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which flats? and why?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by WallyN, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. WallyN


    Jan 11, 2013
    Hi there, I am in love with flats but have never actually bought any. I purchased a used MIM Classic 50's P and the owner had just put on some new flats for me. They are amazing.

    Anyway I just picked up a 2011 American standard that I want to put flats on. Which do you recommend and why?
  2. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    What kind of sound are you looking for?
    Different flats for different styles.
  3. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    It's a personal thing, but I'll recommend Chromes as a great versatile string that can sound either thumpy or bright.

    I'm actually looking for the reverse - a good set of rounds that can also get the strong fundamental of a flat.
  4. WallyN


    Jan 11, 2013
    well I play mostly classic rock, some heavy metal. Zeppelin, Sabbath AC/DC. I play finger style and attack quite hard, the flats on my classic 50 sounds aggressive without the string noise of rounds.
  5. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    All subjective and my opinion of course....

    TI's - very bright and low tension - my favorites
    Chromes - initially bright, but mellow out and last forever - very versatile. Close 2nd behind the TI's.
    RS 77's - very bright and awesome for 5 minutes, then die and thump (don't like)...very high tension

    Thats my experience with flats, take it for what it is worth.

    Good Luck!
  6. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    I would suggest fender flats.
    They have a bright growl at first and once they settle in they have a very authoritative tone to them IMO
  7. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Agree with Smeet, Chromes are a great entry into Flats, also i think shawshank72 is correct, i hear great things about fender flats...may have to try a set myself!
  8. For more thumpy and less bright: LaBellas. I like them much better than Chromes for that reason.

    I understand Pyramids are also more old school like the LaBellas, but quite expensive (as are TI's).
  9. Rich McCoy

    Rich McCoy

    Apr 8, 2013
    Absolutely Fender flats. That is what I use and they would be the BEST choice for metal or anything edgy.
  10. FunkyMcNasty


    Dec 4, 2010
    I have used several brands of flats; here is my opinion on different flats for different tones.

    -I'd say the best thump/Motown sound would be LaBella Deep Talkn' Flats. Medium tension.
    -My second favorite thump/Motown string is the Sadowsky flats. They may be made by LaBella also, but not sure. They are good, but I'd just assume grab the LaBella DTFs.

    -For brighter mid-range dominant tone would be the TI's. They are bright, so bright that they almost do the round wound sound with the tone on the bass all the way up. Very low tension, but super easy to play on once you make the adjustment.

    -For an in between, I agree with smeet, I'd go with chromes. Chromes get less love around here, but I believe that it's only because they are common. They can be bought at any GC, and they don't break the bank, so many guys don't regard them as highly as LaBella or TI. They do a nice bright tone, or a good thump, but not as bright or thumpy as the respective brands above. They are the highest tension of the ones that I have mentioned, but they play very nice.
  11. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    On the bandstand I have never had better luck than with GHS Precision Flats. They never get lost in the mix. In the practice room they are not my favorite sounding string but that doesn't matter.

    If you only play in your practice room I would use either LaBellas or Fenders.
  12. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Try these for the reasons stated, above.

    TI = Thomastik-Infeld T-I JAZZ Flatwound.
    Chromes = D'Addario Chromes.
    RS 77 = Rotosound RS 77.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Chromes are by far my favorite flats, though I've pretty much given up on flats. They're bright when new but lose it when they go dead. I also like the increased mid content. I've also tried LaBellas (love the thump but hate that really piercing treble response and the lack of mids compared to Chromes), GHS (could be talked into using them if they came in a super light gauge like Chromes), Rotos (like them but wasn't happy about their relative lack of smoothness), and TI Jazz Flats (some folks absolutely are in love with them...I'm not. If I wanted roundwound sound, I would have bought rounds...and they're impossible to make go dead).
  14. I'm interested to know more info about some of the lesser reviewed flats out there.
    Curt Mangan flats. They come in one gauge .45 to .105 and a five string set with a .125 B. I've searched and haven't found any detailed info about them. I think they are steel. How about the core, is it round or hex? Do they sound bright or thumpy?
    Another one I can't recall anyone mentioning are Black Diamond flats. If somebody has tried either of these, please enlighten us.
  15. redhed


    Oct 25, 2009
    I love the Fender 9050's. To bad they are not making them anymore, although some online sellers still have them - like bassstringsonline
  16. donn


    Mar 28, 2011
    What flats? Get those. If you don't know, maybe we can guess from the color.
  17. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    TI Jazz Flats for my lull because tone
    Labella Deep Talkin Flats on my P because Jamerson
  18. brainburst


    Jan 10, 2012
    bronx ny
    I love the lower tension feel and subtle blossoming of the tone. closer to bright flats than pure flats. Recently however I purchased two sets and string to string brightness is not even. The E A are as usual , but the D/G thunky like regular flats. I like both tones but not on the same bass. Anyone with the same experience recently?
  19. SpruceGoose54


    May 21, 2013
  20. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Fender 9050 for me, all the clarity and brightness of rounds with a percussive flatwound attack. I gotta grab myself a couple sets if they really are discontinued.

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