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MIM Jazz- faded finish and Badass/Fender bridge questions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RBrownBass, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I just got a MIM Jazz and have two questions about it.

    1) I would like to upgrade the bridge with a heavier model. Been looking at the Badass and Badass II, but it appears that the bases of these bridges are thicker than the standard Fender, and the saddles look higher, so string height may be a concern. Has anyone here had issues getting low action with this upgrade? Seems I read that Jeff Berlin once had a P-bass with this bridge and had to sink it 1/8" into the body. Would a heavier standard bridge (like what I might get from Allparts or WD Music) do just as well tonewise?

    I'm also going to upgrade the pups (the bass is a 1996- both pups hum even when vol balanced), and right now I'm leaning toward true single-coil pups (as opposed to split-coil J-style pups) to keep the traditional Jazz Bass sound. So... how much of a role does the standard Fender bridge play in the J sound? If I simply want to nail the J tone, would I be better off getting a bridge as close to the original as possible?

    2) The original owner of my bass had put stickers all over the body. The original Arctic White has darkened in the areas where there were no stickers but not so much where the stickers were placed. It looks okay from 10 feet or so, but inside that, it looks like cream/white patchwork. Anything I can do short of sanding and refinishing the whole body? Thanks in advance.
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    1. I upgraded my Fretless Jazz with a Badass II and haven't had the slightest problem.

    2. Nope, arctic white is a pain like that. Looks good when clean, gotta keep it that way.
  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Badass II is a direct replacement. You only have to file in string guides on the saddles as they don't come pre-cut.
  4. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Thanks for the replies so far. I went out and bought some 250 grit sandpaper that I used to remove the clearcoat and a small amount of finish- just enough to make the color uniform. Looks fine now, will look even better once I put a few coats of Krylon clear on it and get hold of a tort or "anodized" gold (plastic) pickguard (the original pg is a one-piece pg/control plate combo. I like the shape, but w/b/w looks cheap on all but a few colors, IMO).

    Still wondering about the bridge. Now that I know it'll have no effect on action, the only question remaining is whether to go with this option or replace the bridge with one that is more "Fender-y", with the stamped base and cylindrical saddles. Again, does the Badass make the bass sound significantly different from a regular Jazz? I know most folks here consider the Fender bridge to be less than stellar, but surely there's some different opinions on whether a high-mass bridge belongs on a bass if one wants that bass to sound like a vintage J.
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I don't think it'll change the sound but 'allegedly' you'll get more sustain. I have a MIM that I want to change the bridge as well. I may also put a maple neck on her too. The stock electronics are fine for me.
  6. konfishily


    Jan 24, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    The bridge isn't higher at all. It just may seem that way for whatever reason. Unlike the facotry installed bridges, the badass bridge doesn't shift back and forth, only up and down. There is no groove that the strings sit in, so string move somewhat freely, especially when you bend. I dont think it rattles as much either. It seemed to have that problem with the old bridge. It looks good too..afterall it is Badass.
  7. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    I had a MIM Fender jazz. I swapped out the stock bridge for a badass 2 and it made alot of difference. I also had the saddles notched out. If you are not familiar with this type of work I would suggest letting a luthier install the bridge properly. In hindsight I would have swapped out the pickups as well for noiseless had I kept the bass. I found the stock pickups really noisy. Asides from that it was a great bass!