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String Thru Body?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by grr2, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. grr2


    Jan 30, 2009
    I just wanted to ask a quick question about basses.
    Obviously it's about basses that allow you to string them thru the body.

    I just wanted to know what the purpose of this is; what the difference is between stringing thru and not stringing thru ur bass :help:.

    I've herad that it makes the strings tighter and gives you a little more sustain but other than that idk much about it.
    I play metal an I'm just looking and different things to tinker with and adjust and listen to to expand my range of playing styles...
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    We've had this thread many times, and basically most people, most of the time, can't hear any difference. There are exceptions, where one person heard a noticeable difference with one specific bass, but generally--doesn't do much. As far as "the purpose", well, it's just one more way basses can be designed, regardless of actual results.
  3. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Some say the longer strings make for more tension and more sustain, more tone, blah blah blah blah.

    Others (myself included) will say hog-wash and ignore the string through on their basses and string via the quick release bridge.

    Personally I hate string through because it's more of a pain to string a bass and quickly take strings off and on. I have two similar model basses with different pickup configurations and often swap flats, or Nickel, or Stainless strings between the two depending on what I want/need for specific gigs or recording sessions. MUCH more of a pain to do that stringing through a body.

    Personally I've A/B recorded the same bass with two sets of disposable strings... one as string-through and hte other via the bridge and heard absolutely no difference in tone, sustain or tension of strings.

    Others here will tell you differently... as with almost every topic posted.
  4. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    The real use for stringing through the body is to keep the string anchor ferrules from falling out of the back of the body.
  5. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    It might give you a nominal increase in sustain. I do know that the body of my bass vibrates more when I string throug the bridge as opposed to top loading.
  6. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I've done side-by-side comparisons on several basses that allow both methods (two US Lakland 494's, a Lakland Skyline 55-01, and a Hamer Cruise Bass with the Gotoh bridge). Even when I ran two strings through the body and two top-loaded on the same bass, there was no real difference. That cured my of my prejudice the string-through was "better" and gave me more sustain.

    I still string most of them that way, but I don't delude my self to think that it really makes any difference in eitehr the way the bass sounds or how it feels under either hand.

  7. Thrillhouse

    Thrillhouse Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    I's have to agree that I have not been able to discern a notable difference. I tried both ways on my MIA Standard Jazz (both in live and recording applications) and I really don't hear/feel a difference. However, everyone's senses are different. Maybe to you it will feel/sound more to your liking, but in the end there's only one way to find out for yourself. Try it!
  8. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I have multiples of both.... Stingrays with both, Fenders with both, etc... IMO, ZERO difference in sound or feel.
  9. themarshall


    Jun 26, 2008
    cochrane wi
    The purpose is to make finding strings for a 35" scale 5er a costly PITA.
  10. RexNFX79


    Jan 12, 2009

  11. I have a 2008 Fender Jazz with string-through-body, and I don't think it sounds "really" different than my other Jazzes. The "theory" of why it is supposed to be an improvement is that it increases the break angle of the strings over the saddles, and causes the strings to be held on them with more lateral tension, which is supposed to cause more vibration transfer.

    The theory works pretty well on acoustic instruments, but I'm not convinced it makes a huge difference on electric instruments.

  12. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    It's just another marketing feature that amounts to... nothing!!
  13. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Personally I like the theory of string through basses. All the string tension pushes down on the saddles and doesn't pull on the bridge. The amount of difference in sound? Well that's a whole nother animal. I have a friend that strings his E and A strings though the body and his D and G strings though the bridge. He swears the E and A have more sustain. and the D and G have more punch that way, but I call shinanigans!

    String through body, string through bridge, neck through body, bolt on neck...... It's all academic. Find a bass that kicks serious ass and play the ever lovin crap out of it!
  14. I had one string-thru bass, and another with a dual system bridge. I don't really like string thru as you sometimes need longer strings plus the sharp bends.
  15. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    I find a slight difference in some basses, and none in others. Having the balls anchored on the back of the bass should be more rigid than a bridge, but that depends on the bridge. Some quick release bridges are flimsy. Other basses without a quick release mechanism are harder to string through versus the body. The Lakland basses are an example. It's easier to put the string through the body, provided you have a string that works like that. I use Lakland and DR strings, and they fit no problem.
  16. grr2


    Jan 30, 2009
    thanks for the replies! I appreciate it.

    The main reason i waned to ask this question because I've been looking at the Traben Chaos Core basses lately and they seem to be pretty awesome bass and I just wanted to know why the string-through body thing was SUCH a big deal.
    I still want the bass but now I know not to factor the whole string-through body concept into my decision on whether or not to eventually get one.

  17. kjpollo


    Mar 17, 2008
    Oh man, I am SO GASing for the Chaos Core...I just wish I could find one and actually play it. I have 2 stores that carry Traben's in my area and neither one has had one in yet.

    Oh yeah, on-topic-add me to the list of people who cant hear any difference between toploading and through-body stringing.
  18. i have recently gotten a thru... i do notice a difference i know some dudes who put some strings thru and some thru bridge too for better tones...when they detune etc
  19. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    My buddy that strings the E and A through the body and the D and G through the bridge has a Traben!

    He likes the bass a lot.
  20. Dennis098


    May 3, 2008
    String-thru feels worse on my MIA Jazz IMO, might be my imagination, but I think action doesn't feel as even.
    Doesn't get enough tension to solidly push the E string to the saddle either if its not one of those taper-wound E's

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