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Is changing your bridge easy to do?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by gsummer, Apr 3, 2001.

  1. gsummer


    Feb 11, 2001
    I am thinking about upgrading my bridge on my Fender p-special, but I would like to know if it is something I could do myself since i don't have any experience with repairs/modifications. Is it pretty easy? Could I mess something up if I did it wrong?
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member


    Depends on the replacement bridge. The manufacturer/dealer can tell you if it's a direct replacement for what you have. If it isn't, we're talking about drilling new holes and possibly some routing. If they aren't drilled/routed perfectly, the new bridge will be at an angle and, odds are, you won't be a happy camper. For example, Carvin sells bass building kits, but the holes are pre-drilled.

    If you're good with tools and measures, (I'm not), I guess you can do it.
  3. Jake15


    Jan 17, 2001
    USA, PA
    I have to agree.It would be very difficult to get it just right. I suggest to get someone to do it for you unless you are very confident in yourself.
  4. gsummer


    Feb 11, 2001
    hmmmmm, ok. Sounds like I won't do it myself. If the bridge was the same size as the one I have it might not be hard though, right? I mean, if there is no drilling involved I might be able to do it ok? I am thinking about a badass II bridge or something like that.
  5. Steve Cat

    Steve Cat

    Mar 19, 2001
    I replaced the bridge om my MIM jazz with the badass II, and all I had to do was unscrew the old one and screw in a new one. Of course you have to reset your string height and intonation. One thing I did notice was that the E string is at the absolute bottom, so some might think I was a little high, probably around 4/32, but I don't want a buzzy E anyway. The rest are low enough. Also I did not cut any string grooves in the bridge as recommended, but it seems to work just fine for me.
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    gsummer - The holes are not the only thing you have to worry about. In fact, that is really the lesser issue. Some do-it-yourselfers have bought the Badass II, (a fine bridge that increases sustain), only to find that the the five hole mounts align perfectly with their basses BUT the strings don't line up right over the pole pieces. Lesson learned - they should have checked before buying on pole piece alignment with the bridge.
  7. Steve Cat

    Steve Cat

    Mar 19, 2001
    Well my pole pieces weren't all that perfectly aligned in the first place because the the Fender barrel and foot bridge pieces move around a little anyway( and maybe because my MIM pick guard wasn't precisely aligned). The way I installed it (i.e. without grooves) means the strings align exactly with the 4 holes in the end of the bridge. This works good enough for me. If you want to phart around a little it would not be that big of a deal to file/grind the little grooves recommended in the bridge pieces. If you can't live with the alignment as is (Precision Bass refers to the frets not the guitar, bwah hah hah). And you can't don't want to fool with the grooves. Just unscrew the badass and replace the original and try to sell the badass for 50 cents on the dollar--$20, and you are only out $20. The only reason I belabor this point is that my guess is that you would be very happy with the Badass II bridge.
  8. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Since your bass is a Fender, there are a few "drop-in" bridges available, which means you unscrew the old one and drop in the new one. A philip head screw driver is all you need. Many people like the badassII, but Gotoh makes one or two also. I put in a Gotoh 201 on my Jazz, because it has slots to keep the saddles in place. Took me ten minutes. Good luck!
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    With a direct replacement bridge, it's usually very easy. On a BadAss II you may want to file a slot on each saddle to "set" the strings, which really isn't that big a deal either.

    Some people are truly not mechanically inclined, if you're one of those people and think you'll screw this up, take it to a pro. No point in getting an ulcer over it ;)
  10. lildrgn


    Jul 11, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    here's a dumb question:

    Besides offering better sustain, what is the benefit to replacing a stock bridge with an aftermarket one?

    thanx in advance
  11. My '72 Rick 4001 has had a Badass II bridge fitted to it. Is this a Good Thing? Or a Bad Thing? Resale value is irrelevant, I'm talking about Sound.
  12. On the cheapy Fenders, the saddles can move side-side some on the bridge plate. I didn't like that. The Badass2 and the Gotoh 201 have slots so that the saddles don't slide from side to side. Granted it's not much, but I could notice it. On my Korean Jazz with the same bridge as my Mexi Jazz, the saddles don't move at all, probably cause it's older and the little allen-head set-screws have dug into the plate a little. I'm still going to eventually replace it with a Gotoh 201 for $20. Too cheap to pass up.

    As for the Rickenbacker question above, it's probably fine and dandy, although it does hurt the resell value. Could be better than the stock. Definitely more adjustable, although it doesn't have that cool foam muting adjustment like the original. (Which no one uses I'd assume.)

  13. dlp60


    Jan 26, 2001
    Hey gsummer, I did mine a little while back. Used a Badass II. Fit great. One trick I picked up from a local pro before I did it, if you are happy with your current set up, tape a piece of paper to a lower fret and allow it to lay on old bridge. push down on all the saddles so that it leaves an impression. pop the new bridge in and adjust so that the new saddles line up with the marks on the paper. you will have to file a ridge into the Badass, but that's easy.
    good luck! donn
  14. gsummer


    Feb 11, 2001
    Thanks for all the feedback guys. Hey, where do you think the best place to buy a badass II would be? or maybe a gotoh? Is ebay a good bet or should I just go to a guitar shop?
  15. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    After reading all these posts, I am interested in replacing the bridge on my Precision. Does Gotoh have a website? Where is a good place to find these parts on the web?
  16. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Hey, guess what? After about an hour of searching, I found my Gotoh bridges (among other brands) at www.warmoth.com. I am going to order it tomorrow.

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