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Which flat-wound strings model

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Gianni "Orlandez" Orlati, Aug 14, 2019 at 10:48 AM.

  1. La Bella Low-Tension Flexible Flats

    10 vote(s)
  2. GHS Precision Flats

    17 vote(s)
  3. D'Addario Chromes

    16 vote(s)
  4. La Bella 760FL Deep Talkin' Bass

    31 vote(s)
  5. Thomastik Jazz Bass Flatwound JF344

    45 vote(s)
  1. Hi fellow TBers!

    I'm about to acquire a nitro finished and relic'd P-bass in Sherwood Green (my favourite colour alongside with Shoreline Gold) ... I'm planning to put into it (hoping to find space for the battery) the EMG PAX active pickup and electronics system (I already own it and, to me, it sounds excellent).
    I'd like to put flat-wound strings onto it (of course one may say ..) having a warm but not too muddy tone and, possibly, not characterized by high stiffness.
    Which model of flat-wound strings, as shown on the above list, would you describe as better fitting my requirements and why?

    I'll gladly listen to all suggestions and explanations!

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 11:23 AM
    TheDirtyLowDown likes this.
  2. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    Labella's just a little more tension than TI's. TI's are mid heavy where I find the Labella's more a modern sound. Not bright and not old school somewhere in between. I have them on my Pbass special and get nothing but compliments.
  3. The first set of flats I ever tried was the D'A Chromes 40-100 on a Fender MIM P bass.

    Then when I got my 2014 Am Std P bass, I put a set of La Bella 760FL on it. The only thing I didn't like about them was the 104E tended to be a little too muddy and boomy for my taste.

    Then I tried the light set (45-95) of GHS Precision Flats on it last year and instantly fell in love with both their tone and feel. Woody warmth with a nice low-mid punch without being muddy. Very comfortable tension and stiffness without being too loose or floppy.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 11:23 AM
  4. Which La Bella model have you got?
  5. Very clear thanks !
  6. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    I'm sorry labella Low Tension Flats.
  7. LetItGrowTone


    Apr 2, 2019
    You should also consider Dunlop flats.
    Sound sample: Youtube "Rig Rundown - Snarky Puppy".
    Micro review of their flexibility (not tension): Dunlop Flatwounds premiering at NAMM. I was focused on flexibility because I must have more clarity than broken-in DTF, but I don't mind the tension.

    With tone rolled to zero I love the highs of DTF *when they're new*.
    For more brightness at normal tension I'm now trying Dunlops and waiting for them to mellow just a little. If they mellow too much, or too quickly, and if I want to keep the tension my next choice would be Cobalts. If I'm willing to go lower tension my choices would be LaBella LTF or TIJF, or finally LaBella tapes (which are roundwound under nylon). Hope I don't have to spend the money and time trying everything.
  8. Thanks!
  9. Goatrope

    Goatrope Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    I’m a La Bella fan, and have those on one P Bass, but for my “rock” P Bass, I use Ernie Ball Cobalt flats. They have more bark than the La Bella set. The La Bella sounds more traditional, if that makes any sense.


    Edited to add:

    I use the La Bella 760FS on my other P, in the same gauges, and they have a much higher tension. I tried also the “Low Tension Flexible Flats” in 42-56-75-100 gauge, and while they definitely had less tension, they sounded weak in comparison to the 760FS set.

    The Ernie Ball Cobalts have less tension than the 760FS, but maintain their power and can sound mellow or aggressive, depending on your playing style. I’m using them aggressively, and they work really well in a rock band context.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 1:33 PM
  10. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    I have TI flats on all my basses, be they solid, hollow, or semi hollow. They just seem to Bring out the best in each.
  11. Mh... may be worth considering them ... better getting informed in some way
    Goatrope likes this.
  12. Hi.. aside from the high price, which is likely justified by their duration according to what I heard, it seems to me that they may sound a little too muddy, almost trebly .. is it because those we hear on the demoes are new strings! How does it work ?
  13. LetItGrowTone


    Apr 2, 2019
    Did you mean too middy, too much mids?
  14. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    As far as tension goes - as in, how many pounds of pull to get the strings to pitch - the low tension winner (according to the info on the package) is the Labella LTFs. Very closely followed by the TI Jazz Flats. As for simple "stiffness"? No question; the most flexible, least stiff flats are the TIs. The LaBella LTFs aren't far behind, though; according to the "Dangle Test", anyway.
    You might want to give the Fender 9050 flats a try. I don't find them particularly stiff or high tension (and, I like stiff, high tension strings) - particularly the 45-100 9050L set - and the sound is what I would call "polite". Not real bright, and not real Old School thump. Just.. nice. Chromes, IMO, are good strings, but too bright - even broken in - for my taste. La Bella DTFs are the touchstone for Old School Thump, and the GHS Precision Flats are, if possible, even thumpier. I took a set of Fender 9050Ls off my '78 P-Bass and replaced them with the GHS Precisions for that very reason. But, the Fenders are now on a bass that I do want "polite" from...
    Or, you might want to try an Italian product. Dogal makes some very nice strings. I have them on several guitars, and a set of their R44 flats on my Alembic bass. Tension and stiffness-wise, they're ... about like the Fenders, IMO. And, like the Fenders, I'd class them in the "polite" category. I really like them on the Alembic, though..:cool:
    NoSlapForYou and aarjamson like this.
  15. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    They last for over a decade. And compared to most flats they have a nice top end. It subsides once the strings are broken in but they still produce the full spectrum to tones, more than any other flat wound, IMHO.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 2:23 PM
    MoeTown1986 likes this.
  16. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Try each one until you find the set you like.
  17. waynobass


    Feb 27, 2008
    Not justified. All flats are long-lived.

    IMO GHS Precision flats would be best for you. I do love Ernie Ball cobalt flats though!
  18. BOOG

    BOOG Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    La Bella tapes
    More flex. Less muddy.
  19. BOOG

    BOOG Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I’m pretty sure they’re round •core• under nylon tape.
  20. LetItGrowTone


    Apr 2, 2019
    More than one poster here has said they're roundwounds underneath.
    Close up pictures (google images) seem to confirm it but I've never seen them myself.

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