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Replacement bridge for Squier VM Jazz?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by t77mackie, Jun 13, 2012.


  1. t77mackie

    t77mackie

    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    I recently bought a Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass and I gotta say, I absolutely LOVE it! For the price of this brand new instrument it's outstanding. And it's got the TONE!

    I read in a couple places online people were complaining that the action was a tad high. However, going by John Carruthers' youtube videos on setting up a bass, the nut, bridge and truss specs were spot on out of the box. Regardless, I was able to adjust the truss and the bridge very easily to get super low action with minimal buzz.

    Anywho, my only complaint about this instrument is that since there are no 'tracks' for the bridge height adjustment screws to sit in, the low E saddle creeps up (towards the sky) after playing a bit. Not a major problem since there are no noticeable intonation problems when this happens. I fixed this by wrapping a wire tie around the saddles.

    My question is: What would be a good and fairly inexpensive bridge upgrade for my axe?

    -----

    Also, is it possible to purchase a 'replacement' neck from Fender for this instrument? I love the neck but I would like to get a lefty to have a reverse headstock.

    Thanx,

    -mac
     
  2. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Anyway... think about the existing lefty version of the VM Jazz (both '60s/3TS basswood body/rosewood fingerboard, and '70s/natural maple body/big blocks maple fingerboard).

    A replacement bridge is Leo Quann's BadAss II bridge, only if it's easier for you to find it (in the US) and not "pricey"

    I'm suggesting you Gotoh bridges, both 404SJ or 303SJ...

    Try and find your local distributor for them: they're worth your efforts

    Cheers,
    Wallace
     
  3. t77mackie

    t77mackie

    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    Well, it would probably cost about the same to get a whole lefty Squire VM J-bass as just a neck would... so I think I'm gonna concentrate on playing the thing instead of how it looks...

    -----

    Bridges: Wallace, I think you hit the nail on the head with the Gotoh.

    Gotoh = $60 - a respectable upgrade
    Hipshot Vintage = $78 - not much different than what I have now
    Hipshot FM1 = $95 - Looks beefy; possible choice
    Leo Quan II = $115 - Hipshot FM1 looks better; paying for name?
    Babicz Full Contact = $135 - 10 pounds of iron!

    Does anyone have any recommendations / comments / personal reviews about the aforementioned bridges? Is it really worth upgrading?

    Thanx guys!

    --- links to bridges in same order as above --

    http://www.allparts.com/Chrome-Gotoh-Bass-Bridge-p/bb-0356-010.htm

    http://store.hipshotproducts.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=209

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bridges,_tailpieces/Bass_bridges/Hipshot_4-String_Bass_Bridge.html

    http://www.allparts.com/Chrome-Leo-Quan-Badass-Bass-II-Bridge-p/bb-0335-010.htm

    http://www.allparts.com/Babicz-FCH-Jazz-and-Precision-Bass-Bridge-p/bb-3424-010.htm
     
  4. Doragon

    Doragon

    Sep 1, 2008
    San Jacinto, Ca
  5. Doragon

    Doragon

    Sep 1, 2008
    San Jacinto, Ca
  6. My friend says that the Badass II totally transformed his VM jazz. I never got to play it before he did the mods but I can tell you that it's currently one of the best jazz basses I've ever touched and I have played A LOT of jazz basses.
     
  7. I've installed three high mass bridges on other people's basses. Not MY idea - but they wanted it.

    No difference except that they walk a little lopsided because their wallets are lighter now.

    If a car repair customer came in and wanted his windshield painted, the only question I would ask was: "What color and how many coats?"

    Anyone ignorant enough to want his windshield painted deserved the Full Monty.
     
  8. Crabby

    Crabby

    Dec 22, 2004
    I upgraded my VM Squire with a BadassII and its worked out great. The stock bridge is junky and doesn't stay where its set. I love how the Badass is a direct replacement and totally reversable if you need to return the bass to factory stock at some point. Sound improvements are tough to describe but the bass sets up perfectly, intonates well and has tons of sustain. I am impressed so far!

    P1030861.jpg
     
  9. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Ok for bridges: it's now up to you.

    About the necks: for sure there are replacement makers out there. Mine got a Praha 21 fret Precision maple neck in the original Squier 20 fret big block place. So take a look to Praha Guitars website, but it's in the Czech Republjc I think you need something nearer, that's why I told ya I can't be "USwise" detailed on replacement. I forgot to state "replacement neck". Sorry my friend

    Again: surely you don't have to buy a lefty version to directly swap necks on your own.
    It's just that, on interchangeable average basses like those, usually retailer tend to store huge nembers of items for every purpose, selling or mutual "cannibalizing" (I dunno if I'm right: we talk like this here in Italy in "parts chasing" circumstances) maintenance. I'm serious. Sorry again if I wasn't clear man...

    Cheers,
    Wallace
     
  10. You are missing the point of the OP's original post! He has a specific reason he wants to change the bridge. It has nothing to do with mass, sustain, etc. but because the saddles move. He's looking for one with slots for the saddles to sit in to help eliminate movement. This is a fairly common issue with typical Fender style stamped bridges. That is why I recommended the bridge from BPR. It will do what he wants it to without emptying his wallet!
     
  11. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
  12. Point taken - but there have been many other posts about 'moving barrels' and some - including myself - don't see this as an issue.

    I have, only ONE bass - my cheapest-of-the-cheap Affinitys - that has the grooves to locate the height screws into alignment.

    100_7524.jpg

    But seriously unless one is swinging on the strings, hanging one's purse from them or sling-shotting candy to the audience with them, accidentally moving them out of normal plane seems like abuse of the instrument to me.
     
  13. vstring3

    vstring3

    Oct 30, 2009
    Connecticut
  14. The thing is, you don't need to get a whole new bridge to fix that, just get the Fender vintage style threaded saddles for a lot less money and hassle. When set up right, these saddles won't move either. Also they help with pickup pole/string alignment, if that matters to you.
     
  15. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    Was it an easy retrofit? Did you have to drill holes for it?
     
  16. vstring3

    vstring3

    Oct 30, 2009
    Connecticut
    Yes, it was easy. No need to re-drill, the holes line up.
     
  17. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Inactive

    Jan 20, 2011
    Dumb question: would an acoustic tailpiece type bridge work on an EBG? To what effect
     
  18. Bobster

    Bobster

    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Chuck,

    Do you mean a fixed bridge like is normally installed on an acoustic guitar?

    If so, it would mean that it's harder to adjust string height and intonation.

    That's all I can think of.

    Bob
     
  19. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Inactive

    Jan 20, 2011
    Yes that's what I mean. I wonder what impact it would have on the sound if only it could be positioned correctly or you'd have to compensate on finger positioning (fretless).
     

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