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shoulderpet

Any flats that feel close in tension to TI Jazz flats?

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Hi all

hoping you can help, I have recently after using TIs for a long time become a little dissatisfied with their tone, the feel of 
them is great but I feel the tone is lackign something, after trying GHS flats on my bass it became clear that the TIs are 
a bit of low mid thump, the GHS flats sounded so much better its not even funny, no contest at all, which brings me to my next
question, is there any flats that feel close to the flexibility of TIs? GHS in the light gauge are low tension but still 
noticeably stiffer, they are not uncomfortable to play by any means but I just love the flexibility of TIs.
Can anyone recommend a flatwouand that is close to TIs in feel, I am thinking of maybe Labella 760fx but maybe the 
Labella low tension flexible flats would feel looser? Thanks

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Posted (edited)

Not tried the fx's, but the Labella's are my choice of flats after trying many types. The FL's are what I use.. Highish tension but nowhere near the roto's and a little lesser tension than the ghs's if I remember correct. Not sure about the sound differences mine have been on one of my P basses for 6 or 7 years now.

Edited by Highfox

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How about La Bella nylon flats?  Lovely medium-low tension and the standard gauge set sound full and fat.

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1 hour ago, franzbassist said:

How about La Bella nylon flats?  Lovely medium-low tension and the standard gauge set sound full and fat.

I’ll +1 this but with the addition that I have literally just restrung my Sandberg Electra VS4 (P bass) from Labella Black Nylons to TI Jazz Flats. The Labella Black Nylons are slightly lower tension/looser in feel than the TIs so @shoulderpet you may love them! They also sound fantastic IMO. 

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16 hours ago, franzbassist said:

How about La Bella nylon flats?  Lovely medium-low tension and the standard gauge set sound full and fat.

I tried these a while back and passed them on as I found I got buried in a live situation, maybe I wrote them off too quickly , I may give them another try, shame strings are so damn expensive otherwise I would buy a few sets and try them all out, I cant remember the tone of the nylons, are they thumpy like flats? 

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4 hours ago, shoulderpet said:

I tried these a while back and passed them on as I found I got buried in a live situation, maybe I wrote them off too quickly , I may give them another try, shame strings are so damn expensive otherwise I would buy a few sets and try them all out, I cant remember the tone of the nylons, are they thumpy like flats? 

I wouldn't say they were particularly thumpy.  The La Bella white nylons in particular have a very nice bright top end (jump to 4.30 in this video).

 

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On 30/03/2019 at 16:26, shoulderpet said:

Can anyone recommend a flatwouand that is close to TIs in feel, I am thinking of maybe Labella 760fx but maybe the 

Labella low tension flexible flats would feel looser? Thanks

I used T-I JFs on my fretless for a dozen years. When I replaced them with Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats in the lightest gauge I did need to do a pretty small neck relief tweak due to higher tension, but the overall play feel is fairly similar and the Cobalt Flats sound much much better to me on that particular bass.

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8 hours ago, shoulderpet said:

I cant remember the tone of the nylons, are they thumpy like flats? 

Depends which ones you go for. The Labella black nylons are very thumpy for me but as @franzbassist has said, the white nylons are brighter in tone.

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I’ve recently gone to the La Bella Low Tension Flats from the FL, they’re brilliant. Not flappy and the sound is killer. 

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1 hour ago, walshy said:

I’ve recently gone to the La Bella Low Tension Flats from the FL, they’re brilliant. Not flappy and the sound is killer. 

I tried the FL set once, I couldn't believe how stiff they felt to fret, I read on another forum that despite Labella saying these are their light set they are actually around 185ibs of tension 

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Ok so things have been further confused, played the GHS flats at rehearsal last night and whilst the thump was nice I found that in a band situation there was zero articulation to the notes, I was really struggling to hear the pitch of the notes so I think what I need is a flatwound that is low tension with some definition and some thump (but not cobalts) , I am thinking maybe ordering single Chromes and putting together a custom set.

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1 hour ago, shoulderpet said:

Ok so things have been further confused, played the GHS flats at rehearsal last night and whilst the thump was nice I found that in a band situation there was zero articulation to the notes, I was really struggling to hear the pitch of the notes so I think what I need is a flatwound that is low tension with some definition and some thump (but not cobalts) , I am thinking maybe ordering single Chromes and putting together a custom set.

If you're near me ( Newcastle ish) welcome to come and try my P basses with the low tension flats on mate

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43 minutes ago, walshy said:

If you're near me ( Newcastle ish) welcome to come and try my P basses with the low tension flats on mate

Sadly I am not near but thank you for the offer, I appreciate it

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Another vote for La Bella LTs... have 'em on my Lakland,  and I get a pretty good fat sound out of them. I would say they are marginally stiffer than the TIs, but there's not much in it...

Have you considered half rounds? The D'addario ones are very nice, and the light gauge set is not too stiff. They definitely cut through better than flats IMO...

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53 minutes ago, JellyKnees said:

Another vote for La Bella LTs... have 'em on my Lakland,  and I get a pretty good fat sound out of them. I would say they are marginally stiffer than the TIs, but there's not much in it...

Have you considered half rounds? The D'addario ones are very nice, and the light gauge set is not too stiff. They definitely cut through better than flats IMO...

No, not considered half rounds as of yet but maybe something to consider, only thing im afraid of is that they will sound like dead rounds once broken in, I tried a set of the Fender pure nickel strings once and they sounded ok initially if a little bright then pretty much as soon as they broke in they just sounded like dead rounds, I took them off as soon as they got to that point

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20 minutes ago, shoulderpet said:

No, not considered half rounds as of yet but maybe something to consider, only thing im afraid of is that they will sound like dead rounds once broken in, I tried a set of the Fender pure nickel strings once and they sounded ok initially if a little bright then pretty much as soon as they broke in they just sounded like dead rounds, I took them off as soon as they got to that point

I think they have their own sound. Probably a good idea to listen to some clips on YT to give you an idea. The D'addarios ones aren't cheap unfortunately, but you could probably flog them on on here if you didn't get along with them...

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24 minutes ago, shoulderpet said:

No, not considered half rounds as of yet but maybe something to consider, only thing im afraid of is that they will sound like dead rounds once broken in, I tried a set of the Fender pure nickel strings once and they sounded ok initially if a little bright then pretty much as soon as they broke in they just sounded like dead rounds, I took them off as soon as they got to that point

For me, I found half-rounds to be not so good at either. I stuck them on a fretless in the end and had a bit of joy with them. Not for me but worth experimenting with.

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Posted (edited)

The labella low tension set are great! i found them even more pliable that TI's (they sound very dark and thumpy though). ive recently got a set of Ernie ball cobalt flats and they have a lovely low tension too as well as a bright tone almost like a set of nickel round wounds! they also have a very smooth feel like the labellas!  im definitely a fan of these :)

Edited by lee650

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On 03/04/2019 at 11:08, shoulderpet said:

Ok so things have been further confused, played the GHS flats at rehearsal last night and whilst the thump was nice I found that in a band situation there was zero articulation to the notes, I was really struggling to hear the pitch of the notes so I think what I need is a flatwound that is low tension with some definition and some thump (but not cobalts) , I am thinking maybe ordering single Chromes and putting together a custom set.

Why not Cobalts? I used to use TI strings and find the lightest gauge Cobalts are even more supple and they sound pretty clangy with the tone control wide open, so should give you that clarity you were missing before...

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38 minutes ago, ped said:

Why not Cobalts? I used to use TI strings and find the lightest gauge Cobalts are even more supple and they sound pretty clangy with the tone control wide open, so should give you that clarity you were missing before...

+1  the chromes have a lot of high mid clang to them rather than high end, and are very high tension too! the cobalts have a much more pleasing and musical high end to me (and im a fan of Chromes)

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Posted (edited)

The Chromes do settle down after a while. I find the medium light set compares well with the TI flats when broken in (I switched from TI Flats because I found the A string too low in tension. I had to move the bridge saddle to the point where it was falling off the threaded rod to get the intonation true). The Chromes have some kind of coating on them when new - I presume to prevent them deteriorating in the pack - which you should wipe off with alcohol. Makes them feel much better.

Edited by Dan Dare

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