'd go for some GHS Precision Flats. Old Skool sound with a strong low-mid fundamental, warm and thumpy with decent sustain. The La Bella's will be similar but with more high-mid content.

    Aannnndd! Remember it usually takes a couple of months for most flats to break-in.
  3. Jungy


    Jun 9, 2011
    I haven't tried GHS but the Labellas have thump and aren't nasally. They're great.
  4. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    +1 on the GHS precision flats. Great balance tension and silky smooth.
  5. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    GHS (direct descendent of the original flats) are much darker than LaBellas, too lacking in clarity and definition (in comparison) for me. LaBellas are the sound most everyone hears in their head when they think of flats. Besides LaBella, I've had Chromes, GHS, Sadowsky, TI, Rotosound, and more. I only have LaBella now.
  6. Klonk


    Apr 28, 2011
    LaBellas are great flats, no doubt about it. The only thing that keeps me from recommending them to you, is that you tried Sadowsky BL Flats, which are made by LaBella, and (as far as I thought) were sonically similar. Maybe someone can correct my impression.
  7. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    Sadowsky are made by LaBella, but it's a proprietary winding. Sadowsky are much "floppier" in feel, and sound nothing like LaBellas. Sadowsky strings are very balanced in sound, with no major peaks or valleys in their signature. LaBella strings, on the other hand, have a very pronounced low mid bump, and a bit of a high mid scoop. Very, very different sounds.
  8. Great description tek. :)
  9. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
  10. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    Thanks, guys for all the insight.
    tekdiver, you're the La Bella man. Thanks. I don't want GHS precision flats because I fear I'll lose definition. I guess I'll try the La Bellas, but I don't see where there's much difference in the 760FL and the 760FS. Why do they make two sets that are .002" different (G), .005 (A) and only .001 on the E? What's the scoop? I've used 45-65-85-105 for so long. Which way should I go with the La Bellas? FL or FS?
    Thanks a lot.
  11. Jungy


    Jun 9, 2011
    I have the FL set and I like it. But I think I'd like to try the FS set. I've read a lot of good things and on my FL set I think the E string is quite a bit deeper and full and even louder maybe compared to the other 3 strings. Wouldn't mind having a tiny bit more tension than the FL set too.
  12. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    The FS set is better balanced (tensionally, slightly better, but the real difference is...) tonally.
  13. Mikeee71

    Mikeee71 Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    I have GHS flats on my P I dont feel there lacking in definition at all. I record and gig with them.
  14. Dredmahawkus


    Nov 4, 2012
    If its too nasaly you might want to mess with the pickup height a little...lower it a tad. On my P thats a bit nasaly even with the pickup lowered I turn the volume and tone down a bit on the bass and it gets rid of most of that.

    The odd thing about basses you can have 10 identical basses and all 10 are different in one way or another! I have owned 20+ basses in my life and each one is unique in their own way.
  15. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    My Labella FL sets push through pretty much any mix, and have a sweet tone reminiscent of recorded hits from the 60s-70s. GHS, to me are not as articulate, and have less top end. I would also suggest you try TI someday. Very versatile flats, but with a unique feel and tone that may put you off after spending a decent chunk of change to try them. I have them on my main player P. But I would be just as happy with my Labella FL on there. I use the TI flats because I pretty much stick to playing one bass, and I appreciate the versatility when playing old and new country, and classic and 90's rock, with different configurations of groups from loud 6 pieces with keys, guitars, to duo singer songwriter stuff. TIs can be eq'd to provide plenty of bottom with the right amp/cab, and they are wonderfully balanced tonally across all strings and all the way up the neck.
  16. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    LaBella,s rule give them time to break in they definetly do not sound honky.I use 45 to 105 LaBella Deep Talkin on my Jazz ive used these astrings for almost 4 years now.I once tried there 43 to104 set but prefer the 105 E...Next purchase from LaBella will be 50 to 105 if available.
  17. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    I was flatwounds and P bass man my self several years ago, La Bella (Jamerson set,52-110) were my fav first time I had them (even I had to pray for my P bass' poor neck not to snap) but not only the tension, even second pack I bought had the same awfull out of tune E string. Then I decide to say farewell to them! Meanwhile I experimented with Fender,Daddario,Rotosound,Thomastic...
    To cut long story, at the end,sonicaly TI were probably best but I couldnt stand floppines they had. Maybe D'addario Chromes are my all time favourite flats.
  18. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    I had a bad string, called LaBella, and they replaced the whole set.
  19. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    I get lots of definition with GHS Precision Flats and EMG Pickups. I like tekdiver's description of Labella enough to consider trying some again some day, but the GHS do it for me at $12.95 less cost.
  20. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    Really depends on the bass. LaBellas can also sound way to scooped on some basses. I love LaBellas too, but I completely disagree with your sweeping generalization on the GHS'.