I've Probably talked about it before.... Certainly I've studied it, when qualifying as a luthier! But I've just had a very interesting conversation with a Physicist And these are some very interesting conclusions! 1 Is there a difference between Bolt on neck-through String-through body? Well to answer that one needs to know if a string vibrates differently depending on how the two points are connected. String trough body is irrelevant, Bolt on or Neck-Through, the difference is that there is a stress point at the where the pieces join, Glued or Bolted on! But if it is glued or bolted on tightly the stress point is subtle that the human ear finds it hard to detect, and certainly the eye cannot! Obviously a fretted instrument as repeating fixed points and a fretless those points move slightly 2 Materials? In an acoustic instrument the sound board material is very important as it flex, and how it flexes determines the type of sound wave sent, just like how fat and strong the hand is determines the type of wave made in water. Thus quality of wood, type of sawn, straitness of grain, bracing, Pine, spruce, Cedar ect. Then, the size of the cavity determines the depth of sound, ie bassyness, although it is not as simple as that, and the ratio of density difference between the Back and sides verses the sound board effects how hard the waves bounce off. Now in electrical instruments, the role of the sound board, is taken exclusivity by the pick-ups, so the type ie Humbuckers, Single coil, Stacked, Soap bar, Quality of build ect. The Cavity and Back and sides are determined in the electric bass, by the electrical path way quality of wiring, Processing, Active/Passive, the Cable, Amp processing, Quality of Driver, and Amp build materials and cavity construction. So essentially, when buying a Electric bass apart form comfort of feel, the things one should be looking at is preference of Pickup and Electrical cofig, as well a build quality, and how that is reflected on price. Obviously we are human and the look influences us as well, but that's an artistic issue, and I'm completely crap with visual art! I'll be interested if anyone has any more quantifiable Tangents.