Opinions on Ernie Ball Bass Strings...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Contractor821, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Contractor821


    Jul 14, 2013
    Hey everyone! I was just curious to see what other fellow bass players opinions are on Ernie Ball bass strings. I've played them several times and i've found that they are becoming my favorite set of strings to use. I have been using the orange 45-105 Hybrid set and I love them. I have never tried the Cobalt or the coated electric slinky, how are they and what are your opinions on Ernie ball strings in general!

    bdplaid, mikewalker and armybass like this.
  2. Tomorrow


    Jun 7, 2013
    I use Ernie Balls, Power Slinkys in both nickel and cobalt. They're relatively inexpensive, but they feel and sound fine to me. Unlike a lot of members here, I'm not a fan of flatwounds.

    The cobalt strings are more expensive, they have a slightly different feel to them, but they have a noticeably different tone to them. Seems like they're a bit louder, with a broader "punch," for lack of a better way to describe it. Worth a try, IMO.
  3. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    I have always liked Ernie Ball Regular Slinky. Meaty, toneful, and never too expensive.
  4. Contractor821


    Jul 14, 2013
    I agree, I don't know why but I really love Ernie Ball's. Im a big fan of both Heavy Metal/Punk Rock music and after trying the Hybrid set (45-105) i've found it hard to use other strings because I love the tone they produce for that kind of music, im not sure if its just me or not, haha.
    The only complaint I have is they die fairly quickly, the one thing that I do like is, as said before how inexpensive they are so even though their life span is shot... to me, I can always pick up another set for not that much money.
    Altogether, I feel that they are great strings.
    Thanks for the replies! Keep them coming if you want! :)
  5. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    I used the flats. I find compared to other brands to be neither bad or great, just middle of the road.
    Back when i used rounds i was never overly impressed by them, just like the flats they were just average.
  6. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I am a huge fan of their Slinkys and use them on everything, especially my Ernie Ball basses but could not feel the love for the Cobalts. I use the regular pink package 4 string set and the green package 5 string set on pretty much everything. They are some of the least expensive strings around, are consistent, have good punch and growl without being overly bright and are still fairly useable even when almost dead.

    The only cons are that they don't last as long as some other brands and tend to get really dead sounding once they fully die off. I have heard that they are the same string as the standard nickle Daddario's but they always seem so much better to me. Love em!
  7. Eddie95Z28

    Eddie95Z28 I play bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2003
    Detroit Area, Michigan
    I just got my first Stingray which coincidentally came with my first set of Ernie Ball Super Slinky bass strings. So far so good. I used to play DR Hi-Beams regularly and sometimes they would have a sticky feel. The EBs feel much nicer. I like the out of the package sound, but I heard they die down very quickly. I have only had them about a week so I guess I'll see. I'd definitely buy another set once these ones are done.
  8. No complaints....

    But its interesting because I am generally a brand loyalist with many things but for some reason not with strings

    I usually buy two sets at a time and then move onto something else

    I dont know why that is.....:meh:
  9. Plectrum72

    Plectrum72 Supporting Member

    I love 'em. Been using them for 20+ years. Ernie Ball 2832 Regular Slinky Round Wound 50-105 are my favorite.
  10. BumbleB


    Mar 19, 2013
    aurora, colorado
    What do you all find is the average life span for your EB's? How often and how hard do you play? A casual woodshedding player would have strings last longer than a frequently gigging player, I imagine.

    I have my first whole set of EB's on my secondary bass. They are the nickel roundwounds in medium gauge. I like them so far, but it's only been one and a half weeks with them on and I've only played a couple really short sessions with them.
  11. PluckyThump


    Jan 4, 2008
    The Hammer
    I like Slinkys very much, especially the 5-string set with the .130 B which is one of the best B-strings available IME. They sound good, they're inexpensive and you can get them at any music store. They are zingy at first but break in quickly. I get good life out of them but with my body chemistry I get long life out of most any string.
    ComeHomeShane likes this.
  12. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    Love Hybrid Slinky nickel rounds on my Squier VM Jazz. Best string I have found for that particular instrument yet. The slap tone is fantastic, and fingerstyle isn't sacrificed at all.

    They are slightly higher tension than I prefer for fingerstyle. For straight fingerstyle, I like the playability of Sunbeams better. But the massive clarity of the slapped E and A string on the EB Hybrid set makes up for it, in my opinion.
  13. I used regular Slinkys for a while. I found them to be good strings with a nice sound, but without any real uniqueness or vibe to them, so I switched to SS rotosounds.

    They are like the water of the string world. You could use them forever and not complain, but they won't get you excited.

    Cobalts are a whole different ball game; they have a very zingy, modern tone to them, and have new string sound that lasts for ages.
  14. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    They never really stood out for me as being that great. They go dead faster than other strings too.
    waynobass likes this.
  15. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Levis, Quebec, Canada
    IMO, it is very good strings! Not my ultimate favourite, but in my top3.
  16. Jtaing562


    May 24, 2013
    I love Ernie Ball! Great strings at a great price and the best customer service hands down! I like their regular slinky 5's.
  17. Red_Merkin


    Nov 12, 2012
    I've never liked them - they're all hype and marketing, as far as I'm concerned.

    Slinkys feel ok, but they sound way too thin - almost nasal - and they had these nasty "fart on a steel drum" overtones I could never EQ away.

    I gave up on them when a defective E string broke on me as I put it on. After that I switched to D'Addarios, which had none of those problems and were very balanced overall. I stuck with those for a long time before switching to GHS Boomers for the slightly stiffer feel and increased low mid punch and presence.
  18. Tightanic


    Oct 26, 2000
    Ernie Ball strings have been my personal favorite for at least five or six years, I really just can't find anything about them that I don't like (compared to other strings naturally):

    • Great tone, and I mean tone - good center and growl, responsive and organic feeling
    • Good longevity - as any uncoated string they will die sooner or faster depending on how much you sweat, but they're not the type of string I ever found to be dead after two or three gigs. Usually I also boil every set once which gives me a couple of weekends worth of really good sound with sufficient snap for the occasional thumb work.
    • Smart gauges: I've been using Regular Slinky on 5 and 6 string basses mostly, and the combination of (32), 45, 65, 80, 100 yet 130 B-string makes good sense to me. Great B string and even feeling across the strings.
    • No harshness - some new strings feel somewhat coarse and stiff right after installing them, with these I was never concerned to put them on 30 minutes before a gig. They stay in tune well and feel good right out of the box. Bending the contact points at bridge and nut to make the ringing part of the string a straight line always helps a great deal with any string to make it 'fit' right away.
    • Inexpensive! It's almost too good to be true, I would probably keep buying these strings if they were pricier, but with a 5-String set for $25 or less it's a no brainer to keep a few sets in stock and never let them get too old (which fortunately doesn't happen all that fast, read above)
    As you can tell I'm a fan, but I am in no way associated with Ernie Ball, quite happy though, that after I first played these I could pretty much stop caring about strings, there's just nothing about them that bothers me really, so I make sure I always have a fresh pack at home.
    1954bassman likes this.
  19. u84six

    u84six Don't panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    I have Super Slinkys on my Stingray and I really like them a lot. They're a great inexpensive all-purpose string. Great for slapping, popping, or just straight-up deep tone when you need it.
  20. Love 'em.

    They get slagged a whole lot here on the Ivory Tower of Bass Playing.

    Thirty-eight years in as a pro bass player, I have no idea why.

    I think a lot of the negative comments are purely bandwagon mythological crap-ola.