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Strings Through Body vs. Strings Through Bridge... Differences?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassGod, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    I wasn't sure where to post this.

    Could anyone explain to me the differences between stringing through the body or through the bridge? Pros and cons of both perhaps? (relating to the amount of tension, tone, etc.) Also, could you string maybe, the E and A through the body, with the D and G through the bridge?

    I ask because I need to replace the strings on my bass, which can be strung both ways, and I don't know which one I should choose. For the record, they are strung through the body right now.

    Which one do you prefer, and why?

    Graeme :bassist:
  2. ducaticarl


    Oct 16, 2005
    From my understanding through the body gives you more sustain...also I have noticed while looking around online some of the "boutique" basses that are five strings now put the e-g strings through the bridge and for "better tension and sustain" they put the B string only through the body.
  3. I don't think it increases tension at all. It does increase sustain and may increase clarity. The only way to increase tension is to increase the legnth or gauge of the string. Since the vibrating part of the string remains the same length, it doesn't matter whether you string through the body or the bridge.
  4. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I hate to the harbringer of the usual "use the search function" post...but I was literally just researching the same subject matter and there is a lot of debate on the differences. Interesting topic.
  5. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Minimal difference IMHO. Possibly a little extra sustain because the string angle over the saddles is normally steeper which applies more downward force to the bridge saddles and may couple the bridge to the bass body better. There may also be some string harmonics introduced directly to the body with string thru but I would think they would be pretty well damped out by the body wood.

    This subject gets discussed a lot and there are as many opinions as there are players .... YMMV. Prepare for a long thread!! :oops: ;)
  6. +1

    I just researched it on here as well and there are alot of threads and in-depth discussions about it. The general concensus from the majority of people seemed to be that it makes very little or no difference on modern equipment. Alot of people have the same bridge as you (allowing them to string both ways) and they invariably seemed to say that trying the same set of strings back to back yeilded no difference whatsoever.

    FWIW, I think you're going to get enough ambiguous responses that you're going to be better off just trying it on your bass (stringing it one way, then switching and seeing if you notice a difference). Oh and if you do, let us know what your result is!

  7. I would have to say that since your bass can be strung either way, you try each and decide for yourself which works for you. This is, of course, assuming that 'my bass can be strung either way' means that holes and ferrules are already in place to do a through-body stringing. If not, well, you've got another decision to make. Be sure to try them through the body before you try them through the bridge if you trim the ends, because through-body requires a little more string length (duh). Also be sure your strings have enough length from ball to silk to facilitate stringing through the body.

    Yeah, just play with it until you find some combination of through-body and through-bridge that gives you what you want.
  8. mrbungle


    Nov 13, 2000
    tampere, finland
    I just tested both ways with my American Series Jazz Bass. Stringing through the bridge gives you more clarity and sustain, which seems to be pretty logical, because less energy is transfered into the body.

    The weird thing is that everyone keeps raving about stringing through the body (and new Fenders have strings installed that way by default). I didn't like the sound that way, though it had much more OOMPH-factor.
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    The only difference would be a change in the string's angle over the nut. As noted, wiith a thru-body bridge the string usually bends at a sharper angle over the saddle. This *might* result in better response in the case where the thru-bridge angle is too shallow.

    If break angle is the same: you could extend the non-vibrating portion of the string from here to Kentucky and it won't change a thing. What matters is the portion between the saddle and the nut.

    I've tested this myself on basses that could be strung both ways. In all cases, I've noticed no difference.

    As noted, please do a search for more thorough details.
  10. what happens when you pluck the string past the nut, near the tuners? i mean, if you don't mute the strings.

    i thought so. maybe the "nonspeaking" parts of the string aren't as pointless as theory might suggest.