Ernie Ball Slinky Flatwound Cobalt electric bass strings review

Get that retro bass sound with these top-tier strings

Ernie Ball Slinky Flatwound Cobalt
(Image: © Ernie Ball)

Guitar World Verdict

A successful hybrid of old- and new-school characteristics that sounds great on vintage-style passive axes or modern active machines.


  • +

    Full range response, great note definition


  • -


You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

While roundwound bass strings have long been the prevailing choice for electric bassists, some among us still believe the world is flat. In the early years, flatwounds were the only string type available for “Fender bass,” and the dark, thumpy texture they produced was the default bass tone of the day.

But as rock & roll got louder and more aggressive in the mid 1960s, roundwound strings came into being, and were prized for their improved note definition and greater cutting power. Roundwounds ruled rock during the ’70s, ’80s, and well into the ’90s, until artists like Beck and Smash Mouth began creating pop music with a retro-inspired sonic palette, spurring a renewed interest in the dark-chocolate tone that only flatwounds provide.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49