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Ernie Ball Slinky Cobalt strings

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by sloppychops, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. sloppychops

    sloppychops Tele-Meister

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    I put a set of .10 Cobalt Slinky strings on my American Special today and don't know if I love them or hate them. I know this sounds odd, but there are pros and cons to these strings and I can't figure out where I stand on them yet.

    I really wasn't expecting there to be much difference between these and the 10.5 D'addarios or Power Slinky I usually use, but there is. They give the guitar a sort of baritone guitar type of feel and, to a lesser extent, tone.

    Here's where I'm at:

    Pros
    They feel bigger than .10 gauge strings and have more "fight" than the Daddario 10.5 strings I had on before.

    They impart a deeper, "ballsier" tone on the bass strings and the trebles seem more powerful.

    They didn't take long to stabilize and seem to stay in tune exceptionally well.


    Cons
    They're harder to bend than the Daddario 10.5 strings I had on this Tele!

    The wound strings are noticeably more coarse feeling

    The bass strings have a deeper, meatier, "piano like" tone, but with a metallic "grit"

    They required resetting the intonation and lowering the neck pickup because the low E string was producing a muted thud on the high frets from being too close to the pickup.


    I'm leaving them on, but have mixed feelings at this point.

    If you've tried them, what do you think?
     
  2. RobRiggs

    RobRiggs Tele-Meister

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    I have a set of cobalt 10’s on one of my Stratocasters. The only thing I’ve noticed it that they’re a little harder to bend. Almost seem like a set of 11’s to me.
     
  3. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    i have a friend who was using those on his american standard strat and they destroyed the frets. they stripped the coating off the tops of the frets. YMMV
     
  4. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    According to the Mohs hardness scale, Cobalt scores a 5.0 (Iron is 4.0)
    Nickel's Mohs hardness is 4.
    Tin, which is the plating of most plain strings, is 1.5
     
  5. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    I tried a set, and I don't care for them. I have been using EB SS for decades, but lately they seem to wear out too fast, and were just starting to sound bland, and seemed to be lacking in tuning stability too lately. So, I switched to Fender 250s, which sound better (much livelier and more expressive), they play easier and bend easier, which also makes them more expressive, and they last a whole lot longer. They really have brought the guitars I've strung with them back to life. I know they're made by Daddario, but they aren't the same as XLs. They play and sound better than XLs to me too. I tried some NYXLs too, and liked them less than regular XLs. I haven't tried EB Paradigm, or Daddario's other new fancy strings. Since I love the Fender strings so much, I feel no need to experiment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
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  6. Chicken Curry

    Chicken Curry Tele-Meister

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    I've used those exact same ones, I liked them. They seemed loud acoustically, gave a brighter, and at the same time, harder tone, would be good for metal. I took them off because of one big negative; they wear the frets a lot more! I could feel them grind against the frets sometimes too much.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
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  7. loudboy

    loudboy TDPRI Member

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    I tried a set, and liked them but after one gig, the high E and B were less output than the rest of the set. Really annoying - you couldn't hear the notes of chords on those strings.
     
  8. sloppychops

    sloppychops Tele-Meister

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    The fret wear issue is something I didn't come across when I looked up reviews online, but I can see how it would happen. I'll probably give these strings a week before I end up chucking them, just to feel like I got some use out of them. I really thought/hoped they would give this particular Tele more twang, but it seems like they give the guitar more of a "hard rock" type vibe. I actually think the neck pickup has never sounded better, though. It's a deeper, fatter tone than with Daddario 10.5 or EB Power Slinky strings and it works really well with overdrive.
     
  9. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Too $$
     
  10. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I tried a set when they first came out, and I hated them. Took them off shortly after, and never bought another set.

    I really like regular Ernie Ball strings on Teles.
     
    Chicken Curry likes this.
  11. sloppychops

    sloppychops Tele-Meister

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    Well, the experiment is over. I only put a few hours on these strings and couldn't take any more. Today I put on a set of DR Pure Blues .10 - .46 I had sitting in a box for over a year. It's like my Tele was born again. Had a set of these on a guitar years ago and I had completely forgotten how nice they are.

    If anyone wants my lightly used EB Cobalt strings, I'll send them in an envelope free of charge.
     
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