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P bass: Add Badass II or Not?!?!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by slapstick13, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. slapstick13


    Feb 5, 2010
    I have a HWY 1 P bass(bought it off a tb'er, he installed a regular fender bridge) and Im thinking of getting a badass II and having my local luthier install it. I guess Im looking for more resonance and 'bounce' off the strings. I feel like everytime I play a bass at the music store(even just unplugged) every bass has more bounce off the strings.

    Ive also heard negative things about that badass II, like it chokes the strings and acts as too much of a buffer between strings and body. Any suggestions or similar experience?
  2. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    IME with this sort of thing - and it's fairly extensive - is that a BAII will slightly decrease lows, while adding upper mids and highs... The effect isn't huge, but it's definitely there... Personally, I wouldn't do it - I think you're better off trying different strings, or maybe changing pups - bridge changes are a waste of time and money, IMO/IME...

    - georgestrings
  3. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    I have two pbasses- one with a BAII and one without (the one with is actually a Highway One body that came with the BAII installed).

    I can't hear much of a difference in either pbass as far as the factors generally associated with different bridges go.

    I'm in no hurry to remove the BAII from that pbass (as many here suggest doing), nor would I have spent the 100 or so dollars to buy one and add it after the fact.

    This is what I can say without question about the BAII:

    1) it feels more comfortable under my hand if I play with a pick. The solid chunky feel is nice and solid compared to the bent steel bridge of the SB pbass.

    2) I like the look of it. It matches my Geddy Lee jazz, so that's fun. Not everybody likes the look of a big shiny bridge, but on my rather boring black basses, it kind of stands out.

    So there you have it- feel under hand and looks.
    I can't say a word about sustain, resonance, which notes are deeper, etc...

    Why? because I just don't hear it, honestly.

    And if there is a difference, to me it's so imperceptible that it's drowned out my many other factors- the first of which would be how my hands attack the strings.

    So in all, I'm not saying don't switch for the BAII if that's your desire, but don't expect it to transform your sound in some magical way either.

    Rock on.

    Attached Files:

  4. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I will tell my story again. About 10 years ago when I got back to playing music as a bassist I took my new MIM P bass to a local shop to have a BA put on it since I thought and read they were "the Mod" for getting my bass better sounding. The first shop a good one in the area guitar tech said Why? They don't add anything but weight. He said he would do it but I would find out it was a waste of money and the tone change would be slight if any and take away the Fender tone.

    I left there but went to another shop in my area that is a nationally known shop for repairs and finishes. The owner there which I knew some at the time told me the same story. Now, both shops had them on the wall and would charge me to install them this is their buisness, but both talked me out of them? That's all I needed to ever know about any BA bridges.
  5. slapstick13


    Feb 5, 2010
    Thanks for the advice! Just emailed the shop that Im gonna be bringing my bass to get setup at. Well see what they say about the badass. I havent gotten it setup in LONG time, several years. This could have a lot to do with why Im not happy with my tone.
  6. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Strings, amp, eq, pups setup, start there if you don't like your tone. A BA bridge will only change the thickness of your wallet.
  7. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I recently went thru changing a BAII for a Fender Vintage style bridge(with the threaded saddles) on both a '76 P Bass and an '06 Deluxe P Bass Special - and was basing my post on those experiences... Particularly with the '76, swapping out the BAII calmed down the sometimes harsh highs I'd get, and changed the overall voicing from being upper mid heavy to being lower mid heavy - not a huge difference, but definitely noticeable to me...

    - georgestrings
  8. bjabass


    Jan 10, 2011
    Mountain South
    Try new strings. (I am beginning to repeat myself on these threads but I still haven't bought in to the 'dead flats' fad yet.....)
  9. portlandguy


    Feb 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    DR sunbeams sound great on a P bass!
  10. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    I hear ya, George. And i'm not saying that a bridge swap can't make a difference, I just know that for the two pbasses I showed in that pic- there really isn't anything noticeable to me.

    And frankly, I like hardware upgrades for the most part. You'll also note in those pics that all three of those basses have hipshot string retainers on the headstocks. The GL jazz has hipshot tuning machines as well (the stock ones were junk). So I'm all about a hardware change if you think it'll get you where you want to be.

    But in slight contrast to what you've experienced, I'd say that it would be a waste of effort for me to change the bridges on either one of those pbasses as far as changing their sounds to MY ears goes.

    Of course I never wore proper hearing protection either, so maybe the differences are there and I just can't hear them- LOL.
  11. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    If you have a Highway 1, it came stock with a vintage style standard bridge (threaded saddle).. If you have a Highway One, it was factory equipped with a Badass II.

    If you are doing this in interest of restoring your bass to stock setup, it may be wasted effort, depending on which model you have.
  12. I think you only need strings.
  13. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    if you are going to be playing really fast with a pick or really forcefully fingerstyle, put the bad ass on
  14. BadAss Bridges are easier to intonate, allow your bass to produce more harmonically rich overtones and enhance sustain. Got a new one for sale? I'll take it! :ninja:
  15. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I've never understood all the antipathy toward BassAss bridges here on TalkBass. Both my Carvin LB70s wear a BassAss II bridge, and I love 'em! They've done only good things for my tone, attack and sustain. :smug:

  16. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    I tried both on the same bass, I mainly switched to the Badass II for helping with neck dive (7.7 lbs P bass !), but I switched to a standard Fender bridge not long after. Sounds way better to me, more thump, and a livier sound. Not a big difference, but enough for removing it from my bass.
  17. Meh, been there done that got the t shirt. Depends. Makes more of a difference on a light weight bass. Makes it a little brighter sounding. Looks cool. Not life-changing.
  18. How much for the Badass ii t shirt? I'll buy that too
  19. slapstick13


    Feb 5, 2010
    I DO play with a pick, in a punk band. So im not really concerned with maintaining a 'classic motown pbass tone'. But rather a midrange heavy grindy 'p bass with a pick' tone.
  20. Buy badass ii bridge in color of choice, have a luthier file the string slots and Do a full setup while they are at it, ENJOY!.

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