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Replacement Bridges - What do you use and why?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tony G, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. Standard Fender Style

  2. Leo Quan Badass II

  3. Hipshot A style

  4. Hipshot B style

  5. Hipshot Vintage Style

  6. Gotoh

  7. Schaller

  8. Wilkinson

  9. other

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    New Poll with better options!

    I have had a Badass II bridge on my MIJ '75 Reissue Jazz for as long as I have owned the bass, which is about 7 years now. The shop I frequented back then pretty much told me to go with the BAII, and I said ok.

    Now, I am older, a tad more wiser, and a lot more ambitious. After reading all these BAII threads that have popped up recently, it has me thinking. I like the agressive attack the BAII gives me, with decent punch, but I want more. I want the punchiest god damned bass ever.... I want it full and round without getting boomy, but articulate and clean sounding.

    Now I have modified this bass over and over again, removing the finish from the back of the neck, doing some rear routing to add a 3 band Bartolini Preamp to go with the Bartolini pickups. But I haven't experimented with a bridge for many years.

    I know it won't make a tremendous difference in tone and feel, but to my hands and ears, it just might. I don't know if a high mass bridge is for me, or something more traditional. So help a fellow bassist out, and let me know what you use and why!

  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    sorry about the last poll... I didn't think it out well enough.
  3. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    sorry for deleting any posts in the last thread, but would you guys that voted mind giving a reason for your bridge choices?
  4. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Lineā„¢ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    my bridge choice depends on the circumstances:

    if you're looking to keep things as stock as possible,the BAII is the ticket. easy swap out. for the guy who mods on the side, this is the bridge to keep in stock as you can upgrade within an hour or so. all you need on-hand is a set of files and a screwdriver. you can also fix a load of neck alignment ills with one of these. to properly set-up, you must file the saddles correctly - the slot must be on the back side of the saddle so that the focal point is towards the neck ... same theory as a nut, just at the opposite end of the string.

    if you're open to adding a couple of 'hidden' holes, I really prefer the Hipshot Type A for its sound, usability, and looks. there's not much side-side movement, so you need to order these for the exact spacing you intend to use. depending on the preferred sound you need to choose between brass (bright, punchy) or alum (deep, solid old school)

    if you're open to adding even more holes - these being visable - include holes for the Type A thru-body stringing and ferrules.

    I have also used a Gotoh 206, and was pleasantly surprised with the results. loads of holes to drill, but super easy to make adjustments after installation. the sound was similar to a Hipshot Type A at a fraction of the cost.

    I have used Gotoh 201's before ... and I prefer the stock MIM Fender bridge instead. why waste time replacing the cheap MIM Fender with a bridge that is equally bad.

    All the best,

  5. I use the standard 70's style Fender bridge on my MIJ 75' Jazz Bass RI, I like the vintage look and I have no problems with the bridge at all. If I took the step to put a Leo Quan bridge on there, I might as well put Hipshot tuners with a d-tuner, and mess with the pickups and electronics. And after I am done with it, I could have put all that money into something else, because truthfully... you can do all of the extra stuff to it doesn't help the resale value one bit. IMO :D

    If I didn't want the vintage vibe, look, sound, feel... I would have went with something different. If I do anything outside of that other than upkeep on the bass, it would kill me to know that somewhere down the line I got carried away with it and ended up not liking the bass at all, and having to put more money into it to get it back to its original condition/state from the factory.

    I guess I am just weird like that, but thats my story and I'm sticken to it! :ninja:
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Why not just buy a bass that is what you want in the first place instead of modifying one that is not.

    I voted "Other".
  7. Budbear

    Budbear Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2004
    Staten Island, NYC
    I prefer the Hipshot Type B for Fender replacement. It drops right in with no need to make any permanent changes to the bass. You can get it either as a regular top load model or as a string-through model, in aluminum or brass, chrome, black or gold plated. Best of all, you don't have to file anything. The string slots are already there.
  8. I chose to replace my stock Fender bridge with a BAII. I find the looks of it more pleasing and well, more bad ass. It was a cheap upgrade ($45). I had trouble with the stock saddles sliding around when using a pick which was really annoying. The BA took care of that... "with a bullet". I don't think it made much of a difference tone-wise other than a slight "compression" of the mids... and that may just be me trying to hear a difference.
  9. Just whatever comes stock until my bridge GAS outweighs my amp GAS.
  10. BA II. Cheap, efficent, and depending on your situation, it gets the job done. Not for everyone, but I do enjoy mine very much.
  11. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    I've had this bass for a few years now and have grown very fond of it. I think it plays very well, and has the looks to match. This was more or less a project thing for me. kind of an experimental project. So far I think it has really turned out fantastic. It has never sounded better!

    And would you mind explaining your "other" bridge choice?
  12. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I've got a Gotoh 206 on my Warmoth. I do use it strung thru the body, & will echo what Rodent said about 'em. Thier screw pattern is pretty annoying. Lotsa screws & the foot print of it is kinda spread out... so if you wanted to replace it w/ something else, you're going to have exposed holes.

    Plus, the weight of it is significant. I know its important to have solid bridge, but I honestly think its heavier than a bad ass 2 or either hipshot. That's just subjective feel, I should probably look up the weight figures before I say so.
  13. X Wolf

    X Wolf Guest

    I voted for the Hipshot "A" bridge because I have them on two of my basses and IMHO they work very well. I love the way they look and they sound really good. I have the aluminum version which is light weight and sounded deeper and more open to me than the brass ones which to me sounded compressed and "modern" which was not what I was looking for. The aluminum "A" gave me the sound and look that I wanted, YMMV.

  14. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    That's the best reason to modify a bass IMO, for fun as a project.

    The only bass I've got where I replaced the stock bridge I removed a Badass II to replace it with a Smith IV bridge.
  15. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I really can't see the point of messing with the bridge on a solid body. It's just an intonation point--it just holds the strings in place. I like bridges with easy changing string slots, like the hipshots, but otherwise, what's the big deal? The sound of a solid body comes almost entirely from the pickups--the bridge can't add sustain or anything else. IMHO it's one of the least important parts of a bass. As long as it's intonated and the height/radius feels right, you're fine with whatever.

    I had a badass II on my old p-bass for yars. Kept trying to tell myself it made a difference. I took it off and went back to stock, and it sounded exactly the same. I suppose the brweak angle maters, and if there isn;'t enough tension on the saddle it could be bad. But the old fender style bridge works fine in that regard
  16. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006

    Interesting take on this. I'm not sure I agree, but I think I see where you are coming from. I do feel that the mass of the bridge does play a part, albeit a small one.
  17. skewh


    Sep 5, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    I replaced the bridge on my Fretted MIM Jazz with a BadAss II, because when I bought it (used), the stock bridge was missing one of the saddle poles on the G side of the bridge. I must say that I noticed an increase in sustain, if not in the bass' fundamental lows, and I do find the saddles easier to work with. On my Fretless MIM Jazz was installed an older, Hipshot type-A bridge by the previous owner. I like this bridge very much, for the ease in shifting intonation and changing strings. Both bridges are very well made, and aesthetically pleasing.
  18. jrduer


    Jun 27, 2005
    Georgetown, TX
    I use the monorail that came stock on my BTB405.

  19. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    Sustain--it's all about stiffness, not mass or weight.

    Imagine a 2x4, laying on its wide side. Put a nail in both ends and run a string between the nails--string it to pitch. Now turn the 2x4 on its narrow side, drive a nail in either end, and string it to pitch. Viola--more sustain, because it's stiffer that way. Same weight, same mass. The thing that matters is the stiffness of the neck and body. The bridge just has nothing to do with that. People always think weight has something to do with sistain, but how can thhat be? All the bridge does is hold the string in place.

    I don't see how it can add frequencies either--I suppose it could shift the resonant frequency a tiny bit, but try this--lay the bass on it's back and pluck a note. Time the sustain. Now gently put a five pound weight on the bass body, and pluck the note--bet it sounds almost exactly the same.

    That's my experience anyway--the bridge is not really very important. I'm sure other people hear differently. I'd just like to see the physics of the sound differeence explained
  20. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    Why dont you like the 201? It looks well built with more mass than a standard fender bridge. Anyone else want to shed any insight on the Gotoh 201 bridge?