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Bridge replacement

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by superhand, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. superhand


    Sep 14, 2009
    Fresno, CA
    Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, and yes I searched, it's surprising how many hits you get when you search for "Gotoh 201."

    Anyhow I am considering replacing (I didn't say "upgrade" I don't want to restart that debate) the stock bridge on my MIM Fender Jazz with the Gotoh 201.


    My question is, is this a drop in replacement? ie: screw holes, string spacing stuff like that. I want something that I can install fairly easily, and possibly uninstall and put the original back, without to much trouble and or damage to my bass.

    Second question: how hard is it to do a neck shim, if necessary?
  2. kb9wyz


    Sep 8, 2008
    Yes. It is. The Gotoh bridges use Fender's specs.
  3. superhand


    Sep 14, 2009
    Fresno, CA
    Have you used this bridge? Do you like it?
  4. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've used several Gotoh 201s. The baseplate and saddles are thicker so it may be necessary to shim the neck to get the action you want since the strings can only be lowered so far on the Gotoh 201 compared to the thinplate Fender bridge on the MIM.

    Personally I prefer the '57/'62 RI style Fender bridge with the threaded "Chunks-O-Screw" saddles for that application.
  5. bassgod76

    bassgod76 bass turd burglar

    Mar 13, 2003
    South Florida
  6. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Pretty easy. Remove the strings, undo the screws that hold the neck on and remove the neck. Cut a business card into a strip about three-quarters of an inch wide, and just long enough to fit crosswise in the pocket. Place the shim at the bridge end of the pocket and screw the neck back on. Restring.

    Even a thin shim will significantly change the angle of the neck to the body. This will cause the strings to be closer to the neck. Then you can raise the saddles to suit.

    Many folks will tell you that you should use a wooden or metal shim - supposedly they will give a better vibration transfer from the neck to the body. Or that you should use a tapered shim. I prefer a full-pocket tapered wooden shim, but thousands of business card shims are in use around the world. The business card shim (or equivalent) should be your starting point. Then if you want to obsess about it, you can try wood, metal or tapered.
  7. Kipaste


    Jun 27, 2006
    Helsinki, Finland
    I recently popped a 201 in my jazz. The holes aligned perfectly. I had heard of the problems the thicker baseplate and saddles can cause (ie. not being able to get the strings low enough) and when I visually compared the bridge to the old one I was thinking, uh oh, migh not work. I decided to try it on anyway and noticed that the string grooves were a bit deeper on the gotoh than in the old bridge, so the bridge actually ended up working just fine and I still have some (not much, but more than I'll need) room for downwards adjustments and the action is set fairly low too.

    I like it. Feels sturdy, no more saddle travel. It effects the resonance of the body wood acoustically, but amplified it's naturally way more subtle. I did do a sustain/tone check by recording before and after notes (just because I've been on the "doesn't affect tone" side of the argument) and after it I'm not so sure anymore. It's very subtle, but I think there is a wee bit more sustain and maybe even some change to the tone. But as it is impossible to pluck the string at exactly the same force, you should take this with a grain of salt as it may just as well be wishful thinking on my side. And if there indeed is a change in tone, it's really small.

    I got to point out though, that the original screws in my jazz were a tiny bit thicker than the ones that came along with the bridge, as they had hard time going trough the holes in the bridge. I ended up using the new ones and they hold on ok. Some people might prefer to put.. Sorry, I don't remember the english word. Dowels? Something like that into the holes and re-drill if they happen to have those heavier gauge screws. But I think this is because my jazz is a squier vintage modified.
  8. kb9wyz


    Sep 8, 2008
    I don't have the Gotoh 210. I have a Badass. But try finding one for sale. If you can find one on ebay, you'll probably pay more for it than a new would have cost. From what I've seen, though, the 201 is a suitable substitute for it. Maybe not quite as good, but for $30 through Warmoth, who cares. Better that getting ripped off. Go for it.
  9. bassgod76

    bassgod76 bass turd burglar

    Mar 13, 2003
    South Florida
    The Fender AM deluxe bridge is a good factory bridge that retains that Fender look. It has grooves in the plate that prevent saddle travel, and it's way cheaper than most high mass bridges.

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