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String through option

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Andii Syckz, Jun 2, 2012.


  1. Andii Syckz

    Andii Syckz

    Jan 2, 2011
    Montreal
    So I don't know if it would belong here so feel free to move this to another category.

    I was wondering what the pros/cons, of the string through option, are. Some say it adds sustain. but that's about all the good i've heard for this option.

    Any cons? and more pros as well.
     
  2. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    My experience is... stringing through the body doesn't change the tonal quality of the instrument in any perceivable way. Although I still find that setup somehow more satisfying than stringing through the bridge. Maybe it just reminds me of my acoustic guitars?

    Some downsides have to do with string gauge and length. Some standard length strings aren't quite long enough, which means you have to go to the next size longer. And some large string gauges might not fit through the ferrules. And some strings, like LaBella flats, are recommended for bridge stringing only... not through the body.
     
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    The increased break angle of the string is an advantage in holding the saddles in place on a Fender string through bridge. That's the main benefit. Personally if a bass has it, I would use it mainly.because its there; I have the same feeling of "satisfaction" using it through as slowgypsy said. The only one I have that does is my old G3.
     
  4. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    It's an old topic here. I USED to believe that it made a subtle but noticeable sonic and physical difference. However, I did a REAL side-by-side test and know believe it does nothing at all to most basses...

    I strung my Lakland 4-94s up with alternating STB/Top-load. On one the E and D were STB while the A and G were top-loaded. I reversed it on the other one. When I changed strings I reversed the orders. That way I was comparing the exact same sets of strings in real time on the exact same bass and not "another one just like it". It eliminated all the variables at one time.

    There's no difference.

    John
     
  5. jeff5311

    jeff5311

    Jan 27, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    It changes the feel / tension in the strings. That's it IMO.
     
  6. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    BS
     
  7. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    As long as its a qaulity high mass bridge rather then the cheap thin bent metal fender type. Top load rather then thru body makes no real diff. Just slightly greater tension feel. If however you have cheap thin bent metal fender style bridge Id say string thru body for little bit better tone. Downside of string thru body can be some strings not fitting the bass. And it does nothing useful if you have good high mass bridge anyway imo.
     
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    I personally couldn't tell the difference, and was going to look into, until a reputed local luthier (TB loves his work) said he preferred stringing through the bridge and through body was overrated... I took it at face value, he knows more about this type of thing than I will ever know.
     
  9. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    This is a perennial topic that is fraught with nearly as much pseudo-controversy as the tonewoods debate, and almost as much as the bolt-on vs. neck-through debate... :meh:

    That said, I'll go so far as to say that IF you use a sturdy, well-designed, solid-metal bridge - such as a Babicz, a Leo Quan or even a Hipshot - and you've installed it properly and use it properly, then there should be no functional difference in performance (however you choose to evaluate performance).

    I personally choose to stick with traditional bridge anchoring, for purely aesthetic reasons: I dislike the appearance of holes (i.e. string ferrules) in my bass guitars. If there was even the slightest audible or tactile improvement between bridge-anchoring and string-through-body anchoring however, rest assured, I would not hesitate to opt for the string ferrules and through-body stringing. :meh:

    MM
     
  10. Thin bent metal Fender type is all you need in a bridge - plenty strong and stiff.

    You could even mount it with just 2 screws. Still no difference.
     
  11. thefaceofbass

    thefaceofbass

    Feb 19, 2008
    SLC, UT
    Besides the different tension and tonal difference debate, there are other factors for me. I use Hipshot A style bridges on my basses and have used other string-thru body bridges. The only time I have ever broken a string on my basses in the past 20 years is the g string a few times when strung thru body. The gauge is too narrow for the angle IMO. And just to avoid any string breakage at all, I run B,E, and A thru body, and D and G always top mount.

    With the Hipshot A bridge and some other bridges, there is a quick release feature for the strings when top loaded. A nice feature for those who remove strings to boil or clean, and much easier than dealing with reloading the almost 90 degree bent B,E and A strings. But I like the additional downward pressure I get on the saddles when rear loaded.
     
  12. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    BS.+1
     
  13. Geroi Asfalta

    Geroi Asfalta

    Aug 23, 2011

    It's not making your strings thicker or lengthening your scale. Tension thing is BS.

    On my string through, I notice a tiny bit more punch when the strings are string through the body compared to dropped into the bridge.
     
  14. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    Agreed on all counts. I've had the opportunity to compare directly as well. No perceptible difference.

    Feel? Maybe, I guess... But a tension difference in the same gauge string = an entirely different note!
     
  15. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Think about it, if the tension was affected, the pitch would change. Period.
     
  16. I have strung my Lakland both body-thru and top-loaded. From my experience there is zero difference in feel or tone.
     
  17. Blue

    Blue Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    Southeast Penna
    ...but that's the only advantage a sharp break angle provides. In my experience, a sharp break angle decreases sustain and also decreases time before the string break.

    Less i.e. more.
     
  18. Blue

    Blue Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    Southeast Penna
    I accept that.
     
  19. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    It's important to never let the facts get in the way.
     
  20. Andii Syckz

    Andii Syckz

    Jan 2, 2011
    Montreal
    Well, i never thought i'd get this much information to my forum. What bridges can be strung through and top loaded? With this question i was trying to figure out if i should do it or not to my bass project from over 3 years.
     

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