Roundwound strings were a key element in the trend toward louder, more aggressive music, and they dominated the market through the late ’80s. 1. In general, old-school sets tend to be darker, have a more-taut feel, and perhaps a bit of 'clunk' to the E string. By A low-stress setup can permit the string and instrument to vibrate more freely, decreasing choked overtones that can cloud the note. While their attack is relatively mellow, a strong midrange voice keeps the Jazz Flats from fading into the background, and gives pickstyle playing a pleasing roundness. La Bella chose a thinner core wire for the Flexible Flats, and uses silk along the core to create more grip for the outer wraps, which use a narrower ribbon than the 760-series. Best Bass Guitar Strings Review. We are looking at 5 string basses and say the words bass guitar and you think Fender. If you were to list all the ingredients of classic bass tone, it would read: (1) Fender Bass, (2) Ampeg B-15 amp, (3) La Bella flatwound strings. An iconic bass undergoes a few tweaks to its formula, but make no mistake—this 4-string is all Jazz and then some. The Legends produce a dark, chocolatey thump, with a clear low-midrange presence that gives the note a rounded detail. While flats are generally described as sounding darker and warmer than roundwounds, there is still a considerable range of variation between brands, and knowing these differences will help you spend your money wisely, as flats tend to cost a bit more than your average roundwound set. 5 Squier By Fender Affinity Jazz V String. For example, my ’73 P-Bass has a set of La Bella 760FMs on it from 1998, and if a string ever broke, I’d have to give the bass a fiery Viking funeral down the Cumberland River. After all, it is a Fender, which is used by multitudes of bassists for it’s sound/tone, looks and feel. Have not tried other brands, I must say that it is more the price that attracted me. 5 user reviews on Fender Bass Strings products. Visit our corporate site. In some cases, it can affect intonation on the lowest notes, giving the E string a drastically different tone compared to the rest of the set. La Bella flatwounds are the epitome of old-school tone, and rightfully so - the Original 1954 Vintage set was the go-to string for top session players like Jamerson, Chuck Rainey, Jerry Jemmott, Duck Dunn, and a host of others. Ernie Ball also offers a 5-string set in Group III gauges. Bass gear reviews, bass guitar reviews, amp reviews, bass string reviews They start out remarkably bright, which may turn off those not willing to go through the break-in period. They can lean toward the stiff side, particularly sets with a .050" G string, but the lighter-gauge sets are more pliable. If you’re looking for dirty thump, they may not be your best choice, but what they do provide is a strong fundamental with sparkling high end that seemingly never fades. Receive news and offers from our other brands? Recently, DR Strings developed a new method for polishing the stainless-steel outer wrap, making them feel smoother than before. Truly the MacGyver of his era, Fender took gut upright bass strings and covered the portion that ran over the magnetic pickup with a steel wrap. Although the British company is best known for inventing the roundwound electric bass string, its flatwound sets have always had a loyal following, including Phil Lynott, Roger Waters, and the company’s signature artist, Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris. Sign up below to get the latest from Bass Player, plus exclusive special offers, direct to your inbox! Dunlop’s flatwound set is the newest addition to the field in this roundup, and while they exhibit several characteristics of the new breed, the tone is decidedly old school. The neck is firmly bolted to the body and the neck pocket appears to be very tight, which is good to see on a mid-price instrument. Hollowbodies and other short-scale basses can vary greatly, both in terms of scale length and the actual string length needed, so it’s important to know the specifics of your instrument. Rather than rate the strings and impose my preferences on the reader, I’ll do my best to describe the essential characteristics of each set objectively. After all, it is the coiled metal wire with another flat metal, not rocket science. The outer wrap is less polished than on Chromes, but if you dig a more 'organic' feel, they may be just what you’re looking for. Being imported, the price is higher than others, but longevity is good - I have multiple basses strung with sets well over five years old. Monel is a tough alloy, making it harder to machine, but the resulting brightness is what sells this set. La Bella also makes strings with an extended silk wrap from the ball end, specifically designed for stringing through the body, as well as short-scale sets for the Höfner Beatle bass. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. It wasn’t until 1962 that Rotosound developed the first round-wound strings for electric bass - the famed Swing Bass 66 set. For the 6-string crowd, the Jazz Flats low B has great note definition and a buttery feel, while the high C string has a creamy edge that makes it great for melody. The new breed of flats can be characterized by a looser feel, pronounced midrange, greater sustain, and clear fundamental. While it took DR Strings several years to get around to offering a set of flats, the company took the time to get it right. D’Addario Chromes straddle the line between old and new, due to their remarkable clarity and long-lasting bright tone. The E string exhibits just enough clunk factor to make them great for old-school applications, but their improved sustain and intonation place them high among the new breed of flats. D’Addario XL Chromes are available in short-, medium-, long-, and Super Long-scale sets. A set of orchestral-quality electric bass strings, Street price: $75 | String gauges: .043, .056, .070, .100. Ernie Ball distinguishes its flats as Group I, II, III, and IV, ranging from heavier to lighter gauges. This creates a perceived mid-scoop that makes them work great for slapping - a technique not typically associated with flatwounds - and stellar for super-clicky pickstyle. These light-gauge, flatwound strings produce an exceptionally warm tone and truly reflect the legacy of Fender's impressive design innovations, as well as their strong commitment to quality. The string tension is slightly higher than that of Thomastik Jazz Flats, but they are relaxed and pliable. Fender's extensive selection of bass guitar strings consists of a myriad of highly recommended options, including the Fender 9050L Stainless Steel Flatwound Long Scale bass strings. When you hear the sound of Paul McCartney’s Hofner bass, that’s the sound of Pyramids - thick, rich, and chunky. BA1 1UA. There was a problem. The Legends are definitively old-school in character, but they manage to strike the perfect balance between clunk and intonation on the E string. For the sake of comparison, I’ll divide flatwound strings into two categories: 'old school', and 'new breed'. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Pyramid Golds use a pure nickel flat ribbon for the outer wraps, and have a supple feel and richness of tone that some have described as 'luxurious'. Dunlop has been making waves in Bass String Land ever since it introduced its excellent Super Bright set of roundwounds a few years back. Sustain is considerably improved over old-school sets, making TIs an excellent choice for fretless players looking for a more upright bass-like tone. Sold as part of its Deep Talkin’ Bass series, La Bella now makes flatwounds in gauges ranging from extra-light (.039"–.096") to the stout set that Jamerson used (.052" through .110".). As the string of choice for Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna bass legend Jack Casady and the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh during the heyday of the ’60s, Pyramid Golds were part of the psychedelic San Francisco sound. Pyramid Golds are available in shortand long-scale sets. One issue that I’ve experienced multiple times with Ernie Ball flats is string slippage around the tuner post, particularly on the G string. While they allowed further development of the electric bass, Leo knew these 'Franken-strings' would not suffice in the long run. Jazz Bass 77 Flats use a diagonally wound flat ribbon of Monel 400, a corrosion-resistant nickel/copper alloy that is more expensive to use than stainless steel. They are available in short-and long-scale sets. In the earlier years of electric bass, scale lengths of 30, 30.5, 31, and 32 inches were more common, and nothing can evoke groovy ’60s bass tone like a short-scale hollowbody with flatwound strings. Their strings are made in America and can be found on basses around the world. At this time, Ernie Ball does not make flats in shorter scale lengths. Ed Friedland For example, a 24-fret neck-through-body instrument may not respond well to high string tension unless it has a graphite neck. Recommended For: All Levels. All the same with above! 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