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Ernie Ball 2837 Review – Short Scale Bass Strings

Hello there and welcome back to another review article for you! This time we will be looking at one of the most niche bass guitar strings on the market, the Ernie Ball Slinky 2837.

In this Ernie Ball Slinky 2837 review, I will give you as many details as possible on this specific bass guitar string. I will also provide you with a demo video featuring my Ibanez SRC6 Crossover bass guitar.

Ernie Ball Company

Here’s a quick introduction and a quick history for those who have never heard of this wonderful company.

Ernie Ball is a well-known and respected American manufacturer of guitars, basses, guitar strings, and other musical accessories. The company was established in the late 50s and has played a significant role in shaping the modern music industry, particularly in electric guitar and bass.

The Ernie Ball story begins in the late 1950s when Clarence Leonidas “Ernie” Ball, a talented musician and entrepreneur, founded the company in Tarzana, California, USA.

In the beginning, Ernie Ball focused on manufacturing custom-made steel guitar sets for country musicians and handling the demand that was started by the rise of the electrified instruments in rock’n roll music.

Thomann's 70th Anniversary Offers

Thomann's 70th Anniversary Offers

The company revolutionized the guitar industry by introducing Slinky guitar strings in the early 60s. These strings were made of high-quality materials and way ahead of their time and these attributes resulted in the company and the Slinky gaining a lot of popularity among guitar players who were seeking superior tones, durability, performance and playability.

The Slinky guitar strings became synonymous with Ernie Ball and remain one of the most iconic guitar string brands to this day!

Throughout the 70s and 80s, Ernie Ball committed to innovation and quality to achieve their ambitions. The company’s guitar string line became the choice of many legendary guitar players such as Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix, among others.

On top of this, Ernie Ball Instruments gained recognition for their exceptional craftsmanship and sound, further solidifying the company’s reputation within musician communities.

In the ’90s, the company started focusing on the expansion of its product lines and introducing bass guitar strings, accessories and other musical instrument-related products. Ernie Ball also acquired Music Man which became a legend and pioneer in guitar history.

Ernie Ball 2837 Slinky

Ernie Ball 2837 Slinky bass guitar strings is a bass guitar string set for 6 string instruments. Even though you will find a “Baritone” addition to the string model name on some web stores, such as Thomann, it actually doesn’t have a baritone addition specifically on the product name. In fact, there’s another model called Ernie Ball 2839 Slinky Baritone which is made for baritone guitars with A tuning.

So if you want to set up your guitar down to A, you should better go for Ernie Ball 2839 Slinky Baritone rather than Ernie Ball 2837 Slinky bass guitar strings. Of course, you can also use 2837s, but I believe you may need to alter your nut and string holes at the bottom of your bridge.

Ernie Ball 2837
Ernie Ball 2837

How I came across Ernie Ball 2837 Slinky bass guitar strings was a nice coincidence while reading user reviews of Ibanez SRC6!

Back in the day, I got myself a very unique, short-scale bass guitar, Ibanez SRC6 Crossover. Though there are discussions about whether this is a bass or a guitar, I would definitely say this is a legit bass guitar. But it is way easier to play and control than a regular, full-scale, 6-string bass guitar.

Ibanez SRC6 comes with D’Addario® EXL156 strings. Unfortunately, EXL156 had some issues with the low E string. Except that, overall it sounded pretty good. The low E string felt too sloppy and loose. Mainly, when you play around octave E and beyond, it would generate some ringing tones.

After having researched these specific gauges, I found that some people also experienced the same problem with the factory strings on Ibanez SRC6.

I was hesitant to buy Ernie Ball 2837 Slinky strings immediately as I read some user reviews where people were concerned about the string length.

As most of them were questioning whether this set of strings would fit a Fender Bass VI. For those who have never heard of Fender Bass VI, it’s actually an original Fender bass guitar that features a short scale length as well as a tremolo bar!

As tremolo placement requires the strings to travel further on the body, people were concerned if they could even manage to put these strings on Fender Bass VI model guitars.

In order to make this clear for you, I just got a new set of Ernie Ball 2837 Slinky strings and measured the string length! Interestingly and for the first time, I noticed that the A string was way shorter than the rest of the strings. All the strings except A are about 117-120cm while A string is about 104cm.

Ernie Ball 2837 string length
Different lengths of strings, weird?

This did not create any issues while restringing my Ibanez SRC6, but I believe you should know in advance. If you are not sure whether your short scale can be restrung with Ernie Ball 2837, just measure the distance between your bridge (add extra length if your instrument is string thru design) and your tuning pegs.

Ernie Ball 2837 Slinky strings come with the following gauges (starting from high E) 20-30-42-54-74-90 as opposed to D’Addario EXL156 which comes with 24-34-44-56-72-84 gauges.

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Check out the best guitar pickup company, Seymour Duncan here!

As you can see, except for low E and A strings, the rest of them are thinner in gauge with Ernie Ball. But low E and A strings are a bit thicker! That does the miracle in my opinion and just adjusts the balance and tension at the optimum level.

While restringing my Ibanez SRC6 and recording a video showing the process, I also wanted to record a demo video featuring this guitar with a new set of Ernie Ball 2837 Slinky strings.

Ernie Ball 2837 Review

Ernie Ball 2837 Slinky strings are a bass guitar string set featuring 20-30-42-54-74-90 gauges. This set also features small ball ends just like guitar strings, unlike traditional bass guitar strings! This is important because usually short-scale basses are a bit smaller version of regular bass guitars, meaning that the string holes at the bottom of the bridge are also smaller.

While researching Ibanez SRC6 on the internet, I came across people who attempted to use regular bass guitar strings on this instrument and ended up modifying holes and the nut just to be able to string the guitar.

This set is made of nickel-plated steel wound around a hex-shaped steel core wire. I must say they are extremely affordable and hold up their tone for a long period of time. Even though they lose the initial spark of a fresh string set quickly, I can guarantee you that you won’t notice any drawbacks with how they feel and respond to your playing.

The first time I bought these strings was back in August 2020 and I never restrung my Ibanez SRC6. And I must say I rarely play and record with it, it’s not my main instrument as I play the electric guitar more often than I play the bass. But it always felt the same and I haven’t had any issues whatsoever with tuning or intonation. Considering its price, it’s more than affordable, actually is a steal in my opinion!

Ernie Ball 2837 Slinky Old vs New Strings (no talking)

As these kinds of moments don’t happen every day, I also wanted to use the opportunity and record a demo video showing 2 years old vs a couple of hours old Ernie Ball 2837 Slinky on the same bass guitar to present how a fresh set of bass guitar strings sound like.

I’m pretty sure you can hear the difference immediately. However, note that I believe 2 years old strings still sound great! I think it’s a nice luxury to be able to just ignore restringing for a couple of years on your bass guitars! 🙂

In this video, I played a simple bass line and also played distorted lead on my Ibanez SRC6 for both 2-year-old Ernie Ball 2837 versus a fresh set of Ernie Ball 2837.

As you can notice, for the recorded audio, it’s more difficult to understand which is the fresh set. However, I also provided a short sample where I played a couple of chords (both recorded into DAW and with a camera microphone). I believe it’s very clear that new strings, even on a bass guitar make so much difference.

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Martinic Plugins - Precisely Modeled Vintage Instruments and FX Plugins

I also wanted to record a restringing and instrument care session just in case. As my next restringing of my Ibanez SRC6 will be definitely in the far future, I wanted to capture this moment. I hope you enjoy watching these! 🙂

Ibanez SRC6 Restringing and Instrument Care

Ernie Ball 2837 Alternatives

In case you are after alternative 6-string bass guitar sets, here are some examples. Note that, here I’m specifically giving you examples that are made for short-scale, 6-string bass guitars.

As mentioned in the article already, the factory strings that come with the Ibanez SRC6, D’Addario EXL156 can be your first choice if you are not interested in Ernie Ball 2837.

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It’s slightly more expensive than Ernie Ball 2837 and to be honest, I am not able to justify the price difference based on my experience.

D'addario EXL156

Another alternative would be Pyramid VI Flatwound bass strings. But note that, this set is a flatwound and a round wound set. Flatwound strings have a different feel to them as their surface is flat, not wound with! Double bass players prefer flatwound strings as the surface of the strings wouldn’t be able to scratch and eat up fingerboard material.

Pyramid VI Flatwound
Pyramid VI Flatwound

If you are specifically after this type of string, lucky you! You have a great alternative from an excellent German string manufacturer. For those who have never heard of Pyramid brand, you should definitely check out my articles in which I feature Pyramid brand. They are one of my favourite string manufacturers around!

Check out all the articles that feature Pyramid Strings here

I hope you like my Ernie Ball 2837 review article. I believe this is probably the best short-scale bass string for this specific instrument, Ibanez SRC6. Thanks for visiting my blog and supporting me so far! I will hopefully see you in the next review here!

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