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Best High Mass Bridge

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Tapp, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    Hey all, do you guys have a recommendation for a high mass standard 4 string bridge? I'm looking to "improve" a Peavey G-bass. It has a Gotoh bridge now and it looks to be standard Fender five-holer. Thanks!
  2. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I don't like high mass bridges but when i still did I liked those made by Göldo.
  3. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I thought most "standard" Fender bridges were 5 holes or 3 holes for their newer HM bridges.

    6 holes = Vintage Strat :)
  4. MarthaSamira

    MarthaSamira Banned

    Apr 29, 2012
    What kind of improvement are you trying to achieve with a different bridge?

    Mod edit: see below
  5. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    Martha - this ain't OT. Do not make me interpret tone from your posts. I will always err on the side of caution.
  6. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    Well.... my reasons are part "tone" curiosity and part cosmetic. Right now it has the stock chrome Gotoh bridge; I assume it's a 201. I guess I could order a black 201 to change the cosmetics, but I am curious if I can get a positive tonal change from going with a heavier bridge. I'm not going for a "vintage/organic" tone with this bass; that's what my Fender Jazz's are for. I'm going for flat-out 80's mid honk LOL.

    Any suggestions??
  7. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    The Gotoh 201 is a good bridge, I also like the Hipshot A bridge but you may have a string height problems on some guitars. For the price, I prefer the Fender Deluxe. It provides string spacing adjustment and the overall quality is excellent, and, it's genuine Fender.
  8. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    Thanks. So who has compared the Gotoh 201 to a solid brass made bridge like the Hipshot or other? Which Hipshot is drop-in replacement to the 201?
  9. There are sound comparisons on YouTube, links at this post: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f18/badass-babicz-bridge-809239/index4.html#post13124405

    I find the heavier zinc bridges comparatively "scoopier" than the lighter aluminum, so I would guess that brass, being on the heavier side, would probably be "scoopier" too. The 201 is cleaner and snappier than the Babicz to my ears. Both seem louder than bent tin. I think their added rigidity conserves instead of absorbs vibration.

    The 201 has the standard 5 Fender mounting holes. I have a Hipshot B style 4-string bridge with 3/4" spacing, also the standard. If you order different string spacing, the position of the holes changes, so watch out for that.

    What really sets the Hipshot B apart is the strings drop into slots instead of having to go through holes. I bought it for string swapping experiments so I wouldn't shred the silk off my strings plus fatigue the part that winds around the post by constantly straightening it by pulling it through a bridge hole and reinserting it.

    I've read comments about Hipshot bridges on TB that complain of buzzing. I've always been able to adjust out mechanical buzz, but sometimes folks get all wrapped around the axle about any buzz they hear. I get plenty of rattle from my strap locks, but none of it goes through the pickups. So I'm ok with rattles and buzzes just so long as the pickup doesn't hear them.

    I never noticed that you can buy the Hipshot B in your choice of aluminum or brass, very cool. I think I will buy a brass one so I can A/B brass vs. aluminum with everything else being equal. I suspect the brass Hipshot B will become my favorite bridge.

    There is some other "revolutionary" new bridge out there besides the Babicz. Oh yeah, the KSM. All I had to do was google "revolutionary bass bridge" and there it was, $149 worth of 4-string bridge, no cheaper on eBay. It's aluminum, guessing it sounds like it. Here's the painful install video: http://www.ksmguitars.com/bridgeinstallvideo.html

    That bass body looks like a piece of Swiss cheese down in the bridge area. All I want is to re-use the stock screw holes, none of that measuring and making gauges and taping, thank you.
  10. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    Thanks Kurosawa! I'll probably stick with the stock Gotoh for now; maybe find a black one....
    I'm going to do a pickup/preamp change and I'll go from there.
  11. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    The Gotoh 201 is a great bridge. It's simple and works flawlessly, so I would probably stick with the same type of bridge if you want to just go to a black bridge. Aesthetically I think its one of the better looking bridges out there, The badass bridges are big and gaudy looking, hip shots look better on some basses than others.
  12. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Is the 201 brass, aluminum, or an alloy?
  13. rockinrayduke

    rockinrayduke Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Henderson, NV
  14. No need for me to A/B brass vs. aluminum. Here's an article: www.bestbassgear.com/ebass/article/brass-vs-aluminum-bridge-which-is-better.html

    What I gather from this article is that a denser metal makes the bridge into something like a capacitor for vibrational energy.

    Conversely, a less-dense metal passes the vibrational energy more directly to the wood for bigger attack, faster decay.

    I favored the tone of the 201, but it must be I value the thud of the Babicsz over tone, because I never changed back.

    Many cast bridges have zinc as the predominant metal, like the Schaller and Gotoh 201, so I was interested in that, too.

    Density of: Aluminum = 0.10 lb/cu in; Zinc = 0.26 lb/cu in; Steel = 0.28 lb/cu in; Brass = 0.30 lb/cu in

    By comparison, alder is 0.014 lb/cu in. or about 1/7 as dense as aluminum, hard ash 0.023 or about 1/4 as dense as Al.

    I want to try a fully adjustable, rigid wooden bridge with adjustable saddles dimensioned like a Steinberger's for DB thud.

    I have some nice pieces of cocobolo and tulipwood (dalbergia frutescens) to try this with. Hope they hold a good thread.

    In fact I could use a metal baseplate and replace the block-style metal pieces with hard wood saddles of varying densities.

    Or I could just carve a one-piece bridge.