1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Trying to buy flatwound strings...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by BritPicker, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. BritPicker


    Apr 20, 2009
    Went into a music shop today for some replacement strings.

    Naturally, I wanted some flatwounds, so I asked

    Was met by a blank look by the shop assistant.

    "What are they?"

    "Flatwound bass strings. The smooth ones."

    "I don't think you can get those anymore."

    "Yes, you can. I bought a set not that long ago."

    "We can order some"

    "OK, what makes can you get me? I really wanted Thomastics"

    (assistant starts leafing through strings catalog)

    (other assistant comes in to see what's going on)

    "What are you looking for?"

    "Flat round strings" :rolleyes:

    To me:
    "Flatwounds are really dull sound, everyone will laugh at you if you use those, no one uses them anymore"

    He then starts to lecture me on bass guitar sound theory and how I should "Try some Elites".

    Made my excuses and left!

  2. Stickk


    Sep 2, 2008
    WOW. Go in with a list of bass players who use flats and see how he responds.
  3. You must have come across the same guy I did.

    Thanked him for for his time and left.
    I ordered mine on line.

  4. BritPicker


    Apr 20, 2009
    Somehow I think it would be pointless. If only logic could defeat ignorance.

    I remember why I hate shopping now. Even in music shops.

    I hate the way they look down on you as a bassist! And tell you stuff that you KNOW isn't true.

    Yes I think I'll buy my stuff online from now on.
  5. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I would remind him of his poor customer service skills and not listening to what you were aksing for. Shops like this dont desirve yours or anyone elses buisness ...spread the word.
  6. Coupla things-
    1. Why *naturally* you wanted flats? Is it un-natural to like anything else? Mind you, I like flats, but I also like rounds, half-rounds, active, passive, tube, SS, 4, 5 & 6 strings, etc. :)
    2. Buy online & bring the bass(w/the flats on)back to show the cave-clerks that they do indeed exist.
    3. Cite some example of good flat tone(like all popular music recorded between 1950 & 1971 or so).
  7. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    If you want to have some real fun, try buying a set for a short-scale and having the clerk tell you that they only come in longs and you'll have to cut them back 'like everyone else does'...

    Okay, okay... I know that short-scale flats are somewhat of a specialty item, and I wouldn't expect them to be in stock, but in those days, I was more than willing to have a brick-and-mortar store order them for me and pay the upcharge... But to get bad information from an 'expert' without even a catalog consult is just too much... From then on it's been JustStrings.com

  8. BassScum


    May 1, 2008
    So Cal
    Tell Him...

    "Next time do a little research".
  9. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    Leaving, what a good idea.....

    I would probably never return to that store, but I would call and speak to the owner/manager. Let him know that his employees need to learn about certain basic things, be specific. Also let him know you do not appreciate being lectured by someone who does not know what they are talking about. And let him know that you won't be back.

    Going back in and trying to settle things with the employee and his cohorts will be just a plain waste of time. You can't fix stupid.

    As for me, I probably would have asked to see the manager after excusing myself, if I didn't just turn on my heel and walk away when the know it all was spewing his drivel....
  10. b4nny


    Aug 24, 2008
    Bellevue, WA, USA
    I have only bought one set of flats back in January. Put them on my bass for two months then got a set of rounds because I forgot how they sounded. One month with rounds was enough, now I'm back on that same set of flats and not missing anything. I actually had a good experience buying them though.

    Me: "I'd like that set of Rotos up there, the 77s."
    Clerk: "These are the flatwounds, you sure? Just asking cause a lot of people get the 66s."
    Me: "Yeah those are the ones, with the lion on them."
    Clerk: "Alright no problem. Just wondering, what makes you want the flatwounds? I don't know much about 'em and I'm not a bassist myself, so I don't really have a valid opinion." (kudos for that line)
    Me: "I've heard a lot about them on the internet, that's all."

    PS: I'm looking to try a new kind of flats soon, something more consistent and smoother than rotos, but not any higher tension. Any ideas?
  11. lmfreeman9

    lmfreeman9 Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    LaBella Deep Talkin' Flats (light, standard, medium or heavy-I like the standard) or Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats (one gauge only)
  12. +1.

    I'd be inclined to email them what you posted, along with "You've lost one customer because of that. How many more you lose is up to you."

    What goes on in stores is not always what the owner/manager wants.
  13. BritPicker


    Apr 20, 2009
    1. Not at all. Natural for me. Not running anyone else's choices down. I'm a simple guy when it comes to strings and that's my choice these days, with my current band.

    2. Yes, I could show them, but I just feel like I'm getting into a debate with an idiot. You can't 'win' with these kind of people. In fact their nature makes them such that they twist the facts to suit their own reality.

    3. Again, the music of 1950-1971 doesn't even register in these guys consciousness.. it's pointless!

  14. BritPicker


    Apr 20, 2009
    You're completely correct Prof.. I don't know where you are from, but around these parts (Australia) complaints are given short shrift.

    I've tried. And been met with a shrug and a 'whatever dude'. It's just the way stores are here.

    So I simply just don't go in there anymore.

    Stores here have a totally different attitude to those in US or UK.

  15. What shop was this?
  16. BritPicker


    Apr 20, 2009
    One of the main ones in Melbourne.

    Don't think I should say anymore now, for fear of litigation.

  17. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    dadario(sp?) chromes fit the bill. E string is completely smooth unlike the rotos and have much better feel to them IMO. They are cheaper too, so you cant go wrong.
  18. Mazatleco17


    Mar 27, 2008
    I went to a couple of GC and Sam A. asking for "short scale flatwound bass strings" (rotosound to be specific) in one of the stores they just looked at me funny and they had no idea wth was I was talking about, at the other two they knew what I was looking for but didn't have them.
  19. If it's on Burke Street, I know what you're talkin' about. Well I have this one guy who's always on my back at A____'s music :bag:

    All aside, for all your bass needs go to Bass Centre.
  20. BritPicker


    Apr 20, 2009
    I couldn't possibly comment on such a statement. ;)

Share This Page