More rust on EB cobalt rounds.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by 68Goldfish, Sep 19, 2022.

  1. 68Goldfish

    68Goldfish Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    Port Orchard WA
    I literally used these strings on one gig. Put them on the a day or two before the gig. Granted it was a super hot day and I guess I may have sweated more that usual (I don’t usually sweat at all actually). And the gig was right on the edge of the sound so maybe there was more salt in the air or something. Anyway I noticed right after the gig, when I was putting the bass away for a while, that the strings were deader than dead…..I mean dead dead. Like they were bright and snappy before the gig (remember I had just put them on) and after the gig you couldn’t hardly hear them when playing acoustically. They’d just lost every bit of life and turned into the dullest most lifeless sound ever. Anyway, that was about six weeks ago and I just took the bass back out and this is what the strings look like now. Crazy rust! Strange as EB regular slinkies are my go to string. This was my first experience trying the cobalt rounds. I have cobalt flats on a couple other basses and I’ve seen no such issues with them. Anyway, thought I’d toss this out there just for the general knowledge pool. Just one gig….

    Attached Files:

    HaphAsSard and markanini like this.
  2. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    Cobalts maybe aren't a good fit with your personal chemistry. Flats being more resilient doesn't have to be that weird, the spaces between the wrap wire is less exposed.

    If you need reasons to avoid Cobalts the extraction of the raw materials is not exactly humane.
    BrentSimons likes this.
  3. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Doc, it hurts when I do this.....

    "Don't do this"
  4. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    I used to be the same way with most things nickel. I would corrode NPS strings, nickel pickup covers, etc. A GHS Boomer E string would hardly last through a gig for me.

    I have some used Cobalt rounds in various gauges. If you want to try them again to see if it is actually the cobalt, and not just a new old stock set that was on its way down already before you mounted them, please PM me.
    BrentSimons and 68Goldfish like this.
  5. 68Goldfish

    68Goldfish Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    Port Orchard WA
    Yeah, that’s the thing….my go to strings are the EB slinkies (nickel) and I’ve never had this problem. I really just bought these cobalts on a whim because I’ve been loving the cobalt flats. I think you may be right about them being old stock made before the change if there was indeed a change at some point. Doesn’t matter because I wasn’t necessarily thrilled with the sound of them enough to try them again. I should have never strayed from my old faithful slinkies! Thanks for the offer tho. I appreciate it!
    BrentSimons likes this.
  6. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    I'm actually the opposite. My body chemistry is such that I can kill a set of stainless steel strings in less than an hour. As a result, I only use nickel-wound strings.
  7. Never tried cobalts but this definitely doesn't make me want to try them. I don't have any salt in my area but that just looks like it'll give you tetnus.
    68Goldfish likes this.
  8. klejst

    klejst Guest

    Oct 5, 2010
    Never tried cobalt's either and likely won't. This is not the first I heard of this happening with them.
    68Goldfish likes this.
  9. Koldunya


    Dec 26, 2021
    Damn, I've had them on two basses and never had this happen. But I live in Texas. My understanding is that EB uses a cobalt/iron alloy, though the cobalt allegedly would prevent corrosion. Clearly not here o_O

    Which really sucks, EB cobalt rounds are my absolute favorite string ever for sound. After finding out about its potential issues as a resource, I asked EB in email and on Twitter how their cobalt is sourced and they never answered, so I went with assuming the worst even if they just don't know. There are legit sources, but supporting child labor in atrocious conditions and a potential conflict mineral for my bass strings was just not an option.
  10. The scary part of this is that I actually live around an hour from the Ernie Ball factory in Southern California. As much as I like the idea of supporting business in my area it's really a hard sell here. If the string rust doesn't get you the shady dealings will.
    BrentSimons likes this.
  11. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    I wonder if there was an "out of spec" material situation here as the pictures are something I've never seen on any bass or guitar string regardless of how long they were used/left on. However, I have no experience with cobalt strings and only use nickel and stainless.
  12. Cobalts = RUST
    markanini likes this.