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  1. #1
    So I'm looking at getting flatwounds for my hollow body Trini Lopez copy and since it's setup quite nicely right now with roundwound Ernie Ball Regular Slinky's I was thinking of trying flatwound strings out similar string gauges.The Thomastick-Infeld strings get excellent reviews and I may go with a set of their Jazz Swing Series Extra Light. I read that even though they're more expensive (than Chromes) they make up for it in lifespan.

    So I'm curious. Are there any other players out there using light or extra light gauge flatwounds?

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  3. #2

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    I have used Thomastik Infels Jazz Swing JS 10 -44 strings on some of my guitars. If you are looking for great flats to replace light gauge strings, look no further.

  4. #3

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    I use Chromes on all my guitars, but only the Tele has .011s. It gives a great feel and sound. I have .012s on my LP and my 000, .013s on the L50 and the EF15.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    I have used Thomastik Infels Jazz Swing JS 10 -44 strings on some of my guitars. If you are looking for great flats to replace light gauge strings, look no further.
    I bought some of those. I love TI strings. Haven't had the nerve to put 'em on yet, too attached to rounds I guess.

  6. #5

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    Jim Hall used really light flatwound strings in the later years of his career, I think they were .08s. He liked the way they sound.

    From this article/interview of Jim Hall All About Jazz Reader Q&A: Jim Hall article @ All About Jazz

    JH: I guess thick strings can get a big sound, but they also tend to sound "bangy". I use very thin strings - almost like a "rocker"—and try to draw the sound out by playing easily with as few pick-strokes as possible except for accents, etc.

  7. #6

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    It would be awesome if someone did a test like this but for jazz guitar on a hollowbody. Not sure of the result as the different tensions on the face of a hollowbody from different string gauges may change the results.


  8. #7

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    I have three solid bodies and one semi-hollow and I use 10 or 11 gauge flat wounds on all of them. Thomastiks' on two of them, Pyramids on one and GHS Brite Flats on my T-style. I have a touch of arthritis and it just makes it easier to play. Thicker picks and different amp settings help compensate.

  9. #8

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    Due to aging fingers, I have been moving down from 13 flats to 12 flats on my short scale archtops and 11 flats on the long scale archtops. When I use up my supply of 12's, that will be the end of them. It will be 11's until my fingers deteriorate more and then it will time for the 10's. TI flats are the best guitar strings for archtops that I have found, so I remain a loyal customer.

  10. #9

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    Thomastik-Infeld Swings on all electrics:

    10s on solid bodies (mixed set on 2008 LP Standard)
    11s on semi-hollows
    12s on hollow bodies

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Due to aging fingers, I have been moving down from 13 flats to 12 flats on my short scale archtops and 11 flats on the long scale archtops. When I use up my supply of 12's, that will be the end of them. It will be 11's until my fingers deteriorate more and then it will time for the 10's. TI flats are the best guitar strings for archtops that I have found, so I remain a loyal customer.
    Absolutely, +1 to that SS, i have used 11's on my Archtops for some time for the very same reasons, and 12's on the Byrdland and other short scale guitars also. Likewise Ti's have been the staple diet for as long as I can recall, maybe 25 years + (?) yours is good advice to the arthritic fingers brigade.

    Best, 007

  12. #11

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    ditto

    thoms jazz swings 10-44 or 11-47...great and unique low tension/thin inner round core with double wrap of pure nickel ...sound great and last long time

    just about all usa flats are stainless steel...not the same...but ghs and maybe even labella make 09 flat sets!

    or you can just cobble together a set yourself to the gauges you prefer

    cheers

  13. #12

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    I use D'Addario Chrome 10-48's tuned down a full step on a 25.5" scale length.
    Last edited by Jim Soloway; 07-11-2020 at 06:46 PM.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    d'addario chromes 10-48...unless you cobble your own set together

    cheers
    Right you are, thanks. Been a VERY hectic day.

  15. #14

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    I'm currently running S.I.T. 11s, but am about to go to 9s due to worn finger joints. Needs must.

  16. #15
    Looks like a lot of love for the light gauge T.I's. I will pickup a set of them at the next string change. Thanks for all the input!

  17. #16

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    I have a light touch and don’t use a pick so I’ve always preferred lighter strings. I’ve been using 11’s on the past few archtops I’ve had and 10’s on the Tele. I’m a little curious to throw some Chrome 11’s on the Telecaster and give it a go but I like having the brighter rounds sound for more funk/rnb tunes.

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Esport
    I have a light touch and don’t use a pick so I’ve always preferred lighter strings. I’ve been using 11’s on the past few archtops I’ve had and 10’s on the Tele. I’m a little curious to throw some Chrome 11’s on the Telecaster and give it a go but I like having the brighter rounds sound for more funk/rnb tunes.
    I have a "Frankenstrat" guitar with Ernie Ball .09's on it now for my overdriven rock/blues fun. I too have a fairly light touch and I just "try" to play a little jazz guitar at home for fun. My hollow body is so easy to play with .010's right now and sounds great too so that's why I figured I'd try a set of light gauge flatwounds in order to get a more traditional tone and no finger squeak.

  19. #18

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    I think you will love the T-I Swing .010 set.

    Again (and again...) T-I strings absolutely do not have lower tension because of the core diameter.

    If anything, for a given gauge tuned to a given pitch, they are claimed to have slightly higher tension than, for example, Chromes. (And this may actually be true for two different reasons, but we are talking about minute differences.)


    The lower overall tension of a T-I swing set is due to the gauge mix they use.

    T-I emphasizes overall tension balance. Almost all other manufacturers use a gauge mix that results in lower tension on the high E and B - thus relatively higher tension on the wound strings.

    Again (and again...) it is total absolute twaddle that say T-I strings have lower tension at a given gauge, on a given string, at a given pitch. It is even more absurd to attribute this non-fact to the non-factor of core diameter.

    (I suspect that the confusion regarding T-I tension comes from the fact that we refer to string sets by the gauge of the high E. If we referred to them by the gauge of the low E, there may be less mystery. In any case there is no need to invent voo-doo physics to explain a thing that does not actually exist. A given T-I string will have lower tension because it is a gauge of lower overall diameter, not because of the core diameter.)

    The gauge balance chosen by T-I for the Swing sets makes for far more balanced tension vs. almost all other manufacturers. As you move toward lighter gauges, this makes even more sense as it gives a VERY low overall tension without getting into plinky sounding high E and B strings.

    I bet you will love the T-I Swing .010 set.
    Last edited by Bezoeker; 07-15-2020 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Spelling

  20. #19

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    To clarify:

    The reason that T-I strings could very accurately be described (as they are) by the manufacturer as having HIGHER tension for a given wound string gauge vs. Chromes is due to the specific gravity of Nickel vs. Steel.

    (It could further be due to the exact dimensions of the inner wrap and how much “air space” is in there. But that is getting way down in the weeds.)

    Nickel has a specific gravity of about 880, while Stainless steel is about 780. The exact alloy in question can make these figures change slightly.

    (Incidentally, phosphor bronze has a specific gravity similar to nickel. Yes nickel and bronze are “heavier” than stainless steel.)

    So in a given gauge, a T-I flat wound with the narrower diameter steel core, will be heavier than a D’A Chrome string of the same gauge.

    This added mass will require higher tension for the T-I, and this is reflected in the claimed tensions supplied by both manufacturers.

    Simple Newtonian physics that has no regard for our opinions.

    Now this difference is quite small. But very much, and very simply, true.

    T-I sets for a given HIGH E string gauge have lower overall tension because the set is simply lighter in overall gauge.

    For the remarkable T-I JS 110 set in question, this results in a feel (and actual tension) that is LIGHTER than the typical “set of tens”. Crazy light but sounds great - go figure.