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Followed by the success of the new Marcus Miller signature set, it seems the folks at Dunlop have now set their sights on flatter pastures. So, he contracted string manufacturers V.C. The outer wrap is not highly polished, giving the string an earthier feel that says, “go ahead, dig in.” The Dunlop Flats produce a clear fundamental with great intonation on the lower strings, with a punchy attack that makes them perfect for old-school tone. Body chemistry, environment, and amount of use will affect how long this phase lasts, but it is said that famed Philadelphia International session man Ronnie Baker marinated his strings in mayonnaise to speed up the process (as well as using duct tape and paper towels to mute the strings at the bridge!). Like Thomastik, Pyramid was another old European company (founded in 1850) focused on strings for the violin family, which expanded into electric guitar and bass strings as demand grew. No string is “best” for any instrument. At this time, 5-string sets are available, but no offerings yet in shorter scale lengths. La Bella Deep Talkin’ Bass flats are offered in 4, 5, and 6-string sets, as well as short, medium, and extra-long scale lengths. In the 1970s, use of flatwound strings began to dwindle as the crisp bite and increased sustain of roundwounds became the new standard for bass tone. They’re easy on the fingers and they produce a softer, darker sound usually considered the closest thing to upright bass sound and feel. Further, “flats” don’t chew up frets and fingerboards as much as roundwound strings do, which makes them the preferred type for fretless basses. GHS Precision Flats are available in short-, medium-, and long-scale sets, as well as light or medium gauges for 4-or 5-string bass. All Rights Reserved. The Legends are definitively old-school in character, but they manage to strike the perfect balance between clunk and intonation on the E string. Expand your sound beyond roundwound with this fast bass string primer. Thank you for signing up to Bass Player. 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. Be the first to know about new products, featured content, exclusive offers and giveaways. 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. Ernie Ball distinguishes its flats as Group I, II, III, and IV, ranging from heavier to lighter gauges. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, A break-in period is required to lose the remarkably bright tone, The heavier sets can lean towards the stiff side, Good balance of tension across the fretboard, Tone leans towards the clunkier side, however not necessarily a bad thing, Prone to string slippage on the G-string tuner post, Perfect balance between clunk and intonation, Low tension might require truss rod adjustment, Warm tone profile, but with a high-end that sticks around for a while, Well balanced string tension across the set, The rise, fall and rediscovery of the Fender Jaguar, How to set up a Les Paul: 7 essential tips, 9. 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. The set has a very musical midrange voicing, and good balance between attack and sustain. Guitar World is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. The extra cost is typically offset by their longevity - it is not uncommon to leave a set of flats on a bass for years. At this time, Ernie Ball does not make flats in shorter scale lengths. 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 have a clean, clear tone, with great intonation on the lower strings, and a smooth finish that feels slick and sexy in your hands. They subsequently declined in popularity in rock and pop music, but remained essential for blues, country and traditional jazz. The new breed of flats can be characterized by a looser feel, pronounced midrange, greater sustain, and clear fundamental. While the Group Flats exhibit no clunk factor, I’m including them in the old-school category, because Ernie Ball’s newest flatwound set, the Slinky Flatwounds, definitely sit in the New Breed category. You will receive a verification email shortly. String tension is considerably lower than on its Deep Talkin’ Bass flats, but not quite as low as Thomastik. Squier to make a steel string that would fit the 34"-scale instrument with the proper gauges. Flexible Flats have a warm tone profile, but with an icing of high-end that sticks around for a while - just like their more uptight, old-school relatives. They are by far the most popular bass string type because of their bright, clear sound (think funk and most rock subgenres), but their grinding “ridged” design (which feels similar to the edge of a quarter) means that they wear down frets …

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