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'Best Hipshot' Between Brass Or Aluminum'

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mustBmtd, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. mustBmtd

    mustBmtd Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    Hello to all TBer's, especially to the ones that might already own a MTD Kingston AG 6, I've got a used one arriving home soon. And being a Gospel Bassplayer, most of my basses I own are Maple necks, Lakland 55-01, KSD Design 5, and Sire 4string. Original lakland bridge, removed the stocked bridge on the KSD, add an actual Ken Smith Badass style bridge. The Sire I replaced with a hipshot b style bridge. My question is based on the MTD kingston AG 6, having a purple heart neck, which I've heard delivers warm and rich tones when chords are used or just playing with that type of richness from the neck period. I not digging the hipshot quick release that's stocked on the bass, So I'm in the market for getting the Hipshot B style as a replacement for AG 6. But in making that change which is best for this particular bass. Brass or the Aluminum in this style bridge. P.S. If you have one you might wanna sell or trade please let me know, as well as the opinions of the two different types.
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    the general consensus is that properly working bass bridges don't make much tonal difference one way or the other, with @JimmyM discovering an exception with an aluminum bridge that he said sounded noticeably worse than others.
    JimmyM likes this.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Totally. I hated that aluminum bridge and exchanged it immediately.
    RedJag and Brad Johnson like this.
  4. I'll throw in my recent experience...

    I just replaced the standard guild Starfire floating bridge with a faux alembic brass bridge (including the sustain block) and it had a pretty dramatic change on how the notes resonate with the guitar. I added it in hopes of merely increasing sustain and while it did that for certain areas of the fretboard, it decreased them slightly in other areas. Ultimately it changed how the notes resonate and in a manner different than I expected. For example, the 7th fret A string E used to be far more "boomy" than it is now. Oddly, I kind of miss that. Now, the change in the type of bridge in my case is probably more drastic than what you'll be doing. I will be honest in saying that I didn't realize how much it could change the resonance of the notes. But, this is something that isn't going to be obvious to a listener and is really more so like a "that 15th fret F actually sustains a bit now or that 1st overtone of the E string is somewhat stronger". Still, the change was different and greater than I expected. YMMV.
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Brass. And my experience is that a bridge >>>can<<< make a difference. Not "will". The aluminum Hipshot installs I've dealt with have sounded better with a swap to brass. Just had more heft to the sound. If you like less heft, aluminum might be a way to help get there.
  6. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I've used both, and have never noticed a noticeable difference in tone between the two. There may be a slight difference is swapped between the two on the same bass, but it will be minimal.
  7. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    The saddles on the Hipshot will be brass either way. I've used both the aluminum and brass bridge plates for Hipshot bridges, and didn't notice any difference. As I said, both versions have brass saddles, though.
  8. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    My experience with the Aluminum versus Brass with the same Hipshot bridges is that the aluminum ones sounded more "vintage". The aluminum had less sustain and zing, more of a mellow thump. The brass was like a ringing, sustaining machine.
    Both have a place in the world of bass, if you ask me. For every James Jamerson, there's a Mark King and they are both great examples of bass. So I'm not dogging the aluminum. But it's all about what you want to do.
  9. Calexia13


    May 22, 2007
    I will add my experiences with aluminum vs. brass. Pertaining to a 51 p stule string through bridge. There is a marked difference, brass is a bit darker, with more heft and sustain. The aluminum is a tab brighter, the notes bloom and decay faster, no one better for all applications, just different. If i was recording old school thumpy tunes I would use the aluminum, if its more rock oriented where sustain and hept are more desirable, then brass. Both have their place. Its like asking what hammer is better, depends on the task at hand.
  10. RedJag


    Mar 2, 2016
    So, on the same bass (Fender CIJ Jag with Fralin Jazz Pickups) I’ve had the following bridges:
    1. Fender Stock bent place with Threaded Saddles - 3.1oz
    2. Badass II with Filed Saddles 7.9oz
    3. Hipshot Kickass (with both steel and brass saddle pieces) - 8.5oz
    4. Hipshot Style A - Aluminum 4.5oz
    5. Hipshot Style A - Brass 9.2oz
    I only had the Stock bridge on for a year or so, and that was 10 years ago so I can’t comment on the sound, but the Badass definitely seemed to sustain more as we all would assume.

    The Badass stayed on the bass until last year, when I switched it for the Hipshot because I wanted to try a new string spacing. Sound was largely the same, and I don’t hear a difference between the steel and brass saddles.

    I decided I wanted quick change access and picked up the Style A in Aluminum which definitely brightened the sound a bit compared to the kickass. This was with a broken in pair of Chromes mind you, the Aluminum bridge seemed to bring back some zing to the broken in strings.

    I switched back to rounds and decided I wanted a heavier bridge, so I picked up the Style A in Brass to Compare it to the Aluminum. I don’t think the sound changed as much as I would have expected. It seems to have more of an impact with flats, maybe because there’s less overtones to be accentuated.

    In any case, I think I’ve decided the sensible thing is to use the Style A in Aluminum as a happy medium between the 3oz bent steel plate and the 9oz Brass.

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