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Does the Badass II REALLY give more sustain than a fender bridge??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I was thinking of swapping the badass II out of my geddy jazz with moses graphite neck. Why? Because the base of the badass is quite thick which means i cant get the action low enough on my neck. the saddles just bottom out. the fender bridge does not have so much "meat" down there. This would allow me to get my action lower with a fender bridge.

    also, i am trying to change all my hardware to black then my bass will be completely black except for the fretwire and strings. (my strings are labella 760FL. I love them and wont change them).

    I have talked to a few bass players about this including SMASH from TB and they say that the badass does not add more sustain. Just wondering what other opinions are. I think i would sacrifice a little sustain for better action, but if i am going to lose significant sustain i would just keep the badass.
  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I haven't really noticed a difference in sustain with Badass bridges, but some players say they have. I don't think going back to a stock Fender bridge would cause problems for you as far as "not enough sustain" goes. BUT... I do think the Badass bridge makes a difference to the tone. When I swapped my stock Fender bridge (on my MIM Jazz) for a Badass the sound seemed to "tighten" up noticeably, more harmonic content and clarity, also more attack or punch. Some people like this sort of thing :D Some prefer a more "vintage" sort of sound.

    My own preference is definitely the Badass, that's why I used them on both of my other J basses as first choice when I put them together. I'd get a black one and shim the neck to get the action down where I wanted it. Shimming has made no difference to sustain in my experience.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I never played a decent Fender that didn't have enough sustain, so just try it.

    IMO you don't really need "sustain for days", when was the last time you even played whole notes?
  4. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    I have put Bad Ass II bridges on all my fenders because it does give it more sustain. It also has more mass so it transfers the sound from the strings to the bass body better if my understanding of this is correct. and in my experience 4 basses that i changed over the sound is much improved overall. Also the fender bridges ate several different types of bent metal plates some thicker and heavier than others. also more mass. In the long run only you can decide what to do. Jaco used a Fender bent metal plate bridge. YMMV.
  5. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    playability of the bass is my top priority, but if punch and "tightness" will be lost as well, thats a big drawback. I wonder how much of this i could make up with my bass rig? hmmm...
  6. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    Instead of changing the bridge to lower the strings why don’t you shim the neck to raise it up to the strings?
  7. BillisCool


    Apr 16, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    I find it odd that you can't get low enough action on your Jazz with the BA II. I can most definitely bottom out my strings on my fretboard with it.

    Either way, I think that the BA really tightens up the sound of a Jazz... making it much more punchy and versitile. I could never go back to a stock fender bridge even if I tried.

    Oh, and you do know that the BA comes in Black? If you really wanted to change the color... I have a brand new black one that I bought extra I'd be willing to sell you. :)
  8. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    Some Fenders seem to need a bridge upgrade more than others, its partially because of your own personal tastes. I like my Badass II but if you really want to try out the stock bridge again then go for it, there's nothing keeping you from putting the bridge back in.
  9. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    Adding a brass nut will give more sustain than a Badass.
  10. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    For the $60 you'll pay for the BAII bridge, you can get a compressor and have sustain forever and ever. :)
  11. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    If a particular bridge "transfers the sound from the strings to the bass body", it will actually REDUCE sustain, not increase it.

    I've never used the BAII, so I can't talk about whether it's good or not. I do have a couple of Precision Elite II's, which have more massive bridges, and I can't really tell a difference.

    I'm with those who ask "Why do you need more sustain?" I generally stick some foam over or under the strings so that my notes will decay quicker.
  12. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    You're right...High mass bridges are designed to isolate the strings from the body. Transfering vibration to the body robs energy from the strings' vibration, which reduces your sustain. The real question is "how much"? Are we dealing with enough material and difference between the two bridge designs to make a big enough difference to hear? Maybe, Maybe not.

    On the other hand, you NEED to transfer vibration to the body on an acoustic instrument, as those vibrations creat VOLUME. Not a problem on an instrument with pickups though.
  13. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    On open strings only? Or on fretted notes as well?
  14. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Instead of switching out the bridge I recommend a professional setup. It will be money better spent than replacing the bridge.
  15. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    The BadAss can be a good bridge if the bridge you have now has moving saddles or some other problem. The BadAss saddles cannot move around by themselves.
  16. I think this is the best option. It's cheap and you can do it yourself. I did this on my fretless. I couldn't get the action low enough for that "mwah". A thin wooden shim did the trick.
    Is there a Lee Valley Tools in your area? They sell these little wooden business cards, that's what I used.
  17. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I too am curious why people think "sustain for days" is a desireable thing. I like the sound and feel of new roundwound strings, but all the sustain is a bit of a problem at times, especially when recording. That's why so many pro's use flatwounds on their main recording bass.

    I rarely hear ANYONE playing bass where a note needs to ring for "whole note" or more length!
  18. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Being able to hold a note to ring is another 'sound' tool in my toolbox. I do use sustained notes when playing...if I want quick decay or mute, that's what my palm by the bridge does. I'd rather have the option than have no option.
  19. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I HATE IT!!!! :) I like 2 year old roundwound strings the best. They just get better the older they are, until they can't hold intonation any more. Always clean your hands before playing!
  20. Sustain is one of the things I look for in a bass. It sounds especially good on a fretless where you hear the note growling and blossoming. Right now, I'm playing my Warmoth fretted 4 string. It has a Badass installed on it and very good sustain, although I'm not sure how much is due to the bridge.

    I don't understand the attraction of old strings. Some people prefer the sound, which is cool, but they have no life in them. They don't respond well and I find they require alot more effort to play. New strings have alot more snap to them.