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Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 538
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 11:13 am:   Edit Post

In anticipation of my Series I shorty, I'm trying to figure out a string strategy. I want to be able to span a lot of sounds, but particularly the flat wound with a pick sound as well as a good slap sound. The Ken Smith Slick Rounds seem like a good bet, but they don't come in a short scale size. Ken Smith himself was nice enough to correspond with me about the strings and said that breakage was quite likely and not covered by any warranty, express or implied, by use on a short scale. Anyone have any experience with half rounds, ground rounds, etc. in a situation like this?
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1561
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 12:13 pm:   Edit Post

I've always used Alembic strings on my short scales and been happy with them. If you are considering non-Alembic strings I would suggest looking for medium scale. The extra length allows for the longer distance from the detached tail piece.

GHS Brite Flats come in both short and medium scale. They are a ground round wound string. I've used those for 35+ years on my active Jazz Bass (custom preamp) and my Orion. To me they bridge the gap between flats and round wounds quite well. If you've listened to the Dixie Dregs when Andy West was playing bass you heard the same strings on an Alembic. If you are unsure of which to use I would try calling GHS. They have been quite helpful to me in the past when I've called to ask questions about their stuff.

Congrats on the new short scale by the way. I think they are great.

Senior Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 559
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 3:28 pm:   Edit Post

I'm happy with d'Addario EXL 170 M nickelwound, used for standard tune and tenor tune (I add 1 d'Addario XLB 0.32 to the same set without the E)
Username: poor_nigel

Post Number: 87
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 4:39 pm:   Edit Post

I just use long scale strings, as I cut the ends off even on my long-scale basses, too. The strings I use do not have silk wrappings on the tuner side, and what if they did? This begs the question, is there something wrong with using long scale strings on short scale basses? Obviously, I cannot think of a reason not to. As long as the string will go into the tuner and get a minimum of three wraps around it, I think doing this is functional.
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1832
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 6:19 pm:   Edit Post

You don't want the larger body of the string wrapping around the tuning post. It messes with the wrappings further down the string in extreme cases, can break the core and is just a lot harder on the tuner.

I'd forgotten about the GHS Brite Flats. I used those from time to time on my Series 1-1/2 over the years because of Andy West..

Advanced Member
Username: rraymond

Post Number: 373
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 7:09 pm:   Edit Post

Andy doesn't get near enough love as a phenomenal bass player, or early Alembic adopter. I saw the Dregs more than any other prog rock, or fusion group back in the 70's, early 80's - they came through Memphis about every 9 months and Andy was mind blowing. I'll have to give Brite Flats a try, I didn't know those were the strings that drove the Dregs bass lines. Thanks for the info!
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 539
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 4:23 pm:   Edit Post

I have used long scale round wounds on short scale basses with no problems. However, flat wound and other in between strings can have a less resilient structure when it comes to bending the part of the string that has full thickness of all the windings on it. I suppose it will just cost me a set of strings to try it out!
Username: grankin

Post Number: 9
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - 10:54 am:   Edit Post

I normally use Alembic short-scale strings, but have been using Tomastik-Infelds on my mandolin. So I tried a set of Thomastik-Infeld JF-324 short/medium scale flatwounds on my Series I, and am flat astonished at the quality of sound. Not cheap (about $60).
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 578
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - 11:15 am:   Edit Post

I've used Thomastik Flats on my Starfire and they sound great, but not for slap and that's an important part of the sound I want to get. I'm not really looking for a flatwound string.

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