Bridge upgrade question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Gorn, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I picked up a used MIM Fender jazz. I assume the bridge is fairly cheap.

    1) Is the one that comes on this crap?

    2) What exactly will a new, better bridge do for the sound of the bass?

    3) Any suggestions on exactly what I should replace it with?

    4) How difficult is it to do for someone who's not the least bit handy and only owns a hammer and a few screw drivers?

  2. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    There's nothing wrong with the stock bridge and replacing it will make only the slightest of differences, if any. I wouldn't bother messing with it unless it's actually giving you trouble.
  3. tkonbass

    tkonbass I'm just one of the out-of-focus guys. Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
    "There's nothing wrong with the stock bridge and replacing it will make only the slightest of differences, if any. I wouldn't bother messing with it unless it's actually giving you trouble."

    ^^^ This will likely be the most common answer you'll get. I'll agree that if there is nothing wrong with the original bridge then you really won't notice much difference if any when you replace it. BUT if you want to change it, go for the one you think will offer the adjustability you want and/or the one you think looks best on your bass.

    I personally like a more substantial bridge than the stamped Fender. Hipshot, Babicz, Leo Quan and others make direct replacements that will more or less screw in to place of the old one. They all have their fans and their haters. Just search Tb and you'll see.
  4. I agree that you will not hear much difference if you replace the bridge. Only reason that I have found to replace bridge is if you are a very aggressive player and have problems keeping saddles from moving side to side. If that is the case, then look for something that is a direct bolt in no drill replacement with saddles that are held tight in place. I have a Blacktop Jazz bass which has a heavy solid bridge and that may be a possible solution.
  5. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I could give a poop about aesthetics. If it won't make it sound better than I'll leave it alone. Thanks for the opinions.
  6. Dean N

    Dean N Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    +1 on the "leave it" vote.
  7. rubbadubdub


    May 8, 2012
    Yeah.. I'm with the leave it vote unless it's giving you tuning or intonation problems or maybe you catch your hand on the height adjustment screws. The only bridges I ever had problems with were a Schaller roller bridge which i noticed was contributing a slight fizzing sound to the highs and a bridge on a JayDee Supernatural where the saddles rocked from side to side slightly. I couldn't hear any side affects from the latter and sold the bass on because it was too big and heavy for me. I have a badass that I will be selling on because I thought it looked wrong on my p bass and didn't make much if any improvement.
    I dont attack my bass like a maniac though. A punk player may have more issues with stability and tuning.
  8. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    One thing you will frequently see endorsed on TB is moving to vintage threaded saddles.

    They won't much (if any) difference in sound. But will allow you to have better control of string placement, and help you use leverage to hold the saddles tightly together to maintain string spacing.

    The would replace the current saddles on your existing bridge. Simply unscrew the old saddle using the intonation screw and replace.

    All the best,

  9. JMimbs


    Jan 5, 2012
    Central Florida
    I changed bridges only because the stock MIM bridge saddles kept dropping and throwing my intonation off. I got a Babicz bridge because the saddles locked. It looks cool, arguably increases sustain, and is very comfortable to rest your hand on. But if your stock bridge is working fine, you might as well leave it.
  10. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert
    This is what I did also, simple, cheap, and quick, and nice on a Jazz bass as it allows you to center each string for each polepiece pair.
    Didn't notice any change in tone, fwiw.

  11. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Based on what I'm reading, I'll leave it alone. The strings stay put, and surprisingly for a used bass, the intonation is spot on. I'll leave it be.
  12. I hate to be the cliche guuy, but, ...
    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
    I would only change the bridge if it wasn't working right.
  13. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert
    Yep. Enjoy your new bass. ;)

  14. Funny, doesn't that look like the bridge on Jaco's bass?
  15. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I think you'll be fine with the stock bridge.
  17. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    I need to do this for a bridge but am having trouble finding a source for the replacement threaded saddles; do you recall where you purchased them? I am finding sources for the whole bridge, but just want to replace the slotted saddles with threaded ones.

  18. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i wouldn't mess with it if you can intonate and your strings are pretty stable
  19. bumperbass


    Jun 19, 2012
    Bump for this. Where is everybody buying JUST threaded saddles?