I've just had a new Fender American Standard Precision five string bass that offers the option of anchoring the strings either on the bridge or through the body.

On the bottom B & E strings, the bridge option means that the string winding lies on the saddle, (because these saddles are closer to the anchor point, as a consequence of setting intonation), not good for sound or intonation I would think. 

Using the through body option means that the string break angle on these two strings is almost 90%, which I would figure may give rise to string breaks, again, not good !!

I have heard a little about "tapered" strings, but I know little about them or how they would effect this issue!

How do you P bass experts deal with it, any advice on the correct way to deal with this or ideas on the ideal solution?


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Hey Brian-- I personally havent had any experiance with the body thru type method of holding strings on any

guitar or bass-- I personally dont like the set up at all (just not my thing)

The top mounted style of stringing up just seems like the way to go.......string tension

seems to be better and not only that a movable saddle will give you prescise tuning....

just some food for thought and my two cents worth--

Peace, Donald


Taper wound strings are great for the low B, both to avoid the problem you are having and for the clarity of sound.

I have used Sadowsky brand

They will intonate further forward than non taperwound.

I don't like string through body on basses especially on the fenders. I don't even know why they waste the money putting the ferrules in there other than the marketing perception that improves tone! I second Jeff's suggestion about using Sadowsky strings with the taper wound B. Roger Sadowsky makes some badass instruments and his strings are no exception. They sound great and intonate beautifully.

Hi Brian,

If you need to space the low B & E back a bit, just use an old ball end or two on the string behind the bridge anchor point. This will fix the problem of having the string winding over the saddles and should improve intonation, etc. It's what we did before tapered strings came along. Worth a try if you don't want to replace those strings right away.


Hi, thanks for the advice. I've just fitted a set of D'Addario Chrome (1st time I've tried flat wound), love the sound.

However, I've had to fit 4th & 5th through the body to avoid the silk wrap passing over the bridge saddles, 1 2 & 3 anchor nicely in the bridge. I think I'm happy to live with that!


PS I've searched but can't seem to find Sadowsky strings here in the UK


Since the original posting, I've tried various options of strings and anchor points. I want to stick with flat wound 'cause I prefer the sound to round wound.

However, it seems the only option I have to get correct intonation is to string 3 4 (& particularly) 5 through body, but as I mentioned in my original post, this results in a very acute sting break angle.

I've attached a couple of images, because although I'm quite happy with the "set up"  and how the bass plays now, I just wanted re-assurance that the string break angle will not have any long term effects; or lead to early string breakage and any other issues.



Hi Brian.

I don't think you're going to have problems with that setup. As far as the potential for breakage; unless a ham fisted player who beats the bejeezus out of tonic 16th notes all night long with a garden shovel for a pick uses it, you'll be just fine. Plus, as you can see, those are some heavy duty strings(:

As a personal note: I applaud your switch to flatwound strings.  They seemed to disappear from the face of the planet about 25 years ago and now they're finally making a long overdue reappearance.  All of my professional bassist clients who have switched to flatwounds (at my suggestion) have been extremely pleased and don't intend to go back to round-wound strings. The older players who grew-up on flatwounds have especially re-embraced them. It's like a homecoming for them.

Very nice work & best of luck,


" unless a ham fisted player who beats the bejeezus out of tonic 16th notes all night long with a garden shovel for a pick uses it"

That's Me !! ;-)

Seriously though, thanks for your thoughts and endorsement. I value all the opinions and advice you freely offer on this forum and as I said, I am happy with the set up; the bass plays lovely but I just wanted confirmation from a techie that the settings were acceptable!

Cheers Paul, thanks for your time............Brian.


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