E String Died... Caused by String thru Body?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by 74hc, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    I'm thinking the E string died due having it through the body, not from the back of the bridge. Is this possible, or common?

    Here's the story:

    Went to practice last night and noticed the E string on my Vanquish bass (5-string) had very low output compared to the higher strings. It was not like this at last week's practice, or my individual practices this past weekend and earlier in the week either.

    The blend knob was all the way to the bridge pickup at first. Changed to 50-50 blend, and it improved but not where it should be. Then tried it with the neck pickup only, and found it was passable. Stayed there for the rest of practice.

    Forward to just now. I was thinking I had a bridge pickup issue and was wondering what experience I would have with Kiesel's warranty for the first time. Before calling them, I decided to test some other strings.

    First, Elixir nickel nano web which was fine, volume-wise, for neck, bridge, and blended as it should be. Second, same for GHS Boomers. Third, for D'Addario XLs.

    So it's definitely the string, and it was fine all this time until this week. In searching here, some have said that string thru can cause string issues due to the high deflection from the saddle to the back of the body.

    Perhaps what I experienced plus Dunlop Super Brights might also be more susceptible which seems counterintuitive. I expect that low tension strings would be less susceptible.

    BTW, the unexpected string taste testing had the result of in order of most favorite:

    1- Elixirs - the best all around for tone and tension. I liked the slight muted highs compared to the Dunlop and the rest below. Plus, the string noise was much less than the Dunlops, and somewhat for the others.
    2- XLs - Better tension than the Boomers, not as good as the Elixirs.
    3- Boomers - too high tension, noticeable with the D string when finger across the strings. Highs are nearly up there with the Dunlops.

    I should mention that my tension test was only done by feel, so not that scientific. The Boomers are on there right now, but I will change back to the Elixirs for practice until I figure this out and order more strings.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
  2. dagrev

    dagrev Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    It can happen, especially if it gets twisted, but it's generally some flats that don't take to the sharp bend necessary with string through. I've never had the problem with rounds or flats. But just the drastic bend is enough to convince me to avoid it when I can just go through the bridge (I can't tell a bit of difference in going through the bridge or body, even if I tell myself there is one I can't tell it. Maybe you can try the string on another bass to see if it's dead there as well. Some strings just sound a little different on some basses and are not a good match and do odd things.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  3. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    I'll do that. Should be easy to do since this is a 5-string bass with the tuner further away from the nut then my 4-string ones.

    What is odd, this string did not break, and it did not die slowly, but very quickly. I'll check on how well it will hold a tune. Maybe that might determine if a wire is broken somewhere inside.
  4. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    when I had an Ibanez ATK some years ago I tried both mounting methods, and with through-body the strings died earlier, but a lot earlier, like "two weeks" and they were totaly dead, not playable anymore.

    same strings top-loaded lasted a long time.

    IMHO it's an issue with the angle, and lower strings are usually the first to die in any case.

    PS: I've had experiences with three sets of Super Bright Dunlops, two nickels and a steel, and I consider them some of the worst and early-dying strings out there...
    on the first set I had, the E string unraveled at the headstock before reaching the proper tuning...

    I really can't understand why they are so loved on this forum :p
  5. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Over 3 decades using string thru w/ multiple brands of flats and never had a negative issue doing so. YMMV.
  6. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    I actually read about this on Fender.com about their 'Vintage' Hi-Mass bridges. So as an experiment, I strung the G & D strings (GHS Bass Boomers) thru body and the A & E strings through that very same bridge on my American Standard Jazz. Set witness points and checked neck relief (A-OK). I find it interesting that I can tell no difference in tone or sustain. One thing I definitely like is the more gentle breakover angle on the E & A strings. Tone wise they seem to last longer too, and exhibit better balance with the D & G. The sharper more acute breakover angle of body through stringing doesn't appear to effect the tone or longevity of the thinner and more flexible D & G strings.
  7. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    I put the string in question on my pbass and it sound reasonably fine. Didn't seem to have that brightness for being Dunlop's super bright, but the volume was not near muted.

    So I transferred it back to my Vanquish, and re-installed the rest of the Dunlops from that set. All were string on the bridge, not through the body since I had cut the E string length for the pbass test. It sounded reasonably well back on the Vanquish as well.

    However, testing today, it's definitely losing volume and it cannot hold a E well. It slowly drops down in a matter of hours. The rest of the strings hold it's tuning well.

    This will be it for Dunlop branded strings for me. I don't want to spend more money to find out if this happens to be a fluke, or the super brights don't work well thru the body on hipshot bridges.

    I need to figure out what will be the next set of strings. Kinda eyeing GHS pressure wound in ML with a 5th string added.

    Too bad, because these strings do well with slapping for me.
  8. Just letting you know I had the PW ML7200 set on my Am Std P strung thru-body for one whole year with no issues whatsoever.

    By the way, the ML7200 with a single low B is a better option than the M7200-5 for better overall balance. So, you have the right idea.
  9. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    Ordered the ML7200 with a PWB128 online. Hopefully this will work out fine and have some balanced tension as well. Looking for less zing, and more thump, but not all the way into flatwound territory.

    No extra long that I could find. I'll see if these are long enough for thru-body. Otherwise, I'll mount directly on the bridge.
  10. The PWs are for "punch and crunch", not so much for "thump" or "zing".

    They have a winding length (ball end to silk) of 37.25".