During our time at Winter NAMM 2019, we spent days scouring countless booths to check out the best and most exciting new gear that you're sure to fall in love with this year. One booth in particular that was bursting with new goodies for 2019, was the Ernie Ball installation. We chatted with Drew Montell, Director of Engineering for Ernie Ball Music Man, and he gave us the lowdown on some awesome new accessories heading down the pike.
Ultra and Burly Slinky String Sets
As Ernie Ball is a titan in the string industry, it only makes sense that Drew and the engineers have been tinkering with ways to cater to different types of players. Enter the Ultra and Burly Slinky sets. They're the same Slinky strings we all know and love, but they're new combinations of hybrid sets, similar to the popular Skinny Top, Heavy Bottom.
As the name implies, the Burly set is meaty, with gauges of 11, 14, 18p, 30, 42, 52, and aimed at players who play lower tunings or just want a thick tone and don't do a ton of bends. The Ultra set comes in a little lighter at 10, 13, 17, 28, 38, 48, and is more geared toward players who want a lighter upper range but still want some solid low end.
New Everlast Picks
What's a great set of strings without an equally excellent pick? Ernie Ball has greatly expanded on last year's line of Everlast picks, with several different shapes and thicknesses.
The Everlast pick lineup is more or less a conventional pick, with thicknesses that range from .48 mm to 2 mm and a wide range of colors. They're made from Delrin, which was selected for its durability and slip resistance.
Ernie Ball Ukulele Strings
With the recent meteoric rise in ukulele popularity, it was only a matter of time before the House of Slinky made waves in the uke world. And, again, the Ball family, along with Drew and the entire Ernie Ball engineering team looked at what's in the market and found ways to improve upon it.
"We put a ball end on ukulele nylon strings," Drew said. "So, that makes it easier to install. It makes the tuning way more stable. And we offer it in two colors — black ukulele strings or clear ukulele strings — for both concert and soprano."
Drew and his engineering team at Ernie Ball Music Man have continued their tradition of innovation, refinement and quality — always with players in mind. This is just a sampling of the many new accessories they're bringing to the market in 2019.