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

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

    160 38.46%
  • D'Angelico

    1 0.24%
  • DR Strings

    6 1.44%
  • Galli

    3 0.72%
  • GHS

    12 2.88%
  • Pyramid

    15 3.61%
  • Rotosound

    4 0.96%
  • Thomastic

    215 51.68%
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  1. #1

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    Hi fellas.
    This is a bit of fun and probably help newbies decide what f/wound to choose.


    When you've made your choice explain whether you go by feel, quality or price?
    “When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”

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  3. #2

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    Great poll.
    D'Addario Chromes are the *only* flatwounds the local music stores carry. (I've recently started ordering strings online and am open to considering other brands.) My guitar sounds good with them.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  4. #3

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    Sadowski flatwounds are also very good, but I use Thomastik Infeld because the Sadowsky strings I liked best are no longer being made. My choice has nothing to do with price, the tone and durability are more important to me. The Sadowsky strings (no longer available) lasted me over a year most of the time and the TI's are a close 2nd choice. Both had a pleasing tone quality.

    wiz
    Last edited by wizard3739; 10-04-2013 at 04:50 PM.
    Howie

  5. #4

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    Thomastik Infeld.

  6. #5

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    I picked the D'Addarios. They sound good and last a good amount of time. I used to use only GHS steel flats in .013 gauge but the lower strings were really dull and lifeless especially the low E. It almost sounded like a tuned thud. I tried some TI strings once but I didn't like them not because they weren't good but because I didn't know what decent strings were supposed to sound like. They were a lot brighter than the GHS strings. Now, I regret that decision not to use them. The only way I can get them now is mail order.

  7. #6

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    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!

  8. #7

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    I've used both D'Addarios and TIs most of the time, but a friend whose opinion I value highly has just raved to me about Pyramids. So even though they're 25 buck at just strings, I'm gonna give them a try.

  9. #8
    i'm currently using thomastiks on all my guitars. They are dark and smokey with a '50s vibe to them. May also try the pyramids...

  10. #9

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    Anyone use La Bella??

    jd

  11. #10

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    Among the variety of flat-wound strings, I would choose the same as I would from among the variety of solid state amps: none.

    I can't get over people using flat-wound strings because round-wounds hurt their fingers, an excuse I have had to stomach from faint hearted beginners.

    If you want strings that sound dull right out of the box choose flat wounds.

    If the weight of your amp means more than tone choose solid state.

    Myself, I like a hot sound.

    D'Addario Chromes are hard to beat for the money. Thomastik-Infeld are worth the money.

  12. #11

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    The main reason I personally use the flatwounds is on my setup, round wounds squeak way too much. My wife is my most trusted critic and she hates the sound of the squeaking coming out of my amp. Unfortunately, at my age, I have to worry about the weight of my amp. I've got way too much arthritis in my lower back and can't lift much over 35 pounds without causing back pain and nerve damage.

  13. #12

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    For flatwound, I've generally used TI GB114T, although I keep trying other brands as well.
    Brad
    Guitars:
    1975 Guild Artist Award
    1986 Guild X-170
    1975 Guild Mark V
    1930s Metro B archtop
    1995 Epi Howard Roberts Custom
    1999 Godin ACS Nylon with synth
    ??? Giannini 7 string classical

  14. #13

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    Have been using TI Benson rounds for a while, as I find that they don't squeak anywhere near as much as others, but still have a "live" enough sound. I still prefer the tone of flatwounds overall for most jazz applications and will change back very soon, once this set is done.

    Obviously, I need another guitar so that I can keep one for each type/sound.......

  15. #14

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    TI 014 flats in my archtop with built in HBs
    TI 014 roundwounds in the one that has a floating HB pickup.

  16. #15

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    TI Benson flats 14
    nysh ........
    also TI jazz swings 13
    also nice

    For the above pro rounds poster , I use flats to get rid of the dreaded squeeeek not cos round hurt me fingers !

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by donojazz62220 View Post
    Anyone use La Bella??
    I thought I already piped up -- must have been in another thread.

    Not currently, but I have used "La Bella Electric Guitar Black Nylon Tape Flat Wound Medium 6 String, .014 - .067, 800M" for many years. They sound like Guinness Stout!
    Build bridges, not walls.

  18. #17

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    Well it looks like a two horse race! I've tried pyramid flats which were smooth and quality and more expensive than TI's but I always come back to TI flats!
    “When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by wizard3739 View Post
    Sadowski flatwound are also very good.

    wiz
    I voted for TIs, and use them when I forget to order Sadowsky's. They are cheaper and work just as well, in my opinion.
    Best regards,
    Matt

  20. #19

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    I am surprised that *only* D'Addarios and TIs have received votes so far. (The tally is 12 of the former and 13 of the latter as I type this.) I'm comfortable with Chromes, but eventually I'm going to have to try the TIs. (Actually, I did once years ago on an Epiphone DOT, but they were suitable for what I was playing so I didn't stick with them. I can't recall how they sounded, though I do remember how they looked and felt.)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  21. #20

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    I'm using round-wound these days. I like GHS... I'm going to try GHS bright flats 11's. Might be Goldilocks.
    JonnyPac

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  22. #21

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    my first hollowbody, was a gretsch g5 electro... was set up to play with flats open d, not sure what make worked well in that tuning, but when i got my el rey it was strung with rounds, the local music shop only carries fender flats, and those made a great improvement. a recent order to elderly, i purchased some thomastik jazz swings, havent strung up with those yet. price and quality review from elderly, whom i respect made the buy. there are more expensive but will they improve. i'm quite happy with those fenders right now. started leaving extra string wind so i can switch out without wasting, and experiment

  23. #22

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    La Bella's 20PH. 15-56
    I raved about these on a previous thread.
    ...If you want clear bass notes..not a "thud" check 'em out.
    I've used them for over 10 years.
    BTW: How come LB's weren't included in your list?...After all,
    I believe they were pioneers in flats for guitar/bass guitar...and probably
    were manufacturing for other brands back in the 60's.......
    Just saying...

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    TI Benson flats 14
    nysh ........
    also TI jazz swings 13
    also nice

    For the above pro rounds poster , I use flats to get rid of the dreaded squeeeek not cos round hurt me fingers !
    The ubiquitous squeak... Makes me wonder what a violin would sound like with round wounds.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenbennett View Post
    The ubiquitous squeak... Makes me wonder what a violin would sound like with round wounds.
    Like a violin that needs some oil.

  26. #25

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    I use TI Jazz Swing flats on my Godin Kingpin. I like the sound and feel of them both acoustic and electric. Chromes are good strings, too, and would probably be my second choice. I tried the LaBella tapewounds and absolutely hated the sound I got from them (rubber band on cigar-box), but to each his own.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by hot ford coupe View Post
    I picked the D'Addarios. They sound good and last a good amount of time. I used to use only GHS steel flats in .013 gauge but the lower strings were really dull and lifeless especially the low E. It almost sounded like a tuned thud. I tried some TI strings once but I didn't like them not because they weren't good but because I didn't know what decent strings were supposed to sound like. They were a lot brighter than the GHS strings. Now, I regret that decision not to use them. The only way I can get them now is mail order.

    i love the TI Benson's, round or flat.

    i have never had a problem ordering through juststrings.com , BTW. i always order at least 2-3 sets.

  28. #27

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    I voted for Thomastiks, because I use GB flats on my archtop; I really like the sound and the way they feel. But if possible I would have voted for both, because I use D'Addarios on my thinline Epi, which I use for both jazz and blues.

    Haven't tried Sadowskys, but I'd be interested to hear from someone who does what they think of them. Also haven't tried Benedetto strings, which I understand are made by La Bella.

  29. #28

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    PS - If you think TI Bensons are expensive in the US, try buying them in Europe; the 'regular' price is around € 26 (about 37)!

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers View Post
    i love the TI Benson's, round or flat.

    i have never had a problem ordering through juststrings.com , BTW. i always order at least 2-3 sets.
    Thanks for the heads up. The set I'm using now is actually the Chromes .010s I throw away the .010 and use the .014 as the E. For the low E I use a .056 out of a set of Chromes .013. The sound is really incredible but I haver to buy 2 sets of strings. That's actually more expensive than buying one set of the Benson TIs which is really kind of wasteful.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbow View Post
    Hi fellas.
    This is a bit of fun and probably help newbies decide what f/wound to choose.


    When you've made your choice explain whether you go by feel, quality or price?
    My favorite is La Bella Tape Wound (which are flat wounds, they just use black nylon tape outer wrap rather than metal). The 14 gage strings feel like 12's. The sound is dark with very little overtones when the tone control is only slightly rolled back and they yield a very percussive sound. Each note stands out more clearly when playing a chord. They give you extra E & B strings in the set and they also last way longer than any other strings I have used. My second choice would be Newtone Archtop strings.

  32. #31

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    Looks like the TIs are gaining some ground. That makes me want to try them even more.

  33. #32

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    Thomastic...the best jazz strings...i think...:-)

  34. #33

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    I have experience with only two sets of flatwound strings, TI Jazz Swing 12-50 and Pyramid 11-48.

    Although the TI set is supposed to be thicker, both thickness are identical and possibly slightly bigger on the Pyramid. But the tension of the TI Swing 12 is much looser and going up to the 13-53 should be easy for most hands, while using Pyramid 12 would be more challenging.

    But apart from gauge, these are very different strings. The TI set has much more sustain, feels lighter, and sounds thinner and brighter. I don't think the TI swing 12-50 sounds like old retro jazz guitar sound (think Grant Green, Jim Hall,…) compared to the Pyramid, but would be very adapted to the guitar sound of surf, pop, twang,… and today's jazz. It's a very versatile sound and feel.
    The Pyramid 11-48 (and above probably even more) sound like the strings I once found on a big 1963 Hofner archtop that had stayed in its case since the 60's. Strings with low sustain, a thick dark sound, with a very silky, almost slippery, texture. The 5th and 6th strings especially have that dark, quiet, deader tone with poor sustain, that's almost caricatural of that old 50's-60's jazz guitar sound.

    For a more universal modern sound I prefer the TI, but for an old school bebop sound the Pyramid flats are much better I think.
    Last edited by cyberprimate; 05-06-2011 at 12:49 AM.

  35. #34

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    TIJF on all my archtop, fretted and fretless basses. The only strings I haven't tried are Pyramids.

  36. #35

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    I appreciate kris detailed answer regarding the difference between Thomastiks and Pyramids. I myself was excited to try Pyramids, but the one time I did was disappointed as they seemed rather dull.

    Its interesting how strong the majority is for either TIs or D'Addarios. Without steering the thread off course, one thing that would be really useful is if those who use or have liked other strings besides these two would chime in and say what they like about the other kinds. Any users of Pyramids, Newtones, Reds, or others want to add what they like or how they see these as different/better?

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmajor9 View Post
    I myself was excited to try Pyramids, but the one time I did was disappointed as they seemed rather dull.

    Any users of Pyramids, Newtones, Reds, or others want to add what they like or how they see these as different/better?
    As I said the TI are objectively better strings. Longer sustain, more alive, louder, nicely brighter, and more resonant… But I've always loved that old 50's/60's jazz guitar sound that the Pyramid have. It's thick, smooth, sweet and the lesser sustain is not a problem in jazz otherwise we'd all be using a Les Paul. The other quality of Pyramids is the 5th and 6th strings because of their discreet and slightly dead response are less likely to cause feedback and require something like a string damper. If they stopped producing them I would miss them for jazz. By the way, if anyone has got an NOS set of Gibson "Hi-Fi" flatwound strings (the ones every jazzers used in the old days), I'd love to buy one from him/her.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmajor9 View Post
    Its interesting how strong the majority is for either TIs or D'Addarios. Without steering the thread off course, one thing that would be really useful is if those who use or have liked other strings besides these two would chime in and say what they like about the other kinds. Any users of Pyramids, Newtones, Reds, or others want to add what they like or how they see these as different/better?
    I don't think Newtone currently offer a flatwound string. Their archtop strings are very nice if you like roundwound strings. Sadowsky flats are very nice if you like flats. (I prefer polished roundwounds or halfrounds and currently use the Sadowsky Jimmy Bruno set).

  39. #38

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    I'm a D'Addairo man for flats.

    I've tried a bunch of the others, but I haven't noticed enough difference to warrant ordering strings online and paying more...I can get Chromes down the street from me anytime I need them, so I stick with it.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
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    "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

  40. #39

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    D'Addario ECG24 Chromes Jazz Light 11 15 22 30 40 50. Easy to get and they work for me.
    Barney Kessel was asked, “What’s the hardest thing about studio work?” He replied, “Finding a parking place.”
    "I don't know what other people are doing - I just know about me."- Thelonious Monk

  41. #40

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    Not sure I will ever need to change. No string noise, good response - -full frequency, and consistent quality.
    I use them on :

    Gibson Les Paul
    L-4 Elec. Archtop
    1930's L-7 Acoustic And
    '60's Harmony Acoustic.

  42. #41

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    D'Addario 360 Half Round Wound 12s on my ES175CC, perfect compliment to the CC pick-up, flats tend to be "muddy" w/that pick-up - IMO. Love the playability of the strings

    TI BeBop 11s on my Heritage 535, IMO they are more like half round than round.

    D'Addario Chromes 11s on my Tele w/BL pick-ups

  43. #42

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    Thomastic's for me. I find the Daddarios a little bright and I like the string guages Thomastic uses when using a set of 12's. Also, I can get them locally

  44. #43
    1) Thomastik Swing / Benson
    2) D'addario chromes
    65536) D'addario Half-rounds (too rough)

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    1) Thomastik Swing / Benson
    2) D'addario chromes
    65536) D'addario Half-rounds (too rough)
    for a half-round, I like the Sadowsky Jimmy Bruno strings - they feel smoother to me than the D'Addarios

  46. #45
    i was thinking of trying the polished rounds or even the coated rounds. To me, the thomastik strings just have the vibe of a '60s archtop and stay that way and are very consistent. D'Addarios are great too but are a little brighter and more modern. The Half sounds grind nasty edges into my picks which causes friction and scraping tones.

  47. #46

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    I use D'Addarios chromes... mainly because they last , I dig Thomastikes... but have to change strings every week, they don't last long enough. Reg

  48. #47

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    I'm using TI's right now. IMO the chromes feel,play, and sound great, but they're a little too rough on the nickel frets.

  49. #48

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    I seem to get along better with the D'Addarios than anything else I've tried, but I'm still looking for the perfect flatwound set. I didn't care for the TI strings at all. I've got a set of Sadowskys on my Epi 175 copy right now; they're pretty nice but (to my fingers) not all that different from the D'Addarios. I would like to check out some Pyramid flats - I use their strings on one of my basses and like those a lot.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by thenoviceguitarist View Post
    I'm using TI's right now. IMO the chromes feel,play, and sound great, but they're a little too rough on the nickel frets.
    That's a good point... I basically play all the time, On my work guitar, 94 Guild artist... I've re-fretted twice and it's almost time again.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    That's a good point... I basically play all the time, On my work guitar, 94 Guild artist... I've re-fretted twice and it's almost time again.
    Hi Reg,

    is the 94 Guild artist good guitar for fingerstyle?
    Thanks
    Kris