Flatwounds?

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Flatwounds?

Postby ampig » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:09 am

Looking to put some strings on my newly purchased 68 Tele bass. The flats already on it sound OK, but the E string has no presence. I don't have a lot of experience with flatwounds, so what do you recommend that will bring out the E string's voice?

I know this is probably sacrilige but I'm also considering Smith Compressors :hid:
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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby ghiadub » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:04 am

Considering the repair, I would go with something low tension. TI flats are great but take some getting used to playing with a lighter touch.
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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby MoBeach » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:53 am

You tried half rounds? I use those on my 6 string fretless with good results. I tried TI Flats and don't share the enthusiasm regarding them.
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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby harleyyy » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:04 am

Another vote for TI flats, Chromes if the low tension isn't your thing. That bass needs flats.
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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby nolabass » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:16 am

Ti here too....the compressor isn't sacrilege for me....especially on flats. An even thump is a good thing. I may be off but I think the E on a set of flats is more of a fundamental and my ear may be used to hearing some of the upper mids that are gone. I probably dig at the E a little more on a set of TIs too.... that's one of the things I like. You can get a great string excursion across the pup magnet and vary the tone with your fingers. As Ghiadub mentioned, there is a learning curve with the softer TI tension but worth it. I especially enjoy having a bass that's easy on my hands when I'm hurting. My day gig doing muscle work can strain my hands and having a TI strung bass on hand is.....ummmm....Handy. [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]

I think I would be tempted to use old nickles on that instead. I saw GP Jr. has a custom set of strings....ordered them and got closer to his tone. Waiting for those strings to age and mellow. I am very careful putting strings on and taking them off so I can use them down the road when they ripen.
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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby Gil Escalera » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:37 am

Like the others have noted - TI's. The learning curve is worth it IMO. And as Pete stated - Chromes if you can't handle the low tension of the TI's.

My fretless is a Lakland 55-94 Deluxe and I have Chromes on it because I didn't like the B string of the TI flats; however, I prefer TI's on 4 bangers. YMMV

For old school thump there is always the time proven James Jamerson/Bob Babbitt/Joe Osborn La Bella flats. ;)

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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby Billhw13 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:01 am

I generally use either Chromes or Labella Flats....altho' on the 78 P there is a set of Black Diamond flats that I am very happy with. I've used TI flats , but could never get used to the tension....but they sound so good it makes sense to try them.
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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby ampig » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:01 pm

For old school thump there is always the time proven James Jamerson/Bob Babbitt/Joe Osborn La Bella flats


James and Bob seemed to have very present E strings. If that's the strings they used, I may go that way.
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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby basswinn » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:05 pm

TIs or Chromes depending on which matches the neck better. Sometimes if the neck is not at all "springy", TIs will not pull enough relief into a vintage neck. If they will, you're gold. If not, the Chromes are a pretty close approximation in tone.
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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby harleyyy » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:09 pm

ampig wrote:
For old school thump there is always the time proven James Jamerson/Bob Babbitt/Joe Osborn La Bella flats


James and Bob seemed to have very present E strings. If that's the strings they used, I may go that way.


Best to check the tension on those. Pretty high IIRC.
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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby MoBeach » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:16 pm

TI's were really sticky to me, maybe I should try Fastfret or something.
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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby steveonbass » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:46 pm

TIs are the most musical sounding - I love TIs on my short scale basses but not on a long scale electric - I like to dig in and prefer my strings to push back a bit. Chromes have a darker sounding fundamental (slightly more modern), GHS are dead sounding (old-school my fave), Rotos are the brightest sounding flats and they have a little texture (like pyramids) - too bright IMO, Pyramids are like TI's (supple and musical) but not great consistency in their production, Ernie Balls seem like Chromes in feel and sound.

I would not sweat the HS repair. I would have it re-repaired, professionally and cleanly, and put the strings I liked the most on it - regardless of tension. A proper repair will hold it. If not, just re-repair it. Don't let the basses past dictate it's future - just play it how you dig it.
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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby harleyyy » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:58 pm

steveonbass wrote:TIs are the most musical sounding - I love TIs on my short scale basses but not on a long scale electric - I like to dig in and prefer my strings to push back a bit. Chromes have a darker sounding fundamental (slightly more modern), GHS are dead sounding (old-school my fave), Rotos are the brightest sounding flats and they have a little texture (like pyramids) - too bright IMO, Pyramids are like TI's (supple and musical) but not great consistency in their production, Ernie Balls seem like Chromes in feel and sound.

I would not sweat the HS repair. I would have it re-repaired, professionally and cleanly, and put the strings I liked the most on it - regardless of tension. A proper repair will hold it. If not, just re-repair it. Don't let the basses past dictate it's future - just play it how you dig it.



Well said. [smilie=grinning-smiley-003.gif]

To clarify my comments on tension, I meant for comfort with no concern on the repair. I've tried flat sets that bowed the neck beyond playable for me, though it worked for Jamerson as we all know.
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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby Rob Francis » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:14 pm

ghiadub wrote:Considering the repair, I would go with something low tension. TI flats are great but take some getting used to playing with a lighter touch.


I really like these on my P
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Re: Flatwounds?

Postby Mike Childree » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:09 am

Karl installed Chromes on my new Hoyt Deco hollowbody, and they fit that bass to a "T". After playing upright for a while, I've really gotten myself a heavy touch on the electric bass, so I'd mangle a set of TI flats.
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