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String Through Body Conversion???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kelly Lee, Feb 20, 2004.


  1. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I have an old bass that I would love to bring up to date and have been considering doing a string through body conversion on it. First, is this a good thing? Second, how hard is it and has anybody here done it? Thanks.
     
  2. mjw

    mjw

    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    I have basses in both configurations and I've heard the arguments for both. I've never actually converted from one type to the other but I'll tell you this. Although the 'string through body" configuration is frequently touted as being the "hot setup" for tighter low strings (especially 5+), I find it to be somewhat irrelevant. There are so many other contributing factors that I no longer view this as a *deciding* factor. In fact, I'm now tending to avoid the "string-thru-body" configurations because of the way you have to bend the strings at nearly a 90 degree angle before you pass them over the bridge. If you've got bridge pickups (piezos, etc...) it can sometimes be a problem rather than a benefit. I don't know what your particular situaton is, but in my opinion, unless there's something significant to gain by doing this, I would probably advise against it. As always, YMMV. ;)
     
  3. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Thanks mjw. I thought it might be a nice look but if it really doesn't improve the sound where its noticeable, I guess whats the point. I guess maybe upgrading to an active EMG setup would probably be more of an improvement. Thanks again.
     
  4. Loren

    Loren

    Feb 2, 2004
    i prefer the string-thrus myself. and if the holes in the body are drilled at an angle the dont have to be bent at a 90 degree angle.
    i would agree though that if you dont have a significant gain in the end it isnt really worth doing.
     
  5. mjw

    mjw

    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    That's a good point Loren. I've never seen a string-through with holes drilled at shallow angles though. Which manufacturers are doing this?
     
  6. pc

    pc

    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC
    Michael Stevens does it on his Slant Series. Bootiful basses, by the way...
    http://stevensguitars.com/

    [​IMG]
     
  7. JOME77

    JOME77

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    I've converted a couple of bass to string thru. It's not a major project but does require some wood crafting skills and a drill press. I certainly would not perform this mod without a drill press (unless you don't mind having the ferrules spaced randomly on the back of the instrument). It basicaly requires that you use the bridge to locate the thru holes, drill the thru holes and then counter bore to the diameter (and depth) required to install the string ferrules. You're also somewhat limited as to what bridge you can use. Hipshot makes one and there are a couple more available from Allparts but few bridges support this option.
    As to the difference between top load and thru-body, I'd say I notice it more in feel than sound (tighter feeling tension). Not sure why this is (longer run of string from point A to B; more pressure on the saddle...) but I sure notice it on my G&L. But I will say that the low "B" on my G&L sounds very good for a 34" scale bass.
    And for what it's worth, thru body stringing doesn't bend the string at 90 degrees. It's more like 40-60 degrees, depending on how far the string hole is from the saddle and I've never noticed any premature string life from basses utilizing the string thru option.
    By the way you can get the ferrules from Allparts (blk, chrome, gold).
    Good luck!
     
  8. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I was thinking of using the bridge that Carvin sells. I like to run my bass(4 string) with a 5 string set and I tune it C/E/A/D. I might still try it. Thanks.