Are Ernie Ball strings this bad?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by timothy1207, Aug 17, 2021.


  1. I had a set of 45-65-80-100 EB round wounds that was laying around, I think they came gratis with something else, and put them on my Ibanez SRF700. At first I'm getting a fabulous growl from the E and A strings, but within a week the low E sounds like it is muted, even when played open.

    Also they are scratching the (panga panga) fingerboard pretty badly, but it is just looks at this point. I never used to worry about this as it did not affect the sound at all, but the scratching from just a few weeks of playing is worse than 10 years of playing on my Peavey T20/rosewood fretless with rotosounds. I thought Panga Panga was supposed to be very hard ... this has nothing to do with the "muted" sound of the new strings BTW I'm just mentioning it.
     
  2. Are you talking about nickel-plated steel or stainless steel?
     
  3. nickel
     
  4. svlilioukalani

    svlilioukalani Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Seattle, Wa
    The shop where I got my new Bass put a new set of those on when the did a set up for me. I used em for a week. I personally did not groove with them. Too much string tension and not my sound. When I put some DR low riders on the bass is was like in heaven. But they did not scratch anything up. They are just not the string for me. Some people love em though.
     
  5. You aren't lying about the tension
     
    svlilioukalani likes this.
  6. MattZilla

    MattZilla

    Jun 26, 2013
    CNY
    I used to use EB nickels in my guitar days because they were cheap. I never got more than 50hrs of playing on them before they had about as much zing as a slab of tofu.

    I’ve no experience with Panga, but if you spent any time chasing zing which had long since departed, you may have been digging way harder into the strings than you normally would?
     
    Skeezix, Beff Juckley and timothy1207 like this.
  7. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    I am only familiar with EB flat .

    But, panga panga fretboard are absolutely soft, something like rosewood finger board on low quality bass get too much moisture after few months sat in a high humid store room.

    Try give it a moderate press with you finger nail or guitar pick to see how ......
     
    timothy1207 likes this.
  8. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    I love my cobalt bass strings
     
  9. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    In short: no.

    I wish I could say it surprises me that somebody would write off an entire brand because two in one set of four mass-produced strings didn’t stay “fabulous” for long … but it doesn’t.

    I have used nickel Slinkies for most of the last 25 years. I have occasionally encountered duds, but could probably count them on my fingers. I have also occasionally strung them improperly.

    They may not be for everyone, but they work well for a lot of us.
     
  10. Well, all I can say is that in all my years of using rotosounds, I never once encountered a defective string.
     
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  11. CB3UK

    CB3UK

    Jan 13, 2017
    Lexington, KY
    I love the Cobalts. Those things last forever. I liked regular Slinkys when I started playing and swore by em. Now I just stick to flatwounds. Not sure what I have on my Warwick..DRs I think? Anyway, yeah, never had any wear issues in all my years of using EBs on a variety of basses.
     
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  12. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    aaand that was not my experience with Rotosounds! Maybe it’s time I gave them another try ;)

    (My acoustic happily wears bronze Rotosounds, though.)
     
  13. Extra Slinky 40-95 have been fantastic on my StingRay and Wal fretless. I’d prefer GHS Boomers (too hard to get here now) but have to admit that I’ve had nothing but joy from The Ernies. Maybe I’m just at that point where gear<playing ei. I’m getting older.
     
    cemunk, BrentSimons, Staccato and 2 others like this.
  14. I can only comment on my recent experiences.
    After many years of several different string makers ( D'addario, Fender, Elites, Roto's ) I put a set of Power Slinky's on one of my basses two weeks ago.
    Quite impressed with the solid tension ( which suits my playing style ), bright focussed sound and feel of them.
    So far after several long rehearsal sessions and many hours solo practice they remain fine.
     
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  15. I have a set of EB Extra Slinky (40-95) nickel rounds on my fretless Warmoth bass right now (pau ferro fingerboard), and overall I'm pretty happy with them. These are not the best strings in the world IMO, but they are 'good enough' while also being cheap and readily available. DR Sunbeams are typically my favourite rounds, and I still think they feel and sound a bit nicer, but the Slinkys are about $10 cheaper and I don't have to order them online... so I can see myself continuing to use them in the future. (I might change my mind after a few more weeks though!)

    Also, re: panga panga: I have read in other threads on this board that it's not the hardest wood around, as Yahboy mentioned. I suspect you would have seen string markings on that panga panga board regardless of which rounds you chose to use. If they are just superficial string marks then it's not a big deal IMO, but if it bothers you then perhaps flats, pressurewounds, or tapes would be more suitable?
     
  16. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Consider yourself lucky to get a week out of them.
     
  17. Corigan

    Corigan Shaking Rumps with Thumps Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2021
    Georgia
    I use super slinkies on a few basses and I really enjoy them. They don't destroy the basses like you are describing. They do loose that zing quick, but that is fine by me as I'm not looking for the zing.
     
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  18. SC Bassboy

    SC Bassboy Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Birmingham, AL
    Back in the day I used EB nickel strings. IME they sound good for a few days then die a quick death. A lot of that is my body chemistry which produces oils that will kill strings quick. You said yourself those strings had been laying around for a while too so they probably have dust and other stuff on them. You should try cleaning them with denatured alcohol or boiling them in water. That should give them some more life but nickel strings typically don't keep the zing very long. I recommend D'addario Pro Steels. They last longer than nickel, have a higher output and are smoother than Rotosounds.
     
  19. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinkies were the only strings I would use for years. Never had any issues with them. Still use them but use other brands as well.
     
  20. RandalPinkFloyd

    RandalPinkFloyd Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2012
    I gave up on EB slinkies about 10 years ago. Die way too fast for me (in my experience). I haven't tried the EB Cobalt but my disdain for their slinkies has me hesitant to ever try the cobalt.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2021
    GTHintz, Dan B and PeaveyPlayer like this.
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