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Bad Ass bridge II...your opinions?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by greendayjustin, Feb 1, 2004.


  1. Hey, I'm thinking of getting a Bas Ass II for my '71 p bass..Is the bridge really worth it? Big difference in tone?
     
  2. rampie

    rampie

    Feb 1, 2004
    amsterdam
    yas, the bad ass 2 bridge is worth putting into your bass. sustain is better. the question is more if you will like the sustain longer and better. it will change the sound of your bass enough, but not drastic.
    and the good thing....you don't need to cut out wood or drill into your bass...it is a direct replacement. you don't like it after you install? you just replace with the original ( or when you sell it)
    go for it!
     
  3. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    I've heard agruements both ways. Overall I would say dont get it, the slight difference you may notice in tone will not be worth the money you pay for it.
     
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Construction outdated (filing grooves is ridiculous), better and mostly cheaper alternatives are available, e.g. ETS Tuning Fork 3D.
     
  5. Not outdated if getting the string spacing correct is important to you. BA II's are marketed as a universal replacement. That means that they could be used on basses with string spacing as small as 17mm and as large as 22mm. The ability to set the spacing exactly where you want it is a good thing.

    As for other bridges being better...The ABM has adjustable string spacing - $100 or about $25 dollars more than a BA. The Schaller has adjustable saddles and goes for about $25 less than a BA. A Gotoh WBG-4 has adjustment and goes for about the same as a BA. So with these three examples we see that the BA is right in the middle of the high quality field as far as cost.

    And remember "Better" is as subjective as "Delicious" What you find acceptable won't be tolerated by others. I can tell you this - The BA is one of the few bridges available that has a STEEL chassis. Most others are various alloys of "white metal" that is used for easy casting and machining but can oxidize and look crappy without care. Another thing about the BA II is that it has one of the shortest heights of all of the bridges. In fact, of my basses here in the house only the ABM bridge is lower. That's good.

    One thing is for sure though - you should really research your purchase before altering your bass. Don't just jump on the flavor of the week when it comes to a bridge. Sit down and decide EXACTLY what you are trying to accomplish with the switch. All bridges do exactly the same thing but some do it easier and with more adjustment.

    BTW - Read and follow the directions for installation of a BAII. The most important instruction is to have the bridge installed by a qualified luthier or tech. JMX's post alludes to the problems you can have if you don't heed this advice.
     
  6. I have a standard economy bridge and the screw holes are in different places...
     
  7. I have mixed feelings about them.

    Pros:
    1: They drop right in place on probably 90% or better of solidbody Fender and Fender clone basses.
    2: The base material doesn't get grungy looking like the cheap sheet steel used in stock Fender bridges, and I've never seen one get warped.
    3: The action won't slip like a majority of cheap bridges, even if you play rediculously hard.
    4: The saddles will not sway due to the fact that they sit in a track.

    Cons
    1: You must slot the saddles for proper intonation, string to string balance and tuning stability. Slotting the saddles is a job that is quite elementary in nature, but incredibly easy to screw up. If you haven't done work like this before, find a knowledgable luthier who can do it, unless you feel like buying steel tubing and some files to practice with. Some people will tell you to let the strings dig into the saddle and create their own groove over time, which in practice is tantamount to barely setting a wheel on the axel of car without attaching the nuts, and saying it will work its way on during the trip.
    2:The baseplate is a little thicker than many stock bridges, so if you like very low action, you may have to either shim the neck pocket (not an option on neck throughs or set necks), file down the underside of the saddle, file down the underside of the baseplate, or make a shallow rout in the body for the bridge to rest in.
    3: There isn't really a humongous difference in tone. A mild increase in prescence and increased definition of harmonics is the biggest difference I would to my ears. Occasionally you get a touch more volume and sustain depending on the body material, quality and finish.
    4: If you play with low or very low action, your plucking hand close to the bridge and have a hard attack, those little height adjustment allen screws, if they have not been filed down, can tear good size ribbons of flesh from your hand and wrist. I've only seen this two or three times, but nonetheless I don't imagine it feels particularly nice.

    And something to take into consideration is that many other aftermarket bridges work just as well or better at a comparable cost. Gotoh, Schaller, Hipshot and ABM all make very nice bridges, and are all worth a look.

    Keep in mind, these are the opinions, and we all know what opinions are like....
     
  8. Will it fit in the current American P basses?
     
  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    BA bridges are really nice, but overpriced IMO. They are well made and adjust with excellent precision. They are very stiff and deflect very little under tension.

    I have ended up with several over the years. I would still buy one for for a project or to replace a failing bridge. I wouldn't remove a properly functioning bridge on a Fender bass just to have a BA. The changes aren't that dramatic.

    IME, they are subtle at best on a P bass. I have known of a couple of changes on Ps that were completely unnoticable as far as tone.

    The swap is more noticable on a Jazz, but IMO for the worse. I think the thin, light bridges on jazzes are part of what helps give them the whole middy, gritty vibe.
     
  10. I am looking for better sustain and intonation...I'm having some troubles in that department wil my stock Fender bridge. I know the manager at my local music store so money shouldnt be that much of a problem :)
     
  11. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    I have Basses with the Badass 2, Gotoh 201 and the stock MIA Fender string thru.

    My personal favorite? The stock MIA string thru.
     
  12. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I had a gotoh 201 on my modulus project, which I was content with, and had no desire to change. After reading this, I decided to pull the BA2 off of the donor body, and see if there was a difference.

    Well, to me it seems like I have less sustain than before, it also seems a little more thuddy. The saddle grooving, was done either by Modulus, Flea's tech, or Flea himself, so I don't think it is a possiblilty that is boogered. This could have to do with the strings being pulled towards the back of the bass further than the gotoh. I'll have to throw a new set of strings on it to be sure, but I think I prefer the 201. Another down of installing a BA 2, cosmetically, you are pretty much stuck with it, as it is bigger than standard bridges, and will leave an indented outline in the finish of where it previously was. Make sure you like them before you try, on a bass you are trying to keep nice.

    BA2 #2 on it's way, attached to a geddy Jazz. I have a 78 Jazz coming to I might try the gotoh on, or I may leave it on my POS squier project it is currently bolted to.
     
  13. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    Im a low action guy, so BA is not for me.:smug:
     
  14. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Also two and a half years too late... :meh: