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A flatwound tension question


Scoot

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I bought a P a bit over a year ago, immediately threw on some LaBella "Jamerson" strings, and totally loved the sound.

 

My problem is that the P is in constant need of truss rod adjustments because of the high-tension of the strings. I was told (not sure where, maybe here) that the Jamerson set was about as high-tension as you can find.

 

LaBella's site isn't as kind as D'Addario's to post tension specs, so does anybody have any insight about this? If the Jamerson's are unusually high-tension, what I'm looking for is lower-tension flats that still has a similar sound.

 

I know a few of you love the Thomastik-Infeld ( are these it? ) flats, but are they lower tension?

 

So to sum 4 paragraphs into one sentence: Any recommendations for flats with lower tension than LaBella's Jamerson set?

 

I thank you for your patience.

Ah, nice marmot.
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Yes, the TI Jazz flats are very low tension (for flats)but I doubt that you will get the sound that you are looking for as they tend to have a rather bright and defined sound with a long decay.

 

You might try the LaBella "Deep Talkin" flats. I have a set on my fretless and they have a much more traditional sound than the TI's. I don't know how they compare tension-wise to the JJ's.

 

Cheers

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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I'm in a similar position. I've had flats on my Fender J for a few months, & I like them. I'm actually using an old set of Fender flats I had on hand. I like the tight feeling of them under the fingers, and they have a good tone. Still, the G tends to have a tad more "plink" in it than I might want; and I had to tighten the truss rod a half turn (in addition to the 1/4 turn for the strings I had on before these) to take out the major bow the flats induced.

 

So I'd like a nice, tight flatwound that is not as tough on the neck as these (so, obviously, not the Jamerson set), and also more even & generally of better quality (so perhaps some other sort of La Bella?).

 

Shopping for flats is tough, because it usually means dropping $30+ each time you try something new.

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Jamerson's bass had very high action and probably needed a truss rod adjustment as well. :D

 

The Deep Talkin' set are a little lighter than the Jamerson set and so would therefore be lower tension. I've got them on a Precision with no problems. I also used Fender flatwounds for years with no problems.

 

TI strings are definitely low tension...and they are a whole nother animal. It's an acquired taste. Which I haven't acquired yet.

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I had TI Jazz Flats on my Ric for a while (I replaced them with steel rounds when I put flats on the Fender; I can't try that set on the Fender, since the G had to be cut too short when I put them on the Ric). I liked them. They sounded really good for playing Duck Dunn lines. But I've gotten used to a tighter feel, & the punchier attack that goes with it.

 

Maybe the Deep Talkin' flats are the way to go. Gotta save those nickels!

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I wish I had a heavier neck on my Jazz (wanting to try BEAD). GHS Brite Flats are pretty good, without the price tag of the TI's. I'm not keen on the Thomasticks on electric basses (that's me tho), They have good stuff.

Vince

 

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." ~ Pablo Picasso

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I'm gonna stick with my Ernie Balls loyalty and tell you try out the Ernie Ball flats. I dont know how the jamersons sound, but these sound kinda thick on my P bass.

 

they're only $20/set.

 

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Been using D'Addario Chromes for years, they're soft-tension and have a nice warm low end but they also have a low output signal, so I don't recommend them on passive basses. I've tried a set of Deep Talkin' and Ernie Ball flats, and I'm debating about which set to get to replace on my Epiphone Viola, which currently has a set of Dean Markley flats.

 

The Jamerson set may be the best sounding of all, but if it's twisting your neck it's time to change sets.

:wave:

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You guys rule.

 

I think I'll go w/ the D'Addario's since I had them on my Warwick years ago for a month and was pleased. The new BP's comments on them are what I'm after too: "Full fundamental with some midrange complexity."

 

Looks like these flats are even less tension than their rounds of similar gauge . . . which means they are WAY lower than the Jamersons . . . which means I see a lot of truss rod loosening in my future. :(

Ah, nice marmot.
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I was at Midwest the other day & they had several sets of Chromes. Seemed like the price was decent. It's a good place for strings. (And other things, if you've got the dough!)

 

Let us know how you like whatever you go with.

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Originally posted by dcr:

I was at Midwest the other day & they had several sets of Chromes. Seemed like the price was decent. It's a good place for strings. (And other things, if you've got the dough!)

And they last a LONG time! I still have the original set I bought 4-5 years ago. I put it on one of my AEBs (Epiphone El Capitan) after reading that the piezos sense the vibration of the string rather than the magnetic pull.

 

Also available online. <<-click here

 

Still look clean

and they sound nice;

worth a purchase

at twice the price!

:D

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  • 5 weeks later...

Scoot,

You might want to check out a set of Sadowsky Flats.

 

I have a set of Labella 45 - 105 on my Jazz bass and it sets ups very nice. I did have to tweak the neck when I installed them.

I also have a set of Fender Flats on my Tele Bass and they work out real well.

www.danielprine.com

 

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I have the jamerson sets on my wrwick and I know what you are talking about. I lioke them though, becasue before i used d adarrio 45's and i would play had enough that it sounded like butt. Also when i flicked my hipshot down to d it lost a lot of tension. So right now the jamerson's work great for me, they still feel nice and taut when detuning. On a side note, I can fit my pinky between my strins and my neck, if you ask me...that's pretty damn funny.
Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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Originally posted by dcr:

So, Scoot, did you try the Chromes? If so, how are they?

Yes, I'm in the process of going with the Chromes. Not sure how they are yet since it's still in the shop. 6+ truss rod adjustments take a while to undo ya know. :(
Ah, nice marmot.
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I put Chromes on my fretless a while back, they are nice. Low tension, good tone, reasonable price.

I agree with Fred, I think they'd work better on an active bass rather than a passive, but they sound so good to me that I'd probably put 'em on a sandwich if I thought that would cover the gig.

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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I have Chromes "on deck" to go on my fretless. For some reason, though, that bass hasn't been exiting its case at all of recent. Not sure why my attention has wandered so... ;):D

 

Originally posted by wraub:

...but they sound so good to me that I'd probably put 'em on a sandwich if I thought that would cover the gig.

 

Lay 'em straight and use a long hero loaf or coil them on a kaiser roll? Mayo, mustard, relish, or just finger funk? :P

 

Peace.

--SW

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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I hope this isn't OT for the thread, but I've been very pleased with Fender flats (on a fretted, passive J). Huge, ballsy output, pretty even & tonally versatile. They seem to have pretty high tension, which is part of their tone & output, I think, but I did take them off my J because I'm wimpy about tightening the truss rod too much. Still, I like them.
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Food? Somebody's talking about food?

 

Yeah - that's what I want. Big sandwich. Hey NYC crew - whadda ya say we open a shop in NYC with "bass scale length" heroes?

 

Sorry - never tried chromes, and the last flats were in 74....

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

Sorry - never tried chromes, and the last flats were in 74....

Tom

Ahem. That club in Teaneck? My friend "Whitey"?

Those were Chromes he was wearing, good buddy...

of course you didn't get a full plug-in check out, but you did fondle them...

:D

 

(to the rest of ya: I'm talking about my 5-string fretless. Whew, we got some nasty minds round heah!)

:D

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