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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / What bass strings do you bass players use? Brands? Flats? Rounds?

Previous 20 Messages  
Contributing Member

Show Low, Arizona

Bottom Sucker
Jun 24th, 2019 08:52 AM   Edit   Profile  

Tomastik Infeld (TI) Jazz flats. They will also be the most cost effective strings you'll ever buy. They last decades.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jun 24th, 2019 09:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

LaBella Deep Talkin' Flats on the P-J and the fretless P, Rotosound black tape wounds on the Ric. I have a set of TI flats that I want to try, but it will take like forever for any of the above three sets to wear out.

I've just never been into the styles in which round wounds excel.

(This message was last edited by Te 52 at 11:45 AM, Jun 24th, 2019)

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jun 24th, 2019 09:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

I’ve use a few different sets. I use the TI Jazz on the P-Bass, The Cuban, a home built fretless P-bass, the Guild B50, and have a set for the Five String Warmoth. On the two home built 30” scale Fretless I’m using GHS Stainless Precision Flatwounds, The Guild Starfire has a set of LaBella Deep Talkiin’ Quarter round stainless steels, these are great on this bass.

Contributing Member

Bogue Falaya River

is STILL dark and cold.
Jun 24th, 2019 02:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks guys. Lots of useful information here. I hope to get even more.

Digiboy: you had me at "Not much growl but great for old school thump. P basses love them."

You lost me at "Run about $80 now..."

Sounds like getting what you pay for.

Contributing Member


Jun 27th, 2019 11:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

TI Jazz Flats on Jazz Bass and ESP LTD 5 String and Labella Low tension Flats on P bass

Contributing Member


Jun 27th, 2019 07:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

I really like the LaBella Deep Talkin' Flats I put on my J bass.

Contributing Member

Suburban MD.

You DESERVE an Ibanez Iceman!
Jun 28th, 2019 12:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

Rotosound Solo Bass. 45-105's on my Fender P's.
Pressure-wound round wound, but easier on the fingers. Pricey but worth it.

If I'm feeling cheep, I get Rotosound Steel Swing bass, also 45-105's.

Contributing Member


After 30 years, I should play better.
Jun 28th, 2019 10:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

I like Tomastik Infeld (TI) Jazz flats but have changed in the last decade to Pyramid flats (that is I've put a set on both my Jazz and P). Regardless, of brand flats will last for years.


Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Jul 1st, 2019 04:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

TI flats. Everything.


Contributing Member


When I get older, losing my hair...
Jul 2nd, 2019 07:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

I would like to ask a question of the experienced folks here as I am in a similar state as HenryJ. I had a set of flats on an old Gibson SB300 that were a good 45 years old . One finally broke. So I see that they last a long time. But I would like to hear some commentary on the sonic merits of flats over rounds. Hope this isn't a discussion hijack....

(This message was last edited by Bigfoot at 09:21 AM, Jul 2nd, 2019)

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jul 2nd, 2019 08:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

In general I find that the round wounds are brighter, the flats are a bit more subdued but increase the bottom to mid range in a way superior to what the rounds are capable of.

All my fretless basses have flats, obviously. The Guild I mentioned above has the greatest range in it’s tonal palette, the quarter rounds give me a lot of options.

A great bass amp can utilizes these characteristics and subdue those less desired. All of them are useful but we all try to dial in our own tones, different stings give us various options. A lot of great choices now a days.

(This message was last edited by hushnel at 10:44 AM, Jul 2nd, 2019)

Contributing Member

Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Jul 2nd, 2019 09:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

Random thoughts on flats .vs. rounds.

Flats have a stronger fundamental and less overtones. I find it a more focused sound. In a band situation, the upper overtones of rounds are often fighting with the guitars in the high-mid frequencies. This can result in a lot of frequency masking where the upper bass tone isn't heard anyway.

A lot of the decision depends on what kind of music you play and what you are used to hearing. Growing up on '60's music, the sound of flats is what I hear in my head.

It also depends on where you want to sit in the mix. These are generalizations. Flats are good at supporting a mix from the bottom and sitting in the mix. Rounds tend to sound like they are cutting through the mix.

When playing at lower volumes or softer styles of music, flats don't "stick out" from the other instruments as much. In a raucous rock band, you might want rounds for their additional bite.

Some people say to just use rounds and if you want to sound like flats, just turn your treble down. To me, that doesn't really work. You loose the attack and still hear the overtones (although quieter) that you don't get with flats. You can't say that flats don't have an attack. They do, especially if you are using a pick.

Some people like the feel of smooth flats under their fingers. That is not a factor with me.

In my case, although I mostly like flats, I do have a couple of basses with rounds. A G&L L2500 and a Musicman American SUB 5 Stingray. Variety is the spice of life.

In my band, I will sometimes show up to a gig with flats and sometimes rounds. It depends on how I feel at the time and whether I think the night will be loud or a little more subdued. I also play in an 18pc big band. It's always flats with that band, as rounds just don't seem to fit the mix. At church, I accompany a piano with no drums. It's flats only there plus I simplify my playing so it doesn't sound like I'm trying to hotdog it.

Contributing Member


Jul 2nd, 2019 01:30 PM   Edit   Profile  

As a home recordist that is primarily a guitar player, I've come to prefer flats. This is a real generalization but I find a nice overlap between flats and most kick drums, where as roundwounds and their percussiveness have made me futz with the mix more. This could have everything to do with style of music, performance and recording technique.

Contributing Member


Jul 3rd, 2019 05:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

"Many rave about TIs, but their cost is just too high for my budget."
Initial cost a bit high but considering they last anywhere from 5-8 years they are a bargain.

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jul 3rd, 2019 08:06 AM   Edit   Profile  

Try a set of GHS Precision Flats, I have them on my short scale fretless.



Jul 3rd, 2019 09:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

I like flats, myself. Have TI jazz flats on my EBMM Sterling. Have used the LabellaDeep talkin' in the past, but have become used to the TI's and probably won't use anything else. It took a little getting used to the tension, as they are very low tension. The "musicality" is in another stratoshere though. The GHS Precisions were too stiff for me. Maybe with a short scale they weren't as stiff. I do have a PBass strung BEAD that I have rounds on, mostly because the cost of the TI 5 strings were so high and I don't play it very often. They do have a piano-like sound which I like sometimes. As you see, there are different opinions, likes and dislikes. The only way to tell is to but 'em and try 'em. An expensive undertaking, unfortunately.

Contributing Member


an acquired taste some may never acquire
Jul 3rd, 2019 10:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

"It took a little getting used to the tension, as they are very low tension."

That's another reason I've shied away from "trying" TIs (expensive experiment): I prefer strings with a fair amount of tension. Below is a comparison between the flats I use and the closest thing to them (as far as I can tell) that TI makes:

•D'Addario ECB81-M Chromes (gauge & tension):





•TI JF324 Jazz Flats (32" scale length)





These are each companies own specs.

All of my basses are short-scale but most require medium-scale strings for one reason or another (design of Guild "harp" bridge, "string-through" Fender Mustang).


Robbinsville, NJ

what do you mean the bass is too loud?
Aug 1st, 2019 12:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

Dean Markley Blue Steel Cryogenic Medium Bass Strings

Round wounds on my J-Bass.

Good tone, a little snap, powerful lows, and..
the J-Bass 'growl'

frozen thunder



Who is E. Sandoval?
Aug 1st, 2019 05:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

D’Addario nickel rounds and tapewounds.


Philly/NL, CT

Aug 2nd, 2019 06:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 16 year-old set of La Bella Jamerson flats on my P and some medium light Rotosound rounds on my Tele bass.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / What bass strings do you bass players use? Brands? Flats? Rounds?

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