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Will these parts really make a difference?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by lavaxtris, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    I own an SX jazz bass (vintage series, before they changed the headstocks) and I'm pretty happy with it. I sanded down the neck to make it slimmer, and its very comfortable how it is... low action, great sound, and it feels solid, but I was thinking that there was a way I could make it even better.

    After page and page of forums stating good to great reviews on Fralin pups and Badass II bridges, I have to look into these replacement parts. Will they really make a difference? Or are most people saying that it does because they put new strings on after installation and only think that it makes a difference, but its really the strings that helped?

    I remain skeptical
  2. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    The BAII bridge does sound different. Any larger mass bridge essentially tends to add sustain and some lows. It does add sustain to the note, I think that you loose a little bit of attack to get that sustain however. A lighter weight bridge that has a bent plate usually adds some attack but gives up sustain. Either one can give you a different tone with the same strings, I know from experience.

    Pickups absolutely will change the way your bass sounds in a much more dramatic way.
  3. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    I use both items on nearly all my basses. The Fralin's will DEFINITELY make a noticeable difference,and they're a top-notch choice in p'ups. The Badass? Personally,I've found they only make a noticeable difference on basses with plywood and Lucite bodies or bodies made from soft wood with airy and open grain. These bodies tend to absorb/dampen string vibration resulting in a quicker decay of sustain..
  4. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    after talking about an upgrade, my friend threw the saying at me: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". What would your response to that be in this situation?
  5. Coming from spending years modifying and building custom hot rods and classic cars. Than transferring that need to tinker and tweak over to music gear. I say "Hog Wash!"

    Modifying things are a way to set you apart others, even if it is store bought over the counter parts. When your finished you get that nice sense of accomplishment.

    There is something that is common between the automotive world and music gear, it's expensive and the value of a dollar doesn't go very far.

    Pickup and string changes are the most drastic tone changers. Bridges are minor, some say they don't change the tone at all. I think they do.

    Lately I've been into re-wiring my passive basses with a series wiring. 3 of my 5 basses are wired in series, another has a series/parallel switch and the 5th is active. Perhaps a series/parallel switch would be up your alley.
  6. Heh, I think you are definitely on to something here.....

    Anyway, sure, quality pups may improve your sound. Unless you really like how it sounds already, in which case it may be a step in the wrong direction. Pups aren't magic -- they're just magnets and wire.
    Bridge? Meh.
  7. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    huge difference. and the bass will sound much different than it does. pups will be the biggest difference, the bridge will add clarity and sustain. mod away!

    you tube is full of before and after vids as well.
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    It will make a big difference. I got started in building and even making my own pickups because I used to mod all my basses and guitars.

    I get some SX instruments in for pickup and hardware upgrades. The stock pickups are surprisingly not bad, considering they probably cost about $1 or two.

    But the instruments always sound better with better electronics. And things like new tuners and a new bridge are worthy upgrades.

    The mass and material the bridge is made from does affect the tone. After all, that's where your strings are anchored. I've transformed the tone of basses by changing to bridge. Lately I like the light weight aluminum Hipshot bridges.

    I used to use Badass IIs back in the day. If you use a Badass that does not have the saddles slotted, you should bring it to someone to slot them, or learn to do it yourself.