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Thread: Strings and other things....

  1. #1

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    Strings and other things....

    Did I tell you that I love my Bongo 6? Oh, I did? Okay...just wanted to make sure.

    I was amazed that the original Slinky strings were so great sounding and they felt great too. Great OEM strings on a great bass! Yessir.

    Someone suggested that if I love the Slinky's I would really love the Cobalt Slinky's. So I ordered some and they arrived today so I just finished changing the strings.

    They do sound terrific. Perhaps a little darker or smoother than the nickel Slinky's. Fantastic balance string to string and really wonderful sounding. I would love them better than the original Slinky's except for the feel. The nickel Slinky's are really smooth and slick feeling but the Cobalts feel sort of sticky. Well, sticky is probably not the right word....they just don't feel as smooth as the nickel strings. I will play them until they need changing and perhaps my fickle mind will change.

    Some thoughts about changing strings:

    With a bridge that is not a top load it is pretty easy to scuff up the finish on the body behind the bridge when sliding old strings out or new ones in. I avoid that by putting some of that blue painter's tape on the body behind the bridge. It comes off easily and leaves no residue but does protect the finish while changing strings.


    Most of us set intonation by checking the harmonic against the fretted note at the 12th fret. Many years ago I read an article by Rick Turner (bass builder and former Alembic employee) and he recommended checking the harmonic/fretted note at the 19th fret. I have been using Rick's suggestion for years and find it to be far more accurate than the 12th fret. Chords and double stops just sing in perfect harmony when the intonation is set using that method.

    Oh look! There is a Bongo 6 string. I must play it!

  2. #2

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    Chuck, I think the Cobalts right out of the package do feel a little sticky. Or grippy. I wipe 'em down with those Ernie Ball String Wipes and voila! No more grippy.

    I agree, too, about the Slinkys, but the Cobalts have more mids and I'm mad about mids. (Of course, I'm only using the Cobalt Flats.)

  3. #3

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    I have a 5 string set of Cobalt flats in the string drawer. I must try them some time.

    It is interesting that you hear more mids with the Cobalt strings. The sounded warm and round to me and mids typically have an edge to them. Perhaps the Slinky Cobalt strings sound a bit different from the is reasonable to think so although flats are usually dark and smooth sounding.

    In any case, the strings sound wonderful and I am delighted to have discovered the great quality of Ernie Ball strings. I also checked the length before installing them and they will work quite nicely on my 35" scale basses. Once again the Ernie Ball design team comes through with one string set that will work on 34" or 35" scale length basses. Other manufacturers have long sets for 34" and super long sets for 35".

    Now to get back to reading down that chart for Deacon Blues. 12 pages. Yes, it is 12 pages. Two music stands plus my computer desk. Super fun. That music still moves me after all these years. I was a hippie in California when this came out.

  4. #4

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    I’ve got a set of Cobalts flats on one of my basses, love them. They have been on over 12months and just keep getting better. Don’t think I’m brave enough to put them on everything but as far as me and flats go they suite the bass they are on perfectly

    StingRay 4HH. SapphireBlack.2006
    StingRay 4H. Buttercreme. 2005
    StingRay 4H. ”SunBlue”. 2005
    Bongo 4H. Sapphire Black. 2005
    GENZ-BENZ & ORANGE amps...

  5. #5

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    The trouble with those Cobalt Slinky's, especially on the Bongo, is that they have an annoying habit of blowing the bricks out of the back wall of the venue. And also that they last forever, so if you don't like them you're stuck with them for a really long time.

  6. #6

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    I played the Bongo with the Cobalt Slinky's at my church gig yesterday. Sounded fantastic. The strings are losing the sticky feel. I wiped them down with a micro fiber cloth and that helped a lot.

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