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String through body or topload ??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ingemar, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Ingemar


    Sep 12, 2000
    Is there any advantage (or any difference at all) with string through body on a P- bass if you want to detune to D G C F ?
  2. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I've heard rumors that stringing thru the body increases sustain and "tightens" up the strings (tension)? I'm not at all sure if those rumors are true or not. I've heard great sounding basses in all price ranges and of all configurations with all different kinds of bridges on them. Maybe the Low B on a 5 string can benifit from thru the body, but I've never seen any official "tests" to prove anything.
    My G&L L-2500 (5-stringer) strings thru the body and it feels about the same as my L-2000 (4 stringer) which goes thru the bridge. I'm more inclined to lean towards saying "as long as you have a good bridge and you have good strings on the bass...it really won't make much of a noticable difference".
    I'm using an Erine Ball Musicman 4 stringer tuned down to Drop Low C tuning. It strings thru the Bridge. It plays fine ( a lil sloppy compared with standard E, but not bad). I think what is most important is a heavier guage of strings for drop tuning. Like, if you usually use a 105 for your E string...step up to a 110.

    I'm sure someone on here is gonna go crazy with the physics lessons on pounds of tension and blah blah blah. I've played both types of P-basses (thru the body and thru the bridge) and both feel pretty close to the same as far as string tension and whatnot.
  3. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    On basses where I've tried both loading options, going through the body seems to make the strings feel tighter/stiffer, and changes the attack on notes somewhat. I prefer through-bridge, personally (though I do like my 2-tek equipped bass rather a lot).

    I think the primary difference is the increase in the break angle over the saddle, rather than some mythical resonance transfer to the body, which the bolted on bridge can do quite well on its own, and keep in mind there is no vibration on the part of the string that is past the saddle! Likely any difference in tone is due to greater down-pressure on the saddle.

    For pickstyle downtuning, you'll probably like through body better, but its subtle.
  4. mark beem

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

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    I've had both types and honestly can't tell a difference tonally either way..
  5. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I like string-thru but only because it seems to help tension-wise with the B-string. But like Mark says, tonally I can't hear a difference either.
  6. Ty_Boogie

    Ty_Boogie Bass, A way of life

    Sep 6, 2004
    Troy, NY
    good info here.

    I've never owned a thur the body bass, and only played a few in stores, so no real time to form an opinion

  7. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    i guess they do have an effect on lower strings, cuz i saw a bass here on talkbass (i think it's a Warrior that is for sale, cuz i saw it recently) and the A, D, and G were top load, but the B and the E were through body (not regular through body, through the butt end by the strap pin).
  8. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    No difference AFA my Jazz 24.
  9. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.

    i have a fender p-bass that had the standard thru-body bridge on it. i went to a bad*ss III bridge for one reason alone: to cut down on strings breaking.

    i broke so many strings due to the angle it broke over the bridge. top load for me only.

    as far as the differnce when tuning that low...negligable at best, is my own opinion.

    the thru-body bridge will use up more of the string length if that makes a difference.