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Neck-Through vs. Bolt on Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sir Edward V, Dec 17, 2006.


  1. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006
    Massachusetts
    Anyone have a preference? I know I do: neck-through all the way! I think they have a fuller and longer-sustained sound, but that could just be my experience.

    My two good basses are both neck-through, and besides looking sweet, they play like dreams.
     
  2. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    I also prefer neck-through, but own a number of good sounding bolt-ons too. Some basses may indeed sound better as a bolt-on. Many would argue that the bolt-on Warwick Thumb has more growl than the neck-through model.
     
  3. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    I love the bolt on Warwick Thumb. As soon as I've raised the dough to get one I'm getting one.
     
  4. Lucky Flameout

    Lucky Flameout Dark Stage Krawler

    Nov 20, 2005
    Falcon, Colorado
    Neck-thru is my preferrence.

    My main weapon of choice, a Carvin LB75 neck-thru.

    My back-up, a Spector 5-string neck-thru.

    Currently having a custom Grandon Westlund 5-string neck-thru being built.

    I also prefer all mahogany bodies, for the sustain.

    I play in a 3-piece classic rock band.
     
  5. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006
    Massachusetts
    i think i need to mess around with warwicks more, never have really, i always hear great things though
     
  6. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    Here's what you need to know:

    1) The height of what makes Warwicks unique is best exemplified in the Warwick Thumb bass.

    2) Thumbs have difficult ergonomics, and are hard to play. It's also totally worth all the effort.
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I totally prefer bolt-ons. Neck-thrus are more comfy, but they also end up having too much sustain and too much evenness up and down the neck. Both are qualities I've grown to despise in basses. I don't want evenness up and down the neck...I want the upper notes to pop out and have a different sound quality than the lower notes.

    Oops, I almost forgot to mention punch. While neck-thrus can be punchy sometimes, it's rare that I've played a bolt-on that wasn't punchy.
     
  8. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    I found the Thumb incredibly easy to play, though I'll admit I wasn't strapped up at the time, I was sitting down in a guitar store. The thing played like butter and sounded like a Jazz with the active controls turned down and like a monster with them turned up. Even got decent P bass and MM tones by dialing in the pickups and EQ.

    I'm seriously ready to pare down my collection to... well I still want 4 or 5 basses... 79 Sabre (aggressive), 60's Hofner (McCartney), 73 P (Jamerson), acoustic (sounds like an upright) and the Thumb. But I'll get rid of my Jazz for it, and my 8 and my Tobias Growler. The thing gave me a serious GAS attack.
     
  9. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I like bolt ons. They just seem to have that natural "pop" to their sound, more so than NT's. I'm not sure if it's all psychological, but it's comforting to me! Plus, you all know I love graphite necks.
     
  10. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    See, that's it. They're heavy, and they neck dive. Some people compain about the thick neck. The truth is, the neck isn't thicker than most basses, it just feels chunky. I think my Warwicks (4 Thumbs) are among my harder to play basses, but I am comparing to things like MVP Buzz, Tobias (original), etc.

    I would bring my Tobias Signature 6 to a long gig before I'd consider bringing my Thumb 6 N/T. It's just butter to play. The Thumb 6 is heavy as @#$%, and just takes over twice the effort to play. I think my lucite bass is the only thing heavier in my arsenal. I don't think even my Galveston 7 or Conklin 7 weigh as much as my Thumb 6. It's brutal, and I'm not a wimp. I took the Thumbs to a recording session once (I usually play the Tobias). In the studio at the end of the day, the weight of the Thumbs were killing me.

    Tell me more of this acoustic that sounds like an upright, as I seek this (tone without doghouse)...what ya got?
     
  11. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    Ah. The neck felt thin to me, but as I said, I wasn't strapped in.

    I may have exaggerated a bit with the upright tone, it's more of a "what an acoustic bass should sound like" tone. This is one of the top two acoustic bass guitars I ever played, and I got it for a steal from Sam Ash in NYC... around $200 or $300 because it was the last model and they were getting rid of it, and it was chipped. If I remember correctly, they charged me more for the hardshell case than the bass itself, but the total was still wel under $400. It's a "Montana" made by Kaman. I don't know how many they made, but I don't think they made many. It's a shame because it blows away (almost) every other acoustic bass guitar I've ever seen.

    I can post a few sound clips next week. Miked, because I busted the electronics.

    The other good acoustic/electric I played is that funny one with the hole hole in a funny position... A Taylor I think. Yeah, an AB1. But they cost insane amounts of money. The Taylor sounded better than the Montana but cost $2700. Looks like Taylor got up to AB4 and then stopped making them. That's a real shame because they were amazing instruments. If I didn't have the Montana I'd sorely want a Taylor.

    Neither of them are loud enough to complete with an acoustic guitar unamplified, but for home use, miked, piezo, recording, whatever, they're great.
     
  12. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2006
    Columbus, IN
    I Channel Surf During Commercials. (Drives my Wife CRAZY!!!)
    Order of Preference:

    Set Neck
    Neck Through
    Bolt On
    Broken Off...:crying:

    ...If you're NOT Playing the Bass,
    It goes IN The Case!:bassist:
     
  13. BuffaloMO

    BuffaloMO

    May 26, 2005
    Land of OZ
    I have owned both and I prefer bolt on. IMHO the basses with bolt on necks seem to be higher quality. :D
     
  14. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Australia
    A fender is of higher build quality than my Alembics? I don't think so.
     
  15. Well, I can understand that people want to compare things and decide whether some of those are better than others, but I am really convinced that a pro bass player needs a special tool for a certain situation - that is both of them. When you need a neck-through sound, you have to have one and the same goes for bolt on necks. It is almost impossible to say which one is better. I personally own both - the neck-through and bolt on basses. :)
     
  16. my only bass is a through-neck (Schecter Studio 5), and I think for the price it is great. But I'd much prefer a higher end bolt on, (a Warwick Corvette standard). I think that's the ideal bass for me right now. Through-neck construction is novel, but it's also a crazy newfangled thing, and I don't think all that sustain is really appropriate for a bass, even though some of my favorite bassists play carbon-fiber through necks, which to me seems like it's hardly even a bass anymore.
     
  17. I get plenty of sustain with bolt-ons. :D
     
  18. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    Personally, I don´t have a preference. I´ve played basses that sound great for slap, both BO (Stingray) and NT (Cirrus).

    NT basses are supposed to have more sustain, but my Zon Sonus (BO) is still at the top of my list in that category.
     
  19. BuffaloMO

    BuffaloMO

    May 26, 2005
    Land of OZ
    No need to be so defensive. I simply stated my preference and it was IMHO. :D
     
  20. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    I like bolt-ons. I'm not into sustain, and I like the notion of being able to swap necks.
     

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