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Put a High-mass bridge on my bass and took it off, immediately.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dbassmon, Mar 6, 2021.


  1. Dbassmon

    Dbassmon

    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    I recently bought a Player Precision. It is, in every way, an excellent example of what a Precision bass should sound like. The fit and finish are perfect. The hardware is not great but serviceable.

    I thought this thing sounds great; maybe a better bridge would make it sound even better.

    I bought a Fender High Mass replacement bridge, and much to my surprise, the sound changed a lot and not for the best.

    The high mass bridge made the bass sound more polite. It robbed a lot of attack, and although the notes sustained a bit better, it lost some soul and punch. Notes at the higher range lost their throatiness and personality.

    After one day, the new bridge is back in the packaging and the flimsy, bent metal plate bridge is back in action. As soon as I put the old one back on, the bass came alive again.

    I think what I learned is that sound of the bass is the sum of its parts. Part of the attack is the way the strings interact with the body when transmitted through the vintage-style bridge. There is some magic with the crappy bridge.

    Anybody else make alterations to an instrument thinking it would be an improvement, only to realize if it isn't broken, don't fix it?
     
    Cabrodante, wmmj, MonetBass and 66 others like this.
  2. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    I had a Bad Ass II on my Fender parts bass for 33 years. Then I restored it and put a bent plate bridge. No difference in tone.
     
    wmmj, 4StringMadness, murphy and 29 others like this.
  3. Lackey

    Lackey

    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Yeah this hi mass bridge stuff is a laugh. It only needs to have enough mass to resist the string tension, which is far less than a pound of brass.
     
    wmmj, TheAnalogKid, SJan3 and 20 others like this.
  4. Ostie

    Ostie

    Aug 1, 2018
    Mid MI
    Well, I guess high mass on the butt of the bass could counteract neck dive so a certain extent, but if it sounds like crap, what’s the point?
     
  5. shojii

    shojii

    Sep 7, 2011
    No offence, but I’m sure the placebo effect also has a role here. Check out the sound samples here with the VU representation of the sound..

    You’ll see that the sound waves of the Mi-Mass and Standard bridges are virtually identical.
     
    wmmj, J_Bass, leftybass54 and 26 others like this.
  6. jbrew73

    jbrew73

    Dec 24, 2006
    My Spector sounds great and exactly how it should sound with its high mass bridge. My Fender style bass sounds equality great with its vintage threaded saddle bent bridge. No design is inherently better than the other, sometimes it’s just what works for you.
     
    wmmj, GreyEagle, Mickey666 and 7 others like this.
  7. Shaggai

    Shaggai

    May 7, 2018
    New Jersey
    I was going to use the Hi Mass, but after I got it on there I was going to have to shim the neck to get the strings at a desirable height as the saddles were to the deck. Went back to a Highway One bridge.
     
    wmmj, GreyEagle, joebar and 5 others like this.
  8. Samatza

    Samatza

    Apr 15, 2019
    Australia
    I had similar results from a high mass bridge on my J Bass, we even went to the trouble of shimming the neck to get the action right.

    I found the same thing, it made the bass to polite and less attack. Mine had brass saddles, it may have been a different result with different saddle material but I went back to the stock bridge on that one.

     
    wmmj, Zbudah, SJan3 and 11 others like this.
  9. I’m not a high mass fan either. Fender does a great job on their standard bridge.
     
    wmmj, leftybass54, Mili and 5 others like this.
  10. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I have definitely experienced this. It sounds to me like you picked out a great bass with your Player Precision.

    Does your Player Precision have a really resonant, lighter weight body?

    I ask this because I once owned a Fullerton era ‘57 reissue P-Bass. It was certainly my magic bass. It’s body was very lightweight and resonant. It may have been the lightest weight P-Bass that I’ve owned. I replaced it’s stock bridge with a Badass-II and it made zero difference tonally. But I stuck with the Badass because it did help offset the neckdive that it had.
     
  11. Brookmichael

    Brookmichael

    Sep 25, 2012
    Anyone ever play a Traben?
     
    wmhill, Jefus and gebass6 like this.
  12. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Play your bass with whatever bridge you like.

    It's 2021. People have been upgrading Fenders for 70 years now. No need to start a forest fire.
    There are hundreds of threads debating "physics vs. appearance" or "conservation of energy vs. I like that one". Just do whatever you want.
     
    nightchef, bholder, Rafar and 22 others like this.

  13. My Fender Am Vintage Hot Rod P/J bass came with one of those and I couldn't get the action to where I like it, took it off put on a good 'ol vintage bent plate, didn't notice much if any of a difference except that I could now get the action right. I also don't like looking for allen wrenches to adjust action.
     
    SJan3 likes this.
  14. FirewalZ

    FirewalZ

    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    I use the Gotoh vintage style bridges, which are essentially better quality versions of the standard Fender bent bridge. I wouldn’t call them hi-mass but they are a bit heavier and more sturdy than the originals.
    Gotoh Standard Bass Bridge | stewmac.com
     
  15. SidNitzerglobin

    SidNitzerglobin

    Feb 12, 2019
    fROMOHIO
    Definitely different strokes territory IMO.

    The main difference I've noticed swapping a bridge is in the resonance through the body & neck. It can have a pretty profoundly positive effect on the experience of playing the instrument when I'm feeling the notes in good proportion to hearing them, but that's just me. Sometimes you pickup or lose some focus &/or clarity to the notes dependent on what what you're going from & to as well.

    I think saddle composition makes a bigger difference in actual tone than the bridge plate much of the time but have a lot broader experience of that w/ guitars than bass.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  16. redstrand

    redstrand Supporting Member

    May 18, 2007
    Saint Louis, MO
    Fool For Four Strings
    I don’t put a higher mass bridge on mine because it better, I like the bent plates equally as much as the babicz ones I have. Adjustability and comfort are what I need. Also no sharp edges are the biggest plus, if it fubars tone then it’s gone but I haven’t experienced that yet
     
  17. JPaulGeddy

    JPaulGeddy

    Sep 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    Just had a similar thing here, as far as taking it off immediately. Built a jazz copy, had a Hipshot kickass around. Overall, the bass was too heavy, so looked to cut weight wherever I could. Put in a bent-tin, and absolutely zero difference in (perceptible) tone or sustain. Still sustains like a beast. (Sustain is also wildly overrated in basses, but that's whole 'nother internet argument).
     
  18. I purchased a MIM Jazz Bass back in 06. The screws in the bridge saddles were of such poor tolerance that they slipped badly while playing. Within 4 songs one of the strings completely fretted out. I replaced the bridge with a Badass II and never regretted it. It’s still a great sounding bass.
     
    murphy, Bassjemii, Ellery and 2 others like this.
  19. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    I changed the bridge on my Mexican P bass to a higher mass (and more adjustment control) bridge. At the same time I added Geezer pickups. So I can't comment on the bridge changing the tone, but it did increase sustain, and have me more adjustment options.
     
    Dubious Aa likes this.
  20. dzcandemir

    dzcandemir

    Mar 1, 2011
    Dirty Jersey
    I feel the lighter bent metal bridge transfer vibrations to the body more efficiently. I had a high mass on my used precision and removed it immediately. My logic tells me a heavy piece of metal at the end of strings probably stops some things from flowing properly. Different strokes for different folks definitely applies here though.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 14, 2021

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