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Dunlop Super Bright vs. Ernie Ball Cobalt

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by mikef09, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. mikef09


    Sep 3, 2013
    I'm considering trying either one of these strings and have a couple criteria I need to meet before I drop the money.

    I need: Tight lows, punchy mids, highs that sparkle, but most important is string feel. I don't want something that will hinder my playing or tear up my hands. I usually use Elixir but I'm trying to avoid coated strings as I need a crisper sound.

    So what are some of your opinions to those that have used them?
  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Have you tried Elixir's SS strings?
  3. mikef09


    Sep 3, 2013
    I'm not a huge fan of Stainless strings in general, I've tried the Dunlop SB MM and didn't like them at all. I also have an old pack of Roto Billy Sheehan's laying around.
  4. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member

    I've tried both on my Musicman Big Al SSS 5. Both strings are great. I found the Cobalts had a strong low-mid, and weak upper mid. This ends up sounding darker to me than the Super-brites, but they have a nice thump. The Dunlops have more upper mid and therefore a more aggressive tone. I think you should also consider Kalium hybrids.
    PawleeP likes this.
  5. If the most important is string feel and you're not a huge fan of stainless steel strings you have to go with Dunlop SB nickel. The Cobalts are some of the stiffer strings out there and they are more similar to SS strings.
    mikef09 and Killed_by_Death like this.
  6. T.Rex


    Sep 19, 2015

    i just put on a 5 string set of cobalt from superbrights and they both sound tight lows with good mids and highs but the superbright have noticeably less tension, bends are easier and softer on the superbrights, also i used nickel superbrights.
  7. I've never tried the Cobalts, but I have used the SBs (SS), and they have very bright highs/nice tight lows, but the zing doesn't last as long as some other brands.
  8. toowrongfoo


    Nov 25, 2017
    I've done the cobalts. They are really good but have 3 flaws:

    -are tighter than regular EB's
    -discolor easily

    If life was perfect, I'd use EB normals with a DIFFERENT gauge. Unless your store stocks killer single-string collections (which mine doesn't) this is nearly impossible, but it's a dream-world.

    The Marcus Miller Dunlops are AWFUL overall imo. They have decent/good tone but they are very coarse. Not sure about regular Dunlops, but the guitar strings are ok.

    Sigh, I struggle with the same thing. Fodera's are the best string I can remember using, but they ain't cheap. I want to try La bella's but again, they ain't cheap. I get really pissed paying top dollar for things that don't work out.........
  9. mikef09


    Sep 3, 2013
    Do the D'addario Balanced Tension Nickel sets feel any different than the normal set?
  10. Versatek6

    Versatek6 Fretless is like Trombone

    Oct 7, 2008
    Twin Cities, MN
    I have used both on 5ers.

    I found the Dunlops way too harsh for my tastes. Too bright and clanky. If I had used them longer, maybe they would have mellowed some.

    The Cobalts are different. They were initially kind of rough feeling, but that passed for me. The tone is more aggressive than I expected, but that was a good thing. I also like the Cobalt Flats.

    Good luck!
  11. toowrongfoo


    Nov 25, 2017
    Cobalt flats are cool. And yes, definitely, the roundwounds are more aggressive. That is one thing about cobalts (bass or guitar) they are not subtle :)
  12. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    Super Brights have a nice focus in the low mid, and nice fullness, detail, and warmth through the mids. high mids and highs have a nice crunch. But if you want sparkle, I think you should looks somewhere else. Super Brights aren't actually Super Bright. they are warm and crunchy and expressive.

    You might like DR Pure Blues. They have a bigger, ballsier tone than Super Brights. Bigger in the lows, more prescence in the highs. Still a nice Crunch. Not as warm in the mids. But still good detail. They are the biggest sounding strings I have used, since Dean Markley Helix strings were discontinued. Pure Blues also have a bit more tension than Super Brights. Which can be a good thing. Sometimes Super Brights are too much of a good thing, with some basses.

    And while Super Brights do have a good balance to the tension from string to string, Pure Blues are even more balanced in tension and feel. Excellent .130 B string, too.
  13. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    both of you seems to agree that the Cobalt (assumed rounds) are harsh on fingers just as typical of stainless steel rounds. Is this conclusion correct?
  14. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Cobalts are probably the roughest strings I've ever used. They are also waaaay brighter and clankier than SuperBright steels or nickels.
    Aidil likes this.
  15. Versatek6

    Versatek6 Fretless is like Trombone

    Oct 7, 2008
    Twin Cities, MN
    I don't know if harsh-feeling is how I'd describe them. There was a definite "sticktion" to them when new; I don't know what the cause was, but either it was something that wore off the string, got filled in from my playing :)eek:) or I got used to the feel (don't think so). Whatever the cause, any harshness does not remain for me. As a side note, the roughest string I have played on is the DR Lo-Rider stainless steel. Ouch!

    It is really interesting how individual perceptions vary. mmbongo and I both hear clank, but not on the same string. Our preference is for the opposites. It certainly may have to do with the instrument. My Cobalts are on a Yamaha TRB5, which is active with single coil pickups, and the Super Brights were on a US Masters EP52, which is passive with humbuckers. Maybe if I tried the Dunlops on an active bass, my feelings would be different.
    Aidil likes this.
  16. toowrongfoo


    Nov 25, 2017
    I don't think they are rough, but they seem louder and more aggressive. But I'm not sold that they last longer and like I said, mine discolor. I've decided that I like regular strings better.
    Aidil likes this.
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 18, 2021

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