Ernie Ball and Metallica’s James Hetfield launch Papa Het’s Hardwired Master Core signature electric guitar strings

Ernie Ball Papa Het Hardwired Master Core James Hetfield
(Image credit: Ernie Ball)

Metallica frontman and undisputed champion of heavy metal rhythm guitar James Hetfield has teamed up with Ernie Ball for a limited edition signature set of electric guitar strings.

The Papa Het’s Hardwired Master Core Signature set promises enhanced pitch stability and strength from a hitherto unreleased gauge combo, and they come in a tin with custom artwork from the Metallica man himself.

Hetfield’s new strings run 11, 14, 18p, 28, 38, 50, and look to be an augmented version of Ernie Ball’s hard-waring Paradigm series. Heck, Ernie Ball even makes the description of the technology involved sound pretty darn metal: “Wound strings are wrapped with Paradigm plasma-enhanced nickel plated steel around ultra-high strength tin plated steel hex core” says the release. 

Ernie Ball Papa Het Hardwired Master Core James Hetfield

(Image credit: Ernie Ball)

Such is the way with guitar strings, these may well prove to be disposable heroes, but all in good time. These are designed to be played hard. That’s where the Master Core comes in.

Now, this Master Core does not immediately confer knowledge of the many riffs and time changes in Metallica’s 1986 magnum opus, but instead refers to a heavier core to wrap ratio; in short, your wound strings have been working out, building strength to deal with all those pulverising downstrokes. Papa Het sounds delighted. 

“With all the companies we're with, we're super proud to be with Ernie Ball!” said Hetfield. “For them to take on the challenge of, hey I got an idea, can you do this… they have stepped up to the challenge! I'm super proud!”

Even the greatest guitar players love the feeling of a fresh set of strings. Papa Het’s Hardwired Master Core Signature String are available now via Metallica, and worldwide via the usual outlets on 10 May. They are priced $34.99. See Ernie Ball for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.