OK, so Ernie Ball suggest that the new Paradigm range will play and feel just like the steadfast standard Slinky sets that have been - certainly in my case - the only strings I can truly say I'm happy with. The first time I ever had to restring my guitar, I was about 12, I had absolutely no idea what strings I wanted and I just wanted to replace the high 'e' string I snapped the night before. The guy in the guitar store obviously knew that and just reached for the closest set he could find, which was inevitably a bright pink set of Super Slinkys; I was happy, they had a big eagle on the front and I instantly spotted Slash's name in the insane list of artists on the back! Sold.
14 years later, I confess, I have moonlighted (I work in a guitar strings store, come on!) a little with numerous different brands’ interpretations of the perfect rock n' roll string but, after all of that, I still put a set of Slinkys on and thought "why did I ever think I needed to change?". Well, a fitting question now as Ernie Ball drop their new line of strings which promise to be the unbreakable, V2.0 Slinkys [technically 'break-resistant', let's be honest with ourselves, they're made of steel, if you want to use them as a tow rope you may find them in two parts rather quickly]. My Les Paul and ESPs are strung with Beefy Slinkys nowadays so I nabbed a couple sets of Beefy 'Paradigms' as soon as they arrived and then... sat at my desk clock watching until 5pm! Work finished, I could then have a go...
The Paradigm Test. Well, fair enough, when they go on they do nod in a Slinky-sounding direction, but very quickly I began to notice a couple of differences. They tuned and intonated instantly... yep, honest, they just went on, I tuned them up and they stayed there. Granted, I'm a pro at restringing, I do it as a job, but you'd normally expect to stretch and tune a good few times before a string eventually settles; not that it's ever particularly bothered me but it was quite pleasant. Sonically, the low end seems tighter, more defined (yeah, as if I ever thought a string could do that) but the fizzy Slinky top remains and they sound well balanced. The attack feels stronger, so as you hit the string it feels like there's more of it there which is great for digging in and riffing; and they retain the Slinky bouncy-springiness that I've always loved.
So they sound great, what about the strength and life, after all that is what their selling point is! My ESP has a floating Floyd Rose trem so I got a little whacky with it and attempted John Petrucci's method of trying to break them. I couldn't break them that way; my ESP is solid mahogany and weighs more than my LP which is also solid mahogany and I could hold the guitar up by the trem arm and throw it round a bit (the kind of theatre trick I usually pull on stage in the last song which'll snap a couple of strings). If they can stand that, which is really way, way more than what they need to withstand under 'normal' playing conditions then I'd be happy to trust them live. I've played them live a few times too and after a few weeks of sweaty clubs and humid rehearsal rooms (it's mid year here, it's humid!) they still haven't dulled off. They've still got bright top end and they're intonated perfectly.
Will I change to Paradigm? Erm, resoundingly, yeah!! There's a sense of reliability and trust that I've acquired with Paradigms that gives me the confidence to go at it hard and not worry about the toll on my strings. They're like redecorating and updating your house, they're new and upgraded, superior in tone and stronger in performance but there's still a little bit of home.
Written by Sam, Strings Direct
PARADIGM. Break Resistant. Ultra Durable.
Ernie Ball’s Paradigm strings are the most break resistant strings on the planet – they’ll even guarantee it! Providing an industry leading level of strength and longer life, Paradigm strings demonstrate an unprecedented advance in string technology while still retaining 100% of the Slinky tone and feel that the top players of the last 40 years and come to love and demand.
Ernie Ball’s Paradigm ultra-high-strength steel makes up the cores of the wound strings and the plain strings which are then further reinforced with Ernie Ball’s patented lock twist to ensure superior tensile and fatigue strength. Paradigm strings will lock into tune fast and withstand an assault from even the most hardcore players.
The wrap wire on the Paradigm wound strings is plasma-enhanced for corrosion resistance and Everlast treated for unparalleled repellency of oils, sweat and gunk & debris build-up. Experience the first set of longer lasting strings that are worth playing with all benefits and no compromises.
THE PARADIGM GUARANTEE
Since 1962 the Ball family has been dedicated to crafting guitar strings that shape the landscape of rock and roll. Continuing their passion for innovation and high-quality products, Ernie Ball PARADIGM electric and acoustic guitar strings are the world’s most advanced string technology ever created. Featuring the first fully backed guarantee – if Paradigm strings break or rust within 90 days, Ernie Ball will replace them. Paradigm strings feature superior break-resistance and unparalleled durability while delivering the iconic Slinky tone Ernie Ball is known for.