Making a new string slot on Badass bridge for pole piece/string alignment ?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Clemouze, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France

    On my moded Geddy Lee bass, the E string is not very well aligned with the pickups polepieces, especially for the musicman style pickup.
    I noticed this E string lacks of attack, of high end with this pickup. Neither the other strings nor the same E strings on the jazz pickups have this issue.

    I know it's a debated subject, some will say the pole piece string alignment affect the tone, other that it's not the case. I'm waiting scientific evidences to be sure, because I don't know what is the aspect of the magnetic filed around and above the polepiece.

    BUT I still ask you : my idea is to drill a new slot on the E string saddle of my badass style bridge, to make the E string pass closer to the pole piece center.

    Any point of doing that ? Or it won't change anything ?

    Thanks for reading !
  2. Picton

    Picton Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    You can certainly do it. Use a rat tail file.

    But from the look of your photos, you’ll be taking that string out of its “natural” path, and it’ll probably have a tendency to “jump” back into the existing slot as you tune it to pitch. So you might need to file a super-deep slot to fix that, which will cause its own problems.

    Me, I’d just leave it alone. I think any problems you solve will be offset by the ones you cause.
    TomB, FronTowardEnemy and Zooberwerx like this.
  3. Not sure about shipping to Europe but you could get a set of these and adjust all you want.

    Sete of 4 Grooved Saddles for Omega Bass Bridge |

    The new slot you would need to make is going to be very close to the existing one and will be difficult to cut accurately and, as Picton said, the string could tend to jump back to the old groove.
    crucislancer and 96tbird like this.
  4. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    When cutting saddle slots, I’m more concerned about the alignment of the strings over the fretboard for optimum playability.

    From the pics posted, the strings are over quite a bit of the pole pieces of all three pickups. String alignment doesn’t look like a problem.
    EpicSoundtracks and sissy kathy like this.
  5. crucislancer

    crucislancer Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    This is the way to go, and have been meaning to pick up a set for my Geddy Lee Jazz. The BAII on my Nate Mendel P has grooved saddles that came with the bass, and it's easy to get everything lined up properly.
  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    that’s the stock fender badass copy?

    you’re kinda stuck, the saddle is already notched for the narrower spacing; to try and re-cut it in a slightly different spot would involve making the slot really deep to get past the notch that’s already there.

    i myself am all about having the strings line up right between the magnets on fender bass pickups but the difference is subtle at best. if anything, having the string over to one side where it’s right above one polepiece makes that string slightly hotter, not weaker.
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I wouldn't be terribly concerned about the alignment over the polepieces. What does bother me is the somewhat crowded string spacing and the extra fretboard real estate on the outboard of both the G & E strings...a multi-notched / adjustable saddle would be preferable IMO.

    Since I'm being picky, one more thing: Is the neck butted-up against the end of the pocket? There appears to be a decent sized gap and that is not a good thing. From the G&L playbook: with the strings tuned to pitch, slightly loosen the neck bolts in the hope the neck shifts downward / towards the bridge.

    EpicSoundtracks likes this.
  8. crucislancer

    crucislancer Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    That might be the black binding that you are seeing.
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Could optical delusion. If that's the case, please disregard.

  10. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    You used to be able to re-order those saddles...don't know if that's still the case. I ordered an entire set after my first experience "cutting" my own saddles.

    Hint: buy the saddles then send it off to the repair shop.
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    that's the fender copy, not an actual leo quan; not sure if quan saddles would fit.

    if they do you can get "omega" saddles from allparts, those are dead-on badass II copies.
  12. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France
    Hello all,
    Thank for you answers and sorry for the delay !

    Yes it's the stock Fender Badass II copy. I have to see what saddles I could use, and if I could find somthing which can be shipped in France for not too much.

    My concern is more about the fact that the string is close to the edge of the big musicman polepiece, and not close to his center. I have no issue with the string over the little jazz pole piece

    Yes it's the black binding !

    To summarize :
    • With the jazz pickups on , I've got the Geddy Jazz tone from each strings , and when I dig I've got this nice aggro tone.
    • With the musicman PASSIVE configuration , the E string doesn't sound as clear as the other strings ( and the pickup is already pretty low, and if I raise it I'v got distorted E string like it's hiting the polepiece ( I play with a heavy right hand )
    • With the musicman ACTIVE ( OBP-1) configuration , I've got a simili modulus flea bass tone from other strings when I dig , but the E string lacks attack . From G to E it's like : CLING , CLING, CLING , DUM.
    • With the jazz ACTIVE configuration , I've got a super glassy Geddy tone with no issue
    Maybe it's just my right hand technique or the "normal" tone of a MM style pickup ..
  13. EpicSoundtracks


    Mar 10, 2006
    Oakland, CA
    Lollar Pickups, Ernie Ball strings
    raise the MM pickup slightly on the bass side?
  14. Since the new groove on the saddle would be to close to the old one... i wouldnt do that...Even when your concern is reasonable..
    Thats why i always use closed pups with bar pole pieces
  15. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    That’s totally fine; if that string is anywhere over that big polepiece it’s getting picked up.

    Also, MM pickups have a lot of pull, so they’re supposed to sit further away from the strings especially on the bass side. This has the side effect of making polepiece spacing less critical, there’s less output difference between one string and the next.
    EpicSoundtracks likes this.
  16. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France
    When I do that the E string seems to hit the polepiece, or at least it has the same sound that this. A bad KLANG overdiven

    My MM pickup, which is a Seymour Duncan SMB4D, is already far from the strings I think. I will measure that.
    I already had to cut some foam to allow the pickup to be lower
    EpicSoundtracks and Zoobiedood like this.
  17. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France
    My seymour duncan SMB4D is at 6 mm from the E string and at 5,5 mm from the G string
    ( from the top of the black plastic cover to the bottom of the string )

    Yesterday I did a rehearsal at high volume ( not bedroom nor headspeaker ) and the strings tones were more even to my ears