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How easy is changing a bridge?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MatticusMania, Sep 23, 2008.


  1. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Hey, so here's mt first post...
    I have a Squier P/J combo bass and I'm thinking fo swapping my bridge out for a Badass II. Thusly, my question is, how easy is installing a new bridge? Is this something I should have a tech do, or is it simple enough that someone with decent craftsmanship skills can do? I can (and have) done a few basic mods such as changing pick-ups and was curious as to whether or not I could do this on my own. If you recommend I take it to a tech, could you give me a ballpark estimate of what it might cost to have this done? Thanks in advance, I really appreciate your responses.
     
  2. magickbass

    magickbass Guest

    May 24, 2008
    Question 1: Did the Badass II come grooved or do you have to file them yourself?
    If the answer is yes, it is already grooved then installing it will be simple. If not, I would recommend taking it to a luthier. Either way, you will need to do a setup on the bass after the new bridge is on it and a luthier will be letter for this.

    My luthier charges $10 to put on a bridge that is already grooved and the setup is $35. So, $45 dollars to make sure everything is done right and plays right after.
     
  3. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    In my case, mine was ungrooved. I took it in.

    There was more work to it, the holes didn't line up exactly, so they had to fill and re-drill. Nothing major, but it all adds up. Total was around $75 for the install, and another $70 for the setup. :meh:

    At the time I wasn't comfortable doing a lot of work myself, so it was worth it to me to have it done right. Nowdays, I'd probably just do it myself.

    -Mark
     
  4. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Thats kind of what I was wondering. It makes plenty of sense to have the bass set up after putting on the new bridge, I'm really wondering though if it wouldnt be too difficult to put the bridge on myself. I read some product reviews of the Badass II Bridge and some people had said they did it themselves, and didnt mention getting the bass set up afterwards. I also read a lot of reviews saying that they chose NOT to file in the grooves and that the strings would eventually dig a little groove over time on their own.

    Now, after paying $80 or so for the bridge, I'd like to keep the follow up costs down, so if I can put the bridge on easy enough I would rather do it myself (I've always been the DIY sort).

    mrokern: What kind of bass did you put the bridge on? Its my understanding that it should be an easy replacement on a Squier Bass.
     
  5. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    The BAII is supposed to be a drop-in replacement, so if you feel ok about unscrewing the old bridge and screwing in a new one, I suppose you wouldn't have much trouble actually installing it. But as the previous posters mentioned, the setup and the filing of the grooves are more complicated issues.
     
  6. kraigo

    kraigo

    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I wish I understood why the BadAss bridge was making a resurgence. The Gotoh 201 is a better bridge and cheaper to boot. On topic, I've grooved and installed a BadAss before, it's not that difficult.

    KO
     
  7. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Thanks mjolnir, I was thinking it would be a simple swap-in/swap-out replacement. And I would definitely want to get it set up afterwards.

    kraigo, i see the Gotoh 201 comes with stock fender mounting holes which would also make an easy replacement for my Squier I believe. The only reason my OQ concerned the Badass II is because I have heard alot of people comment on them. In your experience, does the Gotoh 201 really sound better than the Badass II? I really only started thinking about putting a new bridge on my bass today, and at half the cost, I am really interested in giving one a try.
     
  8. DutchDude

    DutchDude

    Sep 12, 2007
    I have a squier pj and I installed the gotoh 201 and it is good improvement, I don't know about the badass, but I didn't want to spend so much money on a bridge, but rather spend it on better tuners or something.
     
  9. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Thanks for the input DutchDude, I'm now considering going with a Gotoh 201.
    I just need to do some more research overall before making any decisions.
     
  10. kraigo

    kraigo

    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I'd expect the 201 and the BA to sound about the same. Check Warmoth.com. I have no commercial interest in them, but they've been about the best on the price. The 201 is a really nice bridge. I've used them twice and and am planning on a third.

    KO
     
  11. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Very cool, I was looking at the warmoth site after your first post, the 201 is only $30, another 5 if I decide to get it in black!
     
  12. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Having installed both the Gotoh 201 and the BAII in several of my basses, I'd have to say that I really think it comes down to which one you like better aesthetically. They're both higher mass, do the job a heavier bridge is supposed to do, but there really isn't a tonal difference between the two IMHO. I personally just like the look of the BAII better.
     
  13. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    I've read some reviews of people saying that the BAII has added a little color to their tone? I hear theres a slight boost in the mid/high range, anyone know if theres any validity behind this, or could it be a sort of "placebo" effect, where they might really just think that some color was added?

    You guys have been a lot of help, after what I've read here and from a number of reviews I think I'm going to go with the gotoh 201. Thanks alot everybody!

    ~Matt
     
  14. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Sounds like the placebo effect to me, I've never heard any real difference.
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF

    Dec 22, 2007
    New Westminster, BC
    Gotoh 201 all the way! Drop in replacement, no filing of slots, and you won't notice any sound difference.

    Replacing a bridge (unless the stock one is a total POS) always seems so unnecessary... kind of like buying a new car and then immediately swapping the battery and muffler with really expensive ones.
     
  16. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Thanks, I just put in my order for the 201 this morning.
     
  17. DutchDude

    DutchDude

    Sep 12, 2007
    Man, welcome to the club;)
     
  18. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Ok, so the UPS guy showed up on Wednesday with my bridge, pretty fast since I ordered it on Friday, but I was feeling lazy and didnt put it on. So last night as I'm watching the Vice Presidential Debate I figure I have an hour and a half to do the work. It seriously took me about 20 minutes to swap the new bridge out AND figure all the intonation and such. It's sounding GREAT! Thanks for all the help!
     
  19. peakdesign

    peakdesign

    Aug 25, 2008
    If the bridge is not a totally drop in equivalent to what you have (and in that case you might ask "why bother"?) I want to add that there are tricky details to warn beginners about. The height for one. I swapped a bridge only to find that I didn't measure quite right and I was running out of saddle adjustment: it couldn't go any lower, and I wanted a little reserve. I had to shim the neck. The exact centering is another. If you have to drill holes, do figure out something to really mark the spots where they should be, like modeling it with some pieces of twine, whatever it takes, because otherwise your strings might easily fall a mm or two higher up or lower down across the fingerboard. It's much harder to make new holes afterward 1 mm away than if you'd goofed by 1 cm, and something like your high string being 1 mm closer to the edge can make a huge difference in how the neck feels. And third, if the spacing is not precisely the same, you might have to compromise. So, yes, it's simple, but be very meticulous.
     
  20. NORAMACTIVE

    NORAMACTIVE

    Jul 27, 2008
    AGREED!
     

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