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Is there a significant difference in tone between neck-through and bolt-on basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by capnsandwich, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. I'm currently looking at 2 basses, both from the same builder. One is a bolt-on body style and the other a neck-through. The neck-through, however, is roughly $2k more than the bolt-on. Both are gorgeous basses and have similar wood combinations.

    My question is this; is it worth it in tonal aspects to fork over $2k more for a neck-through? BTW, I'm checking them both out come this Sunday so that answers that but still want to know the opinions of some of you all.
    EagleMoon, Ron Mason and PeaveyPlayer like this.
  2. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Nope. Everything else the same on two exact basses both assembled properly, no difference.

    What neck through provides is typically easier access to the upper frets simply because the neck through can be shaped better vs a bolt on which is a bit chunkier at that point of assembly.
  3. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    We've been down this road... We've paved this road...

    I'm sure that there is a ton of information on this subject here in TB land.


    Moonshine :bassist:
  4. 80ce0fd218c377aadd1a63514f80002a.
    Herrick, blubass, CoarseBass and 26 others like this.
  5. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    IMO, no tonal advantage to spending 2k more. I own both types of basses btw.
  6. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
  7. gsgbass

    gsgbass "ROAD REX" Supporting Member

    I don't think there is. That's what the pickups are there for.
  8. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
  9. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    You can subscribe to all the theories you want regarding this one but, in the end, it will come down to the individual basses in question.
  10. Not trying to start a flame war but TB 's search function is a bit hard to navigate when looking for this topic.
    TalHaz, Jeff Scott, jefff100 and 16 others like this.
  11. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Ok, ok. If I gotta come up with something, I’d say I have found that bolt-on basses have a better or more defined attack.
  12. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Ron Mason, Ikkir and jaysbass2002 like this.
  13. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    I thought neck throughs were supposed to have better sustain, but I just got done watching John Patitucci talk about how much he specifically likes the bolt on neck on his signature 6 string. So there you go.
  14. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Hello. It's important to note that those are questions about two very different things. The first one is about comparison; the second is about value.

    Of course, if the answer to the first happens to be "no", then the second is moot.

    Continue, please. :D
  15. I'm just curious if the extra $2k is worth it for a NT as opposed to a BO. So far my assumption is not really.
    joebar, dukeorock and 47th Street like this.
  16. They're both connected though. Is it worth $2k more for a nt in tone difference? That's the point to this thread.
  17. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    Yes. No. Maybe.
  18. Buzz E

    Buzz E Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    In Warwick land, some will tell you that there is. I've played both and can't tell.
    Conkal, andruca, Helix and 2 others like this.
  19. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    I don't know about tone, but in my experience the neck through is more stable.

    I have a '94 Carvin and a '16 4003 s. both neck though and I do not remember ever touching the truss rod on either. If a gun was held to my head, I couldn't even be sure if either had them.

    My Fender Jazz and Ibby SR650 are both bolt on and I have had to adjust the truss rod a few times on each.

    The Carvin and RIC also seem to hold tune better as well. I have to tweek the bolt on's every time I play them. The neck through seem to be once a week unless I bump a tuner.

    Of course I can be full of crap too, this is just my experience
  20. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    They are not essentially connected. You choose to connect them. Even then there can be an order of precedence between them in only one direction. That's what I tried to describe.

    But never mind all that. TalkBass, indeed the interwebs, is no place for rigorous logical discourse. So just go for it! :D
    mikewalker and capnsandwich like this.

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