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Fender Replacement Bridge

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by JWC, May 19, 2001.

  1. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    Ok, sorry so many new posts at once, but I've been on "vacation" from talkbassin.
    This guy told me he had a new bridge put on his Fender Special (which is some kind of mix between P and Jazz I beleive). He said plucking and fretting becomes easier with it. Is this true. Does the bridge make that much difference. If so, how? And the bridge he got was called "BadAss2" and I forgot the maker.
  2. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    I dunno if a new bridge will affect the pluckin' and
    frettin'. Maybe after installation, he re-did the intonation
    and tweaked the truss rod or somethin' thereby makin'
    it more 'playable'...?
    (Leo Quan) Badass II's are great - massive sun' guns.
    Relatively cheap, got great sustain, and they're a drop-in
    for most Fenders - no drillin' required.
  3. Notduanes right - the bridge itself won't have an affect on tension or other "feel" issues associated with ease of play.

    He was just gassed to have a new toy in his hands!
  4. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I agree with other posts. The playability of the bass was probably easier due to adjustments to the truss rod, and bridge saddles.

    I've had a Badass II on my jazz bass since 1981, and it definitely enhanced the sustain and maybe added more highs.
  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Another option for a Fender replacement bridge that doesn't require drilling is the Gotoh 201. You can get it for $20 off of Warmoth, and you don't have to file string grooves on the saddle. Of course, it doesn't have as much mass as the BadAss, but that's the tradeoff you make.
  6. istaticl


    Nov 29, 2000
    Prescott, AZ
    What other benefits come from installing an upgraded bridge, besides sustain?

  7. A Gotoh 201 will (I think?) allow string-thru-body string mounting. Whether or not this is an advantage has yet to be proven to me. Sure does look cool though.

    It may also correct the somewhat imprecise Fender adjustments to saddle height and position. I have found the standard Fender bridges to be a little....cheap? looking. They don't seem to be very well engineered, and frankly, they haven't changed much since the 60s.

    If you have a bass that exhibits weak highs, a more massive bridge might help bring out some of the brightness that the bass is lacking.

    Sustain will probably be much improved by a more massive bridge.

    There's also the cool looks factor. A cast bridge just looks cooler than the bent sheet standard Fender bridge.

    I haven't changed either of my bridges because I am afraid of losing whatever it is that makes my basses so magical.

    Keep in mind that installing a larger, more massive bridge may rob the bass of some of its lows. I don't have Fender Frontline Volume #27 in front of me, but in there they mention that the heavier the bridge, the less lows the instrument will put out.

  8. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I agree with everything, but the Gotoh 201 does NOT allow for string-through-body.

  9. Thanks Duck. I wasn't sure. I think one of the replacement bridges that is bolt-on for a Fender does allow STB though.

    Like I said. I don't know if this is any advantage or not.

  10. If Fender is correct, that heavier bridges reduce lows, why do all high end basses have heavier bridges? I wonder why Fender went with a very heavy bridge on the RB5?
    If this is actually true, what keeps aftermarket bridge makers in business? After all, who wants to trade lows for highs? Not me.
  11. Well, I'm only an expert in my own mind, but if Fender said that, they are full of crap!

    The concept is quite easy to understand actually. A finite amount of energy is imparted to the string during plucking. That sets it to vibrating. From the point of pluck, the vibration will continually decrease until the string comes to a complete rest. Now, if one of the ends of the string is anchored to something that can, itself, be moved (bridge), then energy that would normally go towards string vibration is lost to the moving part. I don't mean moving in a sense that the part actually changes position, just that it vibrates at a rate similiar to the string. When this part absorbs energy, the string vibration will decay quicker. High mass bridges act on the principle of inertia. You know your elementary physics - objects at rest tend to stay at rest and object in motion tend to stay in motion.The higher the mass, the more resistant to movement by string vibration. So, it seems to me that if more energy is required to make a string vibrate at low frequencies then a high mass bridge will be of assistance in maintaining as much energy in the string as possible. The only caveat to this is that this only works with solid body guitars not hollow body instruments that are dependent on resonating components like soundboards or internal acoustics to make their unique sound. In these cases, I can see where a high mass bridge wouldn't let enough vibration into the instrument for acoustic amplification.

    Feel free to disagree.

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