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Vintage Fender style bridges

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by DavidEdenAria, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    So I have this bridge on a 70's Masada P bass copy.

    Stamped steel bridge with 4 brass saddles held down by 5 screws.

    How will this compare to say a badass bridge tonally?

    I have much experience with Fender guitars and the various bridge setups but not so much Fender bass guitars.:rolleyes:

    Edit: 5 screws on the BACK of the bridge only, none in the middle or front of the bridge like my 72 Musicmaster bass has.
  2. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Can anyone provide a link to some info?

    I've read some info of higher mass bridges vs. vintage style for bass, just wanted some more opinions from folks that have gone from stamped vintage style to higher mass bridges.

    I'll try another search.
  3. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    How you missed this thread is beyond me, but here ya go...


    This isn't official research. Well, some might say it is, it didn't strike me more than a collection of opinions on the matter. But it's something to go by, I suppose...

    I like the so-called high-mass bridges, personally. Which is a good thing because it's what came on all my basses as standard equipment. I doubt I'll get anywhere looking for a low-mass bridge for a Music Man Stingray or an Alembic Series 1.

    Geri O
  4. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Thanks, I found that thread!

    Btw, I want this Masada bass to be the best it can be....it was given to me by a relative so it will stay in the family.

    I was just curious if I should move away from the stock stamped steel bridge with solid brass saddles....I guess I should try it stock first.
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  6. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    That's what I would do.

    Geri O
  7. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    ditto. string it up with your preferred set, set it up to your specs and put it through its paces for a while before you go messing with anything.
  8. tbplayer59


    Jan 20, 2013
    You'll probably find it's not worth the expense. The tone may be slightly different. No one but you will notice, especially in a band setting. Whether it's better is a matter of opinion. Remember, those stamped bridges were recorded on thousands of records and no one complained.
  9. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Burlington, Vt.
    I think there's wisdom in this ^^. You might appreciate the finer adjustments of some bridges, but I've never been sure they add much to the sound.
  10. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Thanks for your input folks!

    This is an ash/maple multi piece body Japan made bass, pretty high quality overall.

    One thing that is odd, all of the 5 mounting screws are at the BACK of the bridge in a straight row.....there are no screws securing the front of the bridge.

    Where the bridge mounts is a 3 pieces of maple.

    I think I will add at least 2 screws to the FRONT of the bridge if there is a sustain issue.
  11. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Don't. Adding screws won't make any difference at all. None.
  12. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Agreed. If there is a sustain issue, that ain't the reason.

    Geri O
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    that's not odd at all, that's how fenders are classically done.

    don't bother with it, except maybe to get some vintage-style threaded-rod saddles for it if you want to tweak the string spacing.

    if you think the sound needs improving, look at pickups, where a change actually makes a difference.
  14. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Thanks...the funny thing is my 72 Musicmaster bass has SEVEN bridge mounting screws...3 in the front & 4 in the back of the bridge

    The amount of sustain out of this particular Musicmaster is amazing really....that's why I asked, I wondered if it was better with more screws.

    It has 500k pots as well and each P pickup measures at 7.1k & 7.9k individually?

    The pots seem fine, so I might need to consider the 500k pots when replacing the P-bass pickup I guess.

    Also, the bridge plate on this Masada bass is not thick like my 1985 Peavey Foundation.
  15. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    My AM std has amazing sustain and it only has 3 screws holding down the bridge.
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    to be fair, that one anchors the strings in the body.

    the point holds though, the number of screws past the minimum needed to hold the bridge securely likely makes no difference in sound or "sustain".
  17. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Fender also used a 3 screw bridge that allowed for either top loading or stringing through the body.
  18. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    But here's my concern, the bridge is THIN metal and the 5 screws are very close on the very back of the bridge, so there is this big area 1 1/2" x 3"with absolutely nothing holding the middle or front of the bridge other than the string pressure.

    Comparing to my 72 Musicmaster bridge, which is also somewhat thin, it has the WHOLE bridge covered with screws.

    Now the Musicmaster bass came out in 1972, how its mounting screws compare to other/earlier Fenders I am unsure (I am a guitarist not a bass player lol).

    I appreciate the input.....it just seems odd to me to have only the string pressure holding down the middle and front of the bridge.
  19. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    That has been sufficient since 1957. It will continue to be sufficient.
  20. RED J

    RED J Play what you want how you want & quit arggerin ! Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2000
    Since you are a guitar player, you have no more cause for concern than with a trem with two posts and three springs popping out of a guitar. :D
    Seriously, all you have to do is look at the historical pattern. Has anyone ever shown or proved a failure of one of these bass bridges in the last 60 years for any reason, other than they don't like the looks of it ? :rolleyes:

  21. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    That's because no screws are needed in the front. If the back of the bridge stays put and does not lift, the front stays in place too.

    Don't. There is no reason to do so, and it will add nothing.

    This is not "if some is good, more are better". Enough screws are already used on that bridge.

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