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Neck thru vs bolt on? 18v vs 9v? If it costs twice as much is it twice better?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SolaiBassist, Oct 7, 2019.


  1. SolaiBassist

    SolaiBassist

    May 5, 2011
    Video A


    Video B


    Which do you think sounds better? One is a neck thru and the other is a bolt on. One has 18volts and another 9volts. Neither of these basses are entry level but one costs twice as much as the other. Same venue and sound guy. Both direct into a neve rndi direct box into the house

    Video A time markers for songs:
    1. Begining
    2. 4:36
    3. 10:02

    Video B markers
    1 & 2 medley from beginning
    3. 11:15
     
  2. JKos

    JKos

    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    No offense intended; but, honestly, the mixes are so bad I can hardly even listen for/to the bass.

    So, to answer your question, one definitely doesn't sound twice as good as the other.

    - John
     
    Colarndo, Mvilmany, ruju and 9 others like this.
  3. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I don't know if you understand what those things are for.
    More voltage for your pre amp is a technical thing, not a better thing. If you have active pickups and a pre, you need 18v. If you have a particularly loud pre, you need 18v.
    Neck through is more about sustain and the feel of the instrument.
    My Spector Euro 5XL happens to have both and I love it to death.
    If you don't care if basses have these features, don't buy one.
     
    Gigas444, Kriegs, Luigir and 4 others like this.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    ^^^^What he said. :thumbsup:

    Like a truck. If you're not going to tow 5 tons, don't by the tow package.
     
  5. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    This is almost never the case due to diminishing returns.
     
  6. IF only more features, more expensive build / woods, better hardware and electronics would guarantee that 'more is better'. But these things do not sum up in an empirical fashion. I've heard exceptionally economical instruments with one passive pickup smoke hugely expensive high-end instruments . . . . . and vice-versa. It's down to the player in most cases. If it really worked by spec, then all I'd have to do is buy an Anthony Jackson Fodera or Stanley's 'Brown Bass' from Alembic and I could sound just like them . . . . . . it ain't happening.

    Plus, to make it even more aggravating: You can have the greatest axe, technique for days, and tone to die for, and it will get ruined THAT FAST by a bad mix, a difficult room, crap recording, etc., or my favorite: Today, it sounds great. Come back tomorrow, same settings, same room, everything identical to Day One, and today on Day Two . . . . it's gone completely wrong.

    18v will give you a little more headroom than 9v, but in most cases you won't hear much difference. Neckthrus are great for 24 frets and zooming up and down that long fingerboard if you need the extra ease of playing up there at times, but a bolt-neck often sounds a bit punchier and a lot of guys are more comfortable with the more traditional construction. Price is neither here nor there: I maybe found the twice-as-expensive barely used and paid less than the other one with the deal I got, so that can be a non-starter.

    You need something that is quiet electronically, will stay in tune and hold a proper setup for a reasonable period of time, and feels right (not too heavy, neck feels good, a body shape that feels right on a strap, etc.), and a sound that speaks to you. There's hundreds of axes that would fit in those requirements.

    So I'd start there, and worry about all the labels and specs later. A bass that really fits you in all ways is worth the money. Spec it out for this and that and don't listen to your heart and you may end up with an axe that fits the list of specs you're after . . . . . but very likely may not suit you in the long run.
     
  7. chadds

    chadds

    Mar 18, 2000
    .......and some 24 fret basses are bolt on.

    Play everything you can.
    Buy what you can afford.
    As you gig a lot live or studio you will know what you need.
    It won’t be what others use or say but what your ever expanding skill set and desire to make music will require.
    Your needs will determine what you spend.
    Then afford what you need. :)
     
    SolaiBassist, zubrycky and Passinwind like this.
  8. SolaiBassist

    SolaiBassist

    May 5, 2011
    Thanks for the feedback guys. So which do you think sounds better? I'll disclose which bass I played in each of the sets with pictures and specs and my two cents of the advantages and shortcomings of each. I set the EQ exactly the same on each bass. One bass has naturally more bass and set this flat with slight mid boost at 500hz. I set the second bass flat too with slight mid boost at 500hz but added a touch of bass. I'll disclose the price of each if you bought it new. J Wilson has a great point about price being a non starter. I bought both used with great deals. I would not have afforded either of these basses brand new at the time I bought them
     
  9. SolaiBassist

    SolaiBassist

    May 5, 2011
    Thanks for the honest opinion. This is a very tricky venue and believe it or not these are better than other basses that other bassists use. I'll still post my experience with both basses in a week or so.
     
  10. zubrycky

    zubrycky

    Aug 22, 2011
    My only 24 frets bass is bolt on.
     
  11. Chrisk-K

    Chrisk-K

    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    A $100 Ali Express bass would sound the same as either.
     
  12. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    A bass with an 18 volt preamp is like a truck that's 18 feet tall. That's cool until you reach a bridge that's built 9 feet off the road. The "bridge" in this analogy is any pedals you have between the bass and the rest of the rig that have 9 volt supplies - increasing the headroom on one part of the chain is only helpful if that's the part of the chain that's limiting you. If the bass isn't the limiting factor, and the designer of the bass chooses to use that headroom to make its output hotter, it can easily cause issues elsewhere in the rig.
     
    landrybass likes this.
  13. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    '73 Ric 4001.JPG No, it isn't. This, on the other hand, IS twice better... And, so is this '78 P-Bass-1.JPG ...:whistle:
     
  14. Bad_tattoo

    Bad_tattoo

    Jan 23, 2019
    Denmark
    That doesn't seem right to me- different pedals will have different headroom regardless of power requirements, depending on design. Additionally, feeding a signal with higher headroom into something lower makes perfect sense- putting a compressor before a dirt pedal will make it sound radically different than if you put it before, due to the higher complexity (headroom) of the signal you fed it. As I understand it, anyway :)
     
  15. arbiterusa

    arbiterusa

    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    You could play any bass in that room and it literally would not make a difference. I hear "bass-like" tones, they sound the same. It could be your keyboardist for all I can tell.

    I assume you are using IEMs.
     
    SolaiBassist and Needsalilmore like this.
  16. Nobody needs an 18 volt pre. Your amp is designed to take the less than 1 Volt output from a passive bass, your pedals are designed for that same signal and virtually all work on a 9 volt battery. Same for most multiFX.
    Instrument and line level signals are well below the +-3 volts comfortably achievable from a 9 volt supply.
    18 volt pres exist as a marketing exercise. I guarantee your 18 volt preamp is putting out a few volts at most, and would work fine from 9 volts.
     
    SolaiBassist, TrustRod and DWBass like this.
  17. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    Electronics devices have power supply rails. They can't pass a signal beyond those rails - a signal with an 18 volt swing going into a device with 9 volt rails is not going to pass through that without significant attenuation (before it hits the active circuitry) or (if it isn't attenuated), clipping.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
    SolaiBassist and DWBass like this.
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    This!
     
    TrustRod likes this.
  19. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    No body needs a pre amp at all.
    That isn't really the point.
    If you have active pickups that want a 9v, and have a pre that wants a 9v, you can technically run with 1 9v, and just have to change it more frequently.
    I like the sound of active pre amps, and sometimes active pickups. Can I hear a difference? You bet your @$$. No passive bass will ever sound like my Spector.
     
    SolaiBassist likes this.
  20. This is not how an 18Volt pre in a bass works. The batteries are connected in series and will provide 18 volts for the same amount of run time as a single battery will provide at 9 volts. If you connected the 2 batteries in parallel then you would get twice the operating time but it would then be a 9v pre not 18v.
     
    SolaiBassist and FugaziBomb like this.

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