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Jazz bass replacement bridge

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Ezmar, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    So, having done some searching, I've decided it's still worth it to get some individualized recommendations.

    So, long story short, my current stock fender bridge, while fine, has some nasty burrs on the saddles. While I could file them down, or just replace the saddles, I'm kind of in the mood for some snake oil, so I've been thinking of swapping it out for a new bridge. The Badass II is "the" aftermarket bass bridge, but from what I've gathered, you can spend much less money for a great bridge from Gotoh or even Fender. So if I can get hyped for something cheaper, that could save a fair bit of money.

    However, there are a number of options available, and I'm not exactly sure what the main difference is between them all. I'm mostly concerned with functionality, and ensuring that the string spacing will line up. Everything else will be for placebo effect, mostly. I'm thinking a high mass bridge, but really I'd just be satisfied with anything meatier than the stock bridge, since it's mostly between my ears anyway. Just looking for a nice solid piece of kit to personalize a little and hopefully help fix my little string breaking problem.

    As a short addendum, I also could stand to change the control plate, since the plating has started to peel. Would I be able to get a different finish on the hardware, like gold or half-black, or would it look kitschy (especially without changing the tuning machines)? For reference, it's a sunburst with a pearloid pickguard. I'm leaning towards playing it safe, but if anyone has any strong arguments, feel free.

    I hope you'll forgive the "help with this common question but for me in particular", and thanks in advance!
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
  3. 4sight

    4sight Supporting Member

    The Gotoh 201B-4 is a nice bridge. Very well made, solid without being too massive, and would be a drop in replacement.

    Ezmar likes this.
  4. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Pick what appeals your sense of asthetics. That's all thats really gonna change.
    Yes you can get replacement control plates, they are available in chrome, black and gold that I know of. I've even seen them made of pickguard material; I guess that's so you can break them just like you can on its older brother the P bass.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
    Ezmar likes this.
  5. briandavismurph

    briandavismurph Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    take a look a stratospherparts.com today I ordered a Kickass bridge [string spacing galore] and tortoise pick guard for my mim jazz, i have this bridge on my mim P bass and it's really nice. stratosphere has done a good job shipping quickly for me Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 3.38.18 PM.
    RyanOh and Ezmar like this.
  6. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    Yeah, I'm leaning towards the Gotoh, since it's not as enormous as Badass-styled bridges, but it's still enough of an increase to feel like there's a point to replacing it. (Not that there really is, but you know what I mean.)

    Plus, the geometry being similar to the stock fender will mean it won't feel too awkward to use.

    Now I need to decide on a color... :rollno:

    EDIT: Upon further investigation, it seems I may have something of an issue; My bridge is the 3-screw design that allows for through-body stringing, rather than top-load. Most of the aftermarket bridges I've seen have been top-load only, and don't utilize a 3-screw mounting system. While I like having the option of string-through, I mostly top-load anyway, but still, I don't know if this would create any compatibility issues...

    I guess the world is just conspiring to squash my dreams of wasting money on a replacement bridge.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  7. +1 gotoh 201. Just put one on my squier. I had a basic fender bridge, but proved problematic ; screws slipping, lying at weird angles , couldnt get my action right. So far this bridge has been great; stable and easy to adjust.

    Added bonus, sustain for days! I play a lot while unplugged, on the couch in the evenings ,and its so loud and beefy!

    I vote uniform hardware. I always buy chrome, cause otherwise id have to buy all black! ;)
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    This is what I put on my old 1972 Jazz Bass decades ago and it is still on the bass doing its thing just fine.

    Schaller 3D Bass Bridge.
  9. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Bang for the buck it’s hard to beat the Fender Pure Vintage bridge. Looks good works great and allows you to adjust your string spacing to taste.
    If you shop you can find them new for under $30.


    As for your control plate, get a nickel plated unit. It will have a slightly different cast to it but it’s hard to tell the difference unless you line all your plated parts up side by side. It’s softer so it less less prone to crackin/peeling than chrome, but all that means is it will take 175 years to wear through the plating instead of the 200 years it would take to wear through chrome.
  10. jbrew73


    Dec 24, 2006
    X2 for the fender threaded saddle bridge. Simple , effective, easy to adjust and to me makes a fender sound like a fender.

    If you are set on high mass that Gotoh looks really nice.
  11. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The Omega is an identical copy of the Badass II, I think they just bought the molds and tooling. It’s a nice bridge, but lots of other options these days. I wouldn’t let string through drive it, I can’t see any huge advantage to that anyway, unless it’s necesaary for string length . As you already know, any change in tone will be slim to none, so go for aesthetics and string spacing adjustability.
  12. claudel

    claudel Supporting Member

    I replaced a flat, bent metal 2 saddle string through with a Hipshot type "B" and it fit perfectly.

    Holes were in the right places and are the right size.

    Half hour to swap, including new setup.

    Either top-load or string thru...

    Not as massive as the BA, but that's what I wanted.
  13. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    Yeah, while I'd like the option to still be there, since I abandoned string-through because the strings were breaking - which was probably an issue with the saddles anyway - I'm mostly wary of getting a bridge not meant for it and suddenly discovering that the mounting screws don't match up. It's the sort of thing you can ask strangers on the internet a million times and have them all tell you "it should be fine" and then you try it yourself and everything is suddenly not fine.

    I may just go with the Fender High Mass Vintage. It's basically the same as my current bridge, which on the one hand is a little boring, but on the other hand, I don't really have any real problems with it anyway. I'm mostly just looking into upgrading the hardware in general with stuff that's shiny and new, aside from the tuners which are working just fine. I will also be getting a Hipshot string tree because I'm sick of the break angle on the A not quite being enough, and I've decided enough is enough with my volume pots; I gotta get linear tapers in there. So maybe I'll decide against swapping out the bridge in any case, at least right now. But some good suggestions here. Thanks, all.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.

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