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Badass bridges not always an improvement

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bobby King, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I've found that I often prefer a smaller, less heavy bridge to bridges like a Badass. A Badass adds a substantial amount of weight. it increases the high end but seems to rob some of the warmth and low end. It changes the attack and envelope of a note - it makes a longer, evener note, but takes away some of the initial punchy "blossom". The "feel" of the note as you pluck is different, more "hard" feeling. Also, the much touted increase in sustain is not always the case either. I recently bought a MIJ 70's Jazz reissue that had a Badass on it. I put a regular bridge back on it and the sustain was better, the sound was warmer, and the feel more pleasant. I've played basses with high-mass bridges that I liked, but I don't think you should assume that it's always an improvement.
  2. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Fair enough ...
    somegeezer and pacojas like this.
  3. I've always found them to be an improvement over the standard kit, especially rubbishy BBOT bridges. YMMV.
    crucislancer likes this.
  4. I've always thought putting a high mass bridge on a Fender takes away a bit of the vintage sound. So I guess I prefer a bent plate on most of my Fender basses. If I'm doing a bridge "upgrade" I most likely will have a pre so the whole bass is more modern. I've already got modern basses that do that job better.
    I just did a count and was surprised to see half of my 10 Fenders have preamps but only 3 have bridge upgrades.
  5. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Badass II bridges look cool, but the only consistent thing about them is that you can't predict ahead of time whether they will improve the tone of your instrument or not. I have a Fender-brand BA II bridge from a Starcaster, and I've spun it up on a couple of different Jazz basses. Again, these Jazzes look cool with the bridge installed, but I can't hear or feel anything different in their tone. I like the fact that the saddles can't move laterally I suppose...
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  6. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    The only time I noticed a difference with my BadAss bridges was when I'd put one on a very light weight bass.
    FugaziBomb and JIO like this.
  7. Linnin

    Linnin SUSPENDED

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    The original BadAss I & II were heavily chrome plated cast brass. Later after Leo Quan died, his son ruined the company. Bridges became cast zinc. There are a ton of counterfeits on the market that are just cheap cast pot metal. Buyer Beware.
    zortation, pudge and /\/\3phist0 like this.
  8. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    I install them regularly, never noticed much change in weight, or come to think of it, tone either.

    Wait a min, why do I use these bridges?
  9. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    Great I've been trying to get one and a couple old Dimarzio P pickups on our local CL. Now you've gone and ruined everything for me.
    Well not really, the Ps were my primary goal, the Badass was an added plus in the deal.
    Axstar likes this.
  10. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    I thought they were all pot metal? Either way, I had a brass bridge on a bass for a while and again I'm not sure it was doing anything to alter the tone. Maybe pot metal is the better option!
  11. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Fender should make a 'Vintage Modified '70s P bass with a Badass II and Dimarzios. Ideally they would commission Dimarzio to make some cream Model P pickups without any wax potting, and with 'Patent Applied For' stickers on the undersides.

    Maple neck. b/w/b pickguard, black body with a yellowed clearcoat, giving it that subtle olive shade to the black underneath.

    Any takers?
    crucislancer and BurnOut like this.
  12. SJan3


    Dec 8, 2010
    I agree! My 2011 Highway One Jazz came with a Badass. Took it off the 1st week and replaced with an American Vintage bridge w/threaded saddles. I prefer the tone and playability.
  13. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    Don't think it's a 2, have to look at the ad again. The pickups are cream though, so your description fits. Just parts, no bass.
    bobba66 and Axstar like this.
  14. non


    Aug 4, 2015
    i put a babicz bridge on a jazz bass and the first thing i noticed was how poor my muting technique is. i got a lot more sympathetic string vibration. with the old bridge i guess i didn't need much technique because there was less vibration being transferred.
    also noticed more sustain.
    DaveAceofBass likes this.
  15. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I think they are hideous looking and the claims people make about the magical improvements they experience are questionable. IMO, YMMV, etc.
  16. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    I said it before here on TB, but I tried out a bunch of different bridges (including BA's) trying to get a change in tone. I didnt notice much if anything. Certainly nothing that would survive a band mix.
    bolophonic and StayLow like this.
  17. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    I’ve nothing against high mass bridges per se, but the best results I’ve had on my various Fenders have been with titanium vintage style bridges.
  18. inthebassclef

    inthebassclef Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    The only notice me difference I have with my BAII on my vintage jazz is that is setups up better. Better action and no shifting side to side
  19. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    I’m not one of those guys with a calibrated ear; basses all pretty much sound like basses to me. But I feel like I play better with a BA. So viva la placebo effect!
  20. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Worst bridges ever made in my opinion. No improvement. Just different. Traded for a bass once that had one on it. I immediately removed it for a standard Fender bridge. Much better. I could not get my action as low as I'd like and it was heavy. Had to go.
    Templar, Jim C, bolophonic and 2 others like this.

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