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EB cobalt flats vs roundwounds

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by SeizeTheKarp, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. what up guys. i hope I'm not beating a dead horse too bad here but whats the big deal with Ernie Ball's cobalt flat-wounds? i get that cobalt is super bright so using it gives the strings a more round-wound like sound and they give the benefit of flat-wound comfort. what i don't get is they're twice the price of a regular set of Slinky's but sound pretty much the same (thank to the cobalt). do they offer something less conspicuous over standard roundwounds? am i missing something big here or what?
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I bet there are things you like that other people don't think are worth the money. You think they sound pretty much the same as nickel rounds. Other people don't. Sometimes thinking about something objectively can answer your own question.
    soflbass and michael_t like this.
  3. ...ive been racking my brain about it for a few days now doing string swaps and listening to recordings (pbass as test mule). i notice a slight difference in the tones of the two strings but im asking for a point of view from someone who has extensive experience with both. i can think objectively about it all day but if i dont understand the significance of the difference in tone, it wont do me jack.
  4. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I have moderately extensive experience with both. The flats are bright for flats but they don't sound the same as rounds. Flats cost more money. People who like them and want more brightness are willing to pay. You don't understand the significance of the difference in tone? I don't understand what that means. They sound different. You acknowledge the difference. There's your answer.
  5. there. i modified the original post to beter articulate the question im having its less about the price. i can afford them if the price is waranted. just want to know if theres a legit benefit.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  6. My first encounter with flats was the D'A Chromes. What turned me on to flats was NOT how they sounded, but how they FELT under the fingers.

    EB Cobalt Flats are designed for people who want a roundwound-like tone while retaining the smooth FEEL of flats. And many of them feel they're worth the cost for their rather unique tonal character as far as flats go.
  7. i had a feeling that might be the bulk of it. i do enjoy the feeling of flats. I guess ill look at it from a comfort perspective rather than a tone perspective and see where that gets me. thanks!

    is there a gnere('s) that youve noticed they work really well with?
  8. five7

    five7 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    Cobalt flats do not sound like cobalt rounds. They sound like flats with a little more zing. Cobalt flats 5 string set had uneven tension in my opinion or I might have left them on. I tried several of each and am back to using coated slinkys on my bongo but still have a set of cobalt rounds on my sterling HS. They last a long time but not as long as the coated ones.
  9. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Before I move to nylon , I been use EB cobalt flat (3 weeks ), GHS PW 7200ML(1 weeks) and stock fender 7250 (3 hours...) on my fretless pbass. Need mention again, fretlessssss....

    The EB cobalt flat sound more growl and crunchy than GHS PW. She has no such 7250 top zing, but the upper Mid are enough bite if you pluck aggressively. Overall tone are pretty solid and she has nice string to string stiffness balance on my hand.

    I need apply some body lotion to tame it growl and crunchy tone. And

    I suggest you buy a set and figure out yourself , try different string and pickups are fun.

    EatS1stBassist and Gizmot like this.
  10. Maynjo

    Maynjo Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2014
    Jacksonville, NC
    I haven't tried the Cobalt flats, but if they really do sound like roundwounds then they're worth the price. A lot of people prefer the feel of flats but not the sound. Also being flatwound AND Cobalt, they'll likely last forever. You'll never have to change the strings again.
    Jsn and EatS1stBassist like this.
  11. redwood

    redwood Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    I ran a set on my Bongo 5 for close to a year. What I noticed was that they have a nice top end to them, but I was more impressed with the thickness of the tone, combined with the top end.
    Really loved them. Unfortunately the new project calls for gobs of top end and grind. Back to rounds......for now anyway. Although I just installed an Audere in my G&L L2500. I think I'll put the Cobalt flats on there and see how that goes.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  12. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Base on a report I read from TB member, he has a set EB cobalt flat on his bass more than a years and not much change in tone .
  13. Hendricks97


    Jan 3, 2017
    They don't chew up the fret board like rounds do and they mellow very nicely over time. I have them on 2 basses currently
    EatS1stBassist and *Tempest* like this.
  14. I posted on another thread recently about cobalts. They do sound very similar to round wounds, for quite awhile. And I play with fingers and a pick, and the tone is always appropriate, even for heavily distorted rock.

    I've had a set on my precision since they were released, and it's my main bass.

    And also, I saw someone mention about cobalt being brighter, it's true it is slightly brighter. But it's not the brightest. Cobalt alloy was used more because it's highly magnetic. So you get a higher output because of the way it interacts with your pickups. Stainless Steel is way brighter.

    Cobalt strings have a slightly different feel to them. It feels chalky for just a little bit, and then it feels awesome.

    Give the cobalt flats like a week, I think you'll dig the way they feel.
    EatS1stBassist and onamission like this.
  15. BobKos


    Apr 13, 2007
    I just put a set of cobalt flats on a Reflex bass. I wouldn't say they sound like rounds at all. They sound & feel like flats. I am used to DR High Beams or Cocco Nickels, so to me they aren't like rounds. I like them though.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  16. yellowmiata


    Apr 29, 2012
    I’ve been running both EB Cobalt Flats and Rounds on my Ibanez SR with Nordstrand big singles. Love the way they feel. I tend to push high mids and have experienced that the flats don’t zing like the rounds but they still are brighter than nickel flats. The rounds were very “live” and made me clean up my fingering. The more I work with the colbalt flats, the notebook sounds I can get out of ‘em. They’re worth the scratch. YMMV
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  17. bassfootballguy

    bassfootballguy Spectacularly Average Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    A small, small town
    EB Cobalt Flats are my favorite string BY FAR.
    Tried every sort of flat you can imagine, half rounds, ground down rounds, nylons, every coated string you can name.
    I will take EB Cobalt Flats all day every day. They retain just enough zing, have the smooth feel, and if you back off the tone control a bit they thump like other flats.
    Love, love, love EB Cobalt Flats.

  18. drewphishes

    drewphishes Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2017
    how are they tension wise compared to chromes? I really like the high tension of chromes, and hate the low tension of TI flats
  19. JES

    JES Supporting Member

    Lower tension than chromes for sure. The place where I and band mates notice the difference in a mix is with modulation effects and and some kinds of overdrive, where rounds give the pedals more high to work with.
  20. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    EB cobalt flat stiffness just little higher than 45-105 nickel round and lower than GHS PW 7200ML set.
    For me, chrome are unbalance tension set , crazy high tension on both D and G, ok A and loose E.
    I play Ti flat, she is great balance stiffness and comfort tension to me. But, after I play with copper white nylon in few weeks, the Ti flat become stiff for me.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.

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