Fender Aerodyne Bridge Swap Maybe?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by SuckaFish, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. SuckaFish


    Apr 28, 2019
    Hey guys, I’m a long time bassist who has often read up on Talk Bass, but today I actually joined so I could ask the experts!

    I have one of the non-export Fender Jazz Aerodyne basses that Ive had for about a decade. I love the feel of the bass and the neck is worn in to what feels like home base for me.

    Recently my wife bought a Steve Harris Signature Bass and I realized it blew my Aerodyne out of the water in about every way.

    I was planning to do a few upgrades on the bass including new pickups (the current ones are muddy and have a buzz in the background).

    I know high mass bridges are a constant debate, but I’ve wondered are there any direct high mass replacements for the Aerodyne? The bridge is sunk into the body on the Aerodynes, so I don’t want to drill or have to file out any of the body for an upgrade that may not be too noticeably different in sound.

    Sorry for the insane wall of text, but I look forward to hearing some input from you all! Thanks in advance. :)
    Master Chief likes this.
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    If you’re planning to make a pickup change, I would do that before changing the bridge. I happen to be in the “changing the bridge won’t make much tonal difference” camp. So, a pickup change might be pleasing enough for you.

    You could probably drop in a Seymour Duncan SPB-4 Steve Harris P-pickup and a STK-J2B Jazz Bridge pickup, and get close to your wife’s Steve Harris sig. bass.
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  3. SuckaFish


    Apr 28, 2019
    I do like the pickup first idea! That may very well be what I end up doing. I was actually thinking about dropping in a Custom Shop 60s P like they had in the US Standards, and a J Bass pickup from US Standard since I remember those being the bee’s knees.

    I just wasn’t sure if there was a common high mass replacement bridge of the same dimensions.
    Slater likes this.
  4. I put a Babicz on mine, quite happy with it over the bent steel plate. Sustains like crazy. I want to drop some Aguilars in it.
    expatmuso likes this.
  5. SuckaFish


    Apr 28, 2019
    Was the Babicz a direct fit or did you have to have the body fitted for it?
  6. Direct fit.
    SuckaFish likes this.
  7. secondbestcody

    secondbestcody Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I had a regular Aerodyne and had a Hipshot bridge on it and threw in an EMG GZR set.

  8. SuckaFish


    Apr 28, 2019
    Dang that looks classy!!
    Steve Philip and DrThumpenstein like this.
  9. Steve Philip

    Steve Philip

    Jun 8, 2019
    Wow, that's exactly what I want to do to mine! How are those EMGs? I have a Fender Jazz with real early EMG's, but they're active. I don't want to modify the cavity for a battery. That bridge bolt right on?
    DrThumpenstein likes this.
  10. DrThumpenstein

    DrThumpenstein Living for the groove Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2015
    St Louis, MO
    That is a beauty! Full report please!

    I'm thinking about both of those upgrades.

    Digging the panther on the fretboard too.
  11. secondbestcody

    secondbestcody Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    The GZR EMG’s are great. They have a well balanced vintage-y sound and yes, the bridge mounted right on. My Aerodyne had the standard Fender 5 bolt mount.

    The only mods I really did to this was the EMG GZR’s, knobs and the bridge. The original knobs wouldn’t fit on the EMG pots so I had to get some with a set screw. The cat on the fretboard is a sticker from a website that sells a bunch of sticker fret markers. I think that one had paws for the fretboard dots but I just liked the cat. The strings are DR Black Beauties.

    I ended up selling it. I’m not a huge fan of the Jazz offset body. I also didn’t like how every time I’d touch the bass my fingerprints would be very visible everywhere. I wouldn’t mind getting the Aerodyne P, but I can never find one for a decent price around here. I prefer the look of a bass with a pickguard also.
  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass!!!!!

    That's two ridiculously cool basses in your house! Can't help with your bridge situation. Hope the experts here will get you all fixed up.
  13. rodekrew


    Aug 6, 2019
    I'm pretty new to Playing Bass and I had just gotten an 2017 Aerodyne and I have been looking to swap out the bridge.. the Hipshot keeps coming up as the one to go with & I really like the aesthetics of the black on black witch bridge is this one you have on there
  14. Steve Philip

    Steve Philip

    Jun 8, 2019
    Just got that bridge on mine, much better tone transfer & sustain. Looks great too! That, along with the Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder pickups & a graphite nut, it is now my favorite bass!
  15. rodekrew


    Aug 6, 2019
    sorry for being the noob... but whats the model # for the bridge tring to find one for mine.... thanx
  16. Steve Philip

    Steve Philip

    Jun 8, 2019
    Bought it in Amazon, it's this one... 5BF3FFFE-72FC-4740-AB05-5D86847FDB04.jpeg 5BF3FFFE-72FC-4740-AB05-5D86847FDB04.jpeg
    rodekrew likes this.
  17. Steve Philip

    Steve Philip

    Jun 8, 2019
    rodekrew likes this.
  18. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Yeah, been down the hi-mass bridge rabbit hole. It will make little to no difference in tone. 90%+ of amplified tone is the pups and electronics, the rest is just endless argument and hype. Start with the 90% stuff, the bridge would be about last on my upgrade list.
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