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Which Flats? GHS Precision vs. DR Hi-Beams

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Red_Merkin, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Red_Merkin


    Nov 12, 2012
    Hey, just a question I couldn't find an answer to (I searched a lot, I swear!):

    I just bought a Squier CV Jazz Bass, and I want to put a set of flats on it. I've used D'Addario Chromes before, but I want to try a more "traditional" set of flats, and budget is a consideration.

    As far as playing style, I like a lot of old school and retro soul/r&b (Motown, Stax, War, Mayer Hawthorne, Black Joe Lewis, etc...) and Indie rock (Silversun Pickups, The Shins, Death Cab, etc...)

    I've narrowed my search down to:

    GHS Precision Flats: I've heard some good things about these, but I'd have to order them. Not a big deal, but I am somewhat [DEL]impatient[/DEL] impulsive. :D

    DR Hi-Beam Flats: A little more pricey, but readily available. Can't find many demos/reviews.

    Webstrings Detroit Flats: Considering, but what I've heard about the tension worries me about my neck. Again, not many reviews/demos to be found.

    So, how do these stack up against each other in terms of sound and feel? Do you have any other suggestions? (Again, budget is an issue, I'd like to keep it under $40)
  2. EddieT


    Jun 21, 2008
    I've got a Squier VM 70s bass. Santa brought me a set of Picato flats. Stainless steel. 45 65 80 100. They've literally re-birthed the bass. Sounds amazing
  3. Red_Merkin


    Nov 12, 2012
    They look good, but shipping from the UK may put them out of my price range.
  4. supakneegrow


    Dec 15, 2012
    Yonkers, NY
    I know they aren't on your list, but I swear by LaBella Flat Wounds myself.
  5. jmceachern36


    Nov 13, 2005
    Cambridge MA
    The GHS flats are great. I bought them years ago because they're inexpensive. After trying a whole bunch of flats I've stuck with GHS because they have that sound and they feel like they have less tension than some of the others in the 105-45 gauge. Unfortunately I haven't tried the others you've mentioned but from what I read they are very similar to the GHS flats. I think any of those strings will give you what you're looking for. Your bass is gonna sound really nice!
  6. Red_Merkin


    Nov 12, 2012
    Thanks! I'm leaning towards the GHS because they are so cheap, and I love the Boomer rounds on my P-Bass - great feel, really punchy with prominent low-mids and not a lot of finger noise.

    But this CV Jazz is practically begging for flats, so unless I hear something compelling about another brand, it looks like they'll be the winner!
  7. awamori


    Dec 10, 2009
    I've tried the DR flats a year ago and they're just dead sounding to me.
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

  9. Vintage Guy

    Vintage Guy Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2008
    Can't beat GHS strings,flats,or rounds. Been using them for years and get great life out of them!
  10. Another nod for the GHS flats. They have a real classic tone and are everything you want a flat to be. Lower tension and the price is right too. They worried me a little cause the E seemed DOA when I first strung them. But after break in ADG evened out to balance nicely.
  11. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    I have a set of old (16+ years) GHS Precision Flats on a Fender Precision, and they just keep sounding better!
  12. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    GHS flats hands down. Don't like the gauges? Get a custom set from Jason. DR flats come in only 1 set gauge iirc and just like awamori, they sound dead to me - but not the good kind of dead like a dead flat should (YMMV with different basses/amps/setups/etc).

    I've used Detroit flats. Though I have praised them for being like a cross between Chromes (on the D & G) and GHS flats (on the E & A), I don't recommend them at all with a Jazz bass. I had those on my Squier VM Jazz for awhile and it just took everything that was good about it away. Had some MIJ pups on that jazz and it sang with rounds on it - soon as I strung on the D-flats, the sounds that came out of my Jazz was like child burping obsessively while falling down a flight of stairs with an overflowing, turd-filled diaper. :rollno:
  13. GHS flats 95-45 are my favorite for old school finger playing. You don't need to mute them to sound thumpy with a short decay. They don't sound "nasally" in the mids like the TI's. In other hand, for Alt-rock pick playing they are a little too dead sounding, especially the E string. You can't get it all I guess.
  14. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    GHS, absolutely. The only flats I'll use, other than Pyramids for my Hofner.
  15. tdoody


    Sep 5, 2008
    i have both on different bass guitars. i like both sets. i play the ghs on soul grooves, and the dr's on rock and jazz
  16. GHS P flats, no doubt.
  17. Red_Merkin


    Nov 12, 2012
    Alright, Update time: In the interest of my budget, and because of that thing where the GHS' windings go around the E Tuner post I 've decided to roll the dice with the Webstrings Detroit Flats. Hopefully they're good, I've certainly read more good things than bad about them. If they don't work out, no big loss. and GHS will be next on the list to try.
  18. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    What are you talking about?
  19. Mikhail1


    Apr 8, 2008
    It's probably that thing that GHS does where they make one type of string that supposedly covers 34" to 36" scale basses. The A, D and G string are fine but a portion of the E string itself, not just the silk, winds up on the post. While it looks weird, I never found it to be a problem.
  20. Red_Merkin


    Nov 12, 2012
    That's it exactly. I know it'd probably be fine, but it would bug the hell out of me.