View Poll Results: What FLATWOUND strings do you use/prefer?

Voters
411. You may not vote on this poll
  • D'Addario

    159 38.69%
  • D'Angelico

    1 0.24%
  • DR Strings

    6 1.46%
  • Galli

    3 0.73%
  • GHS

    12 2.92%
  • Pyramid

    14 3.41%
  • Rotosound

    4 0.97%
  • Thomastic

    212 51.58%
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Posts 101 to 150 of 156
  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenbennett View Post
    Well, I was only repeating what I've heard people say. That's not ignorant. That's observant.

    In the land of opinion, people often believe what they're told without performing their due diligence. And once they make an opinion they support it by associating with like minded folks and by disparaging those who disagree.

    On solid state amps, I've converted to them without regret. Johnny Smith got great sounds from them in the late 50s and better ones in the 70s.

    I run a couple of Henriksens and an Evans. Every day I'm impressed with them. They do take some time before adjusting their equalizer panels becomes intuitive, but it's worth it.

    Solid state amps are lighter and, importantly, don't hiss as much and require less maintenance.

    I've got nothing against the sound of tube amps. I just don't think that in general they sound better. They have this cult status similar to a 59 Les Paul that reflects more of an emotional than a rational attachment IMO.

    If tubes sounded better, don't you think the majority of audiophiles would use them in their home theaters? Wouldn't recording studios use tubes for voice? Wouldn't key political speeches be amplified with tubes for posterity? Think about it. Yes, there are some audiophiles who cling to tubes, but not most.

    Back to flatwounds. I've found that I can get similar amplified sounds from TIs and D'Adds. The feel of tension is greater in the D'Adds, presumably due to the hex core. Some prefer that feel, especially when playing fingerstyle. Others don't, often due to difficulty bending the strings or the perceived work of fretting a stiffer string. Personally I use both brands, depending on the qualities I'm looking for. D'Adds win the price war by a big margin though. And some believe that paying more gets you more. But sometimes paying more just means paying more. Hmm.

    There is a bigger difference in sound when playing acoustically with these two brands. The TIs seem a shade brighter.

    These are my opinions, nothing more.
    MG

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  3. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenbennett View Post
    This thread was started over 2 years ago. I don't remember exactly what irritated me. Probably the way the question was phrased and the type setting:
    What FLATWOUND strings do you use/prefer?

    That's seems sort of socially inept to me. Still, I apologize.
    Oh dear, the fun was gone

    Hmmm. I was pulled up at school when I was a nipper for writing in CAPITAL letters. School teachers prerogative I guess. Me? Well the teacher was uninspiring so capitals were a device to keep me focussed.

    Emmm. I was pulled up at work for sending an email in bold type and in CAPITALS. Apparently it means you are shouting! I was bored with sending out emails asking the same ole' questions that no one bothered with. So much for initiative!

    Seems I'm still being lectured.

    Sorry for my INEPTITUDE - DUDE, Are you the serious one or just plain irritated/grumpy?


    Cough cough! Splutter.....

    Chromes are good strings though, cheap too!

    Anyone for semi's?
    “When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”

  4. #103
    Just got some D'ADDARIO Chromes, yet to fit them. :-)

  5. #104

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    Could someone tell me the sound difference between flatwound and roundwound electric guitar strings?

  6. #105

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    Thank you jazzbow.

  7. #106

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    I have been using GHS 1800 Nickel Compound for 30 years. They need to be changed every 10 days or so but they really sound great on my Trenier Arch Tops.

  8. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass View Post
    In the land of opinion, people often believe what they're told without performing their due diligence. And once they make an opinion they support it by associating with like minded folks and by disparaging those who disagree.

    On solid state amps, I've converted to them without regret. Johnny Smith got great sounds from them in the late 50s and better ones in the 70s.

    I run a couple of Henriksens and an Evans. Every day I'm impressed with them. They do take some time before adjusting their equalizer panels becomes intuitive, but it's worth it.

    Solid state amps are lighter and, importantly, don't hiss as much and require less maintenance.

    I've got nothing against the sound of tube amps. I just don't think that in general they sound better. They have this cult status similar to a 59 Les Paul that reflects more of an emotional than a rational attachment IMO.

    If tubes sounded better, don't you think the majority of audiophiles would use them in their home theaters? Wouldn't recording studios use tubes for voice? Wouldn't key political speeches be amplified with tubes for posterity? Think about it. Yes, there are some audiophiles who cling to tubes, but not most.

    Back to flatwounds. I've found that I can get similar amplified sounds from TIs and D'Adds. The feel of tension is greater in the D'Adds, presumably due to the hex core. Some prefer that feel, especially when playing fingerstyle. Others don't, often due to difficulty bending the strings or the perceived work of fretting a stiffer string. Personally I use both brands, depending on the qualities I'm looking for. D'Adds win the price war by a big margin though. And some believe that paying more gets you more. But sometimes paying more just means paying more. Hmm.

    There is a bigger difference in sound when playing acoustically with these two brands. The TIs seem a shade brighter.

    These are my opinions, nothing more.
    I acknowledge that this post consists of opinions. 99% of any of these posts do, even though there is an over abundance of posters who are convinced that they are publishing facts most of the time, so thanks for the disclaimer.

    I only have one small correction.

    "If tubes sounded better, don't you think the majority of audiophiles would use them in their home theaters? Wouldn't recording studios use tubes for voice?"

    Though many audiophile do use very expensive tube amps, the use to which they put their amplifiers isn't comparable to the function of a guitar amp, since most guitarists seek out a less than hi-fidelity tone for their instruments. You really can't accurately compare guitarists and audiophiles that way.

    Furthermore many studios do just what you mentioned ... use tube preamps to give recorded vocals added warmth. No offense intended, but you're wrong regarding that observation.

  9. #108

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    I use Thomastik primarily. Usually swing 13s, but occasionally I go for the GB14s. The basses have a great earthy tone.

    D'Addario chromed are a steal, and I find the basses a bit brighter.

    For my semi, I go with DA half rounds. I use this for more fusion and modal stuff.

    I'd like to try the pyramids and la Bella's though.

  10. #109

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    Heh, since this poll has first been around, I've switched from D'Addarios to TIs (JS113)
    Build bridges, not walls.

  11. #110

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    I use Chromes on my X-500, but wound strings work best on my Artist Award. I have tried Thomastik flats, and they are nice, but for me they are no better than Chromes yet cost much more. I also currently have Chromes on my Aristocrat, and they sound great! I ordered nickel wounds to try, but love how the flats work, so I may stay flat for a while.

  12. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoskier63 View Post
    I use Chromes on my X-500, but wound strings work best on my Artist Award. I have tried Thomastik flats, and they are nice, but for me they are no better than Chromes yet cost much more. I also currently have Chromes on my Aristocrat, and they sound great! I ordered nickel wounds to try, but love how the flats work, so I may stay flat for a while.
    Update:

    The D'Addario nickel wound 11-52's came in, and I immediately put them on my Aristocrat. Within an hour Chromes were back on as they were infinitely better on that guitar. That was not at all what I had expected, but not only are the Chromes very good on my Aristocrat for jazz, but they are even better for blues and rock.

  13. #112

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    TI flats, 11s, for me, but I'm also partial to LaBella Tape Wound - on the right guitar they can sound great, and are worth a try.

  14. #113

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    Been playing D'addario Chromes for many years now.
    "If you play sweet child 'o mine again...I'm breaking your guitar"

  15. #114

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    TI Swing 13s.

  16. #115

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    It is interesting that the TIs and DAs still dominate this poll almost 50/50 after several years. I personally can't wait to get rid of the DAs on any new guitar I get while an equally committed group love the DAs and could not image paying the price for the TIs. I don't think the DAs aficionados are simply cheap because I know some that can play really well. It just seems that there would be more commonality among people who play similar music on similar guitars.

  17. #116

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    Chromes. I tried TI's...they were great too, but not better, and waaaay more expensive.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  18. #117

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    Thomastik Infeld Jazz Swing. No other flatwounds feel like Thomastik flatwounds. I read somewhere that Thomastik uses a thinner width ribbon wrap. Thinner ribbon means more windings per inch and it's more windings per inch that give Thomastik flatwounds that unique feel - highly polished and smooth yet with a subtle "grip" under your fingers. I love that feel.

    They're hybrid acoustic/electric. They sound good enough for practice on an acoustic archtop, not as loud or bright as phosphor bronze with fewer harmonics and overtones, but they sound fantastic amplified. They're the jazz guitar reference standard string, IMO.

  19. #118

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    Thanks for all the string ideas. Just got my first archtop and they came with light rounds. I'm going to try d'addarios. Mainly because of price and availability. If I don't like them I will try the TI s. My daughter uses them on her violin!!

  20. #119

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    If Thomastik offered more "conventional" gauging, their Jazz Medium Swings would probably be my strings of choice. As it stands, it seems my fingers are so used to the uneven string tension found in practically all other known sets, whether Jazz or acoustic, I'm going to have to give th TIs a miss. Those wounds (except the 6th), however cleverly balanced they may be, just feel too loose.

    So, back to Chromes and swapping out the 1st and 2nd strings and get on with my playing. BTW, D'Addario, when are you going to offer a 13-52/54 set as standard? (13-56 is overkill in many cases).

    Anyone tried the La Bella steel flats recently? I read some quality issues.

  21. #120

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    Agree that it would be a good thing if D'Adarrio would do a 13-52 set of chromes.

    I get a bit irrtated at having to routinely buy spare 13's and 17's every time I stock up
    on strings.
    Still, it's a first world problem...I can cope OK.
    ....Gotta give DA a little credit for fixing up the rough wound 3rds in that set.
    Still not perfect but improved upon the situation a few months back.

    Re La Bella ....I was a huge fan of their steel flats and was among a few guys who complained
    when the alloys or whatever were changed.
    The LB customer help person tried to help....sent free samples....was adamant that they were
    using the same materials which was patently bullshit.

    Just to look at, the new strings were dull where they had been high gloss previously... the 15 years or so
    I'd used them. And the silks were a light blue instead of the royal blue of before.
    I showed 2 sets, the new and the old to my wife ...a civilian...and she saw the difference immediately.

    Ultimately I got tired of trying to get them to admit that the strings had changed appreciably in sound and
    that there were these indicators that you didn't even have to bother putting them on a guitar to confirm.
    The line I got was that their professional artists in New York declared that the strings were still great.
    I was contacted by PM on here so others were finding the same thing.
    OK I'm just a working stiff...not one of "the guys" ...but I can't stand BS.

    Sorry about the rant ....bound to close out the thread ....in my inimitable way ...ha ha

    Strings and picks are a big deal to me ....my signal chain = idea - pick/fingers - strings - lead - amp.

  22. #121

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    Yep....wimp that I am I use Flatwounds (D'Addario) and solid state amps.

    I turn 69 tomorrow and have been playing guitar for 59 years and bass guitar for 5 years.
    Never did have a roady to carry my amps or axes! After a fall on the ice two years ago I ruptured a bicep tendon and have enough of a problem carrying a guitar and an amp anywhere.

    Oh well....there is always the harmonica!

    Wait...that requires healthy lungs...maybe a tambourine.
    Eddie Charles

    "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is. "

  23. #122

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    I use Thomastic Jazz Flat 12s on my 6 and 7 string archtops as well as my Tele. On the 7 strings, I have to add a D'Addario flat .065 for the low A. I'd prefer an .070 but they go from .065 to .075. I may try the .075 next string change and see how it sounds, but the .065 makes a pretty balanced set for a 7 string.

    @Eddie Charles - I use a very light-weight collapsible luggage dolly with bungees for my SS amp and I put my guitar into a gig bag on my shoulder to keep the weight down. Toughest part is lifting the amp (35 pounds) into the back of the SUV. Just a suggestion.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday!
    Last edited by ah.clem; 09-23-2015 at 04:20 PM. Reason: Added birthday greetings
    "Talent is a pursued interest; anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross

  24. #123

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    Forgot to mention that I use the Nylon coated flat wounds...I originally got into these when I played an Acoustic/Electric bass guitar (Martin). After picking up two solid body basses I decided the Nylon coated flat wounds sounded preffarable on these as well. I prefer a sound that mimics an upright as much as possible...I may end up with an upright some day.

    Nice tip regarding the portable luggage dolly. I will look into this!
    Eddie Charles

    "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is. "

  25. #124

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    find it odd that folks are more caught up in string gauges than string material.. pure nickel wrap of thomastik and pyramid is in no way similar (in feel or magnetic output) to stainless steel wrap of usa made strings..ie chromes, labella's et al

    cheers

  26. #125

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    I play ProSteel wound rounds and love the tone. The string is only as good as the finger than plays the string (that sounds dirty, but it's true).

    Also, picks. You guys love talking about strings, but your choice of pick may have an even more profound effect on your tone.

  27. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    find it odd that folks are more caught up in string gauges than string material.. pure nickel wrap of thomastik and pyramid is in no way similar (in feel or magnetic output) to stainless steel wrap of usa made strings..ie chromes, labella's et al

    cheers
    I think people get caught up in gauges because gauge has a big influence on tone and playability. But I agree with you that gauge and materials are different issues, and I also agree with you about the differences you cite in feel and magnetic output.
    Find your passion and be hardcore about it.
    (Hey, if you like the avatar, check out the art work of John Howe)

  28. #127
    I've tried Labella, GHS, D'Addario, and Thomastik Infeld, just about every possible set of each (with the exception of "light" gauge sets). The D'Addario chromes, to my ears, sound "generic", bright, and without question the worst. I tried to like the Labella flats several times but (regardless of what the folks at Labella claim) they don't look or sound like the old Labellas. Rather dull sounding bass strings, lacking in character. Likewise, the GHS set lacked the "fullness" I expect in flatwound strings, just too bright for my needs.

    The Thomastik Infeld flats, on the other hand, sound amazing. Darker than the other three brands mentioned above, full yet lively, and the tone is much more balanced across the strings. Playing a Gibson scale semi-hollow, I find that the George Benson 14 gauge set is 100% perfect. They feel smooth and virtually no noise when playing Wes-style octaves, the tension is even across the strings and, most importantly, offer the nicest tone out of any flatwound string set I've used. They cost over twice as much as the others but sound ten times better. When I buy the GB14 set, I only cry once.
    Amor et Hilaritas

  29. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by HighSpeedSpoon View Post
    I think people get caught up in gauges because gauge has a big influence on tone and playability. But I agree with you that gauge and materials are different issues, and I also agree with you about the differences you cite in feel and magnetic output.


    I can see your point about strings and gauges. I would offer if I were the only one wondering about this, other people wouldn't be talking about swapping out strings etc etc.

    I wonder how TI arrived at their gauges ? ( hint - -if they made a 12/52's in flats I'd have tried them long ago. )

    But I pay a luthier every year to set up each of my guitars, change strings etc etc.....If TI flats are 12/50 w/ thin 3rd and fourth strings, I'm looking at bridge and maybe truss rod adjustments I'd rather not have to make.


    String gauge offerings at the manufacturing level just seem sort of arbitrary, and 'that's how we do it '........

    .......just MHO.......

  30. #129

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    The T-I GB112 are 12-53 flats, specifically, 12p, 16p, 20w, 28w, 39w, 53w. http://www.thomastik-infeld.com/site...er_06_13sc.pdf

  31. #130

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    The T-I GB112 are 12-53 flats, specifically, 12p, 16p, 20w, 28w, 39w, 53w. http://www.thomastik-infeld.com/site...er_06_13sc.pdf



    Ok, so ten bucks a set more than Swings which are already ten bucks a set more than Chromes ?

    I know nickel vs stainless.....

  32. #131

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    This poll have been around for years! Can I switch my vote from D'A to T-I? I've drunk the Kool-Aid and it's tast-ee!
    Build bridges, not walls.

  33. #132

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    This poll have been around for years! Can I switch my vote from D'A to T-I? I've drunk the Kool-Aid and it's tast-ee!

    haha..crossed over to pure nickel double wrap nirvana have you?? leave your stainless steel ego behind..haha


    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 07-04-2016 at 07:47 PM. Reason: sp-

  34. #133

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    I use DAddario strings for the archtops. But only the wounded D,A and E strings. For the G,B and E strings I use plain coated Elixer strings. I happen to dislike a wound G string on a guitar.
    The Elixers are available as single strings, which makes them easy to change with no need to buy a complete set. They are very smooth playing. The lower strings have a very long lifespan so most of the times I change the high strings as per demand and the low strings just once a year or so.

  35. #134

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotpepper01 View Post
    For the G,B and E strings I use plain coated Elixer strings. I happen to dislike a wound G string on a guitar.
    Elixir plain strings aren't coated; only the wound ones are. The plain ones have anti-rust chemistry, if that's what you mean, but they don't have Goretex nano or poly coating, which is what sets apart Elixir wound strings from all other wound strings on the market, and is the reason they last so much longer.
    Last edited by Danielle Muscato; 09-27-2016 at 02:26 PM.
    DanielleMuscato.com

    Guitars: Ed Schaefer 16", '96 Ibanez Pat Metheny PM-100, '97 Parker Fly Artist, Rowan Journeyman, Rowan Texas Twister, '98 Gibson Les Paul DC Std, '98 Fender American Dlx Fat Strat, Taylor 512e, 1969 Martin N-10, Brian Ristola 6-string bass

    Amps: Line 6 Helix, Fargen Custom Shop Blackbird, Friedman Pink Taco, Fender Super-Sonic, BillM-modded Fender Blues Jr (30-watt 6L6), DV Mark Little Jazz, Markbass Littlemark II + Schroeder 1012L, Crown K2, Schroeder 21012L

  36. #135

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Charles View Post
    Forgot to mention that I use the Nylon coated flat wounds...I originally got into these when I played an Acoustic/Electric bass guitar (Martin). After picking up two solid body basses I decided the Nylon coated flat wounds sounded preffarable on these as well. I prefer a sound that mimics an upright as much as possible...I may end up with an upright some day.

    Nice tip regarding the portable luggage dolly. I will look into this!
    Who makes nylon coated flat wound guitar strings? I've never heard of such a thing.

  37. #136

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    OK, so this is an old thread that floated up, and I just now voted (TI) but wanted to share a pic of a brand, and a usage not previously covered.

    Before TI, the usual flat strings for my archtops were the D'Addario, mostly because of availabilty in the days before online shopping made everything so accessible.

    BUT, before the D'Addario, another brand of flats, and instrument, pre-dated my jazz box use, and I still have a box (empty) to share a pic of !

    My old Ric 360-12 stereo would get strung with the Ric "Electro" FLAT wound 12 string set (#433 ??) and as you can see the box gave the stern warning "DO NOT USE OTHER STRINGS ON RICKENBACKER INSTRUMENTS"

    So the TI's are my preferred brand today, but it took many decades to get there. And while it's been many years since I've been near a Ric 12 string, I can't forget that oddness of the Ric flatwound strings that were favored by many players on that instrument. They maintained the "jangle" of the 12 string but tamed it well for recording.

    What flatwound string do you use/prefer?-ric_433-jpg

    and if you think that box looks old, check out my Ric amp. Who needs a power switch or volume control ?
    What flatwound string do you use/prefer?-ricken_back-jpg

  38. #137

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    I like D'Addario Chromes. They last a long time and sound great.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  39. #138

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    Thomastik Infeld all the way...

  40. #139

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrblues View Post
    Thomastik Infeld all the way...
    +1

    Love the timbre, the remarkable 'low-tension' feel (given the gauge/mass) and how long they last.

  41. #140

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    Quote Originally Posted by M-ster View Post
    I answered D'Addarios, 'cause that's what I'm currently using; but I want to try some of the TI's, since y'all rave about them so much!
    Interesting to run into one's own posts, a few years down the road (6 yrs, 8 mos, at this point!).

    Once I tried the TIs, I stuck with them. 13s for a while and more recently moved to the 14s. Very happy with them.

  42. #141

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    Having used D'Addario Chromes & Thomastic Ti 13 gauge, both good, D'Addario Chromes far too much tension, Hexcore. approx 14-17 years ago they were Roundcore.

    Ti are good but imo not a true 13 gauge set they are APPROX a 12 & 11 gauge set dont let the 13 & 17 fool you
    even the 13& 17 of Thomastic is thinner than most other brands . it is imperial i can feel the difference between a Ti 13 & regular
    13 gauge.

    I have been using Pyramid Gold Flatwound Heavey 13-52, for the last 8 months, and they have the best harmonic content of anything i have used, the Timbre is also superior, (If you cant hear it it does not apply to you) they have a aThomastic feel, i do prefer Chromes finnish/feel slightly smoother to the touch. Intonation on all is good. Tension wise Pyramid is the lowest just like Ti also Roundcore, and are a True 13 set.

    Ihave just purchased 5 sets. in case they stop making them, Da and the rest do this because it is cheaper to manumacture,

    Pyramid & Thomastic were around a long time before DA, they are all good. Pyramid is just better, imo.

    My little rant but give Pyramid a whirl they are seriously good.

    PS all flatwounds in 50s 60 maybe 70s were Roundcore this is what Wes Tal Barney all played on, they all played heavy strings with, read correctly, super lo action

  43. #142

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    I love the mellow thunk of LaBella Flats. 12-52s are my current faves, although I wonder about 13-52s or 13-56s sometimes...

  44. #143

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    D'Addario went to hex core strings for good reasons, not because it's cheaper to manufacture. The hex core produces a more consistent tone, and a longer-lasting string. It's popular to bash it, but IMO it's a better string. Being traditional does not equal better. But string choice is a very subjective thing, and that's why there are so many choices.

  45. #144

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    Quote Originally Posted by guido5 View Post
    I love the mellow thunk of LaBella Flats. 12-52s are my current faves, although I wonder about 13-52s or 13-56s sometimes...
    I have been using the 11 50 sets for most of the year. At one time I thought of them as sounding rather dead sounding especially on the low E. However, I seem to have come around to liking they way they sound especially when amplifying. It almost seems to me the response is a little more lively as you move up from the low to hi strings. Amplified, I think this can be an advantage as it stops the low strings from overwhelming the high strings.

    On the other hand I might still be using these because I think I may have just become very tired of experimenting with and changing string sets.

  46. #145

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielleOM View Post
    >>SNIP<<On the other hand I might still be using these because I think I may have just become very tired of experimenting with and changing string sets.
    When this poll first came out I only used "Half rounds" but I was convinced that trying flats would solve some issues I had with a new guitar. Of the two major brands reported in this poll only Chromes were available locally, bought them, liked them, and I too do not like experimenting anymore so now I use .012" chromes.
    Regards,

    Gary

  47. #146

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    I have been using TI 13 to 52 flat for about 5 years but will be trying the Ti 14-56 for my next set. The TI’s seem to last longer than any of the other strings.

    wiz (Howie????????
    Howie

  48. #147

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    Kind of an update:

    For the last year or so I had TI Benson flats 14-55 on my Painter but the time came to replace them. So now there's once more LaBella 15-56 flat's on that axe. They can last a very long time. I had LaBella send me a replacement box of them instead of the ones I had from the problematic batch, so I will likely have strings for the rest of my life (yes I'm that old).

    Funny like I seem to run out of GAS these days. I have the guitars I want. I have the cameras and lenses I want. I have the fountain pens (yes I'm that old) I want. Heck, I even have ink for the pens for the rest if my life. I fear it may get boring at some point. What flatwound string do you use/prefer?
    "But if they all play like me, then who am I?" (Lester Young)

  49. #148

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    I've been bored, and I've been terrified. Bored is better.

  50. #149

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    I was using D'Addario Chromes when I had my Godin 5th Ave. and eventually was using D'Addario chromes on my flat top acoustics too.
    I now have two carbon fiber flat top acoustics and presently using Galli Bronze 80/20 flat wounds.
    AJF1047 Extra Lights and AJF1150 Lights.

  51. #150

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    D'Addario 11’s ‘cause Gibson stopped making flatwounds. Or I just don’t know where to find them anymore.