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Flats - why do many rave about them


BassAdder27

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On 19/01/2022 at 20:30, wateroftyne said:

 

As a flats user of 20 years or so,

So that’s one set used up then?

 

I have some of those cheapo Olympias landing on my doormat tomorrow’

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On 19/01/2022 at 05:55, wintoid said:

 

Oh really?  So there are double ball end flats, or some sort of adapter for normal strings?

I’ve got labella double ball end flats on my Hohner, they are a really nice string, but they are pretty expensive 

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On 20/01/2022 at 23:33, Geek99 said:

So that’s one set used up then?

 

I have some of those cheapo Olympias landing on my doormat tomorrow’

 

Pretty much.

 

I've got 5 unopened sets of LaBellas and GHS Flats here, which I'll keep for my great-grandchildren.

Edited by wateroftyne
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5 hours ago, wateroftyne said:

 

Pretty much.

 

I've got 5 unopened sets of LaBellas and GHS Flats here, which I'll keep for my great-grandsons.

Yes, when they excavate your house in year 3346, they’ll tell your descendants it’s time to change those flats 

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3 hours ago, Geek99 said:

Just fitted the cheapo Olympia set 40-100. They seem quite high tension 

 

I haven’t tried those, I’ve had  a set of addigio flats on on one of my jazzes for about 7 years, they were only about £10, really nice strings, I’d say they were medium tension 

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On 15/01/2022 at 11:13, Jonse said:

TI flats or Ernie Ball Cobalt Flatwounds 

 

So I've just replaced my Rotosound 77 Flats 45 - 100 with a set of Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats 45 - 100 on my fretless Precision.

 

Observations are that they are much higher tension and I can't bend the strings as much as I used to be able to with the Rotosounds. Still very playable but noticeably different. The Ernie Ball flats are also sitting much closer to the fretboard but they are not buzzing so I've not needed to adjust the height yet. I'm wondering that the higher tension is making them sit closer to the fretboard?

 

What I do like is the tone. They sound lovely and a lot more zing, expression and mwah. Certainly not as deep sounding as the Rotosound flats which sometimes sounded a bit flat. So really happy with how they sound.

 

One other thing I noticed is the Ernie Ball flats have that stickiness to them that has been mentioned in this thread. Hopefully that will go the more I play them.

 

Early days but happy so far.

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2 minutes ago, Linus27 said:

 

So I've just replaced my Rotosound 77 Flats 45 - 100 with a set of Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats 45 - 100 on my fretless Precision.

 

Observations are that they are much higher tension and I can't bend the strings as much as I used to be able to with the Rotosounds. Still very playable but noticeably different. The Ernie Ball flats are also sitting much closer to the fretboard but they are not buzzing so I've not needed to adjust the height yet. I'm wondering that the higher tension is making them sit closer to the fretboard?

 

What I do like is the tone. They sound lovely and a lot more zing, expression and mwah. Certainly not as deep sounding as the Rotosound flats which sometimes sounded a bit flat. So really happy with how they sound.

 

One other thing I noticed is the Ernie Ball flats have that stickiness to them that has been mentioned in this thread. Hopefully that will go the more I play them.

 

Early days but happy so far.

 

I want to try some Cobalts but I really do not like anything even approaching low tension, which I thought the Cobalts were. 

It's odd that you consider them higher tension than your old Rotosound's yet the strings are sitting closer to the board, which surely would indicate a relaxing of the neck due to less tension on it?

 

I may have to just bite the bullet and try a set. 

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18 minutes ago, Maude said:

 

I want to try some Cobalts but I really do not like anything even approaching low tension, which I thought the Cobalts were. 

It's odd that you consider them higher tension than your old Rotosound's yet the strings are sitting closer to the board, which surely would indicate a relaxing of the neck due to less tension on it?

 

I may have to just bite the bullet and try a set. 

Unless I'm getting my low tension and high tension definitions mixed up?? If the strings feel more taught, is harder to bend or move, is that higher tension? If the string is looser and can bend easier, is that lower tension? The Ernie Ball Cobalt Flat are more taught and harder to bend than the Rotosound Flats.

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8 minutes ago, Linus27 said:

Unless I'm getting my low tension and high tension definitions mixed up?? If the strings feel more taught, is harder to bend or move, is that higher tension? If the string is looser and can bend easier, is that lower tension? The Ernie Ball Cobalt Flat are more taught and harder to bend than the Rotosound Flats.

Yes that's right, well some folks will get all uppity and correctly say we're talking about compliance, but everyone knows what we mean. 

It seems odd because changing to strings with more tension usually means the neck will bend more and raise the strings off the board, and the opposite with lower tension. 

If the strings are sitting lower this would indicate the strings have, in fact, a lower overall tension than the Rotosound's, but maybe feel stiffer due to construction. 

 

I'd certainly like it if Cobalts were a fairly high tension. 

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1 minute ago, Maude said:

Yes that's right, well some folks will get all uppity and correctly say we're talking about compliance, but everyone knows what we mean. 

It seems odd because changing to strings with more tension usually means the neck will bend more and raise the strings off the board, and the opposite with lower tension. 

If the strings are sitting lower this would indicate the strings have, in fact, a lower overall tension than the Rotosound's, but maybe feel stiffer due to construction. 

 

I'd certainly like it if Cobalts were a fairly high tension. 

 

Ok cool, thank you. I've just been playing some more and I'm just getting a little bit of buzzing mid neck on the A and D string. It's only very slight but it's there. Again that points at lower tension right if the neck is bowing that way?

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50 minutes ago, Linus27 said:

 

So I've just replaced my Rotosound 77 Flats 45 - 100 with a set of Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats 45 - 100 on my fretless Precision.

 

Observations are that they are much higher tension and I can't bend the strings as much as I used to be able to with the Rotosounds. Still very playable but noticeably different. The Ernie Ball flats are also sitting much closer to the fretboard but they are not buzzing so I've not needed to adjust the height yet. I'm wondering that the higher tension is making them sit closer to the fretboard?

 

What I do like is the tone. They sound lovely and a lot more zing, expression and mwah. Certainly not as deep sounding as the Rotosound flats which sometimes sounded a bit flat. So really happy with how they sound.

 

One other thing I noticed is the Ernie Ball flats have that stickiness to them that has been mentioned in this thread. Hopefully that will go the more I play them.

 

Early days but happy so far.

It is very puzzling that you find the Roto's to be lower tension, that are known to be pretty much the highest tension flats out there, I wonder if there was a mixup with the gauges at the factory

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4 minutes ago, shoulderpet said:

It is very puzzling that you find the Roto's to be lower tension, that are known to be pretty much the highest tension flats out there, I wonder if there was a mixup with the gauges at the factory

It is a bit puzzling but I was also recommended to try them and told they are lower tension after other flats I'd tried I couldn't get on with. So I'm just as confused as well 😂

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11 minutes ago, Linus27 said:

It is a bit puzzling but I was also recommended to try them and told they are lower tension after other flats I'd tried I couldn't get on with. So I'm just as confused as well 😂

Fair enough, have you tried TI jazz flats? They are very low tension, I am using them on my P bass, they do the flatwound thing but you can get a decent rock tone from them too, they are not just a dull thump

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44 minutes ago, shoulderpet said:

Fair enough, have you tried TI jazz flats? They are very low tension, I am using them on my P bass, they do the flatwound thing but you can get a decent rock tone from them too, they are not just a dull thump

No not yet, they are next on my list 👍

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21 minutes ago, Linus27 said:

No not yet, they are next on my list 👍

Good strings, you have to love low tension though, they have the same tension as Daddario XL nickels 95-40 but they feel even lower tension, I know this as I went from Daddario to TI on my P bass

Edited by shoulderpet
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10 hours ago, Linus27 said:

 

Ok cool, thank you. I've just been playing some more and I'm just getting a little bit of buzzing mid neck on the A and D string. It's only very slight but it's there. Again that points at lower tension right if the neck is bowing that way?

 

 

Rule of Thumb: Buzzing below fret 6, generally loosen truss rod, but buzzing above fret 6, generally tighten truss rod.

 

Where do you mean by 'mid-neck'?

Edited by EssentialTension
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29 minutes ago, EssentialTension said:

 

 

Rule of Thumb: Buzzing below fret 6, generally loosen truss rod, but buzzing above fret 6, generally tighten truss rod.

 

Where do you mean by 'mid-neck'?

So the buzzing is around A and B on the D string and E and F# on the A string.

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8 minutes ago, Linus27 said:

So the buzzing is around A and B on the D string and E and F# on the A string.

 

Well, I'm not a lutherie expert but the rule of thumb (which I get from Lakand's setup video) is suggesting that buzzing at fret positions 7/8/9 means the neck tension needs to increase presumably because the string tension has increased.

I imagine this logic applies equally to a fretless bass.

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11 hours ago, Maude said:

Yes that's right, well some folks will get all uppity and correctly say we're talking about compliance, but everyone knows what we mean. 

...

 

If anyone is interested in 'compliance' see here: Lutherie Myth/Science: Human Perception of String Tension and Compliance in Stringed Musical Instruments

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