ComradeNF
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2009
579 IQ
#1
So I was at Guitar Center picking up my RG321E and I thought it would be nice to get some strings to accompany it. The employees there persuaded me to get the Ernie Ball COBALT slinky strings over the coated Elixer strings I was going to purchase. They told me they will sound much better under distortion and give me a nicer tone.

I got home and installed them a few hours ago and they honestly do not sound that great under distortion, and they create a lot of string buzz. They sound very rough.

Is this normal? Does anyone else use these strings? What do you guys have to say about them? I bought a set of regular slinky's just in case I didn't like these.
bassmastamitch
Isn't good at bass
Join date: Aug 2010
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#2
I have, and they are pretty good sounding and feeling when you first play them, but wear out like nobody's business. Twice as fast as normal EBs. Too fast to warrant a $6 price difference of typical Slinkys (give of take a few bucks)

What was your guitar in for at GC? They might have done a good ol' GC setup and messed it up.
ComradeNF
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2009
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#3
Quote by bassmastamitch
I have, and they are pretty good sounding and feeling when you first play them, but wear out like nobody's business. Twice as fast as normal EBs. Too fast to warrant a $6 price difference of typical Slinkys (give of take a few bucks)

What was your guitar in for at GC? They might have done a good ol' GC setup and messed it up.


It wasn't in for anything, it was brand new in the factory box. I'm a beginner so I don't know much about setting a guitar up. All I did was unpack it and change the stock strings. I'm going to throw on some normal EB's now and see what I think of those.

Should I have it set up somewhere professionally?
Viban
UG's resident bum
Join date: Nov 2011
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#4
You might have used a guage other than what came one it and that MAY be presenting a problem. However I've never liked EB's to start with.
Quote by R45VT
Bastards.
nickdohle
Let's a go Mario!
Join date: Feb 2009
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#5
Whats your guitar? I suggest you read the ultimate setup guide and do it yourself instead of paying somebody. Its easy.
bassmastamitch
Isn't good at bass
Join date: Aug 2010
1,412 IQ
#6
If you're a beginner, you might want to take it in for a pro set up (NOT GC) or try it yourself if you're confident enough. But if you are careless you might screw up your guitar.

Experiment with different types of strings once you found a gauge that feels good to you. Make sure that you use only the gauge that the shop sets up your guitar with (I'm assuming will be 10-46, though most guitars ship with 9-42s), or else you might end up with buzzing or intonation problems, to name a few.
K!!LsWiTcH
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Join date: Sep 2006
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#7
i like their sound but they really deteriorate faster than anything ive ever played and the set on my sg is the last my sg will see not worth 10 dollars every month for strings
katalyzt13
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2010
2,152 IQ
#8
the strings aren't causing the buzzing on a new instrument. The guitar is set up poorly, or set up for a very different gauge of strings.
ComradeNF
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2009
579 IQ
#9
Yeah, looks like it isn't the strings after all. Tried a pack of Ernie Ball Regular's and it has exactly the same issue.

Anyway, I am going to take the guitar to Guitar Center tomorrow and have it set up. I called like 5 guitar shops in the area and they charge anywhere from $60 to $120 for a complete set up, with GC being the cheapest at $60.

So once I get the guitar set up this one time will I need to have it set up again or something when I want to change my strings? It will be the same gauge strings though.
Viban
UG's resident bum
Join date: Nov 2011
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#10
Don't let GC do it, they don't know a truss rod from a meat rod. If you are willing to try it yourself I'd reccomend that, otherwise see if you have any friends who can help. I mean I've set up a couple floyds for my friends completely free of charge
Quote by R45VT
Bastards.
ComradeNF
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2009
579 IQ
#11
Quote by Viban
Don't let GC do it, they don't know a truss rod from a meat rod. If you are willing to try it yourself I'd reccomend that, otherwise see if you have any friends who can help. I mean I've set up a couple floyds for my friends completely free of charge


Does GC have a bad reputation or something?

The interesting thing though was that they told me the complete set-up would take just over an hour, while the other places I called told me that I need to leave my guitar with them for a few days to a week tops.
ikey_
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2009
4,739 IQ
#12
i really do not think they offer much over regular slinkys for twice the price. they might tweak the tone a tad but not really.

i think any faster wearing etc, is all a placebo effect. we have a new toy we are skeptical of, so we find reasons in our head to think of something.

"oh wait, i need to see if they wore faster....wait did i just, hear, i think i di.....yeah it wore out faster!!!!"

what im trying to say is i bought a pair and it really isnt much different than playing regular slinkys and i spent a bunch of time feeling up my strings and looking for rust instead of playing.

* you know what i tried for the first time and they rock??? BOOMERS. Im hooked*
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#13
Quote by ComradeNF
Does GC have a bad reputation or something?


Do fat babies fart?

Are bullfrogs waterproof?

Is a pig's ass pork?


Just so there's no confusion, that would be a 'yes'...


Where do you live?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
ComradeNF
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2009
579 IQ
#14
Quote by Arby911
Do fat babies fart?

Are bullfrogs waterproof?

Is a pig's ass pork?


Just so there's no confusion, that would be a 'yes'...


Where do you live?


Near San Jose, CA.
BobDetroit
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Join date: Jan 2009
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#15
Quote by ComradeNF
Does GC have a bad reputation .
They sold you a new guitar and now they want to charge you $60 to set it up so you can play it? How could you think Guitar Center was anything but womderful?
Arby911
Finding the Pattern
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830 IQ
#16
Quote by ComradeNF
Near San Jose, CA.


Marks Guitar repair - (408) 378-6007
279 Dillon Ave, #4, Campbell, CA.

Good Reputation and reasonably priced. Call and talk to them.
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ihartfood
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Join date: Mar 2012
551 IQ
#17
They suck ass. I really hate those strings. After literally a month and a half of medium use, the low E and A came unwound at the bridge and tore up my palm while I was playing.

I went in and bought a pack of D'addario 10s and went on with life. I don't think it's worth the extra money for strings that wear out so fast and that IMO don't sound that great.
Vicious_Turtle
UG Member
Join date: Jul 2010
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#18
Quote by K!!LsWiTcH
i like their sound but they really deteriorate faster than anything ive ever played and the set on my sg is the last my sg will see not worth 10 dollars every month for strings

10$ a month? my d'addarios wear out in a week. i wish i only had to change strings once a month
nickdohle
Let's a go Mario!
Join date: Feb 2009
1,233 IQ
#19
60 bucks for a setup? Damn bro. That sucks. I got my first guitar set up at gc for like 55 bucks. And they didnt even intonate it.
Blktiger0
The Name's Devon! ;)
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#20
Quote by ihartfood
They suck ass. I really hate those strings. After literally a month and a half of medium use, the low E and A came unwound at the bridge and tore up my palm while I was playing.

I went in and bought a pack of D'addario 10s and went on with life. I don't think it's worth the extra money for strings that wear out so fast and that IMO don't sound that great.


If you play for an hour per day, you should be changing your strings at least every two weeks to keep them fresh.

As for Cobalts wearing out faster, I was pretty optimistic about them, but after trying them I agree. Honestly, though, Dunlop sells string cleaner that fixes that until you're ready to change them. As for a tone difference, I recorded my Power Slinky's, then changed to Cobalt Power Slinky's and recorded a similar demo. There's definitely a fairly obvious difference. I mean, the Cobalts were fresh, whereas the normal ones were a week or so old, but there was still an obvious difference in output, clarity/articulation, and brightness aside from the differences of having new strings. If I can find what I did with those two recordings, I'll see if I can't put them up on my profile and post a link on here. I personally prefer them over regular Slinky's. I think they have a small durability issue, but not enough to worry about. If you don't put a new set of strings on for every gig, you're doing it wrong anyway (unless you have two gigs on back to back days)
jpatan
UG's only REAL Llama
Join date: Sep 2009
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#21
I use elixir nanoweb, and they last me months. Before I started using them, I used EB slinky's, and I'd be changing them out every 7-14 days. Double the money, but they easily last me 10X as long.
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#22
Quote by jpatan
I use elixir nanoweb, and they last me months. Before I started using them, I used EB slinky's, and I'd be changing them out every 7-14 days. Double the money, but they easily last me 10X as long.


This! Last October I bought 6 packs of the Elixir 7-string sets (Just Strings had a sale on at the time.). Each of the two packs I've used so far, the Elixir's could've easily kept its tone over 6 months. I only change the strings every 6 months because I like the feel of fresh strings. Yes, Elixirs are expensive but they have great value in the long run. Needless to say that Elixir is the only brand I'll ever use.
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#23
Go try them?

You'll get people who love them and hate them. For example, I can't stand elixirs. But jpatan does. Does that mean they suck? No. It just means they don't work for me. You're better off doing a bit of trial and error to find what you like, luckily it's not terribly expensive.
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#24
Quote by Arby911
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Are bullfrogs waterproof?

Is a pig's ass pork?


Just so there's no confusion, that would be a 'yes'...
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bassmastamitch
Isn't good at bass
Join date: Aug 2010
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#25
Quote by ikey_
i think any faster wearing etc, is all a placebo effect. we have a new toy we are skeptical of, so we find reasons in our head to think of something.

"oh wait, i need to see if they wore faster....wait did i just, hear, i think i di.....yeah it wore out faster!!!!"

I thought Cobalts were awesome when I first put them on, and was shocked to find them wear out so fast. I wasn't skeptical at all, but now I have a firm opinion.
Viban
UG's resident bum
Join date: Nov 2011
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#26
Quote by Blktiger0
If you play for an hour per day, you should be changing your strings at least every two weeks to keep them fresh.

well then I guess that makes me a month or two overdue doesn't it?
Quote by R45VT
Bastards.
bassmastamitch
Isn't good at bass
Join date: Aug 2010
1,412 IQ
#27
There isn't a determined time you should replace strings. You should play what feels and sounds best to you, which for some (like me) is pretty well worn in strings. Unless you're dropping out of tune where then switch immediately.

EDIT: And there's a difference between worn in and losing all tonality, as the Cobalts did for me.
Last edited by bassmastamitch at Sep 8, 2012,
Blktiger0
The Name's Devon! ;)
Join date: Sep 2007
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#28
^Just saying, the difference could merely be that you don't like the sound of Cobalts when they are worn in. However, like I said, hit them with a dose of Dunlop string cleaner and they sound fresh again. I don't actually change my strings as often as I should. I know few players who do. However, in terms of corrosion, Cobalts take forever to form any kind of rust or discoloration compared to normal slinky's. They're just like any string you'll find - they have pros and cons. If you like the pros enough to overlook the cons, you've found your strings.
ComradeNF
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2009
579 IQ
#29
Just wanted to say you guys were completely right about GC. I thought maybe hey, they can't really be that bad. They were worse than I though. They basically stole my $60.

I called the guitar repair guy at GC in advance to ask questions and he told me the complete guitar tune up and set up would take an hour. I went in there, and he literally rushed through it in around 15 minutes. All he did was restring it, adjust the truss rod, and adjust the bridge. That's it. For $60. I could have done all of that myself. Over the phone he told me he would check the electronics and a bunch of other stuff too. He quickly rushed mine and moved on to the next customer.

I'm never giving GC my money again, even for a guitar. Their customer service is beyond horrible. Hopefully there will be a small guitar shop or something near Sacramento where I will be going to college.
ComradeNF
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2009
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#30
Oh, and my strings buzz the same amount, if not more now... When playing unamplified of course. Is there any fix for this?
Maineguitarist
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#31
Quote by ComradeNF
Oh, and my strings buzz the same amount, if not more now... When playing unamplified of course. Is there any fix for this?

Tap the frets with a rubber mallet.
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#32
Quote by bassmastamitch
I have, and they are pretty good sounding and feeling when you first play them, but wear out like nobody's business. Twice as fast as normal EBs. Too fast to warrant a $6 price difference of typical Slinkys (give of take a few bucks)

And regular non-cobalt EB's wear out/sound bad stupidly fast. Which sucks, because IMO EB's sound better then D'Addario.
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guitarguydm123
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#33
i Havent played anything but cobalts since they came out and i love them
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bluestratplayer
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#34
Quote by Dr Sixstring
And regular non-cobalt EB's wear out/sound bad stupidly fast. Which sucks, because IMO EB's sound better then D'Addario.


That's what I love about Eb. They dull quickly. I hate the sound of fresh strings.
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Blktiger0
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#35
Quote by ComradeNF
Oh, and my strings buzz the same amount, if not more now... When playing unamplified of course. Is there any fix for this?


If it's only unamplified, why are you worried? Ever guitar I've ever played has at least some fret buzz when playing un-amped. If it isn't affecting your sound amplified or the playability of the guitar, then you're obsessing over nothing IMO.

Your best bet is to take it to somewhere better for a setup. If GC had done that to me, I would have demanded my money back on the spot and told them all of the things that you were promised for that price. Too often people get taken advantage of in the service industry because they don't have the balls to complain and demand value for their money. You are the customer, your word is law. If you were promised a service, paid for that service, then didn't get it and paid for it and walked away anyway, that's your fault, not theirs.