Bass Strings

Scott Truesdell

October 20, 2014

brand model style gauge price notes
Fender 7250 ML round-wound .045 - .100 15.07 Jaco Pastorius
9050 ML flat-wound .050 - .100 20.32
D'Addario XL 17 round-wound .045 - .100 13.33
XL 17 round-wound .045 - .100 21.99 twin-pack
GHS Boomers round-wound .045 - .100 18.95 Flea

from Fender Forum: Squier Bass Guitars: Brother Dave

@BCBASSMAN: I like to keep really light flats like the GHS 3025's or Ernie Ball 2808's on one instrument at all times. As of now that instrument is one of my 51 Reissues. Preferably the GHS 3025's.

But neither of those extra light flat sets will intonate for me on the discontinued Fender Deluxe 3 screw bridge that has the short channel guides. That GHS set is lighter bottomed at .045, .065, .075, .095 and neither I nor my tech can get the E and A string to intonate past the 12th fret. Same was true on the brighter topped D & G string of the Ernie Ball 2808's which are .040, .060, .070, .095. The tech even shimmed the neck which helped only a tad. So no dice for me with extra light rounds. The only solution was larger E and A strings or a different bridge, so I went all the way to extra fat GHS 3050 Regulars on it for a few while before eventually changing to a Leo Quan bridge (regrettable decision) and putting the extra lights on that instrument permanently instead of a passive Ibanez P/J I used the extra light flats on in the interim, but I just never really liked those strings on that bass much. Just goes to show how some instruments work better with one string set than another.

If you've never tried extra light flats I recommend them for fusion funk stuff that sounds more polished than any round. They are way different than the Motownish boom of what most people consider flatwound tone. I don't like the Chris Squire Rickenbacker clank except when he plays it, and the extra light flats sound more like the TI Jazz Flats when they are fresh but due their higher tension you can play them far more aggressively than the TI JF344's. The GHS 3025's play better than rounds because you can set them up lower since they don't vibrate as wildly due slightly higher tension.

Extra light flats are way fun and I try to keep a set on one bass at all times. Good for flashy type play, but not much good for boom boom of doom or for pick play. I prefer the thinner yet fundamental bottom of the GHS 3025 set to the brighter top of the EB 2808's. They both sound really in your face funky but I think the GHS set sounds better balanced and refined under my fingers. Your mileage may vary and the EB 2808 is certainly a good set also, just right now my second choice for an extra light flat.

GHS 3025 flat-wound
.045 - .095 31.99 Brother Dave
Ernie Ball 2808 flat-wound .040 - .095 29.48 Brother Dave