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curious about bridge replacement... help

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bluevoodoo, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. bluevoodoo


    Dec 15, 2007
    I have heard some things about the benifits of replacing the bridge on MIM Fenders. My questions is, what would justify purchasing a new bridge? Would you switch a bridge just because it is heavier duty, it wont move. Do most people switch bridges for the sound, or just mechanics. I have a fender jazz MIM and was noticing the was a little buzz from the bridge, I also dont like the saddles moving around and such. I think I can put up with those problems, but if it did anything as far as making the MIM sound like a more expensive bass to my ears rather than my eyes Ii would consider the purchase. Any info or experience would be helpful, Thanks.
  2. N8116B


    Jan 14, 2008
    I have a MIM P-bass, brand new, but I wanted the new bridge and was very happy with the improvements. I like to fool around and get the sound I want. The addition of the BA2 was a big plus for me.
  3. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    My justificatiion? I want it and I got the money is my justification. It's not like you have to ask your boss or anything.

  4. Replacing your stock bridge with a Bad Ass II is a great upgrade. They really do make a difference. Just look at all the higher-end Fender models, they all either come with the BAII or a Fender knock-off equivilant. More solid = better sustain = better tone. You won't regreat it.

    And I'm not telling you this without warrant. I have one on my fretless.
  5. I change bridges because there's something about just having a bent piece of metal as a bridge, that doesn't sit right with me.

    That, and on some of my basses, the ball-end of the string is tucked neatly away (behind metal). I like to have that feature.
  6. N8116B


    Jan 14, 2008
    Fretless? What are those fret like things on the neck?

    But I agree with what you are syaing. I too have a BA2 on my p-bass and it did make a big and agreeable difference.
  7. speedkills


    Jan 10, 2008
    I replaced the bent tin bridge with the Gotoh 201.
    I don't know if it was just the placebo effect or not, BUT I do know that it sounds better to ME.

    Maybe some bassophile with a delicate ear can tell otherwise, but to me it just sounds better.

    And in the end that's all that matters.

    Also - I had a top string buzz I could not get rid of...
    I tried EVERYTHING.
    It always buzzed.
    When I played the string open it was awful...fretted it buzzed less.

    After the bridge change - you guessed it - No more buzz.

  8. glwanabe

    glwanabe Guest

    Apr 21, 2002
    I bought into the "Fender bridges are crap" and have bought a few aftermarket bridges, Gotoh, and BAII. After trying them and comparing them to a stock Fender bridge, I'll save my money from now on and stick with the stock design, for the most part.

    I replaced the springs with longer springs that dont rattle, because they are held under tighter tension. I put stainless screws on both bridges on my jazzes. My Geddy jazz barrell screws are replaced with longer screws to compensate for the different bridge mounting location. The Geddy jazz has it's bridge mounted just a little over 1/8" further back.

    With the stainless screws and longer springs I have no problem with the bridge and get the tone I like. Total cost to mod both bridges was around 7 bucks.

    The Standard jazz bridge has the threaded saddles and the Geddy has the newer single slot type. Both intonate perfectly, and stay were they are put. I run flats on both basses and just prefer the tone I get with the vintage bridge.

    I gave my Gotoh 201 to a friend who needed one for a project, and I now have two BAII sitting in a drawer. Unless the bridge is actually broken, and that can be fixed very easily, by a trip to a hardware store. I would save your money.

    IMO, while standard bridges may look cheap, they are quite strong and do what they are supposed to do. There is a tone difference. As far as it giving more sustain, I don't hear a problem with sustain from my basses. I can easliy pluck a note and hold it for longer than a count of 4, at a fairly even decay. How long were you needing to hold a note?

    In the end it's your bass, and if a different bridge floats your boat, go for it!
  9. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    Spend your time and money on something worthwhile.

    If the stock bridges are so bad why do they last 50+ years?

    I think a lot of people change bridges because it doesn't take a lot of skill and they can say they "modded" something.
  10. Koeda


    Aug 21, 2007
    Hey hey,
    Agree - want it + have $ = justification. I replaced my bridge for some weight in addition to adding the Fender Ultralite tuners. Besides the weight the Hipshot B bridge looked good and also allowed me to still use the Ghost saddle pickups on my J Fretless.
  11. bluevoodoo


    Dec 15, 2007
    I try to go by the ol' if it ain't broke don't fix it motto, but the thing with this is... How do I know if its broke? I mean nothing bugs me about it... but would it make my bass better quality? I'm trying to do anything I can to make my MIM better sounding and more playable. Any other suggestions maybe besides new pick ups??
  12. Brian D

    Brian D

    Dec 2, 2004
    Dublin, Ireland
    They're fretlines. Basically inlaid markers of where the fret would be so you can play in tune a bit easier. Some call them training wheels, others call them cool. I don't call them at all! :D
  13. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    No, it would just mean you have more money in it.

    If you want to mess with your sound I'd start off with good (the kind you never need to replace) strings. If you like flats, LaBella DT flats; if you like rounds, TI Jazz Flats.

    You can also spend about $20 and some time on the tone circuit and keep the original pickups. Some better pots and different value caps and a series/parallel switch are worth trying.
  14. N8116B


    Jan 14, 2008
    Ok. I have played a couple of fretless banjo and they only had the little dot on the edge of the neck to help you out. I would get close. But with banjo you are doing so much up the next that if you are of a note it is only for a fraction of a second.
  15. bluevoodoo


    Dec 15, 2007
    ha, very interesting you say Labella DT flats, I just put a set on my MIM Jazz just last week. I really do like what they have done to my sound. I also swapped out the original stock pickups for some EMG's. The original pickups weren't hot enough for the light touch I like. I thought the EMG's would give me those other frequencies I was missing out on. I really like the tone, just looking for that perfect sound. Maybe a bridge would help, new pots came with the EMG's, but maybe nothing new will help. I think maybe I just need a pro setup, even though I have tried with some sucess with setting up my own bass.
  16. My MIM bridge corroded pretty quickly!..I live in Oregon, and I guess its common for MIM bridges to do this due to the moist air..The rest of the hardware seems fine.
  17. Szkieled


    Oct 23, 2007
    Poland, Warszawa
    Sorry for offtop, but i got question about standard fender pb, jazz bridge. How thick is metal plate from body?

    I have Modulus GVJ with Gotoh bridge (about 3mm thick) and want to change it to fender bridge for lowering my action. Now saddles on Gotoh are maximum low.

    BTW i had MIM and MIA Jazz basses and no problem with bridges.
    MIA bridge had cool option to set your own string spacing.
    And they are much easier to adjust than Gotoh.
  18. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Answers from my point of view:

    - Because you want to.
    - Because you believe it will sound better.
    - Because you like the look.
    - Because a heavier bridge will shift the balance slightly and reduce neck dive.

    It's your bass, it's your money, and you can do whatever you want to. There are just as many people who believe heavier bridges are mostly cosmetic as there are who believe it will improve the sound.
  19. The stock Fender bridge is part of the basses tone. A heavier bridge will most likely extend sustain. To me the sustain the stock bridge effords is one of the things that makes a Fender a Fender.
  20. sublime0bass


    Aug 2, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Same reason you still see Plymoth Dusters still driving around.... longevity does not make quality
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