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BadAss II bridge: Worth the bread?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by skewh, Sep 14, 2005.


  1. skewh

    skewh

    Sep 5, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    Hello all. My MIA Fender Jazz bass and I must soon part ways, as my dad decided to take it back and give me a MIM with the same active PU's. I was looking to replace the bridge with a BadAss II on my MIA because of some issues with the saddles, and was wondering if replacing it on the MIM would be worth the $50 I would have to pay for the bridge. On the one hand, I would like to have a reliable bridge to compliment my new axe, but on the other hand, I could spend my $50 on having my local guitar repairman set it up real nice-like (this guy works wonders with basses). The question is: should I replace the bridge or keep the stock Fender bridge? Would replacing the bridge have any benefits (aside from the nice chrome finish)? Any input is appreciated.

    P.S. - Sorry about the exceptional lengthiness of this post, but I'm feeling quite rant-ish at the moment. :hyper:
     
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I personally don't see replacing the bridge unless there's a problem with it. The sound/cost ratio doesn't merit it in this case. If you get the MIM and find that you can't keep the bridge from moving about, then think about it.

    Man has been playing the standard Fender bridge for 50 years without problem...I have three of them and never felt like they were any problem.
     
  3. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    The Bad-ass bridge is made from sintered zinc (white-metal) and is molded together. The Bad-ass manufacturing technique is to buy white metal in ground or granulated form, heat it up and press it into a mold, drilling and/or tapping as required. The down side is that there may be some air pockets that get trapped in the molding process.
    It is not a machined bridge and is not (IMO) any better than the stock bridge on your Fender.
    A better upgrade would be the Hipshot bridge which is machined brass and chrome/black/not plated according to your wishes.
    The Hipshot manufacturing technique is to take a fair sized chunk of brass and mill it into the desired shape. This is known as "machined from billet" and is a more dimensionally accurate and completely solid. The fact that it is machined means there can be no air pockets and the metal retains the molecular integrity of the original block....This is a laymans description, if anyone needs a better explanation I'll have one of my toolmaker friends write up a better one. Needless to say the hipshot is more expensive. There are other bridges out there but I think that the Hipshot is the best of the bunch. Of Course there is new stuff coming out all the time.
     
  4. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    USA
    I have four Fenders: a '73 Jazz, a '76 Precision, a '94 Jazz, and a new '05 Jazz Deluxe. With the exception of the '05, I've replaced the bridges on all with the Badass II. Why?

    In a word, stock Fender bridges (with exeptions for newer models) just plain suck. They're stamped pieces of metal, nickel or stainless plated, then bolted to the wood. The saddles themselves aren't always lined up properly (like on my '76 Precision), and don't lend a lot of sustain to the bass. The Badass, in my experience, allow you to line things up right, and you get a lot of sustain (and adjustment) too. I can't speak to the Badass construction process (I don't think it's white metal, but rather brass coated with chrome or gold plating - I could be wrong, though), but I do know they work, and are light years better than Fender bridges in my experience.

    My vote: buy a Badass and install it.

    My two cents,

    Alan
     
  5. superfly

    superfly

    Aug 4, 2004
    Get the Gotoh instead (if you have to replace the bridge)
    Its heavier than the stock, but not as bulky as the BAll.
    It looks better than the BAll, and has the saddles already grooved. It has the side to side grooves under the saddle screws to eliminate side to side movement. And its cheaper, about $30 or so at Warmoth. Don't use the mounting screws that come with it though, they might be too small, save your original ones.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well, I would say that I think Fender bridges are just fine and don't need replacing, but every time I do, someone comes along to try to tell me what an idiot I am, so I give up. Go ahead and replace it and get very little improvement in sound out of it (if any at all). Some of us don't consider extra sustain an improvement (and it's debatable if they really make that much of a difference), and some of us don't have a problem with the saddles moving. But there seems to be a lot of people on here who consider them a great improvement, so whatever. One thing is for sure...it definitely decreases potential collector's value if you ever want to sell it.
     

  7. You're an idiot, Jimmy... :)

    I'm joking...I'm with you...Fender bridges are fine...I wouldn't put one on a new instrument, but I wouldn't replace one on an existing, either.

    Even if these things DID give extra sustain (which I doubt)...how much sustain does one need? 8 bars worth??? I think not...

    You're right, nothing wrong with a Fender bridge...they've worked for many years now...
     
  8. strummer

    strummer

    Jul 27, 2005
    Sweden
    My vote: Get the $50 set-up and forget about the bridge, unless you have some specific problems with it.

    If you get the BAII you'll still have to have a set-up, as you'll need to intonate and also groove the saddles.
     
  9. I've been playing Fenders for almost 40 years and never saw the need to replace a bridge. Unless there's a specific problem with the bridge, why replace it? Replacing components randomly isn't the most efficient (or cost-effective) way to address problems with an instrument.
     
  10. xshawnxearthx

    xshawnxearthx

    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    i think you should punch your dad for taking back your mia for a mim.
     
  11. I've owned two American Jazzers and they had the standard Fender bridge. I now own the Geddy and it has the BadAss II. IMO the BadAss does add a noticeable sustain to the instrument. The saddles are more secure, and the overall build of the bridge is of better quality than the stock bridge. Replacing it will not reduce the resale on a MIM Fender, believe me. If anything, it will add to the value if you sell it. Replacing tuning machines and bridges are an easy, somewhat inexpensive upgrade for most basses. Keep the old stuff in case you do want to sell it later, you can put the original back on. All good suggestions as far as brand, I like my BadAss but I put Hipshot machines on the Ged. Upgrade the bridge, learn how to do setups yourself.
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oh sure, if you sell it today, that's probably true. But if you try to sell it 20 years from now, that's a different story. Everyone used to say that 70's Fenders were crap back in the 70's so everyone modded theirs, me included. But while my 76 P probably isn't worth $400 now because of all the mods, people who kept theirs stock are getting $2000 and up for them.

    And lest you think it's only for American basses, I've been seeing 80's Squiers made in Asia going for $400 on Ebay, and a year or two ago you could buy one for less than $100.
     
  13. BAII STINK! Your Fender Jazz will no longer be a Fender Jazz.

    Will make sound diffrent. ModernGrowl No like.

    I had one on, then took it off!
     
  14. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    The power of suggestion is in strong force with bridges changing the sound of your bass. At least in my experience. However, going from a super-cheap bridge to a quality one might make a difference. I my case, it was change from a Schaller to a BA2 on my old import Hamer Cruise. I didn't hear a change at all.

    Change the bridge if there is something wrong, not for sound.
     
  15. consider this...what do most people do when they change a bridge?


    ....think...


    ....think...


    ....think...


    ....think...


    That's right...they change the strings, too!....


    BINGO!!!!


    NEW STRINGS, now THAT makes a difference!


    Root Cause Analysis....LIVE IT!
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Wow, I say that and I get yelled at by all the mod freaks. You say that and nothing. Maybe people just hate me. I'm the Omarosa of Talkbass.
     
  17. skewh

    skewh

    Sep 5, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    Oh come, now, it's not all that bad. Granted, I'm new here, but I don't hate you. :)

    By the way, thanks to all; I've decided to stick with the stock bridge and spend my money on many sets of my favorite strings.
     
  18. narcopolo

    narcopolo

    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    am i the only one who thinks that worrying about resale is kind of silly? obviously, you might want to sell your axe one day, but while you have it your sole concern should be in getting the best sound you can, right? if lighting it on fire gets you the sound you want, then i say do it.
     
  19. whoapower

    whoapower

    Jul 14, 2005
    Austin, TX
    It's an MIM, resale has little to do with it IMO. That's why I've done it to mine.