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Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by astar, Jun 10, 2004.
Is there an advantage/disadvantage to stringing the bridge from the rear verses through the body?
I have Fender basses with both types of bridges. I see, hear and feel no difference... for me. Some feel they get more sustain with through the body.
I'll be interested in reading what others have to say!
In theory it's a brilliant idea. To anchor the strings to the body should make a more solid physical connection. But, like Treena, out of the basses I've played, I haven't noticed a discernable difference
I agree. There are lots of myths floating around disguised as fact.
Technically, it shouldn't make a difference, as the string shouldn't vibrate beyond the break point over the saddle.
The idea is that the neck and body vibrate as well. However in a traditional surface mounted bridge, the string attaches to the bridge plate and which is attached to the body through 5 screws. At each attachment point energy is lost (add another attachment point to the neck join, be it bolt on or glue in). To minmize this someone came up with the neck through design, the string originates and attaches to one section of wood or whatever (whether its one piece of aluminum like a Travis Bean or a 9 piece wood laminate like a Gibson Thunderbird).
Well I'd hope so. Otherwise we waste a crap-ton of money on our choice of bass woods
Ok, we'll say we're using a bridge attached with 5 screws.
So what you're saying is that the vibration of the string past the saddle is being transferred to the bridge, then to the body through 5 screws (don't forget the surface to surface contact...the screws are just there to maintain this). I still don't buy it when thinking analytically. There should be no vibration past the saddle, so this transfer should not be taking place, which makes the anchor irrelevant, so long as there is one.
I really don't see how this addresses stringing through the body versus through the bridge. If the string isn't vibrating past the nut or saddle, then the anchor point of the string won't transfer anything. It can't, because nothing is there to be transferred. Whether or not a bass is neck-through (they have body laminates as well) or bolt-on. Now if you want to argue the neck-through versus bolt-on issue, that's different.
You're thinking in ideal scenario, the real world is a fair bit different. Although people say that the string length after the saddle or nut won't affect the speaking section, you'll find it does (the trouble is finding someone who can genuinely tell the difference).
How you anchor the strings at either end will have an effect on the speaking section, by stringing through the body you create a greater contact with the saddle itself, this changes the way string vibrates both before and after the saddle. It will affect the after section more, because that bits smaller but it will in turn also affect the before section, so affecting the motion of the string.
Perhaps we're argueing two different things but you can't say that it has no effect but you are pretty safe to say it doesn't have a lot of effect (compared to other factors especially). It probably also depends a fair bit on the construction, if the bass sucks royal then gets a bit better by thru-stringing you'd notice it more than if the bass rocked sweetly and was improved by a similar amount.
How about the amount of tension on the the string? If the string is longer it will take more tension to tune the string than if the lenth were to be shorter. I don't know that it would make a noticable difference but I have heard that strings have a tighter feel when they are strung thruogh the body. This in effect might give a different perception of the sound of an instrument. I have not tried to string my new 55-94 thrugh the bridge yet as it seems to be just fine the way it is, but I am still curious.
Too much myth here. The only things that affect the tension of a string are:
- String variables like diameter, mass, composition and construction method
- Pitch - higher the pitch, higher the tension
- Scale length - longer the scale the higher the tension
Change any one of these variables and the string tension changes. But string tension is measured on open strings at a fixed scale and fixed pitch. That's the baseline. Change any one of the above factors and the tension changes. On a bass it ALWAYS goes up from the baseline. However, you can't change the string tension by anything done to the string before or after it's witness points on the nut and the saddle. There are other stresses that are present in a thru-body string setup like the direction of the downforce on the saddle and the amount of downforce. String tension is a lateral force while the pressure on the saddle is a vertical force. But nothing there to do with string tension.
If there's no vibration past the nut or saddle, why does neck construction or any facet of body resonance matter?
There's more to producing tone and sustain than what happens between the bridge and nut.
The string thru the body is just an attempt to improve body and neck resonance.
BTW, check out the vibrato system on a guitar such as the Fender Jaguar or Jazzmaster. Play behind the bridge, see if that's audible through the pickups. Do the same thing between the bridge and stop bar of a Les Paul. Try between the nut and the tuners on most any guitar. If sound goes one way, it goes the other way too, if it's audible through the pickup, it makes a difference (however small that may be).