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What kind of bass strings do you use and why?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:02 am
by wwpete52
I'm thinking about switching to a different brand of bass strings. What do you use and why?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:55 pm
by tim3finger
I really like D'Addario Chrome flats ( 32.00 ). Nice mellow sound, smooth to the fingers, with a touch of brightness on the D and G strings.

But, I use Fender Flats ( 18.95 ) most of the time , cause they are CHEAP. Not great strings, just okay. I would have to be a lot better bass player to appreciate or justify paying more than these two brands cost.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:05 am
by wwpete52
Have you ever tried D'Addario half rounds?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:53 pm
by tim3finger
No, I haven't. Are there any particular advantages to them? I use flats because of the the smooth mellow tone I get from them. It would seem to me that half rounds would be almost as bright as full round wounds.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:27 pm
by wwpete52
I haven't used them either but I just bought a set on Ebay. They should arrive next week.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:11 am
by mike932
I like the cheap fender flats (stainless steel) . I do use the half rounds on my five string. They are great playing with fingers or with a pick.

I am compressing 25+ years here...

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 12:44 am
by lpdeluxe
I have used various kinds of flats for many years now. I don't like the sound of round wounds: too much finger noise, too much "sizzle." A bass ought to sound bottomy, after all!

First I played with D'Addario ground round wound because I found a music store that was closing out their bass several sets for $8 a set! GHS Brite Flats came next, being readily available (and I had become used to the that type of sound ).

Next I bought an Ibanez 5-string acoustic bass guitar and was told that LaBella nylon tape wounds were the best deal for that. Which was true, but the bass still didn't do it for me.

Finally I was advised to put a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound pickup and Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats to my new Classic '50s Fender P, and became an instant convert. It's the Voice of God, and my band loves it so much they won't let me play anything else on gigs.

TI flats don't sacrifice as much of the high end as less expensive flats (and they ain't cheap -- about $45-60 most places) and they have a rich, midrangey-but-full sound.

At the moment I have all Fenders: a '51 Precision Reissue, with GHS Brite Flats, a Jazz fretless with TI flats, the Classic '50s P and another P that currently wears a QP and a set of LaBella nylon wounds that I had sitting around.

This last will get TI flats, also, once I get a fretless neck for it. The LaBellas are only so I don't have to play roundwounds until I make the changeover. In comparison to the TIs, they sound a bit nasal, and they feel strange, being perfectly smooth. The difference in sound between this P and the other is very noticable, even though the basses are nearly identical other than the strings.

Once the last one becomes fretless, I'll sell off the J and the '51, and probably will continue with TI flats from now on.

Their expense is balanced by very long life -- I know people who have had the same set on for 6 or more years.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:05 am
by oleman
I also use flats on all my basses as I like the semi upright tone that you can get when sliding into notes.

On my upright bass I have switched over to guts from weedwhackers. The metal strings on an upright are much louder but shred your fingers.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:07 am
by mike932
I just found out how rough stainless steel strings are on frets, I am switching to TI flats , as soon as I take out a small business loan so I can afford them.


PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:49 am
by BobHolland
I just don't change strings but every 2 or 3 months.
Roundwound Ernie Ball 45-100. Good cheap strings. I usually pay $15 to $20 a set. I used to buy 3 set at a time to get a better price. If they are too twangy new, I just turn the treble down. Works for me.
Bob :roll: :roll: :roll:

Re: What kind of bass strings do you use and why?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 4:10 pm
by lpdeluxe
Thomastik-Infelds last forever. A friend has had a set on his bass for 6 years, which pretty much offsets the initial higher cost.

I did some A/B recording for another friend (fingers on Classic '50s P, strung with TI flats, then with a flatpick; fingers on '51 P RI, strung with GHS Brite Flats, and then with pick) and the TI strings were quite a bit superior. If I keep the '51 it'll get TIs.

Also, I finally got my fretless P finished (Fender Standard FSR with an unlined maple Warmoth fretless neck) and did some recording with it. That may well become my one-and-only.

Re: What kind of bass strings do you use and why?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:55 pm
by ricochet
Acoustic bass players can buy their strings in the Wal-Mart garden section. :lol:

Re: What kind of bass strings do you use and why?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:21 am
by oleman
ricochet wrote:Acoustic bass players can buy their strings in the Wal-Mart garden section. :lol:

That's true, but I find the E and A weedwhackers much to floppy, so I use a hybrid set with either steel flatwounds or D'addario's nylon strings on my doghouse. The D and G weedwhackers sound almost like gut strings at a fraction of the price.
I have been playing upright for about 3 years now and haven't changed strings. They sound better now than when they were new.