Ernie Ball have been making electric guitar strings for many years and have obviously experimented with various metal combinations in order to create the best sound and feel for guitar players. Their latest product uses an alloy called Cobalt and in doing so really does create a totally different feeling and sounding string than their standard or coated offerings. This is how Ernie Ball describe the Cobalt Slinky’s:
“Engineered to maximize output and clarity, Ernie Ball Cobalt Slinky Guitar Strings are the latest innovation in string technology. Seeking to provide guitarists and bassists with a new voice, Cobalt strings provide an extended dynamic range, incredible harmonic response, increased low end, and crisp, clear highs.
“Cobalt provides a stronger magnetic relationship between pickups and strings than any other alloy previously available. Cobalt Slinkys are also soft and silky to the touch, making string bending a breeze.”
The Cobalt Slinky’s definitely have a more elastic feel (I’m referring to the wound strings by the way I believe the top strings are the same as regular Slinky strings) compared to the regular Slinky and they seem to do so without feeling loose like you have stepped down a gauge. I felt that the tension was still there but bending was much easier and I tried to demonstrate how easy bending the 10′s were in the demo above. The strings sound bright and punchy and allow for nice string separation even with higher gain settings, I know it is hard to determine from my demo whether this is much different to a set of regular strings without a direct comparison but hopefully you will be able to get an idea of how the strings sound with low and high gain.
I’m not sure if the Cobalt affects the longevity of the string life but I don’t think that it would be as dramatic as using a coated string. If they do last anywhere near to as long as a coated string then these are a winner for me, if they only last as long as regular Slinky strings then they could prove a little expensive at double the price of regular slinky strings.
l have also read a lot of people wondering if the Cobalt strings will wear down nickel frets more quickly, we’ll I personally have no idea but surely it won’t be a dramatic difference?
I definitely felt and heard a difference with the Cobalt strings and they are something I would recommend trying at least once to see what you think for yourself.
Check out more info on Ernie Ball Cobalt Strings here.