whats the deal with the LaBella strings neck warping issue?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rea, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. Rea


    Dec 10, 2014
    id like to use the labella flats on my p Bass but everyone says it breaks or warps necks.. what's the deal?

    are these not meant for bass guitar???

    any serious word about this peculiar issue..?

  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Who is this "everyone" you speak of? First I ever heard of it. Flats are generally lower tension than rounds, so switching may mean truss rod adjustments.
    iualum and SirMjac28 like this.
  3. Dominic D

    Dominic D DiCosimo Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 9, 2008
    Winter Park, Florida
    DiCosimo Audio
    I've never heard of this issue. My La Bella's work perfectly fine on my basses.
    Coolhandjjl, StayLow and SirMjac28 like this.
  4. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    You may be have heard talk referring to the high tension Jamerson set, with a .109 E string. They put a lot of stress on a neck but many have no trouble supporting it, you just need to adjust your truss rod.

    Otherwise the lighter guage sets pose no particular problems.
  5. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    It's a 110 E string. There's a regular deep talkin flats set with a 109. Your p bass can probably handle the Jamersons or you could choose from 6 or 7 "normal" gauge sets of labella flats.
  6. bassie12


    Aug 23, 2008
    I got set of the "jamerson" flats from LaBella. My '83 57RI Precision did not take well to them. The truss rod could not compensate for the tension. This bass has been and is rock solid with .045~.105 nickel or steel rounds. Of course, the "jamerson" set is pretty heavy gauge, and another of my basses had no trouble with them.

    I suspect the lighter gauge flats from LaBella are fine.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  7. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Correct, I always mix the two up, but have never tried the regular .109 set.

    I adore the tone of the Jamersons, nothing thumps like them and the fundamental is huge. They just sing through a good rig.
    bluesdogblues likes this.
  8. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    You're fine. Don't worry about it.
    bluesdogblues and shawshank72 like this.
  9. Rea


    Dec 10, 2014
    Well, i do want to have the heavy's on one of my P basses- and that is the set i am referring to as warping necks, as one here already confirmed. so im not sure i get it, LaBella sells strings that most instruments can not handle? my P basses are all 60's, i do not want to risk it. Whats the bottom line on this?
    not meant for p bass?
  10. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    The heavy set you're talking about are the original 1954/Jamersons. Most basses can handle them. I wouldn't put them on a cheap bass with a skinny neck but lots of people do.

    If you want a vintage motown thumpy tone, then they're great for that but not much else. They require a lot of fretting hand strength and they're not versatile.

    Labella also makes flats in 39-56-77-96, or 43-60-82-104, or 45-65-85-105, or 49-69-89-109 gauges that are also great for vintage motown thump but are more versatile and easy to play.

    They also make low tension roundcore flats.
    Try the Jamersons if you want to, but they're not the only option for a vintage tone.
    Fuzzbass and bass_case like this.
  11. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I had a set on my 1983 VS '62 Precision with no problem. The only way I could see them not working on a Fender from the '60s is if the truss rod has already compressed wood. IF you adjust a truss rod correctly by pre-stressing the neck in the direction you need it to move (i.e. you don't force the nut to do all the work, but simply hold the neck where you want it) it should be fine.

    Those strings were probably the most common non-Fender strings used on Fender basses in the '60s. LaBelle didn't make them so they wouldn't work.

    bluesdogblues and JustForSport like this.
  12. Rea


    Dec 10, 2014
    Exactly why i was surprised to hear horror fender stories about them...

    As far as the truss procedure you mention, can you explain more in detail? id probably want to try that.
  13. Ace Of Bass

    Ace Of Bass A Rooster Illusion

    Jun 27, 2006
    I have LaBella DTFs on my CS '59....they do tend to give a bit of a tug making the action a bit higher than I prefer it, like the action on my Jazz basses, but only a bit...not enough for me to have a real ongoing problem...the. neck is old school construction, so there's no reinforcement whatsoever, but newer Fenders have graphite bars to help stability...if that's what you have, you shouldn't notice much if a change,,you may have to make a truss adjustment if some sort, but nothing major...I have thought about trying out DTFs low tension, but I really like what I already have...
  14. Since you don't seem sure about how to adjust the truss rod and you've got a vintage 60's bass you're talking about putting them on I'd spend a little money and take the bass to a local luthier for a set up with the new strings. Last thing you want to do is bust a vintage bass.

    As for string choice, the La Bella 760FL set (43-60-82-104) is fantastic, gets all the thump of their heavier gauge strings (once you break them in, the D string can be a little zingy when new) but with less tension and better note articulation.
  15. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    This is a very good idea.
    REMBO and Ace Of Bass like this.
  16. Volkov


    Oct 20, 2014
    Almost every set of flats I've used except for TI's have been higher tension that the same gauge rounds.
  17. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    That'll always be true for the same gauge, since there's just more metal there due to the shape. The point was that most of the original flats were smaller gauges than corresponding rounds of the time. Hence Rickenbacker's position that putting rounds on a 4001 voided the warranty.
  18. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yeah, if you don't know what you're doing adjusting trussrods, either learn (practicing on less expensive instruments) or pay someone who already knows.
  19. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    Man I've had Jameson sets on Jazz necks with no issues. If the truss rod is working properly especially on P bass your good.
    bluesdogblues likes this.
  20. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Are you sure it's not the other way? Rounds are lighter? There's a reason so many early- to mid-sixties basses have/had warped necks. The easiest strings to obtain were either Labella flats. Or Fender flats. Both very high tension.

    If I want flats I use D'Addario Chromes.
    SasquatchDude and T. Brookins like this.
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