Whats the deal with neck thru's?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ninkompoop, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. ninkompoop


    Apr 20, 2003
    As I (hopefully) near the completion of the search for my spector, I was very close to purchasing an NS Q4 bold on, when I noticed for about 125$ more, I could get what appears the be the same model, but neck thru..

    Is it worth the extra money? Are there really any advantages to having a neck thru instead of a bolt on?

    I think I read somewhere that Spector discontinued the neck thru models, atleast in Korea, but I am not sure. Was there something wrong with them, or something?

    Any input would help! :)
  2. This is a highly debated topic and you will receive many different answers.

    The general consensus is that neck-thru models offer more sustain than their bolt-on counterparts.

    Alot of it comes down to feel and personal preference. Play some neck-thrus and see what you think of them. See if the playability justifies the extra cost to YOU. That's the key.

    I would also try a search. Lots of good info on this topic.

    Good Luck!
  3. xyllion

    xyllion Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Yea, it is definitely a matter of personal preference. Probably the most notable difference can be felt when playing the high notes near the neck joint. With a neck-through, the neck blends smoothly into the body.

    As for sound differences, I've never been able to compare apples with apples. Every neck-through that I have seen is of radically different construction to the bolt-ons that I have played.

    Personally, I like the looks and feel of neck-throughs slightly better than bolt-ons. Although admittedly, I own 3 bolt-ons to 1 neck-through.
  4. kind of mirrors my experience. i've generally noticed that neck throughs have an allaround smoother response than bolt ons, but i've never played a ray neck through or p bass neck through, you know what i mean? i have a pedulla and a smith neck thru right now and they both have loads of sustain and are very smooth. there's not as much punch at the beginning of the note as with boltons i own or have owned. when all is said and done, i don't think the 'average' listener can really appreciate the difference.. my wife certainly cannot. she just hears 'boom boom boom' :)
  5. adam on bass

    adam on bass

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: GK, EMG and D'Addario
    I have a stable of Spectors and it all started with the Q bolt on models and graduated to the Professional neck-thru models a few months after the Q.

    Sustain wise I noticed a big difference and it felt a lot smoother to play than the Q bolt-on. I have since gotten rid of the Q, bought three more 2000/4's and one 2000/5 and waiting for my new CZECH model, all neck thru's.

    FYI - The professional neck-thru models are out of production, so you will have to get lucky and find one on someones showroom or backstock.

    I would recommend you try'em and go for you personal taste.

    Either way a Spector is a great instrument to have.
  6. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I have a USA Spector (neck-through) and have played instruments by other manufacturers that were, as best as can be, apples-to-apples. For example, I've played both sets of "Stambaugh Twins" on sale or sold by Luthier's Access Group. Both sets of basses were built using the same scale length, the same woods from the same boards, same electronics and pickups, same number of strings, etc...the only difference was that one was bolt-on, the other neck-through.

    My opinion stayed the same after each experiment, and let me also preface it by saying these were also MY ears, using MY technique, in MY experience...the differences were subtle.

    Neck through basses, those that I played, anyway, tend to be a little more solid in the fundamental of the note, gentler on the attack. The bolt-ons, on the other hand, had a slightly higher harmonic content, lending to a perception of more attack.

    Both were wonderful instruments in both cases, and I wouldn't hesitate to spend the money on BOTH!

    My own personal preference is...it depends. I have 2 neck-throughs and might be buying a bolt-on. I'll readily admit I have a psychological attachment to a neck through bass because of aesthetics, but also like bolt-on neck basses because they too, have a lot to offer.
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    While neck-thrus offer better sustain, and are slightly more stable as far as tuning, I prefer bolt-ons. The heel really doesn't bother me much, and well, it's nice to know that if you break it, you can always get a new one without scrapping the body.

    Anyway, just remember, Sadowsky's are bolt-ons, Fender's are bolt-ons since 1951, even Ritters are bolt ons. And Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett tours with mostly neck through's, but he's got his bolt-on that he tosses around. I think its on its 17th or 18th neck. His tech repairs it until the neck is dead and slaps a new one on!
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