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how big of a difference will a high quality bridge make

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bigbadbuck, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. bigbadbuck


    Jun 28, 2005
    southwest iowa
    i have an essex jazz bass that i put some seymour duncan quarter pounders in but it still has the thin little cheap bridge that came with it i just want to know how much difference say a badass or comparable bridge will make and in what ways will it affect the tone and playability of my bass.

    hope to hear a response
  2. kyral210


    Sep 14, 2007
    Well, when Fender redid their flagship American line, they swapped out their traditional thin bridge with a higher mass one, so I guess it must improve the tone. Also, allot of love is given to the Badass, which again is higher mass, so I would suggest going for it.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    May not make any difference at all.

  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto

    There has been lots of debate about this. The only point of agreement seems to be that there is a visual difference.
  5. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I've had badass II's, standard Fender bridges, Squier cheapos, and a few others. I'm of the opinion that bridges don't really do much for tone on an electric bass guitar. I felt the BAII did increase sustain a bit.

    The BAII is however a very precision bridge when it comes to setup. Doing a setup with the BAII as compared to a standard L-bracket type bridge was like night and day for me. They are super easy to work with, and dial in spot on intonation very quickly (at least on a quality axe).

    I still prefer a standard bridge though. It's worked for how many years?
  6. strke-fender


    Feb 26, 2009
    i have a bad ass II. got a good deal so i went for it.

    i think it added a little sustain sure, tonal wonders? certainly not.

    but a big +1 to the ease in set up. my bass played great after i put it on, and who says a great feeling bass wouldn't help your technique thus your tone???
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Just a sidenote..

    Mike Pedulla uses a high-mass bridge on his neck-thru basses but prefers the traditional "bent bridge" assemblies on his bolt-on models such as the Rapture. Here's his explanation from the website:

    "The Rapture has a machined brass "barrel" bridge which imparts the more traditional sound we wanted from a bolt on. (The more massive bridge we use on the neck-through-body models detracts from the high-end in a bolt-on.)"

    This does not necessarily apply to all situations but its interesting, nonetheless.

  8. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I like the Gotoh 201. Solid bridge, and about 1/2 the price of a BA. Not sure if it helps tone, but I think it does help the sustain on my Squier. Easy to adjust and intonate.

    Good Luck!
  9. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    The biggest difference will be felt in your wallet ;)
  10. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    I tend to agree with this. I've stopped replacing bridges a long time ago - just never felt or heard a difference other than an aesthetic one. That said, I've never tried a BAII but not interested really after a long line of similar hi-mass replacement bridges and not hearing any discernible differences. Traditional bent plates have always been found in the construction of both killer vintage (and modern) toned instruments that many players strive very hard to replicate. Some things just plain work, as-is. :)
  11. It's pretty simple. In my experience, if your bass is light(9 or less pounds) it may make the tone a little brighter. Heavier that that, you'll probably not hear any change. Heavy bridges definitely affect light basses more. But it's still a rather minor change.
  12. LaklandBass


    Jan 26, 2005
    Im kind of in the middle on this one. I just swapped out the cheapo bridge on a Yamaha RBX170 for a Gotoh201. I will say that I definitely heard an improvement of sustain over the stock bridge. Now the way I look at it there really isnt any difference between a Gotoh, Badass or any other quality bridge. Theres simply a difference between an acceptable product and complete garbage.

    Now the exception is if you are buying the badass for adjustability and build quality. If youre okay shelling out for that its all good. Just understand that your tone wont really improve unless youre coming off of a throw away bridge.

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