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Help me choose a bridge for my MIA Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Rock&Roll, May 1, 2003.


  1. Rock&Roll

    Rock&Roll

    Jul 21, 2002
    USA
    Howdy folks. I' picked up a new Jazz bass about a year ago. It's got the strings though the body bridge. I want to get a top-loading bridge to take some stress off the strings (promote longer string life).

    Here's the deal. I know most of you guys back the Badass bridges. I'm just going to simply say I will not consider them. But I do have it narrowed down to a couple of options.

    Option 1: Vintage style bass bridge from All Parts.com No brand name given, Part# BB 0355-001. This might be a wilkinson bridge. I am not sure. Has threaded rod type saddles like the vintage fender bridges. $18 looks like it is just as good a vintage fender piece. Picture here: [​IMG]

    Option 2: My friend who works for a guitar shop tells me I should get the vintage style Wilkinson 2 saddle. I believe wilkinson makes these 2 saddle bridges with a compensation capability so it should have more precision than your average 2 saddle. Picture here:[​IMG]

    My last consideration is buying an old Fender threaded rod saddle of ebay for like 60 bucks. Are there any other threaded rod saddle bridges out there? Are there any drawbacks with the considerations I have listed?

    Thanks
     
  2. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    I'm definately all for the vintage style one from AllParts. In fact I just got one from AllParts about a month ago (swapped my Jazz's gold hardware for chrome) and it is just as good as an original Fender bridge IMO.
    Like you, I don't like the Badass bridges at all.

    Edit: I just wanted to add that another good thing about the bridge with the threaded saddles is that you have more notches to choose from in order to line the strings up over the pickup's pole pieces (makes a big difference in the tone IMO), not to mention that the threaded saddle bridge just looks so right on a Fender.
     
  3. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    Ive got a MIM bridge laying around Id be willing to swap you for the MIA string thru bridge.
     
  4. geezer316

    geezer316

    Jan 26, 2003
    NEW HAVEN ,CT
    why do you exclude the best aftermarket direct bolt on bridge from your list of possibilities ? its by far one of if not the best bridge's avalible, did you have a bad experience w/ one? i put one on my p-bass special and could'nt be more happier. it does everything that it claims to do and then some. but its your bass so i hope you find what you're looking for:(
     
  5. Fishface

    Fishface

    Jul 26, 2002
    Denver, Colorado
    With the MIA bridges you can string through the top or the body. Just leave the bridge & string it through the top as in the vintage style. That's why Fender made them that way.
     
  6. Rock&Roll

    Rock&Roll

    Jul 21, 2002
    USA
    The stock MIA bridge does not come with an option, So don't know why you say it does. It is through the body only. I could get creative and drill the holes myself on my mill (not a drill press). Maybe older MIA's came with the option? Mine is probably 2001 or newer.

    But I instead got a original vintage Fender threaded saddle off of ebay. should be here later this week.

    Anyhow, thanks for the help guys. I appreciate your input. I might try that Allparts threaded saddle on my project bass;) .

    Thanks
     
  7. Fishface

    Fishface

    Jul 26, 2002
    Denver, Colorado
    I bought my Deluxe MIA Jazz in 2001 new & it strings throught the body or top loading. That is part of the Deluxe package (which I assumed you have, oops). The current Deluxe has that option, as well.

    Sorry for the confusion.
     
  8. Rock&Roll

    Rock&Roll

    Jul 21, 2002
    USA
    Ahh I see. I did not know that Deluxes had that. Yeah I got the standard MIA. Still a nice guitar :)

    I'm pondering purchasing an 80's japanese Jazz:meh:
     
  9. Fishface

    Fishface

    Jul 26, 2002
    Denver, Colorado
    Those are just as nice as the current MIA's from what i've heard.

    But... you know how rumors go.

    I have a 90's MIJ fretless Jazz that plays real nice. Considerably better than the MIM's.
     
  10. Rock&Roll

    Rock&Roll

    Jul 21, 2002
    USA
  11. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    Hey Rock, out of curiousity, why no BA?
     
  12. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    Well I learned something new today. I just pulled my 95 MIA J Deluxe out of the case and (like you said) the bridge is set up for either string thru or top load. Never noticed that before.

    I myself prefer string thru, but it makes one wonder why Fender couldnt have set up all MIA bridges for either stringing option. Couldnt have been that much harder to drill four(or five) extra holes.
     
  13. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Please share why you don't like Badass bridges. I've never heard anything negative and was considering getting one.
     
  14. Rock&Roll

    Rock&Roll

    Jul 21, 2002
    USA
    Well, I was lookin at the BA. Now it seems the word of mouth around the internet is that the BA is excellent hardware. I've not seen an online complaint about one.

    I ask the guys local, old and young (20's), and they say the BA is a massive POS. I personally know a local store owner whom I consulted with about one. Says he kindof cringes at the BA.

    I tend to trust these local guys more than the people on the internet scene for one reason--I know what kind of music they like. As well I know their musical skill level. And these two things allow me to have a good perspective about where their opinions come from.

    I'm 20 years old and I like 50's 60's and early 70's rock n roll (when rock n roll was truely rock n roll, not "Rock"). Some of my favorite bass players are JPJ, McCartney and Berry Oakley (Allman brothers band). So thus my tonal inclination is not towards the heavy metal and pop stuff like a lot of people play today. I like a nice fat warm and especially pure sound. The guys I talk to local are kindof in the same vane.

    I cant say my product choices are that simple and straight forward. But lets say I know a bit about vintage tone, and I'd like to keep it around. I ask questions about this stuff cause I'm trying to find out what is going to make me sound like Steve Vai or Korn. Then I stay away from it:D

    Now I'm not dogging what you guys like. I just know what I like, and that we all have our different musical preferences.

    Anyhow, one last perspective I can put on the BA is this. I play P-basses and Jazzes. Everyone is all over pre 1965 fender basses. They are supposedly superior to the stuff they make now (which makes sense since Cars are very much chincyer than the 1950s). These vintage dream instruments didn't come with a BA or any sort of 8lb heavy duty bridge. But they still sounded great with their average bridge made with screws, angle bent flat metal, and everyday threaded rod for saddles. I've been told before that it may seem that a lot of the best sounding music equipment from the vintage era was great because the manufactuer just used what was laying around.

    I know a lot of picky people. People might nitpick the slightest things like string feel, and pickup loudness output, and then get hasty and try to find some wonderous solution. "slap a badass on there the sustain will be great and the instrument will sound so much better!", they all say. I'll admit learning on a hard playing instrument is not exactly a good way to learn. But, speaking from experience, it really comes down to your ability to apply your mind, and to increase your ability to play.

    echoing what I said, I've been told that Jaco said when asked about all his equipment, "its all in the fingers"

    I think the hardest part is to "apply your mind" because that phrase makes it sound like work, when in fact it is not a process to sweat over. Just keep playing stuff that is slightly out of your grasp. You might suck at it for a month. But eventually you'll get the result you want. There are no shortcuts! And like what you are playing or practicing. If you are playing something that you dislike just becuase you think it'll make you a better player, you are wasting time. If you play stuff you thoroughly enjoy, eventually the music will just flow out of you. And for me this is where true musicianship hits, is when the music is flowing from within your soul. (I'm not crazy :p)

    I learned how to play on a Korean P-bass copy by JBplayer. Compared to the Jazzes I've played, this thing was stiff and hard, but I learned on it. I remember before I moved on to actuall fenders, I used to play that stiff thing with groove and soul, in spite of the instrument. At the time I was so used to that bass that I did not even think much about it being stiff. I played it well and that was what mattered to me. My main Fender Jazz is much more silky, but I still value the that old korean bass that I still strum on ocasionally.

    My bottom line is, no BA required. Hehe, I don't like active electronics either..........

    I think this is the best explanation i can give:)

    Now I know from seeing what goes on in forums that sometimes people get the feathers ruffled. None of what I've said is intented to establish myself as some uppity uppity accomplished musician (if any of it made sense). Nor is it to tear down some anything any of you on here do or use. My intentions are good I should say.

    Later,
    John
     
  15. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    John, thank you for the honest answer. I greatly appreciate your opinion, mostly because you weren't afraid to give it, but you did so in a polite way. Being 21, and liking BA's and active electronics, it's nice to see someone else who is not afraid to stand up for themselves.

    Rock On Rock and Roll!
    Stu
     
  16. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    I'm sure I'll be ridiculed for this but...I don't like the way it looks (but also the price is big factor). The threaded saddle bridge is a lot less bulky, a lot classier looking, only costs 1/4 the price of the BA, and does the job just as good.
    JMHO..
     
  17. being fender you are on a cusp
    BA is just a generic and very popular substitute bridge since it fits exactly..
    i have one and the original mia bridge...any i am happy with but the BA has given a bit more sustain to the A and the bottom end being P bass is always there.
    if i was going outland i would go for a bridge with slot in string anchorages....and i wont recommend any names its just that that seems a logical step in makeing string changing easier and allowing changes without having to unravel the tuner end of the string..if you are not throwing them away..
    i find the fender bridge i have does not set the string centres evenly enough in line with the polepieces
    the BA does because i cut the slots myself..another feature which can put some off having one...
    :)
     
  18. since this is exactly the question I had, I figured I'd just derail this thread (since the original writer had his question answered :)) Im open to any and all suggestions for a new bridge for my MIA jazz (96) standard. Im looking for more sustain and was just going to spring for the BA II ( A direct replacement if Im correct). Any other suggestions?
     
  19. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    This is where I suggest BAII and Rock-n-Roll says something else ;)