Bridges: Aluminum vs Brass vs String-Thru

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by RedJag, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. Heavy Bridge, no string thru

    2 vote(s)
  2. Light bridge, no string thru

    1 vote(s)
  3. Heavy bridge, with string thru

    1 vote(s)
  4. Light bridge, with string thru

    0 vote(s)
  1. RedJag


    Mar 2, 2016
    San Jose, CA
    Let me start this off by saying I've gone through a fair amount of bridges on one bass, so I'm familiar with the characteristics/tradeoffs of various metals, but I've never had a string-thru bass before.

    I've had the classic bent metal/threaded rod fender bridge, a Badass II, a Hipshot Kickass, Hipshot Style A aluminum, Hipshot Style A brass... I generally prefer a weightier bridge with round wound strings, and a lighter bridge if I'm playing flats...

    My question is: does using string-thru with a lighter bridge (ex: aluminum) give a similar response to using a top loaded heavier bridge?

    I'm looking at putting together a Warmoth bass soon and I'm very tempted to do string thru in order to give myself the best of both worlds without having to swap out hardware.

  2. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    My opinion is that it makes no difference in the real world of performance. You might hear a difference in a very detailed solo recording, but even then I believe that the perceived difference is really in your head. Going through the body gives a limitation to the strings you can use. With some strings, when you go through the body, the full string wrap falls short of the nut, mostly on 35" scale or longer basses.
  3. Full agreement with Turnaround. Now, this one time I was pretty sure I heard a difference in sound when I replaced a very light bridge on a very light bass with a very heavy bridge. Beyond that, I've got a bridge to sell ya.
    Flop and RedJag like this.
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I have yet to hear a significant improvement of any bridge compared to the basic Fender bent metal style. Therefore, light bridge, no string-thru.

    For that matter, in 20+ years I have never replaced a bridge unless it had a physical problem or as part of an general set of modifications.
    David Jayne and RedJag like this.
  5. RedJag


    Mar 2, 2016
    San Jose, CA
    That's good to know. I've only ever had top load basses, so that wouldn't have occurred to me