I have been loitering in the dozens of Ric threads the last 8-12 months. I found a lot of information that helped me make an informed decision before taking the plunge on my new Mapleglo that will be arriving at my office tomorrow(!). After playing new and vintage Rics in all colors at 4 different shops on both sides of the US, I think I'm set (and very excited if you can't tell!) The only thing I can't figure out is what to do with the bridge. I like Hipshot hardware and I like to palm mute, but I would also would like not to spend another $100+ on a bridge if I don't have to! So, the reason behind this specific post is twofold: 1. Upon getting the Ric, I am getting her a pro setup in one of the only Ric authorized service centers in NY, so I want to make sure I'm happy with a bridge before paying someone to "set it and forget it." 2. I can't get much concrete information about the versatility of the stock bridge (just a lot of polarized opinions). -Can I remove the mute assembly screws and still do an effective palm mute? (For the record, I will also be removing the p'up cover) -What are the REAL pros and cons? I read about the whole tail-lift thing, but if I'm installing TI Jazz Flats, is that even an issue which such low-tension strings? -How difficult is it to manipulate the mute assembly to mute/unmute the strings between songs? What is the current consensus about the mute feature? WowI guess I had more questions than I thought! Hopefully this thread will fill in the gaps of the Talkbass Ric lexicon... or at the very least help a new Ric owner not pwn his beautiful new bass. Thanks!