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Fender Am Std Bridge vs Leo Quann's Badass II

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by open_space, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. I have recently decided to replace the stock bridge on my 2006 MIA P-bass with Badass II bridge. It's not a direct replacement, some drilling is needed but I like it more than Badass III. Plus I have this bridge on my other bass.

    I have recorded the sounds of the bass before and after the stock bridge was replaced, so if anyone is interesed, I have uploaded the samples to soundcloud.

    I have recorded the samples using this setup: Bass → Countryman 85 DI → M-audio Firewire Solo → Adobe Audition. The bass had old D'addario Nickel rounds on.

    One thing: I might had the pickup a bit lower on the badass samples.

    Please listen and let me know which one you like better. To me the badass bridge sounds more open and has a more modern robust tone. The stock bridge is a bit loose on the low end.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i would choose the stock bridge over a badass any day of the week!
    it's a brilliant design, low-mass but rock-solid because of the string-through, and with adjustable spacing to boot.

    there is no reason at all to change it.
  3. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    its ridiculous how anyone would pay such money for a badass ii bridge. (You can actually but a decent pedal w that cash)

    If you're really into hi-mass bridge then a gotoh 201 would be a much better replacement, it looks cooler than the bridge but it still doesnt affect the tone from my experience(s). So its all just an aesthetic upgrade for me. Personally, Id take the fender am std bridge over badass anyday.

    Its better to spend the time worrying about bridges on practising instead. And its not badass to don a piece of gear that has 'badass' imprinted on it... : - /
  4. pedulla-2007


    Sep 2, 2008
    Take a look at the bridge design of one of the most recognizable and sought after bass tones in the business. Do you suppose if it is good enough for a 7,000 dollar boutique bass, it might be good enough for a Fender! Are Ken Smith basses wrong for having a high mass bridge, and is it a waste of money?:meh: Personally I believe if you have not owned one, you are not qualified to bash a proven upgrade.
  5. mazdah


    Jan 29, 2010
    Kalisz, Poland
    I highly prefer the standard Fender bridge (pre 2008) over Badass.
    Badass Bridge changes the sound A LOT. And I don't like the sound with badass.
  6. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    I have actually owned a MIJ pbass equipped w a badass II, the previous owner installed it. I sold it, and bought a gotoh instead. Made some profits in the process, didnt miss it at all.

    If you have $100 to spend, why not swap your pickups, strings, tone pots or get a pedal? It will have a more substantial effect on your tone.

    Another thing about badass bridge is if you're someone like me who likes to play with really low action, it is very likely you'll have to shim your bass w the badass ii since its saddles are higher than conventional bridges
  7. Badasses are no such thing. No-one has any proof of anything other than they might like/not like them. And just becasue Ken Smith basses have them means little.
  8. Mike Sorr

    Mike Sorr "Play I Some Music" Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Brick, NJ
    I have a funny feeling that if you ask bass players why they installed a Badass, the honest answer would be - because Geddy has one on his bass, or Steve Harris uses one. Of course they'll say it's because of improved sustain and tone, and that may be true for a few. But I'd be willimg to bet that the overwhelming majority slapped the Badass on because their hero has one. When I was 17, that's why I did it.

    If you have a string through the body bass, in my opinion, the standard bridge should be more than enough.
  9. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    In my opinion, you will downgrade your bass.
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I cannot give the clips a good listen where I am at but I don't get why all the badass hate? I personally thought it added more high end zing and hours of sustain to my bass, I can hit a note and walk away to get a coffee and a smoke and the thing is still ringing. I think it did have a noticeable impact on my bass.

    I put it on my bass because I was trying out mods at the time, I suppose I did see Jeff Berlin mentioned on the site but I don't listen to him so I don't think I classify him as a hero.

    It certainly isn't for everyone, like the guy who like flats and mutes on their P's, but I do not see it as a waste of cash.
  11. I listened, and I have no pre-conceived notions of which is (or should be) better.

    I still preferred the sound of the Fender bridge myself.
  12. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
  13. How incredibly rude. He's not asking about whether he should put one on, he's stating that he has already put one on. In that context all the hate is pure hate without the excuse of keeping him from making what you see as a mistake.

    He's not even expressing a preference much less bashing Fender. All he asked was that you listen and express an opinion, which the haters could not be bothered to do.
  14. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I listened carefully and to me there is ABSOLUTELY no audible difference.

    An exercise like this is certainly worthwhile, but it brings into the equation the listener's desire. I think most would agree that if there is any difference, it is miniscule.

    When listening to these clips, if you want A to sound different than B, you probably will perceive that it does. I admit that based on past experience, I did not expect to hear a difference, but I did my best to set that aside and listen.

    So, since I have been honest with my pre-existing opinion, you can decide whether you agree with my opinion.

    If you hear any difference, I suggest you ask yourself these questions:

    - Does a bridge make as much difference as a slight change in playing technique?
    - Does a bridge make as much difference as a change in strings?
    - Does a bridge make as much difference as the changing age of the strings?
    - Does a bridge make as much difference as use of a pick vs. fingers?
    - Does a bridge make as much difference as where on the instrument the player hits the strings?
    - Does a bridge make as much difference as a change of pickups?
    - Does a bridge make as much difference as changing the pots or the capacitor?
    - Does a bridge make as much difference as the impedance of the pots (250K vs. 500K)?
    - Does a bridge make as much difference as the acoustics in the room?
    - Does a bridge make as much difference as the kind of amp?
    - Does a bridge make as much difference as the cab used with the amp?

    The point I'm trying to make is that it is likely that there are many things which have more impact on the sound than a bridge. This leaves it up to the individual whether they want to spend $100 or so on something that has minimal if any influence on the sound of the instrument.
  15. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    All very good points

    Anyways, just to let you know Ive been in your shoes as well. Ive always wanted to mod my bass w a badass just cause geddy lee used one.

    And fyi, I did listen to the clips. And to me, there was just a very very minimal difference in tone. But I highly doubt it is due to the badass. It could be well because of a change in pickup height like you said, or it could be the strength in which you hit the strings or the position in which you hit it.

    Why dont you try this test. Get some sleep. Ask a friend or sibling to play the clips for you while your eyes are away from the screen. Now ask yourself, which one is the badass? I have a feeling you wont have a clue
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Excellent idea - researchers would call this a blind test.
  17. pdusen


    Aug 18, 2004
    I really don't get all of the vitriol in this thread.
  18. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    I see no vitriol. Just opinions which is what the OP asked for. It seems the majority feel that The Bada$$ is seen purely as a cosmetic change. Me I have had them and and simply prefer the Stock bridge. I like Threaded saddle's for the slight adjustment they offer.
  19. Greevus


    Apr 15, 2009
    i got a couple of Fender P's with stock bridges, and I have few other std bridges on a few Roadstars.

    The BADASS sounded better to my ears. Of course Geddy and Steve do sound freaking great to my ears. the BADASS was richer, deeper. just like the old Ibby gold high masses kick those std Fenders.

    To each his own. The Standards give the real Fenders that SOMETHING in the mids that cuts through. They are really great and this is purely a matter of taste.

    i do hear the deeper, richness of the high mass bridges, esp ones with more screws into the body
    Attym likes this.
  20. Wow, this thread really developed while I was away from the computer, but I am not sure I like where it's going, but thanks for the input everyone!

    Now let me chime in:
    1. I put the Badass bridge on the bass not because I am a Geddy Lee fan (although I had a GL Jazz bass briefly, it was a good bass, but mine was awfully heavy). I just prefer it to the Fender design bridge. Only because Fender designed this bridge in the beginning and people were using it forever doesn't always imply that it's a better design. FYI, Fender also designed bridges on G&L and Musicman basses and those are great designs, probably even superior to a Badass bridge.

    2. I never use the string through option on Fender Am Std because I prefer the strings through bridge option (I could do that with the old bridge). To me it sounds better this way. YMMV of course...The string through body never brought out any sturdiness that I could notice. Actually, with the Badass bridge the bass does feel more sturdy.

    3. The Badass does change the sound of the bass (to some of you the difference may be subtle, but to me it's pretty obvious) but I wouldn't say that the difference is huge. It's only a matter of preference.

    4. I have also read those stories where people had to shim the neck to get the low action with the Badass (and Gotoh 201 as well) but I have replaced bridges on two basses with the Badass bridge and I didn't even have to adjust it : I can easily get low action, if not lower than it used to be. Believe it or not... And you can get all the spacing adjustments you want, especially if you get an ungrooved bridge.

    It seems like a lot of people are biased (nothing sounds better on a Fender than...): if nothing sounded better or different, bass players wouldn't be replacing a stock bridge to get a different sound or a different character. In the samples that I have provided, I can hear a difference. Does it justify a $100 upgrade? To me - yes. To someone else - it's up to you to decide.