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Strings through body or not?


Invincible

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I've been running my strings through the body of my bass and I was just wondering what difference in tone and feel of the strings it would make if I were to run the strings just through the bridge and not through the body.

What does everyone prefer and what are the pros and cons of each option.

Thanks in advance for any replies. Thanks.

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I'd say just try it thru the bridge only the next time you change strings, and assess how it sounds and feels different.

 

Some benefits of thru-body stringing can be:

-Better sustain.

-Improved tension, particularly on the lower strings.

-Sometimes a noticeable difference in tone that you like.

 

Neither of my basses have the option for thru-body stringing, but I've alway thought it would be a nice option to have.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Mu current bass does not have that option, but I did have a Deluxe Jazz that had it. It was a 5 and thru-body provided better tension on the B and E and the sustain was considerably better than through the bridge. The overall tension was a little looser, but not too bad. I decided to just stick with thru-body because I like more tension. As stated above, try it next time and see. What I like may be nowhere close to what you like.
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Yeah, you will have to try it on your own bass... but the general opinion is that thru-body increases sustain. I can't really talk from experience, but it is something I will look for when I shop for my my next bass - because I really want to try it also.

 

I am considering some mods to my MIK Tobias, and drilling for string-thru is one of them, but I will wait until I have access to a drill press.

 

Of course, after I rip the frets out with my teeth, I might just drill those string holes with a car key.

- Matt W.
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Originally posted by Sweet Willie:

I'd say just try it thru the bridge only the next time you change strings, and assess how it sounds and feels different.

He will feels the differences because the new strings. :rolleyes:
♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪
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It has often been stated here and in other forums that string tension has NOTHING to do with what happens to the string outside of the space between the bridge saddle and the nut. And I believe it.

 

The tension in a bass string is determined by the mass of the string, the scale length (between the bridge saddle and nut), and the pitch to which the string is tuned.

 

Bruiser

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Originally posted by Bruiser:

It has often been stated here and in other forums that string tension has NOTHING to do with what happens to the string outside of the space between the bridge saddle and the nut. And I believe it.

 

The tension in a bass string is determined by the mass of the string, the scale length (between the bridge saddle and nut), and the pitch to which the string is tuned.

 

Bruiser

I agree and disagree. I can most definitely feel a difference when plucking the strings, as the strings through the body feel tighter than strings only going through the bridge. Granted, the actual tension may not change at all, but the feel of it does.

 

He will feels the differences because the new strings.

He can compare the feel/sound of the new strings that he runs through the bridge only and compare them to the way they feel/sound when new strings are run through the body.
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When you are ready to change your strings, play the old ones for a while, making sure you have the feel of them. Then re-string them at the bridge (instead of going through the body). See what you think.

 

Then put the new strings on however you feel...

 

My 5string has the strings through the body, and I'm going to try this when my new set of strings arrives (they are on backorder !!)

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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There was a bass review in a recent BP mag on (i think) a Tobias 5 string that had only the 'E' and 'B' strings going through the body as to increase the tension as these strings are generally floppier than the rest.

 

I know my low B string is VERY floppy even when it is tuned correctly and the strings are new. My E string isnt too bad though... :rolleyes:

http://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/blue.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/black.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/fuscia.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/grey.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/orange.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/purple.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/red.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/yellow.JPG
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Originally posted by cornbread:

Originally posted by Bruiser:

It has often been stated here and in other forums that string tension has NOTHING to do with what happens to the string outside of the space between the bridge saddle and the nut. And I believe it.

 

The tension in a bass string is determined by the mass of the string, the scale length (between the bridge saddle and nut), and the pitch to which the string is tuned.

 

Bruiser

I agree and disagree. I can most definitely feel a difference when plucking the strings, as the strings through the body feel tighter than strings only going through the bridge. Granted, the actual tension may not change at all, but the feel of it does.

 

He will feels the differences because the new strings.

He can compare the feel/sound of the new strings that he runs through the bridge only and compare them to the way they feel/sound when new strings are run through the body.
I won't disagree that the sound may be different; anchoring the string differently will affect how well the vibrations are coupled to the wood. But no one has ever given me a good definition of "feel" that can be measured in pounds or hertz or dB. Call me a skeptic, but I am of the opinion that in sound production, if you can't measure it, it doesn't exist.

 

I think a double-blind test is called for. ;)

 

Bruiser

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Originally posted by cornbread:

So, love doesn't exist? Air doesn't exist? Evil doesn't exist? None of these can be measured, but all exist. It's a subjective term. I can feel a difference in the way the string reacts. Try it and see. Don't say nay until you have concrete proof saying it isn't so.

As I said, "in sound production." And yes, I can measure air. Pressure, temperature, humidity, oxygen content. And we can measure sound: pitch, volume, timbre, etc. Tension in a string, mass in a string, these are things affect sound production that can easily be measured.

 

And I will try it next time I change strings. But that's really not much of a test, because I know when I've changed the test conditions, so I'm not an impartial judge.

 

A better test would be to have the same bass strung up by a person, not the player, then cover the bridge. That person leaves the room, an experienced bass player comes in, plays, and records whether it "feels" like strings through the body or not.

 

Repeat the test several times, sometimes not even changing the stringing. Try it with different basses and/or a different player. After several trials, see if a player can "feel" the difference correctly more than half the time. Somebody with a lot of basses (and way too much time on their hands) :D could do this.

 

Maybe you can feel or hear more sustain or a different tone. I'm not disputing that. Maybe an oscilloscope or spectrum analyzer could detect a difference.

 

But my original point was that you won't feel more or less TENSION in the string by running the string through the body, because the tension must remain the same for a given scale length, pitch and string mass. That's Physics 101. Well, maybe 102.

 

Anyhow, it's late, I've enjoyed the discussion, and now I'm going to bed.

 

Bruiser

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Originally posted by Bruiser:

[/qb]

As I said, "in sound production." And yes, I can measure air. Pressure, temperature, humidity, oxygen content. And we can measure sound: pitch, volume, timbre, etc. Tension in a string, mass in a string, these are things affect sound production that can easily be measured.

 

Pressure, temperature, humidity, oxygen content are all different from air. Air is nothing. Air pressure is air pressure, not air. Temerature is a measurement of heat or lack of heat, not air.

 

All this is besides the point. Obviously we're speaking in 2 different terms. I'm not debating the fact that there is or is not any change of string tension. What I am debating is that there is a perceived feel of a "looser" string when run through the bridge as opposed to through the body. Again, it is all subjective. Do I need to define the term "subjective" for you? I do not have the luxury of many different basses, I am speaking of changing the strings from bridge only and neck through. I tried it several times and felt that the perceived feel of the strings going through the body produced a tighter feel than bridge only. I used the exact same brand and gauge of string, not changing anything of the setup of the bass.

 

Again, it's all subjective, which is not measureable. Measure all you like. You may or may not find any difference. I will still debate you that I feel a difference when I run the strings throught he body as opposed to running them through the neck. Am I a fool for believing in God, too?

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Originally posted by cornbread:

Originally posted by Bruiser:

As I said, "in sound production." And yes, I can measure air. Pressure, temperature, humidity, oxygen content. And we can measure sound: pitch, volume, timbre, etc. Tension in a string, mass in a string, these are things affect sound production that can easily be measured.

 

Pressure, temperature, humidity, oxygen content are all different from air. Air is nothing. Air pressure is air pressure, not air. Temerature is a measurement of heat or lack of heat, not air.

 

All this is besides the point. Obviously we're speaking in 2 different terms. I'm not debating the fact that there is or is not any change of string tension. What I am debating is that there is a perceived feel of a "looser" string when run through the bridge as opposed to through the body. Again, it is all subjective. Do I need to define the term "subjective" for you? I do not have the luxury of many different basses, I am speaking of changing the strings from bridge only and neck through. I tried it several times and felt that the perceived feel of the strings going through the body produced a tighter feel than bridge only. I used the exact same brand and gauge of string, not changing anything of the setup of the bass.

 

Again, it's all subjective, which is not measureable. Measure all you like. You may or may not find any difference. I will still debate you that I feel a difference when I run the strings throught he body as opposed to running them through the neck. Am I a fool for believing in God, too?[/QB]

 

I never meant to suggest that you are a fool, and I'm sorry if it sounded that way.

 

Bruiser

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The tension of a static (perfect) string is defined by its length, mass per unit length and pitch. That's physics, you can't mess with it.

 

However the feel of a plucked (i.e. moving and thus under varying tension) string depends on a lot of other factors including the stiffness of the string, the elasticity of the string, the amount of 'spare' string either side of the nut and bridge saddle that can add to that 'give', and the ease with which the string will move over the witness points.

 

By through-body stringing a bass you're increasing the break angle on the bridge which reduces the amount of movement over the saddle. I believe that is what contributes to the tighter string feel.

 

The tightest feeling basses that I've played have been headless Steinberger type ones. The double ball-end strings are barely longer than the speaking length of the string and this gives the string very little give when you pull on it. Has anyone tried a 5-string Steinberger?

 

Alex

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Originally posted by phil6006:

There was a bass review in a recent BP mag on (i think) a Tobias 5 string that had only the 'E' and 'B' strings going through the body as to increase the tension...

That was a Warrior bass. I knew somebody built them like that, couldn't remeber who it was. I think there is also someone who builds them with the strings coming through the bridge out the end of the body.
- Matt W.
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I think the result may depend on the string angle... I have owned a Ripper since 76, and it offers the choice of bridge or through-body. There isn't a significant difference between the two. In that case, the three point bridge is located a good distance from the bridge saddle, so there isn't a lot of difference using one or the other method to anchor the string.

 

However, I had a five string and later six string Epiphone (EBM-5, Expert 6). I drilled the five's bridge to make it string through (I've since sold it) and drilled the E and B string on the six string. In these cases, the hole is in front of the usual parallel string anchor point, so there is a radical difference in the angle from which the string leaves the bridge saddle-- it is much more severe going nearly straight down through the body as opposed to the gentle angle of the usual bridge termination. I did note a difference/improvement after making the modification.

 

This is anecdotal, I have no idea of the science behind the effect I noticed. I do know that luthiers often increase the height of the saddle (hunk of wood below the tailpiece wire at the bottom edge of the instrument) on double basses in order to soften the bridge angle and lessen the tension on the belly of the instrument.

1000 Upright Bass Links, Luthier Directory, Teacher Directory - http://www.gollihurmusic.com/links.cfm

 

[highlight] - Life is too short for bad tone - [/highlight]

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Originally posted by phil6006:

There was a bass review in a recent BP mag on (i think) a Tobias 5 string that had only the 'E' and 'B' strings going through the body as to increase the tension as these strings are generally floppier than the rest.

that would be a warrior.

 

robb.

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