SOUND: I use TI JF344 on my beloved Fender J Bass. They tend to be a little bright when you mount them. Let's say that in the first 20-30 hours I've experienced quite a roundwound-like sound. As time goes by (playing time of course!) I've seen that the timbre went warmer and warmer. But not like most of strings, which often goes duller and duller. The more you play them, the more it gets interesting and outstanding. Once you've passed the "trial stage" -which often irritates people, who change them way before the time- you'll have fantastic strings, perfect for recording: nice fundamental, cutting the mix as much as you want without too much post-production. Live sound is nice as well. One thing I noticed is that they tend to change (more than other strings) the personality of a bass guitar. TIs are so recognisable. Don't lean too much on "occasional" string reviews: they often show you the sound of brand new TIs which is quite different from the real one. If you want to hear real TI sound, check Carol Kaye or some other real long time endorser.
QUALITY: If you come from "popular" strings, you'd think "now that's luxury". Soft, smooth, silky they don't go out of tune. Last forever. They are pretty loose, if you are a punk rocker you're gonna bend them accidentally all the time and claim nonsensical tuning issues. But if you like tasty bendings (even microtonal ones) or vibrato it's another good feature for you.
I've tried many brands of flatwound strings and love many of them, but they fade in comparison with Thomastiks!
They're quite a light gauge string and low tension, which isn't to everyone's taste from a flatwound, but they are absolutely lovely under the fingers - smooth to the touch.
Although the feel of them alone is worth the asking price, it's the sound and this is where I feel no other string compares. On fitting them, you still get a fair bit of brightness while they settle in - not roundwound bright, but not the dull thud some people associate with flatwound strings. This in itself sounds great, but it's as the strings break in and mellow out that they really come into their own - rich and warm, full or presence, despite the light gauge. They genuinely sound better the older they get and I had a set on a Precision Bass for 5 years with no need to change them (obviously, I wipe my strings down after playing). They were still on the bass when I sold it!
The good thing, is that they sound great on a Precision and Jazz Bass - I've found that some flats sound better on a Precision (La Bella deep Talking) while some sound better on a Jazz (Rotosound) but I'd happily have Thomastiks on both!
They are more expensive than some strings, but given that you will get years out of them if cared for, they are worth every penny!
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