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Are Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings Worth It? Here's the hands-on Ernie Ball PARADIGM Strings Review by Gear4music!

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings Review
Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings Review

Are Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings Worth It? Here's the hands-on Ernie Ball PARADIGM Strings Review by Gear4music!

Are Paradigm strings worth it? We put Ernie Ball's most innovative guitar strings to our team of guitar staff to see what they thought…

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings

There's not many guitar strings that come with a 90-day guarantee against rust or breakage*. In fact, Ernie Ball's PARADIGM strings are the first to do so!

So, when Ernie Ball claims their PARADIGM strings can provide increased tensile strength of up to 35%, increased fatigue strength of up to 70%, and offer all the benefits of a corrosion-resistant coating without a thick outer material; we thought we should put them to the test!

We gave a pack of PARADIGM strings to four of our staff guitarists, told them to practise, rehearse, and gig as usual, and asked them to report back to us with their thoughts.  Here's what we found out…

Guitarist 1

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings

Guitar: 2012 Fender American Vintage '64 Telecaster.

String Gauge: 10-52

Musical style & playing use: Rock and soul covers band.

Player's thoughts: "Much brighter than my previous strings with a natural bell-like ring and sustain. They are a lot smoother to play than I thought as I normally use coated strings. They have a nice tension at E-Standard tuning for some bluesy bends.

Smashed out some AC/DC and Tina Turner live at a gig sweated all over them: they were fine! Practised the next day and they were still in tune and played like new. Like any strings, they need playing in, but after that they feel really natural to play."

Guitarist 2

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings

Guitar: 6 and 7 string guitars

Musical style & playing use: Metal, live and studio recording

String gauge: 10-52 10-56 (7-string)

Player's thoughts: "Initially felt smoother on the bare strings than other non-coated sets I’ve played. The plasma process was also tangible on the wound strings, but slightly less so. They had a more polished texture than other un-coated sets.

Strings remained feeling snappy and bright for a noticeably longer time. There is an improved low-end compared to a coated set when recording via DI, and they feel a bit more evenly voiced with less volume difference between strings; everything is nice and loud.

The longevity of the strings is definitely better than other sets I’ve played. As a player who usually uses coated strings, I look for longevity for touring and when playing under warm, sweaty conditions. They beat the performance of my usual coated strings."

Guitarist 3

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings

Guitar: Vintage Gibson Les Paul

Musical style & playing use: Blues & rock band

String gauge: 9-42

Player's thoughts: "Brighter tone. They have kept their 'new' sound much longer. Smooth bends and better balance across the strings than my previous set.

Normally I play standard Ernie Ball Slinkys and these are a definite improvement."

Guitarist 4

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings

Guitar: Fender American Special Telecaster

Musical style & playing use: Covers band (swing, jazz, pop, rock).

String gauge: 10-52

Player's thoughts: "These strings sound brighter and more balanced than my usual set. Played a few warm and sweaty gigs and they have maintained their 'new' tone for much longer.

Played a few extreme bends as a test and they haven't broken yet! They haven't corroded at all, despite having played a couple of long wedding gigs and regular practice sessions in warm, humid conditions."



All of our guitarists noticed a definite improvement in tone and longevity with Ernie Ball's Paradigm strings. Our four players have each used them in real-life situations, including gigging, recording and practising during one of the hottest summers for many years! The real winner, for us, is the fact that the strings have retained their bright tone where other strings may have given up and needed replacing.

While these Paradigm strings have proved their worth for us, we've all used them in our range of standard playing styles and musical situations with our, admittedly, nicely setup guitars. If you've got a guitar with sharp edges (we're thinking tremolo, saddles, nut etc), or if you have particularly corrosive sweat, we'd probably suggest you still treat these strings nicely! So don't neglect to wipe your guitar down after playing, and use some Ernie Ball string cleaners for optimum use.

Like any other strings, look after them nicely and they'll look after you!

We've been convinced by the Paradigm's performance - try a set and see what you reckon!

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings

So, what is it that makes these strings last longer against corrosion and have greater strength?

RPS Technology

Ernie Ball PARADIGM strings feature a state-of-the-art wire drawing process coupled with their own RPS (Reinforced Plain String) technology to radically increase tensile strength (up to 35%) and fatigue strength (up to 70%), compared with traditional strings. This results in a string that is far less likely to break or corrode; so much so, Ernie Ball has even offered a 90-day guarantee after purchase against breakage!

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings

The RPS technology ensures that the ball end is secured to the string without the need for a traditional wire "lock twist", which is a common area for string breakage due to the extra stress it puts on the wire. This creates superior strength, better tuning stability, and lets you play your guitar as hard as you need.

High Strength Steel

Ernie Ball's PARADIGM strings use an ultra-fine grade, high strength steel with a re-engineered grain structure to withstand more punishment than the average string. Check out this video of Ernie Ball testing their strings in lab conditions.

Corrosion Resistance

Ernie Ball utilises a special 'Plasma process' to heat the wire - this removes contaminants and smooths out any defects, helping to prevent against corrosion.

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings

Once treated with plasma, the wire is drawn to the correct gauge and coated in Everlast - a ground-breaking nanotechnology developed at Princeton University. This nano coating covers the entirety of the wound string and creates a barrier against moisture and oils - the common causes of tone loss over time.

The images below are an illustration of the difference between a traditional coating and Ernie Ball's Everlast Nanotreated string.

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings

* Artist's representation

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings

By Matt Wilkinson - with thanks to our guitar team!


The Paradigm strings guarantee is validated directly through Ernie Ball, and is not the responsibility of Gear4music. See Ernie Ball for more details.

Posted on 26 Jul 2018 12:41 to category : Instruments News

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