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Flats - why do many rave about them


BassAdder27

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26 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 

Or go headless double-ball end, and leave old-fashioned dead spotted designs behind.

Worse thing I ever did was to get a custom made bass as a headless! Now I have a great bass but limited string choice... in theory you can clamp any string but in practice a lot of strings don't like this and destroy themselves under this abuse they weren't designed for.

My fav strings have a synthetic core and even come with a warning on the packet about being delicate when installing (they're not delicate for playing purposes). If I want to be be 47 quid less well off all I have to do is try and put them on my headless!

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I think a lot depends on the bass they are going on 

I am not a flatwound user I have tried a couple of sets the cheap adagio brand and fender flats the latter were much better 

The only way to tell if they bring anything new to the game is to try them out 

I use rounds as I just think they sound better on my short scale basses than flats do I know the majority use flats on shortscale basses and they sound great when other people use them but they just don't work for me 

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Weird that most people say flats feel slippery. I find them much more grippy than rounds, probably due to the fact that they’re smooth so there’s more contact like slick tyres. 
 

I like them on a P bass and mine’s always wearing them. They just bring out the grisly high mids and they feel really easy to play trills because if the grip, making them easy to ‘work’

 

Rounds on evrything else - I tried flats on my Stingray which sounded pretty nice but went back to rounds for the full range. If I had a second stingray I’d put flats on the other. On a jazz I don’t like them at all but I know some do!

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I made the switch to flats about 5 years ago and have never looked back. I play TI Jazz Flats. 

The midrange is full and punchy, I find them easier to play, and I find they just slot in a mix much easier than rounds. Especially when mixing, I can get flats to sit a lot easier than rounds. For a while, I really favored rounds, as I could really dial in the zing and hear myself clearly on stage, but when I listened back, the smooth punch from flats just sounded better with the band. I like the balance of flats with a pick. 

I've switched between Chromes, Dunlop Flats, LaBella's and finally landed on TI Jazz Flats which are definitely my favourite, although it took me awhile to bond with them. I was really skeptical, but It's true what people say about TI Jazz Flats, the older they get, the better they sound, it's pretty bizzare. Chrome's and LaBella's sound great in their own way, but the tension is insane. I've adapted my technique to suit the lower tension of TI Jazz Flats and it's made me a better player. 

When I played rounds, I was switching strings all the time. Not with flats. 

Edited by Light Grenade
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1 minute ago, Light Grenade said:

I made the switch to flats about 5 years ago and have never looked back. I play TI Jazz Flats. 

The midrange is full punchy, I find them easier to play, and I find they just slot in a mix much easier than rounds. Especially when mixing, I can get flats to sit a lot easier than rounds. For a while, I really favored rounds, as I could really dial in the zing and hear myself clearly on stage, but when I listened back, the smooth punch from flats just sounded better with the band. I like the balance of flats with a pick. 

I've switched between Chromes, Dunlop Flats, LaBella's and finally landed on TI Jazz Flats which are definitely my favourite. I was really skeptical, but It's true what people say about TI Jazz Flats, the older they get, the better they sound, it's pretty bizzare. Chrome's and LaBella's sound great in their own way, but the tension is insane. I've adapted my technique to suit the lower tension of TI Jazz Flats and it's made me a better player. 

When I played rounds, I was switching strings all the time. Not with flats. 


I’ve moved to the super light gauge of Chromes and I’m finding the tension to be really in the sweet spot. I don’t think Chromes are really high tension tbh - higher than some, but not insane tho, certainly less than LaBella’s

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3 minutes ago, Bridgehouse said:


I’ve moved to the super light gauge of Chromes and I’m finding the tension to be really in the sweet spot. I don’t think Chromes are really high tension tbh - higher than some, but not insane tho, certainly less than LaBella’s

Nice, I'll need to give them a try. I like the tone of Chromes. 

And yeah, you are right. Chromes are on the higher side for me, but definitely still okay. LaBella's were in a different ballpark when it came to tension, I really couldn't get on with them. 

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1 minute ago, Light Grenade said:

Nice, I'll need to give them a try. I like the tone of Chromes. 

And yeah, you are right. Chromes are on the higher side for me, but definitely still okay. LaBella's were in a different ballpark when it came to tension, I really couldn't get on with them. 


You should def. try the super light gauge chromes - def. less tension than the regulars

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On 29/11/2021 at 18:18, Paul S said:

One thing to note is that not all rounds FLATS!  I meant to type FLATS are equal.  Some are high tension, some low.  Some are dull, some are bright.  If you choose the wrong set you may be put off unnecessarily.

 

I am a massive fan of Thomastik TI Flats and put them on all my basses.  They are low tension - not to everyone's liking! - and sound nice and bright, not just a dull thud.  I play in a blues rock band and they sit just nicely in the mix.  For me and the tone I have in my head for my basses, they are just right.  Plus they feel nice to the touch - fans of round wounds will disagree, of course.

 

Brain fart moment there.  Changed the entire context.

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Sometimes you need and flats and sometimes you need round wounds. It's a bit like sometimes you need to play with a pick and sometimes you need to use you fingers.

 

Having said that in the context of a band mix, you'll get the same sound with slightly old round wounds and attenuating the treble. Having used both, these days I'd only bother with flats if I preferred the feel (which I don't). 

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5 hours ago, BigRedX said:

Having said that in the context of a band mix, you'll get the same sound with slightly old round wounds and attenuating the treble. Having used both, these days I'd only bother with flats if I preferred the feel (which I don't). 

 

I would disagree with that.  I find the sound I get from my basses (esp. Precisions) with TI Flats can't be replicated with old strings and attenuating the treble - heaven knows I've tried, and with all sorts of roundwound strings, but I have always ended up putting TIs on.  Costs me a fortune :D  It is very much it's own thing.

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2 hours ago, Bridgehouse said:

Those of us with fretless basses would possibly suggest that flats preserve the fingerboard a little better than rounds, and of course gentlemen don’t slap on fretless.

 

Stuff that 🙂 My fretless gets roundwound elites or rotos whether it likes it or not.

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As mentioned... Adagio Flats... £13 is the Magic Offer Price... Got em on a P and my Acoustic... Regular Standard Tension... Loverly... 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FLATWOUND-Bass-Guitar-Strings-Set-45-100-RRP-29-99-Fretless-Jazz-ADAGIO-PRO-/332636490116?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286&mkrid=710-127635-2958-0

 

Edited by PaulThePlug
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