Which flats are most similar to LaBella Deep Talkin' 760 FLs...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by mdlewis, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. mdlewis


    Jan 1, 2005
    Boston Metro

    I'm a big fan of these strings and use them on many of my basses. I just got a Gretsch 5442 BDC which is a 2 x 2 3/8" post 30.25" scale instrument with a trapeze like tailpiece. Neither the longs nor the mediums for the LaBellas work. The longs place the main string winding on the narrow post and the mediums require me to trim back the silk so that it doesn't lie within the nut (which I'm resigned to if that's the only solution). So I'm looking for another brand of strings that might fit this instrument.

    What I like most about the LaBellas is their tension, and as they age they lose almost all of their mid-range while still keeping the sound of the string attack. What strings do you think most favorably compare with them?
    armybass likes this.
  2. La Bella "long scale" = 36.75" winding length (ball end to silk) on the E = too long.
    La Bella "medium scale" = 34" winding length = too short.

    GHS Precision Flats "medium scale" = 35.5" winding length = what you need.

    The only thing about the GHS P Flats, though, is they only come in the light set, 45-60-75-95, which are lower in tension and a bit more flexible than the 760FL. Otherwise, the same old-school goodness with woody warmth and percussive attack.

    mdlewis and christle like this.
  3. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    Broadkaster.JPG Well... I have to say I'm kinda puzzled. I'd think your Electromatic should be very similar to my Broadkaster, although it might be a little bigger overall than your Gretsch. Broadkasters were essentially just a Tennessee Rose guitar with a short scale bass neck, and it's a pretty big instrument. It measures 37" from the tailpiece to the E string tuner, and 39.5" to the A string tuner. So, what fits mine?
    - Most long scale strings will fit - including long scale La Bellas. I do have to wind a little of the speaking part of the La Bellas on the E and G posts, but I have to do that on some of my long scale basses too, sometimes. D'Addario Chromes fit just fine, as do Fender 9050s. Since the picture was taken, I put long scale Optima flats on the "Kaster (the 4099 RLs) Their RB flats would work, too, but I put those on my Rick 4003 - where they belong...
    - Medium scale? Well, TI "short" scales fit fine, of course. I'd imagine the Pyramids would, too. The La Bella mediums? I could make them work, but the E & G string silks just don't quite clear the nut. Not when I'm just holding the strings up to the bass, anyway. They might work when pulled to pitch... All the other medium scale strings I have are either tapes or rounds, so not much help there. Although, The medium Roto 88 tapes should fit; and, I know the long scales will fit my "Kaster..
    As for michael_t's suggestion? Well, the long scale GHS Precision Flats are way too long; and the short scale Precisions are way too short; so, maybe the mediums will be just right. They are really good strings, and they would give you the sound you want, too...:whistle:
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I see no reason to think that long scale Labella strings wouldn't wind the fat part of the E onto those tuners without breaking. That said, I haven't done it. They're either Schallers or very similar to them, so what I would do is call or email LaBella and ask for a ruling.

    EDIT: Sorry...didn't see that GIBrat already tried them and it worked.
  5. mdlewis


    Jan 1, 2005
    Boston Metro
    Thanks for the suggestions-very much appreciated. I’ve been leery about wrapping the LaBella E string around the 3/8” post, but sounds like I should give it a try, or at least send LaBella an email. Sounds also like the GHS Precision Flats will fit perfectly, but they might be a little light. I know the TIs will work (that’s what was on the bass originally) and I’m pretty sure Chromes will, but neither of those strings sound anything like LaBellas to my ears. Which is why I posted this in the first place. I’m assuming from michael_t’s posting that the GHS Precision Flats might be similar to the LaBellas. Not familiar with Pyramids...how do they compare to LaBellas?
  6. Dee-man

    Dee-man Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    I love Labella, but they are very fussy and the e string will probably unwind, if not some others. I'd call labella and see what they could make for you. Shouldn't be too crazy. Dunlop flats are also nice but can't comment on length options.
  7. TI's "short scale" is also 35.5" in winding length, which is the same as GHS "medium scale". The Chromes would be too short as their "medium scale" is 34" in winding length.

    You can refer to this thread: Bass String Lengths by Manufacturer

    In terms of tension and stiffness, the GHS P Flats 45-95 would be somewhere halfway between the TI's and the 760FL.
  8. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    I’ve wrapped many a DTF E-string around a tuner without a problem. I have had issues using the same string string- through, breaking at the ferrule, but Labella used to warm you away from that application - maybe they still do. They last so long, it’s been a while since I bought any.
  9. mdlewis


    Jan 1, 2005
    Boston Metro
    They do; this plus their fairly rigid construction was why I was reluctant to wind them around a 3/8” post. But next tine I’ll just use longs and see how it goes.
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