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Replacing a Mis-aligned Bridge?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Dee_01, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Dee_01


    May 19, 2007
    Is it advisable to replace a badly located Squier bridge with a Badass? The positioning is off by about 1.5mm, maybe 2mm. I was thinking of plugging or filling the existing holes, then re-drilling, although I'm not sure what the best way of doing it is.

    Help? :meh:
  2. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Sure it's the bridge, and not the neck?
  3. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    I did this on an old MIA P bass I had, worked fine:

    1. Buy some dowel and matching drill bit. Without seeing your holes I can't say what size, just make it about 3 times bigger than your existing screw holes.
    2. Buy, borrow, hire a drill press (hint, guitar tech always have these)
    3. I recommend putting some masking tape around the edges of the existing bridge (as a reference for where it was once it's off).
    4. Remove the bridge.
    5. Drill out existing screw holes with bit using drill press, make sure you do not go through the body, mark depth on drill bit with some tape or a marker.
    6. Cut dowel to same depth as you drilled (a bit longer is ok because you can trim them down (carefully) with a sharp chisel.
    7. Glue dowels into holes with PVA wood glue.
    8. Let dry.
    9. Position bridge where you want it using masking tape as a reference. You probably should also find the centerline with a straight edge by ruling down the edge of each side of the neck and with a pencil mark the lines near the bridge, then fine true center.
    10. once bridge is in position, get someone to hold it and either mark the holes with a sharp pencil or tape the center with a punch.
    11. remove bridge, using marks re-drill pilot holes.
    12. Screw bridge back on.
    13. Fin.
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Please check the neck alignment first. It's almost always a neck alignment issue if it's a bolt on.
  5. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
  6. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    A neck shim (side) is always a much easier fix than redrilling.
  7. Dee_01


    May 19, 2007
    I have checked for neck alignment already and I have pretty much ruled it out. The bridge is mis-aligned in relation to the bridge pickup, but the neck looks fine.

    @ Remo: That's a lot of work, but thanks for posting the info!
  8. gafbass02


    Nov 9, 2005
    cheltenham uk
    Funny my squier vmj 70s jazz also has a misaligned bridge in relation to the bridge pickup, i shoved an (also misaligned) badass on there, thankfully everything seems ok, no intonation issues etc.
  9. Dee_01


    May 19, 2007
    Glad to know I'm not the only one! I thought I was the only person who got a lemon. Also good to know there are no issues with yours. Now I'm in two minds whether or not to go spending any more money on this thing. It's a good bass but I'm a perfectionist, and a mis-aligned bridge is very unappealing. Hmmm...
  10. Koeda


    Aug 21, 2007
  11. hmm, I guess that's why they have notched saddles so you can move all the strings to counteract the shift :rollno:
  12. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    The multi-notched saddles on the BA III compensate for different string spacing. The original BA bridge saddles require slotting in the field. The saddles are not designed to correct a misalignment.
  13. decuchi2334


    Feb 4, 2008
    I bought some strips of basswood at a hobby store for 40 cents. They measured 5/32"x5/32"x24". Very easy to sand down to the size you need to fill the holes. I glue these in with wood glue, and cut them off flush with the body. It worked for me, and did not require any serious drilling.
  14. yeah but I bet you could in a pinch :p I just checked my MIA Jazz and it is dead center. Is centering and drilling the screw holes also part of the CNC routine or is that done by hand with a press, for anybody who knows the Fender production methods?
  15. when you glue in the piece of basswood, is the grain parallel to the grain in the body or the end grain is showing up from the hole.
    I would also think that basswood is too soft to give any kind of long lasting repair, I would use maple dowel or better maple wood plugs, and I would definitely redrill since you want a good clean area of contact for the glue
  16. Dee_01


    May 19, 2007
    I think the easiest solution is to fit a bridge that can cover the existing holes and make new ones. To be honest I think I will buy just a pretty cheap one. Anything's gotta be better than the standard Squier bridge.
  17. Absolutely. It's only a clone of a bridge that's been in use since the early 50's on millions of basses. Clearly not a good piece. :eyebrow:
  18. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    It's not an exact clone. It's probably made slightly differently, and from slightly different materials. I mean, ask a guitarist which is better: an original Floyd or a licensed Floyd. Supposedly, a licensed is bult to the same specs as an original, but it's not the same bridge by any means.
  19. I hear you Nick, but I'm not convinced there's any significant difference between one piece of metal bent 90 degrees and chromed and another piece of metal the same dimensions and weight bent 90 degrees and chromed. IMO the only real difference is that one's on an instrument labeled "Squier" on the headstock.

    Back in 1979 we used to occasionally get Chevy pickups at the dealership that had GMC emblems stuck on the side of the cab by mistake. It didn't make them GMC pickups. Same unit, different label.
  20. Dee_01


    May 19, 2007
    Well, I've been a guitarist for the last 28 years. Unless you're talking about the Ibanez Edge or Lo-Pro Edge, then I'd agree -- the original Floyd is usually better than a licensed one. However, from what I've read recently, original Floyd's aren't what they used to be, and Gotoh or Schaller are supposedly built better.

    Ibanez Edge is the best locking system I've used, so I stuck with it for the last 20 years or so.

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