JKing138
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
131 IQ
#1
As the title suggests, I'm after trying medium gauge flats. I've done some research and found that fender and roto 77's are well thought of. I'm looking for a set with punch/thump and a thick mid sound with some growl, they're going on a VM Jazz so I would like to keep some of the Jazz growl. I play rock, reggae type stuff so could you guys suggest a set thats not going to cost a fortune but cover the tone I'm after? Cheers
Spaz91
RIP Terry
Join date: Mar 2008
6,280 IQ
#2
Thump and growl are opposite ends of the spectrum.

Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats are the best you'll find.
JKing138
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
131 IQ
#3
I Know it might sound contradictory to say thump and growl, but my understanding it that thump comes from lo-mids and bass and growl comes from hi-mids. I may be mistaken.
Spaz91
RIP Terry
Join date: Mar 2008
6,280 IQ
#4
Not exactly. Luckily you have a jazz bass so getting either tone is easy for you with any strings. For growl, solo the bridge pickup with the tone wide open and play near the bridge. For thump, both pickups with tone rolled off.

You'll want flexible strings for playing near the bridge and, as flats are a good deal stiffer, I recommend 90 or 100 rather than 105 or 110. Chrome and nickel plated shift a bit more easily than solid stainless steel, they also feel much better on your fingertips.

TI Jazz Flats. The best money can buy really.

Ernie Ball Chromes My choice, simply because they're easy to find. D'Addario Chromes are quite popular too.

Roto 77s. Don't get drawn in by the prices. These suck in my opinion.
FatalGear41
War Mastiff!!!
Join date: Oct 2009
1,381 IQ
#5
If you want to spend quite a few bucks (US$70.00), you could always try Pyramid Gold flatwounds.
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dark Mass
ZORK
Join date: Oct 2009
523 IQ
#6
Sounds like you want a half/ground wound string....

LaBella's Quarter Rounds are great strings and not "sticky" as other half/ground wound strings.
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Zaqq
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2011
1,014 IQ
#7
For growl, solo the bridge pickup with the tone wide open and play near the bridge. For thump, both pickups with tone rolled off.

We have different definitions of growl. For growl is both pickups on full tone with mids/highs boosted. But I have no idea what's "thump".
JKing138
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
131 IQ
#8
Quote by dark Mass
Sounds like you want a half/ground wound string....

LaBella's Quarter Rounds are great strings and not "sticky" as other half/ground wound strings.


Do the half wounds last like the flats do?
dark Mass
ZORK
Join date: Oct 2009
523 IQ
#9
Quote by JKing138
Do the half wounds last like the flats do?

No but they do last longer compared to roundwounds.
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JKing138
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
131 IQ
#10
What are the tonal differences in chrome, nickel plated and stainless steel? And which retain their tone the longest?
FatalGear41
War Mastiff!!!
Join date: Oct 2009
1,381 IQ
#11
The Chromes don't sound noticeably different from nickel-plated strings. Stainless steel strings are a lot brighter with a sharper attack - at least, the roundwound ones are. I think that most stainless steel strings lose their tone first, followed by the nickel-plated strings and the chromes. Now, since we are talking about a fretless bass, all of those strings are good to loast a good, long time. With no frets to wear away at the strings, they will not require frequent string changes.
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JKing138
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
131 IQ
#12
Its a fretted jazz, no one mentioned fretless. But thamks for the input about the string material.
dark Mass
ZORK
Join date: Oct 2009
523 IQ
#14
Quote by JKing138
Its a fretted jazz, no one mentioned fretless. But thamks for the input about the string material.

Chrome strings aren't actually pure chromium instead they're stainless steel with higher than usual chromium content. About .015% more compared to D'Addario's Prosteels and .027% more than Rotosound 66's.
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JKing138
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
131 IQ
#15
I've really over looked strings, its the one thing I've not looked in to. I'm trying to get the tones I want from my right hand and bass rather then all the gear I usually use. Are the coated strings all that different? I don't fancy spending £50+ on strings I don't get on with, although I realise its going to be trial and error to find what I'm looking for.
Phil Starr
Tab Contributor
Join date: Oct 2007
1,128 IQ
#16
Flats last forever so they don't work out as expensive over the long term. The sound doesn't change much over time though I guess replacing mine would liven them up a bit. They don't ring out like rounds and they have a really characteristic sound of their own. They don't lack definition and you can dial in a bit of growl but if you want an aggressive sound they are not the way to go. Best for the bassist who wants to sit under the rest of the band rather than compete for the mid range frequencies. Don't know where you got £50 from, I paid just over £20 for mine from Mansons.

I have my Jazz set up with them, with the neck pup the sound is warm and rich, ideal for pop or folk. Dial in the bridge pup and you get a sound with a lot more character, sort of woody/flutey sounding and a touch of snarl when I work the strings hard. Never as aggressive as say, a P-Bass fitted with Rotos though.

Everyone should try flats at some time but be prepared to love or hate them, they are different. Not the way to get punch or growl though, they major in deep and warm.
JKing138
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
131 IQ
#17
Some sets that I've seen recommended elsewhere have been around £50, I know you can get some for far less.
The sound seems to be down to personal taste, some say they have more punch in the mix then rounds. I'm just going to have to try them out.
I'm not after aggressive, hence why I'm curious about flats, I just thought I would sample the collective wisdom of the UG forum.
smb
Join date: Feb 2005
2,006 IQ
#18
I've used LaBella flats for years now, last time I experimented with strings they seemed to be the most balanced tonally. As far as flats go, they're at the brighter end of the spectrum and there's still a bit of growl rather than just being all thuddy if that makes sense
JKing138
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
131 IQ
#19
Yeah it does. Bought a set of 45-105 la bellas the other day. not put them on just yet though.