Neck-thru,or Bolt-on;which one sounds best with a "B"?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JimM, Jan 27, 2002.

  1. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    I know this has been done before,but you know what they say...the memory is the third thing to go and I forget what the first two were.

    I know bolt ons have more overtones and neck thrus have more fundamentals,but from your experience,which do you like for the B and why ?Thanks.
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    In my limited experience, neck through.
  3. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Depends... A nice stiff graphite bolt-on neck like a Modulus has a tighter B than most neck-thrus. When it's all said and done, I think it's a combination of both scale length & stiffness that contribute to a great B (or at the very least a "tight" B).

    - Frank
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I own excellent B's in both formats. IMO with good examples of both types, it's a toss up.
  5. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    My favorites have always been on neck-through basses. But, I prefer them overall, and I know other people who hate them. Like Brad said, it's a toss up. Ironically enough, I only own one neck-thru bass, and it has no B string. All my bolt-ons with them have awesome Bs.
  6. I have a neck-through Cirrus 6 and a couple of bolt-on basses (Lakland, Fender) - but only the Lakland and the Cirrus have a B string.

    I really don't know how much of this you can attribute to electronics, but as you say the neck through seems to produce more of the fundamental tone (tighter, more focus) - and appears to be a bit more hi-fi than the Lakland is.

    That said, the weapon of choice when I need to get the girls on the dance floor (and annoy the g*itarist with his stupid smiley-face EQ) is my bolt-on 55-94.

    So, I guess I really haven't given you any information at all - but I did have fun posting it :D

    Seriously, I think a well-constructed bass can provide whatever you're looking for. I wouldn't limit my search to bolt-on or neck-through - I'd get the bass that fits you.


  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Right, Allan... that brings up the point of how does one determine "best". If you're looking for the most fundamental, that's one thing, most punch, another, most open sounding, even something else.

    It's like asking which is better, an Alembic Series I or an old P bass with flatwounds? For some people this may seem like a stupid question with an obvious answer. Giving the question more focus might help to may the choice more specific:

    "Which is better, an Alembic Series I or an old P bass with flatwounds for playing Motown?
  8. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I agree w/ Brad.

    Course, I'm partial to the punch/attack/bite of Bolt ons...but when you get up into the higher strikes me as kind of "cheap." I know, Modulus, Lakland, Zon, ect...but you know, just that kneejerk reation. But, also thus far, my favorites have been bolt ons.
  9. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    Thanks for the input so far,folks.
    I didn't mean to imply that there is an absolute better type,thats why I asked about what you personally like.I should have mentioned that I really like Fender bolt ons for four strings.It doesn't matter to me if the bass I play doesn't impress other bassists cause that ain't gonna happen even with a million dollar inst.'specially while guys like Victor Wooton walk the planet.But I like what sounds good to the average ear.
    I've played five strings that were hard to destinguish the low notes like C,or D etc.In other words play the same note an octave or even two higher and it doesn't seem to have a relationship to the low note.I don't know if this is due to hearing more harmonic content or not enough,or just not enough range in my ears.Same thing happens with a standard four string when played through one of those sub-octave devices like that ampeg 5 watchacallit has.

    I'm embarking on a quest,not to find my five string,but to see if there are any made that will be worth saving up for.I may not be willing yet,but I am willing to be willing.

    Thanks again y'all.
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    IMO the difference is the same as that for the other strings: different, but not necessarily better. All my fives are bolt-on, and the B's sound as good as neck-thrus.