D'Addario Chrome flatwounds!

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by Brian Scherzer, May 2, 2015.

  1. Brian Scherzer

    Brian Scherzer Staff Member

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    I have been a roundwound string guy for my basses since I started. I love the growl I get from them but there have been times when I tried flatwounds in the hope of getting rid of more finger noise. I had never been happy with the sound I was getting from well regarded flatwounds by LaBella and other companies. That seems to have changed after I bought some D'Addario Chromes.

    Several people had mentioned them in the past and said that they were brighter than most flatwounds. I wasn't sure what this would end up meaning in a playing situation but decided to give these strings a try on my '74 P-Bass. The frets could use a break from roundwounds, so it seemed like a good choice to host these strings. I was VERY pleasantly surprised! My best description would be to say that almost everything I like about roundwounds was retained in these Chromes but with no finger noise.

    The tone is fairly rich in the mids, more than sufficient in the bottom notes and enough high mids and treble to make sure that the bass cuts through. The biggest thing I'm noticing is that the tone has remained the same after a number of hours of playing. Most flats seem to dull out, which is great for Motown and some other styles, but not what I wanted. These Chromes appear to keep their brilliance for quite a while, but the brilliance isn't the kind that makes you want to close your ears. Upper register notes simply come out articulate. The more I play these strings, at least on that bass, the more I like them. Expensive but, for me, worth it!
     
  2. M138

    M138 100% Fenriz Approved

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    Thanks for the review. I have decided that the next strings to go onto my P will be flats. I may give these a try.
     
  3. joe_jr

    joe_jr Supporting Member

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    I'll give them a try, as I'm presently in a screwball-country band and want a treblier, clanky sound.

    Thanks for the tip!
     
  4. Gotham City Blues

    Gotham City Blues Member

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    I dug the chromes on my P-bass when I had it. I really like the Thomastik-Infeld flats better because they retain their tone for a good while. The lighter tension and higher price might be demerits for some.
     
  5. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor Supporting Member

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    I don't love Chromes on a guitar; I'd rather spring for Thomastik-Infeld's, but I really like Chromes on my P-Bass. I'm happy with them and haven't replaced them for a few years (and will likely never replace the current set). Putting flatwounds on a bass is probably the easiest and most dramatic way to get an entirely new and better (IMHO) sound and feel out of a bass.
     
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  6. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    I agree. I've run across inconsistencies and rough points on chromes for guitar, so TI are my go to for flats on the guitar.

    However, the one set of chromes I put on a bass were so sexy. Slinky, and still retained note definition, unlike tape wounds. Really great product for bass.
     
  7. CharlyG

    CharlyG Play It Forward

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    Love me some Chromes on bass.... I "blame" Jeff Scott.........
     
  8. StratoCraig

    StratoCraig Member

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    Chromes are good, but I wanted a heavier, more vintage tone, so I'm trying La Bella Deep Talkin' Bass strings currently and enjoying them.
     
  9. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Member

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    Here is a recording of my old 4001V63 with Chromes on it, love those strings (as well as TI Jazz Flats).

     
  10. Brian Scherzer

    Brian Scherzer Staff Member

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  11. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Member

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    Thanks! :) Here's is some more with the Chromes, starting at 4:12. The other bass has TI Jazz Rounds on it.



    I checked out your photography site, very nice work! I too, am a photographer; I have done lots of work, primarily with view cameras (2 1/4" x3 1/4" up through 11"x14") of landscape and architectural stuff (some HABS/HAER work for clients) and ran a custom black & white photo lab for over 2 decades.
     
  12. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    I liked Chromes on my 4001. I just couldn't get flats to work for me when playing with my band. I turned my old man on to Chromes. He has probably 6 Fender basses all strung up with them now.
     
  13. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Member

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    I use the Chromes on my little Epiphone when I need to get that archtop sound. I think they sound really good for that application. Brian, have you considered trying the D'Addario Half Rounds? It seems like they might work as well.
     
  14. Brian Scherzer

    Brian Scherzer Staff Member

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    I'll have to give them a try. I have used GHS groundwounds and they were OK but didn't hit me like the Chromes did. Maybe the D'Addarios will sound and feel a bit different. I want to see how long I like the Chromes before I need to change them out. If they last as long as I think they might, it will be hard to get me to switch! My favorite bass strings used to be Snake Oils because they sound great right away and lasted a number of months. I thought that the problem Snake Oil was having would go away when Sfarzo started distributing but the strings haven't been available for months now and I'm not sure that they will ever be back. For roundwounds (most of my basses), I now use D'Addario XL Nickel Wounds. Similar slund, even if tehy don't last as long.
     
  15. SamJ

    SamJ Member

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    I've got a set of EBMM's new Cobalt flats, they promise to be VERY bright and almost sound like round wound but with the texture of flats... I get home in 2 days to put them on and give them a try... can't wait.

    I've always like the feeling of flats, just not the tone, this could be a game changer.
     
  16. georgestrings

    georgestrings Senior Member

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    I'm interested in your thoughts after checking them out...


    - georgestrings
     
  17. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    You like "VERY bright"?

    I could see that for some styles.
     
  18. SamJ

    SamJ Member

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    well, just got and tried the Cobalts... frankly I wasn't impressed with their "Brightness" on my Alembic.... took them back off, and will likely be returning the other 4 packages.

    They do look and feel great though, and they were a good bit brighter than normal flats, just not bright enough for what my needs.
     
  19. georgestrings

    georgestrings Senior Member

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    Thanks for the update, Sam...


    - georgestrings
     
  20. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    For $34.00, the D'Addario Black Nylon Flats are really worth a try.
    They not only feel great and play super fast, but sound fantastic.
     
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