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screw-on (bolt-on) neck vs. neck-through, can you hear the difference?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Killed_by_Death, Oct 1, 2019.


  1. absolutely

  2. not at all

  3. sometimes

  4. undecided, carrot-thru for me, thanks!

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Copy that.
    :D
     
    bucephylus likes this.
  2. nbsipics

    nbsipics Very Unorthodox Behavior Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    Yeh just like "audiophiles" claim that can hear a big difference between a $200 interconnect cable and a $2,000 one ( or a $20 one, for that matter ). We hear what we want to hear is right!

    Like right now, for instance, I hear "shut up dude"!
     
  3. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico
    Agreed, even wood density and moisture content from different trees can make the same production models sound slightly different if everything else is essentially the same.

    But, for the purpose of this thread, the only way to compare is to have a neck thru and bolt on version of the same model.

    To my knowledge, nobody makes them.
     
    bassballs27 likes this.
  4. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    All of my basses I currently own are used. I completely agree with this mentality. Take less of a financial hit and continue the experience. I just found out I paid $2400 CAD in shipping of basses this year alone. Some was recovered from the sales...but a fair bit came from “experience”. I guess they get you to spend money either way...just depends on how much experience you want to have!
     
    Brad Johnson likes this.
  5. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico
    Yeah, but I said it more eloquently… :D
     
    B-Mac likes this.
  6. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder SUSPENDED

    Sep 27, 2018
    Obviously not. It would give away the game.
     
  7. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    I did miss one aspect when comparing different basses here which is Active VS Passive. If you were comparing a Passive 4 string Bolt on to an Active Neckthrough 5 string, some could argue when I turn on the Active preamp, it’s just as loud as the 4 string. My comparison in perceived volume is to ensure that Active preamp is off to make a better comparison. However, even when comparing some passive basses to active...some may be surprised that passive basses can be perceivably louder, especially bolt ons.
     
  8. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    Fodera makes Bolt ons, Set Neck (Deluxe), and Neck through (Elite) of their Emperor and Monarch Custom Models.
     
  9. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Ibanez, Music Man, BC Rich, Cort, pretty much everyone who does neckthru also does bolt on of the same.
    There also were instruments specifically produced for this testing purposes. I remember Fodera and Marleaux did.
     
    bassballs27 likes this.
  10. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    And we can hear Foderas testing of a Monarch built with 3 Neck configurations right here:
    Neck Joints

    These were the infamous Alder / Brazilian Rosewood Bolt on, Deluxe, and Elite they made for comparison.
    Matt Garrison played and recorded them.
     
  11. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    If you pull ten "identical" brand new fender jazz basses (or any instrument really) off the wall, they will all sound a little different. People attribute sound differences to whatever they want. I remember the old days when you played a really heavy instrument because it "gave great sustain." Despite no bass player ever not having enough sustain. [hyperbole alert].

    IMHO, these differences are way over blown. BUT, if it sounds good to you, there is no reason not to believe it. It doesn't really matter what someone else hears.
     
    Gorn and bassballs27 like this.
  12. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    Fantastic post!
     
  13. gregunit

    gregunit

    Feb 23, 2006
    South Carolina
    I can hear the difference and I like both sounds. I prefer neck thru but I play a bolt-on because it is lighter. At 66 weight is a factor.
    Incidentally, I still love the tone of and old 4 string p-bass with flats. However, I need more versatility and my Ibanez SR-505 with Barts does everything else I want. AND, it's light :)
     
  14. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico
    Didn't know that!

    Well has anyone tried both?
     
  15. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    You could even tell people the ten regular bolt on Fenders are three bolt on, three neck through, three set neck and one is that stainless steel bass thing and people will claim to hear differences inherent to the bass's construction.
     
    lfmn16 likes this.
  16. B-Mac

    B-Mac Sorting Things Out Supporting Member

    Two times as eloquently :)
     
  17. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    The only neck through I've owned was a Spector NS2A so no way to compare apples to apples.
    I'm going to vote undecided just to see what you guys think.
     
  18. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Maybe so, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't mailing it in, and he was probably more inspired than most if not all of the non-tone freaks here as well. If a metalflake paint job or a plastic pickguard inspires someone and the audience responds in kind I'm all for it, whether those things matter to me or not. Our filters seem to be calibrated a bit differently, but I'm all for that too, as it makes discussions a lot more interesting.[​IMG]
     
    Jim C, Wisebass and JimmyM like this.
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    If you have a neck thru bass and the neck goes bad … you have a real problem
     
  20. Blazer

    Blazer

    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    I have owned Aria SB series basses and their acoustic sound is VERY different from for example my Music man bass. Which also translates into how they sound electric.

    This clip shows Bernard Edwards slapping on a G&L bass and John Taylor on an Aria SB bass, the difference in sound is striking.


    People discovering that neck through body basses don't have that Oomph that a good Fender has is actually almost as old as the bass itself is. Why did players like Roger Waters and Mike Rutherford abandon their Rickenbackers in favor for bolt on neck basses such as the Fender P-bass (Waters) and the Shergold modulator (Rutherford)?

    John Pattitucci has played Ken Smith Basses prior to him working with Yamaha, why do you think his Yamaha Signature model has a bolt on neck?

    Heck, prior to getting the Yamaha Attitude series, Billy Sheehan played BB-series basses with a neck through body construction, so why does the Attitude have a bolt on neck?

    But it also happens the other way round, players who find out that bolt on neck basses don't have that "Ping" that a neck through bass has. Mark King for example played JayDee, Alembic and Status, all with neck through body construction. So when he started playing Fenders, his complaint was that the sound wasn't right, a bolt on neck bass simply does NOT have that sound that a neck through body construction bass has.
     
    raal and Afc70 like this.

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