Fender Vintage Bass Bridge vs. Hipshot Vintage Bass Bridge

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Ryan Mohr, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Basically, I am looking for the vintage "bent-plate" bridge design found on Fender P and J Basses in the '60s and '70s. Those bridges don't interfere and brighten up the tone the way a BadAss bridge does. They also allow the tone of the wood to shine through. But, I want a quality, sturdy bridge that won't break or be a point of weakness. It looks like these two bridges are the best quality without sacrificing the vintage design.

    The Hipshot is used on the Nordstrand "Nordy" Basses. It can be seen here http://www.guitarpartsresource.com/images/large/5C400C.jpg

    The Fender is used on the Fender American Vintage '57 and '62 Precision Basses and '62 Jazz Bass. It can be seen here http://www.guitarpartsresource.com/images/large/099-0804-100.jpg

    I am leaning towards the Hipshot because you can change strings quickly and adjustments seem easier. On the Fender, you can't use an allen wrench for saddle height adjustments. However, the Fender is cheaper. What do you guys think?
  2. Go with the Hipshot vintage. It's got a slightly different bent plate look than the normal Fender standard bridges. It's more robust and less rattley. Rattley. Totally a new word. Trademarked.

    staurosjohn likes this.
  3. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Yeah it seems a little more sturdy than the Fender. How is the bent plate different?
  4. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I have the vintage on my P basses and like it alot. It is sturdy and solid. The threaded saddles allow you to move the strings some and i prefer the small slotted screwdriver setscrews over allen keys type anyday. I also like classic Fender look.
    Lownote38 likes this.
  5. Sub5ound

    Sub5ound Inactive

    Sep 6, 2008
    Catskills, New York
    I am currently looking into getting brass saddles for my 50's P bass(threaded). Alot of Telecaster guitar palyers I know do this to take away some of the brightness inherent of the guitars design. Though it is a different design bridge, I think saddles would be a good avenue for you to explore.
  6. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    The threaded saddles do look cool, but for someone who doesnt have screwdrivers that small it's a pain.
    Interesting, I didn't think about the brass saddles affecting the tone.
  7. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    I've owned and played many many Fender basses over the years and have never experienced the standard Fender bass bridge as prone to breakage or a point of weakness. NOTE: this is not a challenge, only a query into opinions/experience -- is the Fender bridge "bad," or just "not as good as it could be"?

    Sure, it's not as heavy as some, but never in my experience has it been anything but reliable. The only rattling I've experienced was when the height adjustment screws were improperly adjusted leaving one screw out of contact with the base plate.

    I have used the Hipshot "B-Type" bridge as a replacement on my P-style Danelectro Rumor basses. These bridges drop into Fenders without alteration and have a similar profile, but they are more of a departure from the bent-metal Fender bridges, approximating the G&L "saddlelock" style. These worked very well for improving the attack and sustain of these cheap plywood basses.
    Artie2 likes this.
  8. Blah114


    Feb 7, 2008
    I have a Precision with a Hipshot on it.. the sustain is amazing and it appears to be a very sturdy, well-made piece of equipment. If you are into "collectability" I would suggest sticking with Fender's hardware.. otherwise, I would say go with Hip Shot..
  9. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I've been enjoying my axes with the basic Fender bridge - they play and sound the way I like.

    +1 slot head bridge adjust. I like it because I can tweak the action with the Swiss Army knife I always carry in my pocket. (I also keep 4 sizes of allen keys in my gig bag. I worry more about the allen heads stripping, especially the smallest ones.)

    I suggest, only go with the Hipshot if you prefer the look and/or will use the quick-change feature a lot.
  10. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    96tbird likes this.
  11. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Alright thanks for the opinions
  12. bhubb3rd

    bhubb3rd Gold Supporting Member

    May 27, 2006
    Bradenton, FL
    I have 6 of the Hipshot's on my Fenders. It's the first thing I do when I get one. I like the quick change string feature (prevents scratching the body every time you change strings and let's you take the strings off for maintenance without trying to force the tuner end of the string through a small hole) The adjustment screws seem better and the bridge base is slotted under each string saddle, so they stay in place when you adjust them and don't move side to side.
    One suggestion - if you are going to replace the Fender bridge with one of these, contact Hipshot and get a couple of longer intonation adjustment screws for the D & G strings. The standard screws aren't long enough to get the intonation right without screwing them all the way out.
    Garret Graves likes this.
  13. Thunderhead


    Apr 5, 2008
    Have you ever tried swapping any hardware between the two bridges?

    I have a 50's reissue P-Bass I'm thinking about getting the Hipshot for, but I like the fine-tunability the threaded saddles give me on the string spacing.

    In fact, I wonder if one could just swap the baseplates?
  14. bassgod76

    bassgod76 bass turd burglar

    Mar 13, 2003
    South Florida
    That's good to know. Does this rule apply to the Hipshot A style Fender drop-in bridge?
  15. NOVAX


    Feb 7, 2009
    I like the side to side ability of a threaded saddle.
    But, I also love my Badasses and Gotoh 201's so....
  16. freshbass


    Jul 17, 2004
    get the fender. it allows for adjusting string spacing.
  17. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Fender - makes guitars, basses and most if not all the parts that go into them. They do a decent job in terms of producing a functional instrument out-of-the-box. Bottom line is mass market profitability.

    Hipshot - specializes in making tuners and bridges for guitars and basses. No worries about compromises necessary to bring costs down for the instrument as a whole. Relies entirely on reputation for after-market components and supplying other instrument makers with specialty products. Think about what it takes to ensure profitability - just another bent plate isn't going to find a space in a competitive market.

    So what's the cooler name - Hipshot or Badass?
    CoolBassvibes, bmac314 and JGbassman like this.
  18. cocoune


    Jan 28, 2012
    Get the fender. Big difference in sound between the hipshot and fender bent plate. The hipshot is much heavier.
  19. We get it, you don't like it. What is the point of bumping all these threads to post your same disgust in all of them?

    Of course it will sound different, because it is different. Arguments can be made on how much, but changing out parts on a guitar will have that effect.
  20. I agree with Turnaround, I have 2 Great Fender American Deluxe V basses (1) "1998" Ash body/Maple neck with Pao-ferro FB and John Suhr electronics. (2) a 2009 Fender Am. Deluxe Alder body/Maple neck & FB.

    I've tried BadAss, Babicz, Hipshot A,B styles and vintage bridges. I finally landed on:

    Fender American Standard 5-String Bass Bridge, '08-'16, CHROME, 007-5128-000

    This High Mass Vintage Bridge was designed for Amer. deluxe basses from 2008 - 2016 including the Elite series. These sound the best IMHO; unplugged, through any amp and though my protools recordings w/o effects. Best Bridge in my opinion after 30 years of playing and modding basses. They come with the string-thru holes and brass saddles and are better priced than the other alternatives mentioned above. However if I had to pick and alternate it would only be the Hipshot vintage bridge. Its no coincidence that Mike Tobias uses them on his Saratoga basses for a Modern/Vintage-like tone.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 16, 2021

Share This Page