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Flats - why do many rave about them


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25 minutes ago, tauzero said:

 

Why bother?

 

No reason to bother if you don't want to, but using the reason that you don't want to use flats because their response is different to what you are used to doesn't seem like a particulary helpful reason. In the same way we could say, why bother with another bass, why bother with a different amplifier, why bother trying different playing techinques, why bother with different music types etc as they would all be different to what you where used to. Perfectly reasonable if that is what you want, but seems an odd reason. Maybe some things could be better.

Not as good a reason as 'I don't want to'.

 

I mean, I don't really like flats, although I have them on one bass (a squier mustang) where they work, and where I also overshot at first, I don't now, its a different scale and a different type to the others, and I play it its way.

Its just habit and muscle memory

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Of the 4 basses I currently own that I would say are "in commission and ready to go", 3 have flats on and 1 has rounds on. 

 

I'm not a huge fan of rounds, nor of using a pick, but I do play it, and sometimes with a pick. 

 

Why bother?

 

Well, sometimes the music requires it, sometimes I fancy the change, and sometimes I just want to, or can do. So I do. 

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39 minutes ago, Bridgehouse said:

 

Ah, but do you go for a light foam or a really dense foam?

 

At the risk of sounding very sad. . . . I've tried several, even cutting up a Spontex washing up sponge. That might have sounded good in the studio, but IMO it killed too much tone for a gig.

 

For me, soft foam is the best.

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3 minutes ago, chris_b said:

 

At the risk of sounding very sad. . . . I've tried several, even cutting up a Spontex washing up sponge. That might have sounded good in the studio, but IMO it killed too much tone for a gig.

 

For me, soft foam is the best.

 

I found the soft foam in a graphics card box ideal - it was really soft, and added just enough mute to eek out that extra bit of thump without killing the sound too much

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3 minutes ago, Bridgehouse said:

 

I found the soft foam in a graphics card box ideal - it was really soft, and added just enough mute to eek out that extra bit of thump without killing the sound too much

 

Having said this, I've yet to find a suitable solution for my Shuker fretless - there's just not enough space under the strings by the saddles to get any sort of foam in there.. :dash1:

 

Suggestions welcome, of course..

 

 

IMG_3636.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Woodinblack said:

 

No reason to bother if you don't want to, but using the reason that you don't want to use flats because their response is different to what you are used to doesn't seem like a particulary helpful reason. In the same way we could say, why bother with another bass, why bother with a different amplifier, why bother trying different playing techinques, why bother with different music types etc as they would all be different to what you where used to. Perfectly reasonable if that is what you want, but seems an odd reason. Maybe some things could be better.

Not as good a reason as 'I don't want to'.

 

I mean, I don't really like flats, although I have them on one bass (a squier mustang) where they work, and where I also overshot at first, I don't now, its a different scale and a different type to the others, and I play it its way.

Its just habit and muscle memory

 

To expand a bit, as well as the feel, I preferred the tone from roundwounds (I did mention I like the sound of roundwounds but I didn't say I preferred them to flats - I do). So expending time on an exercise that wouldn't bring any benefits (for me) seemed pointless.

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5 minutes ago, Bridgehouse said:

 

Having said this, I've yet to find a suitable solution for my Shuker fretless - there's just not enough space under the strings by the saddles to get any sort of foam in there..

 

You could try Carol Kaye's approach, threading felt through the strings.

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2 hours ago, ped said:

Does anyone else like how shiny they are 😊

 

Sadly yes!

 

1 hour ago, tauzero said:

To expand a bit, as well as the feel, I preferred the tone from roundwounds (I did mention I like the sound of roundwounds but I didn't say I preferred them to flats - I do). So expending time on an exercise that wouldn't bring any benefits (for me) seemed pointless.

 

I prefer the tone from roundwounds too, I barely use flats apart from the one bass, and I certainly wouldn't be one trying to persuade anyone to do so, my comment was purely that if the problem was that you overslid due to the shineyness of flats, that is just habit.

 

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I go through phases between rounds and flats just for the hell of it and just because I can

 

Currently favouring rounds since we started using IEMs but that's not to say I might change them in a couple of months to flats.

 

I have about 4 or 5 sets of flats all carefully wrapped until the next time I fancy using them. I have a few sets of D'addario Chromes, 1 set of Rotosounds and a miscellaneous set that I think may be LaBellas

 

And yes they are very shiny

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Well, a goodly while of TI jazz flats on the cutlass and well I have to say I like them. 
Are all flats equal, Who knows? 
I let rip on the stingray earlier with DR rounds and it was so sweet, like pixies with crystal tipped boots driving a Harley low rider through my ears. 
I’ve missed that sweet sweet tone…

However the cutlass is so playable I snagged it out of the bag and damn what a joy that juicy thump was too,  I’m still a little fast fingered on the flats especially with big jumps and slides but I think I may keep the flats on the cutlass they just sound so right with a passive P set up. 
Ok boys you win I’m a convert. 
 

 

 

 

P.S Rounds still rock though 🤘

 

 


 

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11 hours ago, Bunion said:

Well, a goodly while of TI jazz flats on the cutlass and well I have to say I like them. 
Are all flats equal, Who knows? 

 

I've tried loads and loads of flats and would say each brand has different character.  Of those I have tried, TI Flats are probably the most different in that they are quite bright and low tension.  Some are extremely high tension (eg La Bella Deep Talkin flats), some are dull thuds (eg D'addario Chromes), some both.  I love the feel and sound of TI Flats and have them on all my basses (costs me a fortune) apart from an EB3 that seems to sound better with that extra zing from rounds. 

 

So I'd say that if you like TI Flats you actually might not like other makes of flats.  Similarly anyone wanting to try flats - until you have tried TI Flats don't write them all off as dull thuddy things.

Edited by Paul S
typo
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Have pity on us cellists (and double bass players). It is common to have a different string type on the A or the A and D string from the G and C string. A set of say Jargar strings - a 'medium quality' string is about £140. I have Spirocore tungsten on my G&C and Larson on my A&D. Cost is pushing £300. You can't really afford to experiment - all you can do is hope. There is a scheme for conservatoire cello students, other than that pay and pray... People tend to experiment with their A string options as it's the cheapest one at around £40 (the C on mine is around £120).

 

The bonus I suppose is apart from the A string, the others will last a long time.

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Bought some flat wound strings last week. I had to up the gauge to 100's from my now usual round wound Rotosound 85's as that was the cheapest set I could find.  Fitted them, spent quite a while setting up bass, hated them, took them off, threw them in the bin and put my 85's back on. There was a reason to put flat wounds on but I won't bore anyone with the details. 

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2 hours ago, Paul S said:

 

I've tried loads and loads of flats and would say each brand has different character.  Of those I have tried, TI Flats are probably the most different in that they are quite bright and low tension.  Some are extremely high tension (eg La Bella Deep Talkin flats), some are dull thuds (eg D'addario Chromes), some both.  I love the feel and sound of TI Flats and have them on all my basses (costs me a fortune) apart from an EB3 that seems to sound better with that extra zing from rounds. 

 

So I'd say that if you like TI Flats you actually might not like other makes of flats.  Similarly anyone wanting to try flats - until you have tried TI Flats don't write them all off as dull thuddy things.

 

There has to be a subjective element to this.

 

Because I do not experience Labella Deep Talkins as 'extremely high tension' (unless you're talking about the Jamerson set) and I would describe D'Addario Chromes as quite bright rather than 'dull thuds'.

 

YMMV, of course.

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1 hour ago, zbd1960 said:

Have pity on us cellists (and double bass players). It is common to have a different string type on the A or the A and D string from the G and C string. A set of say Jargar strings - a 'medium quality' string is about £140. I have Spirocore tungsten on my G&C and Larson on my A&D. Cost is pushing £300. You can't really afford to experiment - all you can do is hope. There is a scheme for conservatoire cello students, other than that pay and pray... People tend to experiment with their A string options as it's the cheapest one at around £40 (the C on mine is around £120).

 

The bonus I suppose is apart from the A string, the others will last a long time.

I know not entirely the object of this thread but yes, you think flats on a bass guitar can be expensive, a set of strings on my DB are £200 to 300. 

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