La Bella through body flatwounds on Telecaster Bass (pictures and remarks)

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Europebass, May 14, 2018.

  1. Europebass


    Mar 22, 2010
    I had regular La Bella Flatwounds 760 FS (.045 - .105) on my '71 Telebass for years without problems and I wanted to shift to the bit thicker ones (760 FM: 0.49 - .109). I read a bunch of scary stories about the strings breaking with the through body design especially with the thicker strings. And a brand new FM (regular) string just did break on my regular p-bass, so I was cautious.
    I couldn't find proper info and/or pictures of the exact differences between the La Bella regular flatwounds and the through bass (TB) versions so I took the chance and bought them (pretty hard to find online in Europe by the way and more expensive). So this is what I found out.

    The total length of the string is exactly the same. You can see the blue cloth of the E-string getting pretty close to the nut (see picture 9) once mounted on the Tele. So there's no compensation for the extra stringlength used for running through the body. If your scale length is a bit longer than the standard p-bass you'll defenitely will get into problems (so you need longscale ones if those exist at all).
    The difference lays in the end of the string, at the bridge end. The outer winding starts a bit later making the very end thinner and probably more flexible. The section without the outer winding is covered with blue cloth (see picture 3).
    So this would only prevent breaking of the string there were it get's out of the body. A friend of mine with a telecaster guitar indeed says the string tends to break where they get out. I must say the edge is pretty sharp, so with a thin guitar string that's probably more of a problem than with the bassstrings. It never happened to me for instance, but maybe some of you have other experiences.
    If my strings break - on all of my basses - it's where they run over the saddles and here the through-body strings are just like the non-through-body ones.
    Conclusion: I will buy just the regulars next time! Hope this is helpful.

    (PS: I use the tie-wraps to get the strings in line with the pole pieces of the pickup. Sorry, I know it's ugly)

    Picture 1: the old strings (FS, non-through-body version) mounted on the Telebass
    1 Telebass with regular FS.JPG

    Picture 2: the old E string after being used on the Telebass for 10 years or so. The first twist (the right one) is where it came out of the body. The second (the left one) where it ran over the saddle.
    2 Regular FS E string after being used for 10 years?.JPG

    Picture 3: a regular FM string mounted on a regular p-bass compared to the through body FM E-string. You can see the section without the outer winding is way longer and hidden under the cloth.
    3 p-bass with regular FM compared to through body.JPG

    Picture 4: (+ 5, 6, 7, 8) the new FM through-body string now on the telebass
    4 Telebass with FM through body overview.JPG

    Picture 5
    5 Telebass with FM through body detail side.JPG

    Picture 6
    6 Telebass with FM through body detail 1.JPG

    Picture 7
    7 Telebass with FM through body detail 3.JPG

    Picture 8
    8 Telebass with FM through body detail 2.JPG

    Picture 9: the headstocks of my regular P-bass with regular FM strings and the Telebass with the through-body FM strings. You can see the cloth of the E-string getting pretty close to the nut on the Tele.
    9 P-bass with regular FM, telebass with through body FM.JPG

    Picture 10, package 10 La bella 760FM trhough body.JPG
    ToS likes this.
  2. Bassic Talk

    Bassic Talk

    Apr 7, 2019
    Very useful. Thank you.
    Europebass likes this.
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