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Upgrading bridge in jazz bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Phat Ham, Nov 29, 2000.

  1. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I have a'94 MIM Squire Jazz that I am looking to upgrade. I'm gonna put new pups and a new bridge in it. The problem is I don't know what bridge to get. I've heard people recommend the Badass II and hipshot bridges a lot, and when I look at high end basses a lot of them come with hipshot bridges. Does anyone have any recommendations?
  2. A new hipshot bridge will run you at least a third of what your bass is worth new. Pickups will run another third. If you want a decent, adjustable, quality bridge try the Schallers. They have it all, look good and aren't necessarily an unusually strong link in a weak chain. I know I have been touting these things a lot recently but after buying two here in the last month or so, I am beginning to think that they have an edge against the others in value. They are also a "roller" design. That is the saddle is a slotted, round collar that is threaded on a horizontal screw. You can adjust the string spacing very easily with this design. That is something that a lot of the others can't boast. Also, a round saddle has very little contact with the string while holding it very firmly. That is a plus over bridges like the BadAss or BAII. If you want the best deal on a Schaller, check out ebay. I bought 2 new ones from a dealer there, saved over $15 a pop and have been quite satisfied. You will be too.
  3. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    About how much do the Schaller's run? I know hipshot's are pretty expensive, but badass II's are under $50, which I don't think is that bad.
  4. I put the Badass2 on my Mexi Jazz, and it's good, but I'm thinking about putting the Gotoh 201 on my Squier Jazz to try it out. Direct drop in, only $20. Pretty much the same as the original Squier and Mexi bridge, but with slots stamped into the baseplate for side-side stability. Worth looking into, I think.

    This page has both the Schaller and the Gotoh. Note that on the Schaller, you may have to drill some new holes? The Badass2 and Gotoh 201 have holes that line up with the existing Fender holes.


  5. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I installed a Gotoh 201 on my 77 Jazz last year after the stock one's holes wore out in the back. It is a direct replacement with no modifications needed and it won't break the bank at around 25 bucks. The Gotoh has a little more mass than the stock one which might add a little more sustain. Hope this helps
  6. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Allparts.com is a good place to look at and compare bridges. I upgraded to an ABM from Hipshot on my Lull, so I believe in the value of a good bridge. But check out Allparts--you'll see a wide range of bridges and will be able to conduct some price comparisons.
  7. The Schallers are between $35 (new from ebay dealers) and $57 (Stewart McDonald) shop around for your best price. Remember, all things being equal, the BadAsses don't offer string spacing adjustment. The Gotoh 201's are decent but are essentially a beefier version of the Fender stock bridge. The Gotoh 206's are probably the best of the Gotoh line but are designed for strings thru the body. None of the Gotoh's offer the ability to adjust string spacing. I also think the roller saddle is superior to others because it is absolutely smooth and doesn't put a weird angle on the strings.

    I am worried that someone would "wear out" the holes in a Gotoh bridge. That just doesn't seem right to me. A bridge should last the life of the instrument. I wonder what went wrong.
  8. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Hambone the E string hole on my original 77 Fender Jazz bass bridge is what wore out, I replaced it with the Gotoh, thats what I was trying to say.:) Sorry for the confusion!
    I was doing a fill in country gig last year put on some new Boomers and 3rd song in the string pulled through the hole. I thought it broke at first but closer inspection revealed the problem. I have never seen anything like that in my 23 years of playing either up until then.

    The Gotoh is just a better version of the stock Fender, Exactly!
  9. Funkster, I might have guessed that you were layin' down a monster of a funk line to pull the E through the bridge but if you were at a country gig that's sort of out of the question isn't it?

    It really doesn't surprise me to learn that one of the Fender "bent-tin" bridges failed in that manner. I don't criticize Fender for putting them on their basses - I just change'em as soon as I can.
  10. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    I just put a Gotoh 206 ($40 from Warmoth) on my Fender MIM Jazz last night. I had to drill some new holes but that only took a few minutes. Setup and intonation were painless. It sounds great, looks great and I know those saddles aren't going to slide around like they did on the stock bridge... The Gotoh 206 can be used as a standard bridge as well as string-through-body, and it does have limited ability to adjust string spacing. I'm loading the strings through the bridge, since the MIM Jazzes don't have strings through the body. It's got most of the features of more expensive bridges (Hipshot, ABM) at a fraction of the cost. I'm very happy with it.
  11. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    How much can string spacing be adjusted before you start altering the tonal response of the pickups. I thought the strings need to be centered over the poles of the pickups.
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    wow, a nine-year-old thread!

    yes, on fenders the strings should ride between each pair of magnets for the best response. it's not a night-and-day difference, but the attack is peakier when the string is over a pole vs. in between two.

    on a 2000 era MIM jazz, i think they still had the wrong-sized pickups. the newer ones are correctly sized and a big improvement, but (like any "real" jazz bass) require a bridge with wider than 19mm string-to-string spacing to line up right.
  13. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    What happens with p/u's that have covered poles like the Bartolini? How do you line those up, or does it matter?
  14. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    I have a Bad AssII on my '76 P-Bass. I naturally wanted to put one on my recent MIM Jazz bass, but everyplace seemed soldout. I instead put a Gotoh bridge on it and and new strings. I then had the setup done and it gets a really nice sound. It is now awesome for Slap Bass. So what is the point of my ranting? I suggest Gotoh if not a Bad AssII.
  15. SX lover

    SX lover

    Jun 14, 2009
    I have reason to believe that Leo Quan...is not making bass bridges anymore. No music stores has them,and they tell you that they are not getting any of his models in stock anymore.:rollno: So whats up with that??
  16. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    If you check the magnetic field in the area where the string pass through using EMG viewing tape held up against the pickup side of the strings for a "normal" set up distance, the magnetic field is a contiguous strip and not discrete pools. At that distance it doesn't really matter if the strings are not aligned between the poles.
  17. Hawkbone


    Mar 23, 2009
    I wonder if Fender bought out the Badass rights with a view to making it their standard bridge?
  18. ArgyleStrap


    Dec 7, 2009
    New Jersey.
    I wish they would. I dropped a Bad Ass II on my 2009 MIM Jazz, and it makes a great improvement on tone over the bent "vintage style" bridge.
  19. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    Mounted the Gotoh 201 after removing the Badass II. Wanted a warmer more "vintage" tone. Could not be happier. I was very surprised at the difference as I did not expect much.
  20. bassta


    Feb 16, 2010
    HI ppl, well I`m new over here . looking over the net I found this forum however(sorry If I misspelling) I used to have 9 y ago a american standard JB and back then I just ripped off the whole paint and customized it ;pick guard,body,potentiometers, after got released from the army sold it and till today I couldn't sleep at night ;) anyhow I bough a Chinese affordable squier affinity series "like they call it" which looks too american J bass , anyway I would like to find out If the bridge style I had on my real american standard J bass, (Strings-Thru-Body ) can be purchased separately . I `ve looking around but seems like though to find those as replacement..
    has anybody clue where shall I find it?


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