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New high-mass bridge = me happy!! :)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Hawk600, Apr 25, 2016.


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  1. Hawk600

    Hawk600

    Dec 19, 2015
    Nashua, NH
    It might not be new for most here but I just installed a Gotoh type bridge today on my 2016 MIM Fender P Bass and I could not believe how great was the improvement!
    Some say beefing up the bridge won't make difference but at least in my case I got a lot more sustain and D and G strings sound crystal clear! Not bad for less than $10 shipped!!!

    Important to note that I also peeled the ground wire about an inch exposing the core and connecting it in one of the bridge screws and I think that helped as well since I had just a little wire tip exposed pressed between the stock bridge and the bass finish, (really poor grounding system from Fender if you ask me), probably not making a good contact as it should and problem prone overtime. (I wish I had pictures from the bad grounding job)

    Sorry but I got so happy with the outcome that I had to share it here ;) I attached a picture comparing the Fender stock and the new bridge.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. I don't even look at a bass anymore, unless it's got a high mass bridge.

    KbD
     
  3. LoveThatBass

    LoveThatBass

    Jun 28, 2004
    I put the Gotoh 203-b On two basses (one my new Fender Standard Jazz with identical results so it is not just in your head.
     
  4. Hawk600

    Hawk600

    Dec 19, 2015
    Nashua, NH
    OK, just finished same upgrade on my jazz bass and found the same poor grounding job from Fender :( however I took a picture at this time.
    The results with the new high-mass bridge were the same as in the P bass, increased sustain, clearer notes across all strings and a bonus, the hum noise has decreased! I always had it present before since I ran 100% bridge volume and between 70 and 90% neck volume but after I increased the grounding the hum decreased signicantly!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  5. LoveThatBass

    LoveThatBass

    Jun 28, 2004
    I put a piece of copper shielding (slightly smaller than the bridge) under the bridge , pressed the area of the small recess down with a hole for the wire and soldered the wire to the copper foil in the recessed area. Overkill probably but I shouldn't ever have a problem with it
     
    rojo412 likes this.
  6. Mike_1978

    Mike_1978

    May 14, 2015
    Boston area
    Nice! Can I ask what is the advantage of a high-mass bridge?
     
  7. LoveThatBass

    LoveThatBass

    Jun 28, 2004
    Go back and read the second paragraph in his post and it explains your question
     
    Owen Bacon likes this.
  8. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Good question. There are definite disadvantages to a high mass, but they seem to be the current fave flavour.
     
    wcriley likes this.
  9. LoveThatBass

    LoveThatBass

    Jun 28, 2004
    Hi, please point them out so everyone gets a balanced view of the High Mass Bridge
     
  10. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    The bridge is a piece of hardware that can been seen as an mechanism that couples the string to the body of the instrument, or conversely as an mechanism that isolates the string from the body. Since we are talking about the energy of a vibrating string which is pretty small in the scheme of things, we are concerned about how the energy gets transmitted through the "system" to our ears as sound. Each part of the chain has its effect, including the bridge. Let's set aside the debate about how much the body, the neck, or the pickups contribute to the resulting sound (let alone the pots, the lead cord, the amp interface, the amp circuitry, the speakers, the room acoustics), the bridge is part of the chain.
    The best way (perhaps) to understand the effect of the bridge is to imagine the extremes. Let's start with a bridge of infinitely large mass. We have a finite amount of energy passing into (and out of) an infinite energy tank. Think of it as how you might deal with noisy next door neighbours. You might erect a concrete wall in place of your wooden fence. The concrete will isolate the sound more. And in fact it will reflect more of the sound back to it's origin rather than passing it into your yard.
    So it is with the high mass bridge. More of the energy will be retained in the string than that being passed to the body of the instrument. That means the string is losing less energy and will therefore continue to vibrate longer. Aha! More sustain.
    The flip side of this is that less energy is being passed to the body of the instrument. Without getting into the argument about how much the body of an electric instrument affects the resulting tone, we can say that less energy is passed to the body, whatever effect it may have will be diminished. And if an infinitely high mass bridge will pass little to no energy, an infinitely low mass one will pass close to all of the string energy to the body. Which also means less sustain, since more energy goes into the body, robbing it from the string.
    So, if you have any notion that the body or neck of the instrument affects the resultant sound of the instrument, you may chose to get the most from that, or conversely do everything possible to eliminate that influence. Truth is, most of us want something in between the extremes. So that means compromising to find the best balance to suit our individual taste. High mass, low mass -find the best balance for you. It's a matter of finding our own compromise.
     
    rojo412, frnjplayer and LoveThatBass like this.
  11. LoveThatBass

    LoveThatBass

    Jun 28, 2004
    Very good! And I hear you on not getting into certain discussions on how much the body etc effects. Myself, I have found a Gotoh 203 B bridge to be about right. I was surprised the vintage style bridge that came on the bass was of very good quality compared to the ones I have seen in the past on MIM's but I wanted just a little more sustain available when needed but not over the top. I have used and do have a BabicZ bridge but find it not better or worse than the Gotoh and the Gotoh is about 1/3 the cost. What I have found (and this may not be the reason) is my Fender Standard with a maple neck/fretboard and alder body is brighter sounding than my Fender FSR Standard (MIM) that has a maple neck/rosewood fretboard and alder body. Not a result of pickup differences as I have tried a set on the FSR and now have them on the Fender Standard Jazz (MIM). I like the clarity the Fender Standard brings. Anyway, thank you for your excellent input here.
     
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Whatever works. I went back from a Badass II to a srock bridge in my '75 jazz. No difference.
     

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