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Through Body Stringing...Smoke and Mirrors?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ubado, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. ubado


    Mar 7, 2007
    I was doing my basic "bass porn" watching, when I wondered if the idea of "thru body stringing" is actually better or more beneficial than just an ordinary bridge.

    I understand the concept... the thru body design gives you more downforce on the bridge saddle, thus allowing for more acurate intonation.

    Is this really true? ... or is it just some engineer's idea of a selling point... great in concept, but not as beneficial as clever.

    I've had both stinging types and I can't seem to hear a difference.

    What do you think???
  2. MammaryVest


    Oct 18, 2006
    Stoneham, MA
    The math all makes sense, but I have a bass that can be strung both ways, and I haven't noticed a difference.
  3. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    I always assumed it was to make strings tighter.
    Like...on Low Bs.
  4. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006
  5. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.

    one thing i noticed on a '98 MIA fender precision i had:

    through body stringing led to a lot of broken strings thanks to that severe bend over the saddle.

    badass III solved the problem.

    through body stringing might make a difference but not in anyway most people are going to feel or hear.
  6. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    I always heard that it was to make the wood resonate more.
  7. redstrand


    May 18, 2007
    Saint Louis, MO
    Fool For Four Strings
    It does makes the wood resonate more...check out the vibration on a string thru.

    It all depends on the body wood also, the "better" the wood the more sustain you get.

    It's not a gimmick.
  8. Foamy


    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    The string makers can make a couple more bucks per set by NOT cutting what they normally would cut off and discard anyhow. It saves them money also because they pay less for the guys holding onto the string ends and getting the windings started.
  9. The Penguin

    The Penguin duplicate account violation Banned

    Jun 21, 2006
    I'm not pelagic
    You get more downforce but that won't improve intonation, in fact it may make it worse as it applies a perpendicular force to the string deforming it from the more desirable straight string.

    If the myths on string through were correct wouldn't it also make sense to fret an instrument as hard as you can?
  10. The Penguin

    The Penguin duplicate account violation Banned

    Jun 21, 2006
    I'm not pelagic
    So it would reduce sustain then.
  11. The Penguin

    The Penguin duplicate account violation Banned

    Jun 21, 2006
    I'm not pelagic
    How does one tell which wood is better?
  12. A/B'd the same basses with the same strings in the same situations numerous times strung through bridge and through body... absolutely no difference in tension, sustain or tone that I can hear. For some reason, I string 'through the body' when I have this option, but it is somewhat irrational:D
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    There's only so much downward force that's required in order to establish a good witness point. Any additional force is unnecessary at best... :rolleyes:

  14. Find a bridge that has both and try both. Use what you like. I have some Peaveys with a Hipshot that allows for this. I always used the string through option. I suppose some day I could A/B them, but I have bigger fish to fry at the moment.

    My Rob Allen basses have string through acoustic style bridges and those bad boys have lots of sustain. Add this to one of the construction tricks that make them sound good.
  15. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    I can't see how it would make much of a difference.
  16. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    Here's my take on this subject.

    There are lots of little things that can effect the overall performance of the instrument. This includes having a sufficient break angle, and solid anchor point for the string. Through-body stringing typically achieves both of those requirements. It's not the only way though.

    When you're building an instrument you try to maximize all the little things that you are aware of to get the best performance. So that's one consideration (among many).

    Compared to a high quality well designed (non-through-body) bridge system it probably doesn't buy you anything.

    Ok, I'm just rambling here so I'll stop now :p
  17. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I tired and tried, all I could hear was a slight blur when stringing through body.
    I much prefer a top loading bridge. At least it's useful.
  18. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    yes but how do we know the more downward force the better. that a steeper break angle makes a difference for the better. How do we know its not like a screw that should be tightened to a certain torque and nothing beyond that. Fact is a lot of stuff in music equipment is just snake oil BS with nothing to back it up.
  19. blackcrayon


    Feb 5, 2006
    On a short scale it eats up another couple inches of string so you can use longer scale strings without cutting ;)
  20. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    If you had the choice of 1 gram downforce, 10 grams, or 100 grams, which would you choose?

    But obviously beyond a certain point it makes little difference...

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