Flats on a P bass

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ryanmaiden
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Flats on a P bass

Post by ryanmaiden » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:57 am

Who's got flats on a P bass at the moment? I want to take a bit of the 'slide and scrape' out of my sound, without messing with EQ, and I'm guessing flats are the best way to go about this. Do you lose many other tonal characteristics going to flats, or is it mainly just all the scratchy noises?
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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by joppo » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:41 am

I don't have them on a P but I've got a set of flats on a fretless Jazz at the moment. There are lots of people more qualified than me to answer your question, but my impression is that you get more of the fundamental note with flats and less harmonics. The difference is very noticeable, so it is definitely a different sound. It seems people either like them of hate them, and there are heaps of argume... opps, I mean discussions on them over on talkbass. As you've noted, you also don't get the scrape and slide noise when you slide you fingers around. Then of course you have to decide which ones to try :roll: I think flats also tend to have higher string tensions than rounds, although that varies. I've got GHS Precision Flats on which seem to me to have heaps of punch and I think would sound great on a P. I like them, but who knows what that means :D

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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by ryanmaiden » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:20 pm

Cheers joppo, I jumped onto talkbass and read a very good write up from a member who had been playing roundwound for 30+ years who converted to flats. I've always been staunch about the 'fact' that the bass is a rhythm section instrument (I used to be a show-pony guitar player) and I still hold that belief now that I play bass.Like you said, people seem to be in agreeance (is that even a word?) that flats make the fundamental the major part of the audible note and leave all the sustainy harmonics, mids and fluff to the guitar players/keyboardist, vocalists etc. Sounds like my kind of string.
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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by foal30 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:48 pm

yup
I have D'Addario Chromes on my '76 for 5-6 years and it's soul city
don't be shy to raise your action a little too.

a lot of guys swear by ThomsInf strings (TI) but I've not bothered 'cos I like a 105 E
LaBella Flats are good but very "dead".

records very well IMO
Jansen BassMan Head + Ashdown ABM + Precision w/Flats is class.
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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by joppo » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:03 pm

I've got some TI's ordered to give them a go. Not something we have in stock in Dunedin :?

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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by foal30 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:20 am

so what happened Ryan?
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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by ryanmaiden » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:32 pm

Still procrastinating as per usual. I'll have to ask Santa for some I think. I'm thinking they'll make my bass sound a bit mellower when I play through my valve guitar amp. It sounds heaps better than my warwick bass amp, but can get a tad carried way with all the scratchy and slidey noises.
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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by ryanmaiden » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:54 pm

I stopped procrastinating and jumped on guitarstuff.co.nz and got me a set of flats. I reckon they're probably not as popular as roundwounds because of price, rather than sound.

I love internet shopping!
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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by joppo » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:59 pm

I was wondering how you got on as well. Let us know what you think when you get them

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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by foal30 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:05 am

did you get D'Addario Chromes?
if so give them say 3-6 weeks to "settle down"
then it's smooth soul city
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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by ryanmaiden » Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:56 am

Chucked my D'addario Chromes on last night, so I'll let them settle for a bit and let you know what I think. First impressions are that they are a class above the el cheapo roundwounds I usually use.
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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by jazz1234 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:12 am

Yep - Chromes on a P are a tasty combination. One other reason I like 'em is the slightly higher tension compared to some other flats. They're definitely a little stiffer than the TI Flats ... and to my fingers, perfectly suited to that classic Motown vibe.

The TIs are awesome on a fretless jazz, though. And I'm trying a set of Rotosound Monel Flats on another bass at the moment - similar feel in some ways to the Chromes, but with something extra in the midrange.

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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by model.citizen » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:52 pm

i'm running some LaBella tapewounds on one of my fretless beasts at the moment, beautiful feel and even more beautiful tone - like a smooooooth roundwound, still retains some nice bell-like bite.

and whoa!, fast strings to move around on. i like.
i like rickenbackers. and fridges.

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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by ryanmaiden » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:03 am

Yep, I'm loving the flats. If sound was a food, I'd liken it to hot butter on a crumpet. I think I'm finally gonna ditch the warwick amp as the sound I'm getting through my Mesa guitar head is like maple syrup running off a spoon compared to the crackers and cheese i get out of the warwick. There's nothing wrong with crackers and cheese, but sometimes they're just a little underwhelming.
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Re: Flats on a P bass

Post by Jazzbass » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:12 pm

I have a P and 2 J's (1 active).
I run TI-344's on all of them.
Its the sound and feel I love.
They last forever and barring breakages, will remain on the basses for my lifetime.
One great thing about TIs is that they just sound better with age.
I used to buy them from Steve 'Dude' Barr, but now they're available in NZ, I support local.

Other flats I've enjoyed are Roto RS66, just not as much as TIs for my tastes.

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