Bolt On's = Snappy??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jokerjkny, May 30, 2002.

  1. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    i was talking with a dealer about getting a new Elrick, and we got to talking about if i could get it in a set neck design. he goes off and says something like, "Bolt on's are snappier and have more bite than Neck Thru's". is there any validity to this?
  2. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    That's what I've heard also. In a very general way that bolt ons have more bite and growl but neck thrus' "sing" more.
  3. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    True, Just all depends, like a rick (neck thru) has bite and is pretty snappy. it still sings though. Wow, why don't i just go get a rick? i need to...

    But i have played bolt on, and neck thru spectors, and have found that their a A little diffrence, the big diff is the sustain on neck thru's.
  4. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    i asked a similar question in this thread:

    Bolt On Thread

    Take a look. YMMV.

    I prefer bolt ons. More punchy for my style of play. Can't say that I agree with the sustain vs. non sustain argument. I had a Peavey Cirrus that was punchy as all get out, and my current Smith Bolt On 6 has sustain for days.

    I say it's more an issue of construction, workmanship, the wood, and the ever variable variable of the player.
  5. That's what Pete Hanewinckel ( ) also says. He always discourages me from ordering neck-throughs because he knows that bolt-ons will give me the sound I want. I like the feel and look of neck-throughs though.

    - Dave
  6. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    b.s. it all depends on the bass and the builder. if a certain builder says his neck throughs wont have the attack or punch of his bolt ons, thats an issue with his building. of course, the more we keep hearing this generalization, the more it sounds true.
  7. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I wouldn't be so extreme. Of all the things to call BS, this isn't one of them. I can't see how having a bolted mechanical joint in the primary path of resonances and support of the strings, or not, wouldn't affect the sound. Um, bonus points for anyone who followed that sentence. But you get my drift.

    And calling it an "issue with his building" sounds to me like it has negative connotations. On the contrary, while I might have reservations about the generalizations used (bolt-ons are punchier, neck-throughs have more sustain - way too many other variables to affect either one), I see a luthier describing the differences between the two in regards to his basses, all else being the same, as pretty reliable.
  8. I agree. My F-Bass neck-through has more ring/sustain, but less attack than my MIA J V. Although the difference is slight for some tunes (i.e. walking blues), it is more evident in funkier playing. A way to accentuate the difference is to play the MIA J bolt-on with the same compressor settings as I use with the F-Bass neck-through (which George doesn't build any more). The J sounds bizarre, with no sustain at all - almost like it's burping.

    In the study of wave harmonics, this can be explained using linear differential equations......oops, wrong forum.:oops:
  9. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    I am by no means an expert in this subject, but from reading a number of threads on this subject I have come up with this way of thinking of it, let me know if this is ignorent or not just an idea that came to me.

    Any bass if constructed by a highly skilled craftsman will have good sustain, snappyness ect. where these generalizations come from is that neck-throughs are a design that lend themselves to sustain if even if they are not constructed as carefully as many "worldclass" instruments. Also for bolt-ons they tend to not have as much sustain because of the higher likely hood that the neck joint will not be as solid, and not transfer as much of the low bass vibration, hence the snappyness.

    As with any rule there are execptions but this was just an idea that poped into my head.
  10. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    in the end i dont really want to go with a builder who tells me he cant get his neck through to have the same attack as a bolt on.

    ive owned the same model fodera emperor 5's. same body woods electronics, same fingerboards, etc, except one was a neck through the other was a bolt on. there werent any amazing differences between the two. i honestly cant say i heard any differences at all when it came to "attack" or "punchiness" between the two intruments. of course i wanted to believe there was considering all the years ive heard of the inherent differences in sound. david beasley pretty much had the same sentiment it all depends on the bass. after playing countless foderas, he didnt say the thing you always here about the two types of construction.

    and as for comparing across brands of instruments, after owning foderas, sadowsky's,lulls,f's, fender, yamaha,etc,and playing everything else, yeah, you can make the comparisons all day long. according to what most people say, swamp ash is brighter than alder and thus has a better slap sound than alder. but, my 62 jazz is brighter and has a better slap sound than the lull modern 5 i had which had a swamp ash body. what happened? my alder fodera had a punchier and brighter sound than the lakland and sadowsky's ive owned. so what. theyre all different with very different electronics and pickups.

    someone plays their neck through music yo tobias and then plays a sadowsky. well the sadowsky is so much punchier. they now are a bolt on devotee and come on talk bass or wherever and profess their knowledge as fact. great, another 17 year talking about the properties of woods and construction when theyve played all of 3 basses in their life.(im obviously not talking about you geshel:D )

    man, that turned out freakin' long :confused:
  11. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Well no you're right I've played all of about 4 basses for any serious length of time in my life. But I find it hard to believe David Beasely would say there's no real difference between NT and b.o.

    With such a major difference in construction, I don't know why a luthier not being able to get the two to sound identical should scare you. That's like being worried because he/she says they can't get the same high-end snap from a mahogany neck as they can from a hard maple one.
  12. You can't counter the laws of physics. Although my earlier post was somewhat in jest, as an engineer with 25+ years of experience I can tell you that ANY discontinuity in ANY physical member will cause a major difference in frequency response and behaviour.

    I would question any luthier who says that their neck-throughs and bolt-ons sound the same - it's like saying that an airplane should work as well in water as in air, because those are both fluids.

    Whether or not the audible difference is noticeable to any individual is another question....:)
  13. Why the "b.s."? If you can't respond in respectful manner maybe you should just s.t.f.u.

    It's because of people like you that I don't post here very much anymore.

    - Dave
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Getting kind of warm in here;)

    Some of the comparisons here are all over the board. There are firmly held beliefs on both sides of this situation and here's mine...

    Bolt-ons are generally punchier. That doesn't mean it's guaranteed... I can believe the Fodera example, I've played bolt-ons that had no punch at all. I think that's more of a Fodera thing than a neck thing. I've also played bolt-on Foderas that killed... when I mention the duds invariably someone will tell me: "You know, Fodera custom builds each bass" Right, I can imagine the person who ask that punch be omitted from the option sheet;)... but that's whole 'nother thing.

    Anyhoo IMO a lot of the high end builders either knew or came to the realization that a bolt-on neck did give a different character to the sound. In lieu of the preferred neck thru construction BO's have become very popular. Remember, most people thought that a more expensive bass should have a more expensive neck. Some people still frown at high dollar bolt-ons. I'm very happy wih my bolt-ons and don't have a neck through in my current rotation.

    I have yet to hear a neck through that truly sounds like a really good Jazz bass. There seems to be something about getting more of the fundamental that doesn't jibe with getting the bark a J bass has.

    As far as sustain goes it's a different story. I've heard excellent sustain on either.
  15. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    joker asked if there was validity to the statement and i replied that i thought it was b.s. simple as that. im sorry if you feel like its anything more than that. a dealer tried to steer a customer towards a bolt on because that's whats in right now. 10 years ago it would have been neck through.
  16. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    im not trying to refute physics, but your last sentence is what im trying to get at.;)
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Ask Rob... if you can get in touch with him:).

    Joker, consider the salesperson's "motive". He's actually recommending a less costly bass.

  18. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    When I read your post I thought you were responding specifically to Dave's post. Dave relayed what Pete H. had said to him, and then you posted "b.s. ... if a certain builder says . . .".

    Even without that, it sounded to me like you were saying the entire idea that bolt-ons and neck-throughs sounded different was BS.