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Al Krow

Rock'n'roll band - string recommendations

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I've got some ancient strings (3 years+) which have gone from "used and warm" to "muddy and dead" on my Sandberg bass that I need to urgently think about replacing and which I've been using with my 50s and 60s rock n roll band.

I'm guessing that flatwounds to get a mellower / less bright 50s / 60s "sound" would be the way to go - but I'd be interested to hear your recommendations and on getting a decent set of strings that will be reasonably long lasting?

Cheers

AK

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Flats are a no brainer, and they last ages, so it's a win-win in this situation :)

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[quote name='walbassist' timestamp='1506845847' post='3381403']
Flats are a no brainer, and they last ages, so it's a win-win in this situation :)
[/quote]

Cheers for that - brand and guage?

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Hmm, minefield. I'd go LaBella or GHS personally, depends if you like high tension or not.

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I've been through several different types; TI Flats - too floppy, Labella - too high tension, Rotosound - came with a dead G string.

Eventually I happened across Sadowsky Black label Flats. I have them on my Precisions, Jazz and the Sadowsky HPJ. To quote another user "All the low end goodness one would expect from a set of flats but with very nice mids for some punch and clarity as well instead of just thump and thud like some traditional flats". They are made by Labella but are lower tension than their own brands.

Difficult to find in the UK however there is an excellent Ebay seller in Poland whose prices are competitive and ships very quickly.

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So think Paul McCartney on "She was just 17" or James Jamerson on "Higher and higher".

[quote name='walbassist' timestamp='1506856372' post='3381499']
Hmm, minefield. I'd go LaBella or GHS personally, depends if you like high tension or not.
[/quote]

You've probably gathered by now that minefields don't bother me too much, but I am a big fan of honestly held opinions! :)

I'm definitely a bit of a novice when it comes to strings, so please do share what the advantages / disadvantages of high tension and which ones are high? Any greater risk of neck warping with high tension? Isn't there something called "balanced tension" as well out there? (I'm not a fan of floppy / flaccid strings, but then who is?!)

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On those older songs, you can really help things by putting a bit of foam under the strings by the bridge to kill any sustain and give you a really old school tone. Flats would be my default for that early rock n roll sound. The gauge is subject to whatever you are used to. I used to think heavier the better but I've just gone to a light gauge and proved it's the player, not the string. It really isn't *that* important which gauge.

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Posted (edited)
A lot of people say TIs are floppy but maybe they are just used to higher tension flats. To me they are perfect and feel similar in tension to a typical set of rounds. I've even used a low B on a Fender P5 and it was superb.

What kind of bass will you be fitting them to, Al? Edited by dannybuoy

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Posted (edited)
[quote name='dannybuoy' timestamp='1506875385' post='3381694']
A lot of people say TIs are floppy but maybe they are just used to higher tension flats. To me they are perfect and feel similar in tension to a typical set of rounds. I've even used a low B on a Fender P5 and it was superb. What kind of bass will you be fitting them to, Al?
[/quote]

Hey DB - it's a Sandberg TM4 with Delano (jazz and humbucker) PUPs for the 50s and 60s material. Through a Markbass AC 121 Combo. Edited by Al Krow

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[quote name='obbm' timestamp='1506864720' post='3381578']
I've been through several different types; TI Flats - too floppy, Labella - too high tension, Rotosound - came with a dead G string.

Eventually I happened across Sadowsky Black label Flats. I have them on my Precisions, Jazz and the Sadowsky HPJ. To quote another user "All the low end goodness one would expect from a set of flats but with very nice mids for some punch and clarity as well instead of just thump and thud like some traditional flats". They are made by Labella but are lower tension than their own brands. Difficult to find in the UK however there is an excellent Ebay seller in Poland whose prices are competitive and ships very quickly.
[/quote]

Thanks for sharing that. Can you post a link to your recommended seller and how much do the [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Sadowsky Black label Flats set you back per set?[/font][/color]

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1506967891' post='3382418']
Thanks for sharing that. Can you post a link to your recommended seller and how much do the [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Sadowsky Black label Flats set you back per set?[/font][/color]
[/quote]

The Ebay seller is "bass-vik". A set of 45-105 Black Label Flatwound strings was £35.55 posted and delivered within 2-3 days. He doesn't seem to have any more of these at the moment but they do come up onto Ebay quite often. I originally found him by searching for "Sadowsky" in "European Union".

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@obbm - many thanks for letting me know.

Is there any indication of how high a tension the different sets of strings are / any sort of comparison table? I guess the "safe" place to start would be somewhere in the middle of the pack?

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[quote name='dannybuoy' timestamp='1506875385' post='3381694']
A lot of people say TIs are floppy but maybe they are just used to higher tension flats. To me they are perfect and feel similar in tension to a typical set of rounds. I've even used a low B on a Fender P5 and it was superb. What kind of bass will you be fitting them to, Al?
[/quote]

DB where do you get your TI flats from? Given that I'm using roundwounds on the rest of my basses, actually having a consistent string tension across them all probably does make good sense.

I've found some La Bella 760 FS 45/105 for around £40 on Amazon

GHS Precision Flats 45/105 for £43 from Strings Direct (anyone used these guys / can recommend them)

Sadowsky Black Label flats - also do sound good (and a fair few fans of these on TalkBass as well) if they are "lower tension La Bellas", particularly if folk feel La Bellas are too high tension. But I can't find anywhere that sells them, which kinda defeats the object!

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Might have been Strings Direct, that’s where I usually go.. the same set have been on the bass for ten years though, so who knows!

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Posted (edited)
Cheers DB.

So doing a bit of research, the TI JF344 flats are £55 from Strings Direct :o but a couple of quid cheaper via one of Amazon listed stores, but if they last 10 years I guess that's not so bad...

Although I've just spotted these: Adagio Flatwound Electric Bass Guitar Strings 45-100 Nickel Standard Regular Gauge for [b]£16! [/b](And unlike the TI's also qualifies for Prime on Amazon so I can get tomorrow).

Ok now remember DB you've got a Cali 76 CB and I've just got a Aggie TLC, you've got a Yammy BB1025X and I've just got a Yammy BB425 , your band writes its own material whereas both my bands just copy what others have done. So I guess it would seem entirely appropriate if you've got TI flats, that I should go for Adagio which no one seems to have heard of or recommended? :) But it's probably sensible for me to get something a bit cheaper in terms of getting a feel for how I get on with flats, eh?

I'll keep a look out for those elusive Sadowsky's too...

Cheers everyone - appreciate the input, as ever! Edited by Al Krow

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I found TI flats a bit floppy, if you do get some careful tensioning them as you fit them in the bass, I snapped the internal core of one doing this - doh!

I used Labella Deep talking bass black tape wounds, quite liked them. Friend of mine really swears by the Labella White tape wounds, I trust him.

I’ve gone off GHS, had boomers nice to start, die pretty quick

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For the music suggested I`d go fo LaBellas or GHS Precision Flats, both to my ears fit that sound really well.

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