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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / This has been discussed here ages ago but... top loader vs string through

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Jan 25th, 2018 09:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

I read some "historic" threads on this here (2003-2007) but interested if opinions have changed as we've, ahem, "matured".

In an earlier post I spoke of my next tele build and most of the kits I'm looking at are top loaders.

My bridge is a dual, top or through, so just wondering which way I'll go when the time comes. I'm capable of either method.

FWIW, all 4 of the teles I've owned to date have been string through. Never even played a t-load.

Contributing Member


Life makes a man tired.
Jan 26th, 2018 03:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

I changed a Squier Affinity Tele from a top-loader to a string-through a few years ago. I don’t know that I really could tell the difference. I don’t remember a difference.

I just went the other way with one of my latest mod guitars due to hardware availability. It plays and sounds great. I don’t have a before and after experience with that one, though.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jan 26th, 2018 02:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

You know how the strings on a Strat with trem somehow feel "softer" when bending? My impression from the few top-loader Teles I've played is that they go somewhat in that direction. They feel somewhat less stiff and taut than a regular Tele.

This makes some sense, because the break angle over the saddles on a string-through-body Tele is so extreme that there's essentially no "rendering" of the string over the saddles when bending. The ball end might as well just be right at the saddle witness point. With the top-loader, the break angle is far less, so a longer length of string participates when the string is bent.

But having said all that, the only way to really be sure of the difference would be to convert an individual guitar from one configuration to the other, all other things being unchanged. That's an experiment which I have never done.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Jan 26th, 2018 03:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks guys.

I've read about the difference in feel, particularly as it relates to string bending.

My main query, of which I should have been more clear, is in regard to sustain/resonance and tone.

However, the more experience I get with guitar work, the more I realise how easy it is to overthink that particular equation ;^)

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / This has been discussed here ages ago but... top loader vs string through

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