Which do you like? Bolt-on or Neck-through?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Freaky Fender, Jul 7, 2001.

  1. Now for neck which do you prefer? Bolt-On? Or Neck Through? And While were at it, as there ever been such a thing as a double neck with one neck Bolt-On and the other Neck Through?
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Since it involves necks, I'm going to move it to "Setup", because people will be in that frame of mind. (Nobody goes to Setup to make Haikus).
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I like both, and I tested good and bad ones in either category.

    as for the double-neck, probably somebody had enough money for that (JT?) :D

    Neck-thrus TEND to have longer sustain, bolt-ons TEND to cut through better (more pronounced mids).
  4. FunkSlapRumblefish

    FunkSlapRumblefish Guest

    May 23, 2000
    Charlotte, NC
    I agree, bolt-on necks do seem to cut through better and that's why I like them best. Plus your able to change the neck if you desire.
  5. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    my NT cuts thru great, but for the most part i think you're right. a cheaper NT will not cut through as well as a bolt on for the same price.

    were i to have the EXACT bass i want, it'd be neck through. but i wouldn't mind having an older jazz bass or P bass around.

  6. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Neck through, but I'm just fine with bolt on.
  7. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Either. Different Tones work different ways. But, I'd say overall, I actually, like Bolt on a bit better. It's a little snappier to me.
  8. oo0o00o0oo


    Apr 30, 2000
    I'm not sure, I've never played the same model of a bass with NT and bolt on. I've always attributed the sound of a bass as a whole, not the neck setting.
  9. I love 'em both for different reasons.

    My NT has tons of sustain, piano-like tones, and is very elegant in construction. My BO's are all Jazzes and that pretty much says it all right there. Also, BO's are easier to build (a passion). When I finally own the bass that I have most wanted from the beginning of my affair with basses, it will be a NT Alembic but they are definitely in a class of their own.
  10. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    I prefer bolts too. They just seem to have more "life" than NT's. My other issue is NT's are invariably built with 24 fret necks, something I dislike and really don't have any use for.
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I once tested a Le Fay Pangton 6 with set-neck construction, this really is the best of both worlds IMO. You don't see it that often on basses, though.
  12. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I prefer bolt on necks, personally. In fact, I'm currently working with Curbow on a single cutaway bolt on--should be interesting.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, I think that the overall standard of construction is usually more important than this - so a bolt-on Sadowsky is going to sound better than a $300 neck-through bass.

    But I have noticed in playing and trying loads of different basses, that to me, bolt-ons sound better for slap/pop - or at least the slap part. But I find that I can get a lower action and better playability all-round on a neck-through bass.
  14. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I don't know which is better, but I know my Spector NS-4 is neck through and is the absolute nicest bass I've played yet! It's got an attack that cuts through like nobody's business, perhaps because it's got a high-mass bridge, the bass is made entirely out of maple, and has 18-volt EMG's on it. It sings, it's got a very refined sound, and is comfortable all the way up and down the neck.

    But, is this better than any bolt-on? Well...I haven't found that bass yet, but it may very well exist.;)
  15. I agree with Bruce that the bolt on/ neck through issue is only one of many factors in the making of a good bass. Body woods, neck woods, fretboard woods, electronics, hardware, strings, type of construction, body style, the type of player playing the bass, how the bass is amplified...These are all factors in what makes a bass sound great to a specific player.

    Chances are, if someone came across a nicely made neck through bass, that they connect with, they are going to say neck through is the better option and vice versa. One really isn't better then the other. It really depends on the style of music you play, and what kind of sound and feel your looking for in a bass.

    A neck through bass, generally speaking, is going to give you a larger sound spectrum then a bolt on. This can be good or bad depending on the overall construction of the bass. Some neck through basses can actually sound muddy because there isn't enough definition to the larger sound spectrum they provide.

    A bolt on bass isn't going to give you as much of the sound spectrum, again generally speaking, but the human ear tends to fill in any missing tones anyway so a bolt on bass can actually give the impression of a full sound. Because the human ear is unconsciously filling in these tones, bolt on basses tend to sound more focused. That's why they're often preferred in funk and slap styles of music.

    The bottom line is one isn't better then the other. It all depends on what your looking for.:)
  16. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Another vote for the cut through power of the bolt on here.
  17. Bolt on. I like them because they almost always have more growl. (all other things being equal)

    As Bruce L., and Bassin' said, there's no right or wrong; just what you prefer. Also, when checking out a bass, don't convince yourself of its tone because it IS or ISN'T a bolt on, just play it.

    Now I'm definitely getting Deja Vu; I don't know if it was me or another member who asked this in the past, but, where would set necks fall?

    Mike J.
  18. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  19. jljohnson85


    Nov 27, 2000
    Woodstock, GA
    Can someone explain to me what a set-neck is?
  20. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    Set neck is where the neck is glued in place. I prefer bolt on.