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Badass II slot shape

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Cristo, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. My badass II was slotted at the factory. However, the slots are not uniform in shape. Shouldn't they all look the same, just increase in diameter with the string size? These slots look considerably different from one another.

    How much of the string diameter should rest in the slot?

    Does anyone have any instructions or specs on what the thing is supposed to look like when it is correctly slotted?

    I can't even find info on the Leo Quan site...
  2. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    The slot should be the same width as the string, and circular, like the string. The string should sit about half it's diameter in the slot. It should also slope away from the front, so the string is mostly making its contact at the front edge, this will prevent the string from buzzing on the saddle.

    What factory slotted this? I've never seen a pre slotted Badass II. Maybe the slots are just for reference. They even have it printed on the bottom that the bridge needs to be slotted before use. In the past two months I installed 5 Badass II's.
  3. It is std equipment on a Fender Geddy Lee - so the bridge was slotted when I bought the bass.

    I just wonder if they did an acceptable job, and because the shapes of the slots is not consistent, I had doubts. I would expect a similar profile of the slot, just increasing in size from saddle to saddle.
  4. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Oh I see. Well it is a factory bass. They just don't spend the time to do things the right way.

    Geddy said he didn't like the tuners they used either, so they are going to change them.

    Generally any new factory made bass can stand to have a professional setup. I find a lot of the fretwork can need some help too.
  5. Yeah, the slots should be unfirom, and look like the slots in a nut, only a tad shallower.

    I used a v file to rough in the slot positions, and then used a short section of old strings to "sand-in" the slot to make it a tad rounder (the saddles actually appear pretty soft material, comparatively). I also angled the slots on mine, to improve the break angle / witness point on the saddle, and help put, if even a minute little more downforce on it, to transfer string energy better.

    Did it work? It did to me. :smug:
  6. kevinmoore73

    kevinmoore73 Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
  7. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Oh yeah... I saw a picture of one of those now that you mention it.

    Did you adjust the slots? They look very shallow, does the string stay put.
  8. kevinmoore73

    kevinmoore73 Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    So far so good! I'll know more after tonight.
  9. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006
    Hey cristo,
    Can the bass stay properly intonated with the setup you like?
    If you are having issues with the setup, then you should consider it a problem. If you are not having setup issues, then who cares what it looks like!
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I've never slotted mine.
  11. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    I slotted a very shallow V in the saddles on mine just to keep the strings in place, because flats will wander on unslotted saddles. As long as they are in the right location, the depth or the shape won't change the sound or the sustain. If you put string sized slots in the saddles, you can't go back to lighter strings later without replacing the saddles. That's unacceptable to me.
  12. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Sure you can. The smaller diameter sits in center of the slightly larger slot. Putting a larger string on top of a smaller slot limits how much of the string is making contact with the saddle, plus you might break strings. You only want the string in the slot less than half its diameter. it's not much. But you want the string to contact the saddle on the largest surface area possible.

    Poorly cut slots don't sound good.
  13. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    There's a minor contradiction in your post. If the goal is for the strings to contact the saddle on the largest surface area possible, then you need to replace the saddles if you go to smaller strings. If you believe that poorly cut saddles affect the sound, then slots that are slightly too large for the strings will sound just as bad.

    If the goal is for the strings not to move, small grooves for the string to rest in allows the same amount of contact regardless of the string gauge and allows you to change strings as you desire.
  14. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Think about a V shaped groove with a large round string sitting on it. The string is contacting the two sloaps of the V, and that's it!

    How is that a larger contact area?

    If your way is correct, why doesn't every good luthier cut small string notches?

    Now think of something like a Schaller roller bridge. You see how one size roller works for just about every string?

    Either way, that's why I don't use Badass bridges anymore! Plus the wide flat top of the saddle is a pain to notch correctly.
  15. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    It sure does, and I think if they aren't, they are made the same way.

    Now let's hope one of those three slots is where you want the string!

    And where's the damn witness point with that saddle? I wouldn't want the string sitting on the top of that flat saddle like that.
  16. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Went through all of this...and ended up paying my luthier a few extra bucks to slot the saddles for my strings (I never change string sizes, so I'm set). It was well worth the cash! I don't mind doing most of my work myself, but that was looking to be a pain.
  17. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Actually, I never intended to suggest that a V shaped groove was a larger contact area, as I do not believe that a larger contact area makes any difference in the sound, particularly at the potential cost of stability. What I meant was that my way provides the same amount of contact regardless of the string size, making it, for my needs, versatile and functional.

    From your description and from looking at pictures, the Schaller seems closer to my way than yours, as the rollers appear to be smaller than the string diameter, not larger, creating two contact points on either side of the string. I'd wager that Schaller's design was that smaller was better than larger in order to keep the string from wobbling in the saddle.

    All this is hardly more than academic anyway. I certainly agree with you that Badass bridges aren't worth the trouble at all, if for no other reason than the endless debate they constantly seem to spark among bass players. I only have one because I bought it years ago. I'm not a big believer that there's any audible difference from one bridge to another, as long as they are mechanically sound and properly set up.
  18. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Yeah, in all fairness the Schaller is a sort of a soft V shape. The problem with the Schaller is the strings pop out of the saddles too easily. You have to make sure the saddles are high enough to get good downward pressure. Schaller supplies spacers to rase the bridge up, which seems like a good idea for a high neck angle, but then the saddles are low to the bridge plate and the strings rattle and pop out of the rollers.

    I've had to cut deeper wider slots in the Schaller rollers on more than one occasion to keep the strings in place.

    It's a good bridge if it fits your string spacing well, and you don't plan on radical string gauge changes. I think the Schaller bridges sound similar and are more adjustable, as long as it works well with the bass' neck angle. I've used some Gotoh bridges I liked, but the bridge was too high, and had too many damn parts. I had to remove some of the saddle parts and cut slots. I'm trying to avoid that.

    Different materials certainly do sound different. I'm not nuts about brass bridges. I don't like the top end. Steel is snappier, which is probably why Hipshot used steel saddles on their new bridge. Aluminum almost sounds like a wooden bridge, but with more mids and highs.

    Now for each material the bridge design makes a marginal change in tone. The biggest thing is mass. More is not better of worse than less, just different. Compare a stock Fender bridge to a Badass for instance. You will hear a big change in tone. But it still sounds like the same bass.

    I used to put Badass II's on my Ricks. They still sounded like Ricks, but with more sustain and a smoother tone.

    I actually don't like any of the bridges on the market 100%. I'm currently working on my own design.
  19. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I bought a used bass with a BAII and it was never slotted. I didn't find out until I changed the strings the first time. There is very, very slight grooves that look to have been worn in by the strings. It sounds great and intonates perfectly, so I'm not going to worry about it. The strings don't move around or buzz when playing. I thought about getting some round files and slotting the bridge "properly" but now I'm thinking I won't bother trying to solve a problem that I'm really not having. I know I've heard others say that they have used BA bridges without slotting them and never had any problems. It can't be that big of a deal.

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