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1976 Jazz Badass or original bridge?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Zanderwestcoast, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Zanderwestcoast

    Zanderwestcoast Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Victoria, BC Canada
    Just curious.....I have a 76 Jazz ash/maple which I have had a couple years or so and it has a badass II bridge that the previous owner had put on. I love how this bass plays and sounds and I also have the original bridge which I keep with the ashtray covers in the original case.

    I am wondering if you guys think I should swap bridges to the original from a playing/tonal point of view? I am really happy with how the bass plays...its got great sustain, tone and very even across the figerboard as well as sets up nicely, which is why I am reluctant to mess around with it and take the bridge off! Obviously if I was to sell it I would install the original bridge from a resale point of view....but I want to keep it to play it and only want it to sound/play as good as possible!

    Any thoughts?

    Please limit the responses from only people who have PLAYED BOTH bridges on a mid 70's Fender!!

    Thanks everyone,

  2. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    My advice is to try both and make your decision. I do like BA II bridges they have a lot more adjustment in them. I think you will find that if you install the original bridge you are not going to be able to fine tune your set up as well. Also the original bridge has less travel for intonation, I have had '70s Fender basses where there was not enough travel to intonate the G string.
  3. dukeplaysbass

    dukeplaysbass Supporting Member

    My first Fender was a 77 P that came with a BadAss. I later got into the whole vintage thing, and put a more vintage looking bridge on it. It was a mistake, from a tonal point of view, and I rarely played it. A few years later I put the BA back on and liked the bass a whole lot better.

    You might take the BA off and see how much the finish has faded. With mine, the BA "footprint" was really obvious when I switched to the vintage bridge. That will matter a bit if you want top vintage dollar.
  4. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    The only way to know, is to install it and try. If not, go back.
    I personally don't care for BA bridges on Fenders. But YMMV.
  5. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    I don't know if this will help, but here it is - I have a '76 P Bass that's also ash/maple, and came to me with a BAII bridge... From the classifieds here, I bought a period correct bridge, and the chrome covers - the only parts I was missing from it being 100% original...

    With the BAII my P Bass was a bit overly bright, and was voiced somewhat upper midrange - with the original style bridge, it is no longer overly bright, and is more lower midrange voiced - definitely a change for the better... Be aware that the BAII has a larger footprint, and will likely leave behind some light markings that won't be covered up by an original style bridge - but will be covered up by a proper bridge cover...




  6. solderjunkie


    Jan 27, 2008
    Nashville TN
    The Badass II is still "period correct" for a 70's-era bass. That bridge and a brass nut would've been the most common mods back then. I'd leave it on there.
  7. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    It's a good bridge for the bass. I also agree with leaving it on.

    So the "ashtray" can't go over a BAII?
  8. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    I have BAIIs on all my Fender and Fender style basses. I would keep it on.
  9. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
  10. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    I always liked the Badass on a Jazz bass better than a P-Bass.

    It just sounds better on a Jazz.

    On a P-Bass it takes away some of the bottom end.
  11. Zanderwestcoast

    Zanderwestcoast Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Victoria, BC Canada
    Thanks for the input everyone!
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    how about option 3: a superior vintage bridge to the '70s one, leo's original threaded-rod version?
  13. Yeah, I was wondering about this as well. I was under the impression that the BAII was just too large for the JB ashtrays and the smaller Prec ashtrays as well.
  14. Zanderwestcoast

    Zanderwestcoast Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Victoria, BC Canada
    It will not fit over the Badass II bridge....just tried!

    Who cares.....I couldn't imagine not being able to play the bridge pickup! That would suck.....

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