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what's the differ between string-through-body and topload?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by hofai0927, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. hofai0927


    Dec 27, 2010
    what's the differ between string-through-body and topload?
    is the string-through-body style made the tension bigger than topload style?
  2. No difference, really.
  3. None really. I used to run string through all the time until I started using circle K's. Top load from now on

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I can feel the difference and that is why I only top load(even on bass that string thru the back).

    I choose to top load because the strings feel looser and that is what I prefer.
  5. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Interesting, as I've read here that there is a difference not in string tension (which is established by nut to saddle distance), but in string pliability. I thought I'd read that body-through results in a slightly more pliable string.

    Mind you, I'm not making this claim, only repeating what I recall reading.
  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i suspect even that difference would be minimal, because the strings bend at a very sharp angle where they go through the plate for through-body; that "locks" the string at that spot, so the leftover bit inside the body doesn't really get stretched with bends anymore.

    i like the idea of string-through, especially with a low-mass bridge. rock-solid mounting without excess weight and without all the string pull being focused as shearing stress against a few mounting screws. along with the low-mass bridge, it's supposed to get more of the body wood into the tone.

    the reality is there's probably no appreciable difference.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    It is for me that's why I choose to top load.
  8. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Time already.for the monthly discussion of this topic? My how time flies...

    Search the TB records fir this topic as it cones up frequently - and.there is never anything new. There's the anecdotal commennts saying they know it makes a difference and the reasoned logic saying it doesn't and the emperical true side-by- side test.

    Bottom line is that string- through adds nothing.

  9. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Some time ago I did a test for myself, using the same TI Jazz Flat strings and my MIA Precision.

    First did a top load. Did that one first because I thought the break angle on the saddles would not be all that severe. Played the bass for about an hour, and recorded it.

    Then I removed the strings and did a thru the body load. This was a royal pain as threading the strings thru the body with tuner curls on them... not fun. Played the bass for about an hour, and also recorded it.

    My own personal findings were that I could not tell the difference on the recordings between bottom or top load. I also could not feel any difference between the two different loads.

    However... there is a real and tangible difference between the two loading styles, especially if you have a bridge with quick load slots in it. Switching between different strings (if you're into that) is way easier to do with a top load.

    Sometimes my violin background has me liking top load better. And sometime my acoustic guitar background has me liking thru the body loading better. In the end... I believe it's simply a personal choice.
  10. rockinrayduke

    rockinrayduke Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    Same here. Plus I just don't see the point of stringing through anyway.
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Stringing through body gives more downforce on the saddles which is always good. It also helps if you have longer strings to make sure the outer wraps do not go around the post.
  12. Physics says that you get better tone, better sustain with thru-body threading as opposed to top threading. The more string that involves the guitar in what it's doing, the more the guitar will be involved. The difference between the two may not be noticeable but you can't argue with science. I don't have a preference. I'm using thru-body now with Fender S/S Strings. Great sustain.
  13. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Kindly explain the physics. Don't be afraid to get technical.
  14. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    Agreed. I'd particularly like to know the physics behind "better tone".
    Also, you CAN argue science. That's what makes it better than other, more dogmatic systems of thought.

    Personally, I like string-through for what mmbongo mostly said, though I would have said it slightly different. String-through does not try to pull the bridge out of the body the way top-load does. There's obviously not a huge incidence of bridges popping off, but I just like the idea.

    Also, the back of my bass is pretty plain otherwise. 4 little chrome ferrule give it that something extra.
  15. If you can't notice the difference, then the science is irrelevant. And I have my doubts about your version of science.
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Science takes a back seat to psycho-acoustics. That translates as: people have an incredible ability to hear what they WANT to hear - regardless of reality.
  17. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Oh! I thought psycho-acoustics was "If that noise goes on any longer I am going to go crazy!" That's definitely NOT what I want to hear.
  18. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    North East Texas
    “The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” - Neil deGrasse Tyson:D
  19. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    ...but often depending on how much something costs.:D
  20. I agree with Tyson. I didn't say that I didn't necessarily believe the science, just that it's irrelevant. And I saw no indication of exactly what the science is that the poster was claiming. How can I believe/not believe something if I don't know what it is? :smug: