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Babicz Full Contact Bridge

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by laklandplayer, Dec 7, 2017.


  1. I just put one of the string thru Babicz bridges on my American Standard P bass and all I can say is wow! The bass is literally 200% louder acoustically and I can feel it vibrate when I play.
    The bridge totally eliminated a dead spot on the G string 7th fret that was bugging me.
    I'd been experimenting with a fat finger adding mass to try and cure the dead spot problem and then I decided to go the other direction and reduce mass so I ordered the Babicz.
    It is very lightweight but rock solid and well made.
    I can't believe the vast improvement it has made, it's stunning.
    I've never owned a bass that feels so alive as this one does now.
    The Babicz bridge is rock solid, the intonation is perfect and is staying put.
    I was skeptical when ordering it but now I'm totally sold.
    Their design philosophy is spot on.
    I'm pleased that my experiment worked.
     
    Alik, lowplaces and Linnin like this.
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Well, then I guess it lives up to hype or at least in your case. I have one on my Carvin but it was installed by a previous owner to replace the stock Wilkie. I'm surprised to hear it eliminated the dead spot as this goes against conventional wisdom.

    Riis
     
  3. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I've got one on a Fenderbird bass and one on a Telecaster guitar. They're well built, offer plenty of adjustment and are very stable. I don't think there's anything particularly magical about them as opposed to any other well built bridge (Hipshot Model A for instance), but the Fender-standard mounting patterns make them very appealing for retrofits.
     
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  4. Yes, the natural inclination is to add more mass but changing the Q factor of the bass in the opposite direction (less mass) is also valid, most of us haven't viewed it that way. Usually less mass is considered to reduce the weight of an instrument without necessarily considering the sonic results.
     
  5. In this instance, I can tell a substantial improvement in the response of the bass with the Babicz over the stock Fender Hi Mass bridge, which is very good and a substantial improvement over the standard stock Fender bent metal bridge. There are a lot of good bridges out there but I can see how the full contact of the saddles and locking it make it a solid mass and able to maximize the transfer of acoustical energy.
    The stock G&L bridges are excellent, this is a good one and its cheap too Chrome Bass Bridge | Allparts.com
     
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    One minor niggle: my A string bridge cam is about 1/8 of a turn from topping-out. If you look at the side view of the G cam (it's not obscured), you can see where it can rotate far enough to strike the adjustment screw.

    Riis
     
  7. I'd reach out to Babicz and ask them. Jeff has been very responsive to the questions that I had.
     
  8. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I’ve tried them in the past and I temporarily modded three basses with a Babicz just to try it out. And I currently have one bass that came with one that I still have.

    They’re certainly well made enough. And they do have plenty of adjustments, which makes sense - for Babicz at least - since they have zero foreknowledge of which basses people are going to put one of their bridges on.

    I do, however, think the big honkin’ Babicz name on their products is exceptionally tacky looking. I can understand wanting to fo some branding, but c’mon! Does it really need to be that obvious? I always put a piece of tape over it on mine.

    But tonally I don’t really think they bring much if anything to the party. Almost strikes me as an attempt at a solution to a nonexistent “problem.” But maybe that’s just me.

    If someone feels it made a difference for their bass or sound, I’m good with that. Each instrument is it’s own unique case. Maybe it does make a difference one some basses and I just never put one on anything where it did.

    But you never know till you try one. So go by what your ears tell you rather by me.
     
  9. The Babicz bridge certainly worked well for me in this instance, the model was made for sting thru the body Fender P bass. Their bridge is a unified, solid mass which makes good sense in terms of transference of energy. I don't obsess about the logo on the bridge it's not that glaring to me. Every bass maker has a name or logo on the head stock, EMG, Duncan and others have their name on their pickups. Badass had their name molded into their bridges just as some Fender bridges do.
     
    40Hz likes this.
  10. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    As I said earlier, this may well be a case of YMMV. I didn't notice anything significantly different with a Babicz loaded on any of the three basses I tried one on. Definitely nothing to justify the purchase price.

    Good sense in what way? I'm not sure what that transference would do - unless you're buying into the whole "tonewood" thing. The pickups don't pickup anything other than the strings oscillating within the pickup's magnetic field unless they're microphonic - which is not something you'd want with a mag pickup. So I would think that transferring energy more efficiently to the body (or wherever that transference you're speaking about goes) would do nothing other than reduce sustain - not that sustain is an issue with virtually any electric bass ever made. A highly efficient bridge would (in theory) transfer none of the string's energy anywhere.

    I don't obsess about it either. I just don't like the way it looks. The piece of tape I put over it is more along the lines of a visual design critique than anything else. And the Babicz name on mine along with the wholly unnecessary "Full Contact Hardware" and "Patented" blandishments made it even worse. If it were embossed or something it would have been one thing. But gold lettering on black hardware? When I first saw it I thought it was on a peel off label. But it's not. It's painted on and under a layer or two of clear coat from the looks of it.

    bab.

    But maybe that's me. I admire good visual design when it comes to product branding. And billboarding your company name and byline on your product is not good visual design. Or at least it's not in my world.

    As I said earlier, I don't have an intrinsic problem with the Babicz bridge if somebody wants to get one. I just don't see any of the claimed benefits based my own experiences with them. So again, YMMV. :)
     
  11. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    The substrate to which a string is attached (body, neck and hardware) effects how the string oscillates. It's the cumulative effect of all those elements on the oscillation of the string that the pickups transduce.
     
    Rodslinger likes this.
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Those elements have an effect on the duration of the oscillation depending on the amount of energy lost through friction or transference at the contact points and substrate. But that will not affect tone.

    Minor point: being made out of wood, no two bodies and necks will have identical physical characteristics. So even with some magical bridge installed, the end result still won’t be duplicated from one bass to another. Cumulative effect, correct?
     
  13. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Due to the attenuation and and reinforcement of various frequencies in the substrate the harmonics in the string are effected, which may (reinforcement) or may not (attenuation) feedback in varying degrees to the string through the hardware. Sometimes the effect is subtle as in tonal variation, sometimes it's not so subtle as in your example of deadspots and hotspots that occur at specific frequencies.


    I agree but I consider that to be a major point. BTW, your minor point works to contradict your previous statement.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  14. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I don’t see where it does. My previous point was that you’re dealing with significant enough physical variations that to make a broad claim for a single element in the assemblage of things involved is questionable.

    I’d also think that for any negative counter resonances involved (assuming there are) having a highly efficient transfer point of frequencies at the bridge would only exacerbate those problems.

    (By “tonal characteristics” do you mean timbre?)
     
  15. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    You state how much wood varies and how that would alter the efficacy of the bridge installation due to that variation. That looks to me a lot like a direct contradiction of the wood doesn't effect tone concept.

    Yes, timbre. The timbre is in the timber (and hardware). Pickups can only transduce what the string is doing and since pickups are not perfectly transparent they also act as filters. It's that filtered effect of the pickups that is input to whatever EQ, amps and speakers that follow and they also have their own filtering effects.

    It's just one long string of filters starting with the structure of the strings and bass, the approach of the player, through a bunch of electronics, into a room and ending with the ears and perception of the listener.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  16. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Exactly. So much for the claims of unquestionable improvements universally brought on by installing high mass or “full contact” bridges.
     
  17. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    How one utilizes or compensates for a change anywhere along the chain is what matters.
     
  18. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    The only thing I would quibble about here (and this is probably more of a matter of semantics) is that the "reinforcement" doesn't add anything to the equation - in this case it is a lack of attenuation. The energy is in the vibrating string. Some of that energies transmitted to everything else the string is attached to. None of the other parts create any energy - they only respond, or not respond, to the energy they receive from the string, either directly or indirectly.

    I am sure the word "reinforcement" here is used to mean that the frequencies in question are not being removed from the string, allowing it to continue to vibrate at those frequencies, and not that the frequencies are being boosted by the substrate.
     
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  19. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    While I agree about attenuation being the primary factor, reinforcement means there could be a resonance at a particular frequency which can increase the output at that frequency.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  20. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    The energy for the resonance came from the string. No additional energy is created. In fact the reverse is true. If the body or anything else is resonating, it is taking energy from the string at that frequency and thus less energy is conserved at the string (the law of conservation of energy). That's the very definition of a dead spot.
     

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