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Ernie Ball has always had a passion for music, with a career going back to 1949 when he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and joined its service band. While teaching guitar throughout the early years of his career, he noticed how difficult it could be to bend the strings and get proper fingering—especially for new players. That observation led to Ernie Ball to create his own line of guitar strings, which have been providing guitarists with amazing sound ever since. Cobalt strings are one of the newest developments from the company, taking Ernie Ball's "Slinky" string style and applying it to a brand new material.
So, why use cobalt in a string? Essentially, it's because cobalt gets along better with electric guitar and bass pickups. Those pickups use magnetic coils to detect the vibration of the string, and Ernie Ball's cobalt alloy has a stronger interaction with the coils than other metals do. This translates to a string that pushes active-pickup levels of output even on passives, while still providing outstanding clarity. Whether you play guitar or bass, you can expect these strings to deliver a wide dynamic range with great performance in both the lows and highs.
If you've used some of the other Ernie Ball "Slinky" strings, you can expect the same silky-smooth feel from the cobalts. These strings bend easily, making fretting a breeze for beginners as well as allowing pros to get around the fingerboard with less effort. That's good news for long shows and songs that take a lot of dexterity.
Ernie Ball strings are popular with artists including Slash, Peter Frampton, Steve Vai, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and Keith Richards—and that's just a short list. We think you'll agree that they're on to something when it comes to making good strings, and these cobalt electric guitar and bass strings definitely live up to the Ernie Ball name.
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