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Problems with Neck Thru Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MMFender, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. MMFender


    Sep 26, 2003
    I may buy a neck thru bass.
    I wonder what are the advantages and disadvantages of a neck thru bass ? If it falls is it a more damage risk ?
    my friend advises me not to buy neck thru bass.
  2. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Well, the main advantage is using the search button.
  3. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama

    Good one..
  4. MMFender


    Sep 26, 2003
    u rude ppl i made a search but found unrelated subjects.
  5. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Did you try looking under the "Newbie Links" thread??
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
  7. dont


    Jul 25, 2004
    I have nothing but neck-through basses and have never had a problem. What the likelihood of damage is if one is dropped I don't know. The neck-through seems to me to have better sustain and more fullness. I have had four Carvins for 10+ years each, and now have a Sukop and a Hanewinckel.
  8. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I've had one neckthrough to check them out - but I knew that bass was choice beforehand. I'd read and found that NT's tend to have a compressed tone to them. If the neck's bad or goes bad, you're SOL. In the basic framework of a bass, the neck is invariably the most problem source and about the only damage of any signifance to the basic framework that can occur (unless you're a Who fan or like Jaco) is the neck or headstock snapping. Bolt-on's tend to be brighter and the neck's replaceable. The only neck swap I've done, I found about 75% of the tone of that bass was in the neck itself.

    OOps, take that back. I had 2 NT's. A '98 Carvin LB 70 also. Absolutely beautiful bass but didn't like the sounds or the feel (comfort wise not playability). No problems with the neck there either. And they do tend to have more sustain. The other was a Schec Stiletto Elite 4.

    OOps, actually I had 3 NT's. A friend shipped me a Chec Spec that was actually made in the US as a prototype for their Chec bass. It was during my early bass explorations and he was trying to convert me to Specs. But I already had a bass that sounded so much like it (a bolt-on), was a fraction of the cost, and weighed 2 1/2 lbs less.

    Bottom line, NT or not, most people choose a bass for tone, comfort, playability, price, condition, and appearance. If I was impressed with a bass, being an NT probably wouldn't keep me from buying.
  9. 69Vette


    Sep 21, 2004
    Burbank, CA
    Not to argue, but I thought I'd point out another perspective, which is my own.

    I have around 25 basses. I'm not really a boutique bass kind of guy, so all my basses are for the most part basic models. Among them, I have neck thru, set neck, and bolt on models. I have never heard compressed from my neck thrus. IMO, the type of wood and electronics that each bass is made of makes much more of a difference than how the neck is attached to the body. Some basses seem to have more natural (unplugged) sustain than others. My alder P Bass (I think it's alder...) sounds brighter than my mahogany Thunderbird, but a maple Mockingbird I owned (neck thru) was brighter than either one of them.

    It's true that replacing the neck is easier with a bolt on (and basically impossible with a neck thru), but it's untrue to assume you're SOL if your neck thru does develop problems. A good luthier can not only repair or replace even a shattered headstock, it's also possible he can take a humped, warped, or twisted neck thru and make that neck as good as new. It might not be cheap, but a Fender replacement neck will cost you $400, and the quality off the shelf types $200 and up. I've even seen a Les Paul headstock, which was snapped completely off, repaired so well that you couldn't even see the repair (and it wasn't shot over with dark finish. It was left natural).

    The only person that can decide which type of bass is right for you, is you. I'd recommend trying as many as possible and letting your ears and hands decide which one is best. Forget about arbitrary ideas of which kind of construction is "better". They're all good. Different, but good. What matters is what works for you.
  10. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    I have to agree with 69vette the neck is just one part of the bass that contributes to its sound. I have played great sounding bolt-ons and great sounding neck-thrus and crappy ones as well. I personally prefer neck-thru myself but it is a matter of personal taste and not necessarily because I believe them to be "better" than bolt-ons. If your friend is trying to encourage not to buy a bass because it is a neck-thru thinking that bolt-on is a better choice then he is misinformed. I would not pass over a neck-thru Alembic to buy a Mexican made Fender, nor would I pass over a Lakland to buy a Peavey Grind neck thru. It all depends on how well the bass is made and not so much the attachment of the neck.
  11. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA

    1) more sustain

    2) slightly smoother tone (less trebley snap)

    Are the differences night and day against a bolt-on? No. Are they noticeable? Yes.
  12. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Caveat: All other things being equal, Woods/PUPs/Electronics/Hardware/Basic Body Shape...

    The guys at LuthiersAccessGroup(.com) have done a LOT of ordering from some of their fantastic lutiers for "sets" of basses where the *ONLY* difference is one is Bolt and the other NT. I'm sure if you call them they will give you their impression of the differences. That is the ONLY situation that will tell you exactly *WHAT* the difference is between bold/NT. You can't really compare an Essex P (Bold) to a Peavy Cirrus (NT) (or a Washburn Taurus (NT) to a Sadowsky (Bolt) for that matter :D ) since there are many other issues affecting the tone/sustain/etc.

    Here are Pete Hanewinckel?s:


    And Chris Stambaugh's:


    on an asside, Here's a set from Chris Identical in every way except one is a 35" scale and the other is a 30" piccolo, They even both have Whamy Bars!!! p.s. they are Neck-Thru before you ask...

  13. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    Right on the nose Lajoie. :bassist:
  14. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    FWIW, I've played all 3 sets of basses.

    "Sustain" is, IMO, a bogus term, in terms of neck-through basses, and "punch" is bogus in terms of neck throughs!

    That said, I will say there is a slight increase in harmonic content in the attack of a note in bolt-ons, lending slightly more clarity to each note. There is a slight increase in fundamental content in the notes of neck-through basses.

    The differences are noticeable, but not huge. I actually GAS over basses of both methods of construction. :p
  15. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts

    FWIW, I think I hate you!!! :D
  16. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I own both. I like both. I find the neck-throughs to generally be more asthetically pleasing to me. I like the way the neck just flows into the body. It isn't a big deal, but it is one of things that attracts me to neck through basses.
  17. Why would you want to drop your bass anyways? I've played for 25 years and never yet dropped a bass......
    Shimmi likes this.
  18. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Is this an archive or a discussion forum?

    If a subject has been discussed before, should we avoid discussing it?
  19. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    In guitars bolt-on necks cause the note to lose part of the note's fundamental. What happens is the ear extrapolates the missing fundamental frequencies. This is why people interpret the sound of a bolt-on to be "brighter". These frequencies are not missing in the neck -thru (and in some cases the set neck) which people interpret as "sustain". As the previous post stated the differences aren't huge but they are noticable. Honestly does it really matter. I judge a bass on how it feels and how it sounds, neck thru, bolt-on, passive, active don't really matter to me as much as sound and feel.
  20. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Really? I drop mine just for the fun of it :D

    I've also noticed that the neck-thru's have more sustain so they fall for longer than the bolt-ons, But the bolt-ons are have a brighter tone when they hit the ground. :p