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Top Load or Thru Body?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Stanford Guitar, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. darkwaters

    darkwaters Friend of Leo's

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    I've always found the classic Fender bridge/saddle design to be far inferior to the Gibson TOM and stop tailpiece. Luckily the folks here are very kind and tolerant and have never asked for my TDPRI badge and secret decoder ring back! Great bunch!
     
  2. mrfitz98

    mrfitz98 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Me too. Toploader and through body both. The differences in the fret wire is what I notice. I like them both.
     
    gmann likes this.
  3. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Thankfully, I bought my Tele used from a collector. He had it setup and intonated perfectly. I could see madness setting in with the three saddle bridge...only thing worse would be a wraparound bridge.
     
    darkwaters likes this.
  4. Torvald

    Torvald TDPRI Member

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    This Schaller is a great bridge! 20210209_205333_001.jpg
    Tone? Well I can only compare this guitar with P90'S to my telecaster with string through and SD and Dimarzio's, but it doesn't suffer from the toploading bridge.
     
    SixgunElectric likes this.
  5. shallbe

    shallbe TDPRI Member

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    I built this guitar last year during COVID. Musikraft and Guitar Mill, Fralin pickups. The bridge was new to me, found it on Reverb. A Forney aluminum bridge that is string thru or top load.

    Never even tried the top load. I've always like the string thru design of a Tele anyway. The guitar sounds great BTW, and with SS frets already plays so slinky I don't need no more slink.

    [​IMG]
     
    takauya and choops like this.
  6. Telebra

    Telebra Tele-Meister

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    Well you shot yourself in the foot! It may take a while, but the Telecaster Police always gets their man....much like the Canadian Mounties....We will trust you to return said Badge and Ring post haste. Now that you are on our radar, we will be monitoring you for compliance.
    Chief Inspector, TELEBRA
    P.S. You have also been removed from 'Favorite Canadian Bands/Singers'
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
  7. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    I did notice frets are smaller on my toploader. Another possible contributor to the differences I've noted.

    I've got new saddles to try, but I've got gigs that will keep me too busy to tear into the toploader. I sure am anxious to isolate why there's a difference.
     
  8. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    My Schaller bridge is a top loader. String spacing and intonation are more consistent from my perspective.
     
  9. darkwaters

    darkwaters Friend of Leo's

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    upload_2021-3-11_9-55-4.png
     
    Wrighty and northernguitar like this.
  10. Vadim

    Vadim TDPRI Member

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    Don't want to sound as a smart-ass, but I wouldn't worry too much about telecaster body resonance/vibration: https://acoustics.org/pressroom/httpdocs/137th/fleischer.html.

    Resonance actually is a good thing for guitars. It amplifies vibration of the whole system, including strings: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resonance This is the key. Resonance amplifies vibration. Les Paul's idea about a string and a railroad rail completely disregards this phenomena. Fortunately he couldn't eliminate it in real world guitars. Otherwise his invention would have been a flop.

    Resonance also explains why every guitar sustains some notes much longer than the others and why those notes are slightly or not so slightly or completely different for every specific guitar. It happens because frequency of some notes is close to or coincides with natural vibration frequencies of guitar material and no two chunks of wood are the same. Those notes sound the best and they sustain the longest. Every material and every chunk of wood has different natural vibration frequencies. So, if somebody else's guitar sustains a C note longer than yours, chances are that your C sharp or D will sustain longer than C sharp or D of that other guitar. That actually can be any other note. Given that workmanship is the same or similar.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
  11. JIMMY JAZZMAN

    JIMMY JAZZMAN Tele-Holic

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    Bought a Les Paul style "Mitchell" guitar. Cheap parts, but had thru body stringing. Great sustain, lousy pickups,
    lousy tuners, great sustain, lousy fit and finish, great sustain..okay I'm done.
     
  12. Telefsantasia1

    Telefsantasia1 Tele-Meister

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    Lacewood? Really nice!
     
  13. Addnine

    Addnine Tele-Holic

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    To me, the topload sounds more open and zingy, more strattish snap in the attack maybe. The thrubody gives a more dense tone with richer harmonics, maybe more sustain (only maybe).

    Lately I prefer the top, but then my playing is a little on the twinkly side, ifyaknowwhatImean.
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  14. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Doesn’t really make a difference to me the only benefits i get from a top loader is that I don’t have to flip the guitar over to string it and the strings have a straighter path

    So I guess I like top loaders but I can use either and I haven’t noticed any tonal difference
     
    Jim622 likes this.
  15. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have both. I just pick up and play, no thought at all to top or through.
     
  16. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    You nailed it EsquireOK! Most guitars are top loaders anyway.
    Jim Campilongo's '69 is a toploader- ask him ( I'm sure he'd be polite enough to reply).
    Trev333 also has it correct about lining up a neck before drilling holes for ferrules.
     
  17. SixgunElectric

    SixgunElectric TDPRI Member

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    The answer is: BOTH

    To take advantage of the body's resonance and for best sustain and tone, set up as follows:

    String thru body, for the wound strings, and top load the plain strings.

    Eh, or is it the other way around...?
    Hmmm.....
     
  18. bcorig

    bcorig Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Chris Buck, who, IMHO knows what he’s talking about concluded it doesn’t matter. He points out Fender stopped making top loaders in the late &0’s for some reason.
     
  19. bcorig

    bcorig Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I agree with everything you said here. You are wise beyond your years.
     
  20. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    My Squier Contemporary can be either, so I tried top loading one string change, and I didn't notice any difference in tone, and very little difference, if any, in tension to make playing or bending easier, so I went back to string through on the next string change.
     
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