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Ever Replace the Bridge on an American Standard Precision Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by atomicdog, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. atomicdog


    Jun 18, 2011
    I'm not a fan of the hi-mass vintage bridge on the American Standard Precision Bass. Too bright, too modern. I like a lot of other things about this bass, especially neck and overall feel, but am thinking about swapping the bridge with a regular Fender vintage bent-metal bridge.

    Ever done that on this model? How did it alter the sound? Iknow I'll lose the ability to string through the body--is that a major minus.
  2. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Save your money and keep your bass stock, IMO. I think any difference would be completely unnoticeable. The Fender high weight bridge is nothing more than a thicker backplate. The base plate is the same as any other modern American Fender bridge.
  3. BassBob1


    Dec 21, 2010
    I have an American standard Jazz and I have to say I'm not convinced the high-mass bridge does much of anything. When compared to other jazz basses I've either owned or played my jazz with the HM bridge doesn't sound bright or modern like you say. I haven't done this mod but I speculate that you'll get a more substantial change in sound if you try different strings or if you want to spend more, a different pickup. Oh yeah and loosing the ability to string through the body is only a minus if you like to string the bass through the body.
  4. atomicdog


    Jun 18, 2011
    I noticed a marked change when I swapped the BAII bridge on my Geddy Bass--punchier, warmer.

    What's the advantage of stringing through the body? Some think it adds a woody tone.I haven't noticed.

    BTW/ BassBob1, I like that tune.
  5. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    You are obviously convinced you need to mod your bass -- it's your bass, so go ahead.
  6. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    I believe I would try different strings first, before I changed the bridge. Unless of course you really like the strings that you are using. I have never been able to really tell much of a tone difference from one bridge to another, but there are plenty of other factors that might be import to consider. The BAII that came on my Geddy Lee and my Highway One p feel better under my hand if I am picking than the standard vintage bridge on my new '70s p. Plus the BAII is big and shiny. That is a plus for me (not every body likes the look though). In the past I had tried to convince myself that dropping money and spending time would help me chase after some elusive little bit of tone that I was convinced was missing from my sound. In the end- when I get really honest with myself- I can't really hear any difference. Certainly not in a band setting anyway. I wouldn't take the time to remove the BAIIs that came on two of my basses. Nor would I go out of my way to "upgrade" the el-cheapo bridge on the '70s p. Every so often, I'll be on allparts.com and take a gander at the Gotoh 201. I bet it would add a bit of manliness to the look of my '70s p, but honestly- could I hear any REAL diff? probably not. YMMV. Good luck!
  7. The BAII is a different beast than the current Fender high mass bridges. As others have said that is a marketing ploy more than anything else.

    As far as stringing through the bridge, I have switched back and forth with the same type of strings countless times on the same bass and have yet to hear any tone difference between the two. I once tried to convince myself that the strings felt a bit tighter when strung through the body but I am sure that is all in my head. I tend to prefer to string through the bridge nowadays.
  8. Marihino


    Mar 25, 2010
    you can always turn the tone knob a little bit, or do some other sort of EQing. Or let the strings go dead.
  9. atomicdog


    Jun 18, 2011
    I swapped out the stock Fender strings with EB Hybrids--those should break in soon. Already sounds warmer. I think I just need to accept that the AM Std has a certain sound and roll with it. That's why I own 7 other basses, right? Each one has its own charm.
  10. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I changed mine, but in reverse to what you are doing. I went from the low mass bent metal standard bridge to a huge chunky Bad Ass II bridge. Nothing to drill, or change. Holes were exactly the same. Made it easy to put it back to stock if I wanted. Simple changes. Made the most difference in sustain. At least that was my take on it.
  11. In a live situation
    no one will ever notice.

    It takes substantial changes to actually come across live.
  12. lipancek


    Jan 22, 2011
    I also noticed a change in tone when I replaced a standard fender bridge with hi mass gotoh 201 bridge. Much brighter sound with the hi mass bridge. More vintage sound with bend metal bridge. You will certainly hear the difference if you go with classic bend metal bridge
  13. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    That's because it's not significantly high-mass, any more than it's "vintage" as Fender calls it.

    Remarkable to let marketing so far off the leash as to call something "vintage high-mass" when these are not only contradictory terms but in fact it's neither. :rolleyes:
  14. sloppy_phil


    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    hmm, i have an MIM P which I put the Gotoh 201 on. I happen to find that it was a pleasing difference. I noticed a change first in the sound of the bass when unplugged; a little more woody and punchy than with the stock bridge. It's one of those subtle differences that would get swallowed in a band mix, but when solo'd you can hear the change. Plus the grooves for the saddles to sit in were a nice bonus; way less slippage and movement.

    With an instrument as high quality as the Am Std, a bridge swap is probably not as significant.
  15. topcat2069


    Dec 2, 2007
    Palm Springs
    I had a MIM Jazz deluxe that I switched the bridge to a Bad Ass II and the immediate difference was that the E string ball end stayed put and didn't pull through the hole so I could actually use the E string..... not a Fender high mass bridge answer :D
  16. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    +1 to this... strings would make a bigger difference here than bridge
  17. flewis

    flewis Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    If you really would like to replace the newer HM Fender bridge, instead of the installing the vintage threaded barrel bridge that would require drilling five new holes :)(), take a look at the Fender Deluxe bridge that was stock prior to the HM bridges. They are somewhere in between mass wise to that of the vintage and HM bridge.

    Fender American Deluxe Bass Bridge 0058396000

    Attached Files:

  18. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I approve the above choice...though I don't think it'll make much sonic difference.

    Hate that new bridge, though.
  19. I did it. Swapped it for a L-plate from an earlier model. Its the thicker L-plate that was in use until the high-mass came along. No difference. Looks cooler, that's it.
  20. The high mass has a base plate that is twice as thick as the standard base plate (3mm vs 1.5mm)

    IMO it does a change the tone a lot and i to am not a fan of it.
    Pretty much all my basses have a bent plate bridge now!
    Michael Uhler likes this.

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