Since the 1960’s, Ernie Ball have been producing some of the finest guitar strings that have been used by almost every legendary player to hit the stage around the world. Revered legends like Eric Clapton, Slash, Keith Richards, Kirk Hammett, Jimmy Page, John Mayer and John Petrucci amongst countless others all choose Ernie Ball Slinkys when it comes to stringing up their guitar of choice.
After decades of the staple Slinky gauges being sold worldwide, Ernie Ball has recently made a huge effort in expanding their string range to accommodate players with weirder taste when it comes to particular string gauges. After the introduction of the Ultra and Burly Slinkys earlier in the year, the brand has expanded the line even further with the Primo, Mega and Mammoth Slinkys, ensuring every corner of the string market is covered and then some. Let’s dive in!
I know what you’re thinking. Do we really need more variety when it comes to string gauges? Of course, we do! In my 20+ years of playing, I have met so many players who have pieced together their own weird and wonderful sets together to suit their style of playing. With the introduction of these new gauges, those days will soon be forgotten.
The Primo and Mega sets are the perfect middle ground for players who are used to playing a standard 9-42 or 10-46 set but want slightly more tension without having to step up an entire gauge or go to a weird hybrid set. Both sets sit really comfortably in standard tuning and provide incredibly balanced tension along all strings. While not too dissimilar from the Regular and Super Slinky sets, I’m sure some players will enjoy having another option to their regular set with a bit more beef in the strings.
I’ve been dying for Ernie Ball to do a set like the Mammoth Slinky for years and I was over the moon when they finally announced it. The Baritone Slinky set has always been way too heavy for a standard scale guitar and I am so damn tired of buying a seven-string set only to remove the high E (I have so many loose 10’ gauge strings in my house). The Mammoth Slinky is a 12-62 set with a wound G, making it perfect for those wanting to tune down to C Standard, B Standard or Drop A with optimal tension. I popped the set on my trusty Music Man Stingray and tuned it to Drop A for my favourite Vheissu-era Thrice impression and it was absolutely spot on. The 62-gauge low E is perfect for heavy handed players like me who often hear string warble when riffing away or recording. Those days are gone now and if you listen closely, you can actually hear the sound of low tuned riff lords celebrating around the world.
You might have noticed by now that I haven’t mentioned how they sound, and to be honest I don’t really need to because they’re Slinkys and you know exactly how they sound. The age-old nickel-plated steel wire wrapped around steel core wire hasn’t changed and that’s just fine. The classic bright, punchy and clear Slinky tone you know and love is there; it's just now available in in a wider variety of gauges for players of all styles and tastes.
Hits and Misses
Same classic Slinky tone