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What is your favorite flatwound?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Dirk Rockbottom, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. Dirk Rockbottom

    Dirk Rockbottom

    Oct 30, 2012
    I would like to get some opinions on flatwounds. I have tried mainly chromes and stainless steel including LaBella Deep Talkin', D'Addario and GHS. My problem is that the chromes sound too hollow and clangy and the stainless steel sound too dead. I would like something bright but not clangy, deep but not dead. Rounds are too rough for me and hurt my fingertips. They also sound too raspy. But if someone could recommend a roundwound with a smoother tone, I might reconsider. The DR nickel plated steels are close but still don't totally do it for me. Thanks, Dirk
    Pbassmanca and Dabndug like this.
  2. Iristone


    Jul 8, 2017
    Roto 77s. :thumbsup:
  3. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    What strings you refer as chromes? FYI, D'Addario Chromes are stainless steel flatwounds.

    This is first time I read Chromes are categorized as too hollow, which I don't really understand what this means, unless when Chromes (which are known as bright sounding flatwounds and that you might refer as clangy when hitting the frets) are being used on a hollow or semi-hollow bass, which usually means they become warm sounding.

    I might suggest you switch to tapewound instead. D'Addario Nylon Tapewounds or La Bella White Nylon Tapewounds are known as bright sounding despite lots stereotyped tapewounds as dark sounding. These also should not fall into clangy category
    MrNylon likes this.
  4. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2018
    Jax Florida
    There are bright (brite) flats.
    Also those Ernie Ball Cobalts. A totally different sound than most flats.
    Brighter like a round.
    For thumping deep flats the best on my MIM P and my Jack Casady are LaBella Low Tension Flats.
    Note, these did not sound good on my Amer Standard P.
    I can’t seem to find the right strings for that one.
  5. vanderbe

    vanderbe Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    Ernie Ball Cobalt flats or Sadowsky Blue flats.
    rmayer, Border, Holdsg and 1 other person like this.
  6. Hammerfield


    Aug 1, 2016
    DR Sunbeams are really smooth and warm roundwounds, low tension also. I put the set a couple of days ago, they have that brand new round zingy, but i read that with use they mellow that even nicer.

    My fav flats right now are the La Bella 1954 Original. If you dont like that classic thump, maybe you can try with TI Flats
  7. TC.65


    Dec 20, 2008
    Carbondale IL
    You should give GHS Balanced Nickels a try. They are pure nickel strings and have a smooth feel for a round wound string. They give the full fundamental without sounding dead or too thumpy. I used too use only flats but these are all that I use now.
  8. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Dead ones.
    drumvsbass, Low84 and BLDavis like this.
  9. If you want a slightly mellowed-down roundwound tone but with a smoother feel than typical rounds, you can try the GHS Pressurewound. Punchy lows and crunchy mids without too much zing up top.

    I switched from rounds to flats for the smoother feel, only to realize they didn't meet my tonal goals. The PWs give me both the tone I need and the feel I want.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  10. BLDavis

    BLDavis Master of Snarks. Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Ellenboro, NC
    Broken-in flats are, for the most part, completely different from brand new ones out of the package. Some take longer than others to settle in. I'm currently playing a set of D'Addario Chromes that are close to five years old. They've settled into a sweet spot that is mellow but I still have some brightness and harmonics when needed.
    Bottom line is, don't be too quick to judge the tone of a set of flats until you give them time to break in. They almost always get better with age.
  11. Fender 9050 L's.. Got them installed on just about every bass I own.. They work great on all on them.(Which is many!:cool:):thumbsup:
  12. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Not a big Flats player, but I do have a P bass loaded with GHS Precision Flats. No sticky feel, no breaking in period, even tone across the strings. Sound good right out of the package. Good for studio stuff. Haven't used them live yet.
  13. Eddie LeBlanc

    Eddie LeBlanc

    Oct 26, 2014
    Beaumont, Texas
    or these.... super slick feel for a round....
    Root 5 and Vinny_G like this.
  14. bassfootballguy

    bassfootballguy Spectacularly Average Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    A small, small town
    T-I Jazz Flats. I’ve gone through lots of brands and these have become a staple. They sit so well in the band mix and the feel of a well set up bass with T-I flats is just unmatched, IMO.

  15. mikecd1

    mikecd1 Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    The nickel roundcore Thomastik flats are just wonderful especially after the first week. They age well, play a little on the soft side as they're lower tension I think and being roundcore they're a bit more flexible, but once you get the feel they were just such a delight to play. Used to use D'Addario half rounds and chromes as well as some rotosound, labellas and others, but have used nothing but the thomastiks since the nickel rounds. Pricey, but worth it IMO.
  16. Dincrest

    Dincrest Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    If you're thinking about a pressurewound string, I'd also recommend trying SIT Silencers. They strike a great balance between rounds and flats.

    SIT Power Flats are also a good string to try if you're looking into full on flatwounds.
  17. + This. I've tried many flats but always come back to the 9050L's.
    RONTERGO, Marihino, 4sight and 2 others like this.
  18. Hundred proof

    Hundred proof

    Apr 22, 2018
    Used TI flats exclusively for years on both a 68 Pbass and a 73 Jazz. They have a unique sound and feel. As of late I’m also using LaBella low tension flats.
    SJan3, Pantone 333, IamGroot and 2 others like this.
  19. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Either Fender 9050's or EB Slinky Flats (those are the cobalt ones). If you start considering too many, you get choice paralysis.

    If I had to add a third, it would be RotoSound 77's.
    JCooper and OogieWaWa like this.
  20. Holdsg

    Holdsg Talkbass > Work Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    Based on what you say your tone goals are, I'd also recommend the EBMM Slinky/Cobalt flats.
    The stickiness wears off in about 4 hours playing time.

    Otherwise, my fav flats are, in no real order.
    Sadowsky, Labella (deep talking and flexible flats), TIs, and the Fenders (which are the best value out there).
    Tony In Philly likes this.

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