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mcnach

Ernie Ball Cobalt flats - the flats for those who don't necessarily want flats

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Quick update as I just posted about these in another thread just now...

I love them, very happy. They ended up on my P Bass as from the feel out of the packet I could tell they wouldn't be bright enough for the Music Man, glad I trusted my gut as they suit the P Bass and my finger style (other flats can make my tone too muddy).

The tension is nice and low (45-100 guage), they didn't feel sticky and I was smiling from the first note.

Sadly, I think my love affair with Thomastiks is now over, though I'll still keep Fender flats on my Jazz Bass, well for now anyway, cobalts could end up on there too at some point perhaps :)

Anyway, I reckon they are well worth a try for those interested and not looking for a true old school vibe flatwound string.

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Going to put these on my bitsa P. It sounds a bit stodgy compared with the Chromes on the other bass. However, they are nearly 30 months old, and have been slackened off a few times for neck swaps.
Much as I love the BB414, it's a bit of a lump for me, and if these can boost the presence of the P, I'll be a happy man!

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I started this thread... and I have a new favourite string, but this one is MUCH MORE FAVOURITE :lol:

LaBella White stainless steel nylon tapewound. 750T
50-65-85-105

They have that plasticky feel that tapewounds have but it's easy to get used to, and they're soooooo smoooooth. They're also very bright, they are more like roundwounds than flats. A lot more. They have a beautifully balanced low end and presence... the G string never sounded better. And they are very low tension. If you enjoy bending strings and adding vibrato here and there... these strings make it very easy. I put them on my Jazz and I can't stop playing it. They sound and feel fantastic...

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Slightly OT, but as a noob to flats / fretless it looks like the gauges are typically heavier for flats. Is this right? I fitted 45 - 100 cobalts and they feel lighter than the same gauge rounds. I'm seeing 60 - 115 sets on Bass Direct. That's severe!

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1489050772' post='3253927']
I started this thread... and I have a new favourite string, but this one is MUCH MORE FAVOURITE :lol:

LaBella White stainless steel nylon tapewound. 750T
50-65-85-105

They have that plasticky feel that tapewounds have but it's easy to get used to, and they're soooooo smoooooth. They're also very bright, they are more like roundwounds than flats. A lot more. They have a beautifully balanced low end and presence... the G string never sounded better. And they are very low tension. If you enjoy bending strings and adding vibrato here and there... these strings make it very easy. I put them on my Jazz and I can't stop playing it. They sound and feel fantastic...
[/quote]

I enjoyed the D'Addario black tapewounds for quite a while, and I too was surprised at how bright tapes can get. I kept overplaying them and making them go "splat" though - it took some real concentration not to. I tried a used set of the LaBellas very briefly, but for whatever reason the D'Addario were more up my street.

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[quote name='Beer of the Bass' timestamp='1489170484' post='3255004']
I enjoyed the D'Addario black tapewounds for quite a while, and I too was surprised at how bright tapes can get. I kept overplaying them and making them go "splat" though - it took some real concentration not to. I tried a used set of the LaBellas very briefly, but for whatever reason the D'Addario were more up my street.
[/quote]

I used the D'Addario before, and I still have them on my fretless. I find the LaBellas white nylon a lot brighter, very much like rounds but with a tamer top end. The plasticky "splat" is not pleasant, but you adjust to them. They're a LOT lower tension that my usual string sets, so I needed to adjust the rod a bit and they do feel a bit rubbery, but it allows for some really pretty slight vibrato (not that I need it in my bands, but at home it's fun) and you can do some crazy string bending... add overdrive and octave, and bend strings... FUN!!! :lol:
I'm not enjoying the £45 a set, 'though. I bought these strings ages ago (from time to time I'd buy strings I wanted to try when I had some spare unallocated cash in my pocket), and I forgot the price. But I think the Stingray with these would be amazing, and keep the SUB with roundwounds (DR Fat Beams stainless steel)... I love the lowmid-rich 'finger funk' kind of tone I get from these strings, very very good low end definition...

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1489050772' post='3253927'] I started this thread... and I have a new favourite string, but this one is MUCH MORE FAVOURITE :lol: LaBella White stainless steel nylon tapewound. 750T 50-65-85-105 They have that plasticky feel that tapewounds have but it's easy to get used to, and they're soooooo smoooooth. They're also very bright, they are more like roundwounds than flats. A lot more. They have a beautifully balanced low end and presence... the G string never sounded better. And they are very low tension. If you enjoy bending strings and adding vibrato here and there... these strings make it very easy. I put them on my Jazz and I can't stop playing it. They sound and feel fantastic... [/quote]

Oooh! Have you ever played TI Jazz Rounds (not flats). They are also low tension and was wondering about a comparison. I do love TI Jazz Rounds.

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[quote name='owen' timestamp='1489272756' post='3255720']
Oooh! Have you ever played TI Jazz Rounds (not flats). They are also low tension and was wondering about a comparison. I do love TI Jazz Rounds.
[/quote]

No I haven't, but I was interested. They were on my list of strings to try, but this business of trying different strings gets expensive quickly!

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1489277073' post='3255750']
No I haven't, but I was interested. They were on my list of strings to try, but this business of trying different strings gets expensive quickly!
[/quote]

Especially when you have the initials TI in the name :(

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[quote name='matski' timestamp='1463045007' post='3047996']
Do these cobalts 'go off' over time?
[/quote]

OK, after 17 months I'm just getting around to changing my set of EB Cobalt Flats. It's been a busy year on the playing front too, so I'm happy at how long they've lasted. To be honest, they've still got a bit of life in them yet, it's just that the E-string's started to go rusty where I rest my palm on it near the bridge when damping whilst playing with a pick. I must admit I've never had this happen before, but I'm still swapping the strings for another identical set of cobalts - I'll try and be more dilligent at wiping the strings down after playing, and hopefully the next set will last even longer.

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Well... I started this thread and I changed my mind entirely by now. Not that these cobalt flats are not nice, they are... but I found something (for me) a LOT better.

[b][color=#ff0000]Labella White Nylon tapewounds.[/color][/b]

They are surprisingly bright, for that type of string, although nothing like the cobalts... but not all thumpy like as a typical flat/tapewounds string. They have very low tension, which actually feels pretty good and you find yourself bending strings a lot more (if you like that kind of thing)... but above all, the sound is just... that kind of punchy mids-rich almost rubbery kind of tone... On a Jazz it's... intoxicating :lol:
Not cheap... but I suspect they will last a long time, and the sound and feel are worth it.

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I'm loving my set on my Jazz Bass. It has also had some other great strings on before, it's just the Cobalts happen to suit that bass best for me. The bass is versatile due to those strings, love them.

Tried them on my MM Sabre and old Lull PJ4, they were great but maybe not the best strings for what I wanted from those basses.



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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1495715325' post='3306083']
Well... I started this thread and I changed my mind entirely by now. Not that these cobalt flats are not nice, they are... but I found something (for me) a LOT better.

[b][color=#ff0000]Labella White Nylon tapewounds.[/color][/b]

They are surprisingly bright, for that type of string, although nothing like the cobalts... but not all thumpy like as a typical flat/tapewounds string. They have very low tension, which actually feels pretty good and you find yourself bending strings a lot more (if you like that kind of thing)... but above all, the sound is just... that kind of punchy mids-rich almost rubbery kind of tone... On a Jazz it's... intoxicating :lol:
Not cheap... but I suspect they will last a long time, and the sound and feel are worth it.
[/quote]

I had them on a Zon Hyperbass. They were stunning.

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Well I finally got some eb cobalt flats myself. Only a few years since I said I was going to haha. 

What a pain fitting the e string. Silk was too thick at the ball end for fitting, either in the bridge or through body (Atk 400). So had to adjust the silk. The other strings were fine. Lots of creaking going on while initially tuning up, more than any other string I've heard by far. 

Didn't get much time to play them but first impressions are good. Nice and bright, good feel. I like that there slightly grippy, a bit like half rounds. Good output in volume. Tone wise I suppose there a bit like a slightly played in roundwound. Be interesting to see how they develop. 

Hopefully they will last a good while. The Fender flats I like, I only get 2 months maybe 3, out of them before I feel they start to decline too much for my liking. 

 

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On 09/01/2019 at 18:20, Twincam said:

Well I finally got some eb cobalt flats myself. Only a few years since I said I was going to haha. 

What a pain fitting the e string. Silk was too thick at the ball end for fitting, either in the bridge or through body (Atk 400). So had to adjust the silk. The other strings were fine. Lots of creaking going on while initially tuning up, more than any other string I've heard by far.

 

I had a similar problems with my 5 string J Bass with the B string.  Though I had the same issue with D'addario Chromes so it's not solely an EB issue.  I also noticed a ton of creaking and I'm not sure if it is related but the D string snapped when I was adjusting the tuning 

I didn't have the same issue when I put  some on my 4 string PJ bass so I guess it was a defective string.  I really love them on the PJ more so than I did on the J.

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Feel like I have something to add to this thread, might be useful for any future searchers.

I've been a chromes user for a while and thought I'd give something else a shot, so I strung a 45 - 105 set of cobalts up on my Roadworn Precision tonight and wow - there's that tone I was looking for! It's deep, punchy and with just enough top end definition. It what Ernie Ball claim is true, the tone should last a while.

I felt them to be a little stiff and a bit too grippy at first, however I felt the same way about the chromes so hopefully they'll relax with a few more hours of play on them. 

As a side note, be careful not to cut them too short, if you have a tendency to do so like me. I'd say that on a fender style bass, you'd be okay with stringing them up right out of the pack, no cutting needed. They really don't give you much extra length to play with. Love the purple silks though.

 

 

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