1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Thru-Body vs. Top Load...changed my mind

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by JimmyM, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I used to not care whether a bridge on a Fender top loaded or strung through body. All sounded the same to me. Today I got an 09 Precision and restrung it top loaded with XL rounds. The E string had a rattle to it. Wasn't a bad rattle...just a little annoying. Restrung it thru-body and the rattle went away. I'm convinced...at least in this instance ;)


  2. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Whoah! Jimmy! I'd come to you with such a question. That said I string through my Carvin ( usually not the B string) I can't hear a tonal difference but something about string through seems right to me.
  3. Truktek2


    Sep 5, 2008
    Queens, NY
    Soundwise, I couldn't tell the difference top or through the body, but I think toploading is preferable as I find myself constantly swapping strings from flats to rounds to halfs.

    The kink in the strings made from thru the body mounting makes them harder to reuse.
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    I can only speculate but I would guess that either the break angle behind the saddle wasn't very steep (i.e. the saddle was relatively low) or the saddles aren't the threaded kind and the groove in the E string saddle is wide enough to let the string rattle without sufficient down pressure. Just thinking out loud.
  5. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    23 ft below sea level
    +1 Apparently I heard you thinking. I've got the same thoughts about this.

    At least Jimmy's bass offers the possibility of stringing through the body, so, as he writes, in this instance it's useful.
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I always go through body whenever possible, as it puts more downpressure on the saddle..which is probably what happened in your case. Top loading does not give you enough break angle.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Makes a lot of sense but neither of 1two's theories apply in this case. However, the string wasn't stretched out or anything, and that may have contributed. I'll see what happens when I change strings next, but for now I'm going with it.
  8. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    And the string ferrules won't fall out.
  9. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    JimmyM must be bored to start this weekly thread. Either that or he just wanted to be the one this time?
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I found a third method. I don't top-load or body-load...I just leave the ball-ends loose and tune up to the point where the entire string is wound around the string post.

  11. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    I have a few Fenders with the top load/strings through option bridges. I've never been able to discern any tonal differences between the two stringing options. However, it does seem to have string tension / setup implications ... primarily due to the break angle issue that mmbongo mentions. I'm generally more likely to go strings through with slinky roundwounds and top load with stiff flatwounds (plus some string manufacturers explicitly recommend that you do not string their flatwounds through the body).
  12. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    I top load because (1) I can't hear any big tone difference, (2) I use the alcohol soak to get several uses out of a set of strings. Top loaded, I don't have to uncoil the strings to get them off the bass; I just lift the wrapped end off the tuning peg (leaving it coiled), lift the ball end from the bridge, and drop 'em in the soak tube. Figure that helps extend the service life in itself.
  13. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    I've always gone thru-body on my P bass, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

    On my 5 string I use a tapered B (which solved all my B string problems) and it doesn't fit right if I go through body. Top loading is greatly preferred!
  14. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    A little hard to intonate, no?
  15. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    It's possible that the increased break angle helped, but those saddles are multi grooved - it's actually an excellent bridge, IMO... I also think that top loading tends to push the saddle all the way forward against the intonation screw, which could affect a rattle...

    ... and this - on my '08 Am St Jazz, the ferrules will definitely drop out if I don't string thru...

    - georgestrings
  16. Jaco didn't need to go through-body.

  17. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    I would have troubleshot the buzz, rather than going to the trouble of reloading the string. Could have been a spring (sometimes a little stretch is enough to fix a buzz), an intonation screw that wasn't up tight against the back of the bridge plate, etc...
  18. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    As others have stated, the downward pressure on the saddle is a good thing. If my bass had a string thru option, id use it.
  19. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    True, but Jaco was also high or drunk ALOT...


    - georgestrings
  20. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Once you try a good bridge with top loading, you really don't want to bother with anything else.
    Along with Sperzel tuners, it takes a minute to change all strings.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.