Badass II vs. Jazz stock bridge

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LowEnd Theory, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. LowEnd Theory

    LowEnd Theory

    May 31, 2005
    Hey peoples,
    Just a few questions if anyone is willing to humor me.... :confused:
    Ive got an '01 Standard Fender Jazz MIM which is my first real bass. I had recently been looking at higher end basses to upgrade but i dont really have all that money and dont wanna trade up and part with it for sentamental reasons of coarse (plus i think its a sweetenough bass, just some action issues).... so now im just looking to upgrade it wherever possible.....
    Im thinking of replacing the bridge with a Leo Quan Badass II...
    my question is, will this be fairly easy?, and do you guys believe the payoff to be worth it?
    (my belief is that its a simple replacement part that will just fall into place as they were made for that. But will the sound, feel, tone, sustain, make a big difference when compared to the stock bridge?) in other words is it an actual upgrade and is it worth the $100 or what?
    thanks yall,
    Bass in this space means peace see ya later...
  2. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    I don't have a badass but I recently put a gotoh bridge on my p copy. I couldn't tell much difference soundwise. It looks better not that anyone else cares. If you're not letting notes ring out for 20 seconds who cares about endless sustain.
  3. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yeah, should just bolt right on if it's a 4 stringer.

    IMHO, definitely... especially since it's like a $60 upgrade, if you find a good price (eBay), and IMHO makes a very noticeable diff.

    My current J came with one on it (Geddy), but I previously had a J I put one on, and I found that it did three things:

    1.) Added sustain
    2.) Added clarity of tone, improving harmonics
    3.) Actually helped compensate for dead spots

    None of this is magic, it's just an expected biproduct of doing a MUCH better job of coupling the strings to the body with a bridge with more mass.
  4. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I have a BA on my jazz currently and I've had Gotohs in the past. For my money, I can;t tell a difference between the two, save for the fact that you don;t have to notch the Gotoh (a plus in my book).
  5. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I've never tried a Gotoh, but do know they're nice, and while notching's not really a big deal, not having to do it would be a plus... especially if the Gotoh bolts right on like the BA does. I think the main key is a good solid high mass bridge which couples the strings to the body very well.
  6. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    The badass saddles come without grooves for the strings to sit in, so you can set your string spacing where you want it. It bolts directly onto a Fender, but can be used on any kind of bass.
  7. ^^^^^^ he beat me to it.

    I didnt do the notching i had it done professionaly.

    As for the sound, it doesnt change the tone of the bass but it ads sustain. And the best thing is it aint a peace of crap like the stock bridge
  8. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Please someone let me know if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure the BAII is a drop in only for MIA Fenders. How many attachment screw holes are on the current stock bridge? I know MIA and MIM use slightly different bridges...very similar but I believe MIA's have string through and maybe more attachment holes.

    I dropped a BA5 on my MIA Fender Deluxe Jazz V and couldn't be happier. (I didn't notch the saddles...just let the strings fall where they naturally wanted to. I've not had intonation or tuning problems but other people do so be warned.)

  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    A Badass II should drop into ANY Fender with a five hole pattern. I've dropped 'em in MIM's and MIJ's with no problem. Usually have to do a major setup after the installation, but I love the things. Best upgrade one can do besides a Hipshot Extender IMO.
  10. I have a Peavey Millenium 4 BXP, and am craving to replace the pickups and the bridge, butI'm having trouble finding string through bridge to accomodate my needs. does the Leo Quan have a string-through option? I don't see holes for the strings to pass through in any pics I've seen. What about the Gotoh, same question.

    I want a string through, because my bass has drilled holes to accomodate them, therefore I wanna use 'em, lol.

    Are there any other bridged I should consider??? I have a 5 bolt pattern, with the string-through behind the mounting screws.

  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I have a BA II that I had installed on my 68 Jazz. It tightened up the sound. While that might seem like a good thing, for me it wasn't. I put the stock, supposedly inferior bridge back on and it cut through in the mix like it used to. Sometimes "refined" isn't better. YMMV

    So now I have a nice shiny BA II sitting in my desk draw. I can't see me putting one on any of my Jazzes anytime soon.

    BTW the idea that the original bridge is a piece of crap is interesting. Why is it a piece of crap? It does it's job and AFAIK is one of the ingredients that gives Fenders something I've yet to truly experience in more than a handful of basses... the Fender sound. "Flimsy" is a common description of the stock bridge... so go ahead, grab one and bend it;)

    On paper a BA II is probably "better". That's great if you play alone... or on paper. Again, YMMV.
  13. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader"

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
    i totally agree on all points. good investment or go with a Gotoh 206
  14. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader"

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
    Gotoh 206 is string thru, though not a direct replacement. you will have to set it and pre drill the holes, not terrible to do. Nice mass to it also. My preferred bridge.
  15. alembicfive


    Jan 17, 2003
    I dropped one in on my MIM Jazz Standard. Took about 45 minutes to do. Really easy to do.

    First I measured the string spacing on the original bridge, then measuring from the center out, marked where the grooves go on the BA II.

    Then got out the old Dremel and my $16 model file set (from Home Depot) and cut the grooves. I made them so about 1/3 of the string sits in the groove. I also made the diameter of the grooves to match the strings.

    Now here is a good tip...before I mounted the BA II, using the old bridge as a guide I adjusted where the saddles should be. This made setting the intonation a breeze since the saddles were in the ball park.

    Next...un-screwed the old bridge and put on the BA II using the screws that came with it.

    IMPORTANT**** Make sure the ground wire under the bridge is in contact with the BA II, or you will have a buzzing problem!

    String it up, adjust the intonation and your done!

    Now to answer the orginal question, yes I found it makes a difference. There is more punch and attach with the BA II which is ideal for slapping. Now on the flip side, my Standard Jazz fretless is staying with the orginal bridge. Kinda gets me close to that Jaco sound....which I do not want to mess with!
  16. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I have Badass bridges on all three Js I own and love the solidity of these and the clarity/punch of the sound. The difference is subtle but noticeable and I also just dig the quality feel of the product.

    Filing the saddles is easy if you're careful and certainly caused me no trouble. There's already some good tips on here about installation, espcecially getting the saddles in the right ball park by inspecting the stock bridge carefully before stringing up with the new one. Most people mention the need to file the saddles, but I've not seen many people mention the occasional need to shim the neck, as these bridges have a thicker baseplate than the stock item and it can mean the action won't go down as low as you'd like on saddle adjustment alone. I've used shims on 2 out of the 3 installs I've done to get the action where I want it. Again, no problem, setup wise, if you take the trouble to think carefully and do a quality job.

    YMMV... but I love these bridges!:D
  17. Sparkie


    Nov 15, 2004
    I have a Geddy Lee Jazz that came with the BAII. I recently picked up an Ibanez RoadStar II P-Bass with the funky stamped bridge they came with. To my surprise the Ibanez rings and sustains much better than my GL, (great little used Bass!). From a logical standpoint it would make total sense that the BA bridge would be an added benifit, especially if your bass isn't as lively a piece of wood as you'd like. I wonder how many people install the BA bridge and actually get their bass set up and intonated correctly where a set up in the first place would have helped the overall tone of their basses. IMO it's splitting hairs unless you aspire to play like Mr. Wooten. So much of playing bass is muting that to which the BA bridge benefits. My two cents......
  18. Do you absolutely have to file the saddles down???

  19. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    A year ago when I got my '77 Jazz Bass it had been well used. The bridge was pretty worn out with rust and corrosion as a result of this. I ordered a Badass II bridge and after I installed it it sounded amazing. I think that some basses will benefit more from this type of bridge being installed.

    About the sustain that it provides, I think that its better to have than not. If you don't want ringing notes you should know how to mute them. Its very useful for when it.