Brass Bridges

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Brent Hahn, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. Brent Hahn

    Brent Hahn

    Jul 25, 2009
    I have 2 very similar basses. One is a 70's Ibanez Challenger lawsuit P-bass, and I recently got an early 80's Ibanez Blazer, which is basically a post-lawsuit Son-of-Challenger. Besides the cosmetic differences, the biggest difference was the bridges. The Challenger's is Fender-like -- lightweight stamped steel. The Blazer's bridge was an enormous hunk of machined brass.

    Sitting in my lap, they felt identical. But when played, the Blazer was much deader. So I swapped out the bridge for a Fender one, and voila! Cured!

    I've never owned another bass with a big brass bridge, but you see them all the time, and the bridge is often a big selling point. But I wonder... do they help or hurt? In the case of Ibanez, all I can figure is that it was a misguided attempt at "value-added."

    These two basses, by the way, while not especially slick players, are the most rock-solid, manly basses I've ever recorded with.
  2. XylemBassGuitar

    XylemBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2008
    Durango, CO
    Owner and Operator, Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars
    Seems like I read something awhile ago about brass bridges emphasizing lows more while aluminum/steel bridges emphasize mids more.

    I wouldn't say one is necessarily better than the other, just that they serve different purposes.