Worth getting a Badass II for MIM P-bass?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by twilightcall, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. twilightcall


    May 27, 2004
    I have been thinking about getting a Badass bridge for my P-Bass. For those that have done this mod is it worth it over the stock standard MIM bridge? Thanks.

  2. most that have done the mod will probably say that, Yes, it was worth it...but that doesn't necessarily mean they are being subjective...there is the old "I'm justifying my expenditure" factor to consider.

    I say this... I have a BAII on a P-bass... I think it is a quality bridge and is easy to adjust and intonate... I have a cheap Fender-like bridge on a Yamaha that works fine, but is a tad more difficult to intonate, but it works fine.

    If I had a choice, I'd pick a BAII...but is it worth changing out a Fender for a BAII??? Fore me, probably not unless I was going for a top-down upgrade.
  3. twilightcall


    May 27, 2004
    Thanks. I have read as much as possible in the past threads and I just wasn't sure. I looked as the hipshot which I meant to put into the title. I was mainly looking for more sustain but maybe in the end it isn't worth the $50. The MIM bridge just seems a little cheap that is all.
  4. It is a little cheap...but it works...

    IMO...if you want to put the money to really good use...do a little research and get yourself a couple of sets of quality strings to try out...

    when you're trying them...don't cut them at first, that way, if you don't like them you can sell them on e-bay (or here) and recoup a little bit of your investment.
  5. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Don't kid yourself. An upgrade to a high-quality bridge can make all the difference in the world to your sound. Depends on how discriminating you are regarding tone. The way I see it, unless I'm committed to achieving the best tone I can afford, I don't see the reason for me to pick up the instrument in the first place...

    I wouldn't recommend the Hipshot bridge. It's semi-hollow and made of some kind of aluminum alloy - not the best configuration for achieving a punchy attack & great sustain.

    Go for the BadAss. It's solid as can be. Can't go wrong there...

  6. Michael, a bridge may make a bit of difference...but, I'm telling you it isn't much...mass and density of the neck is crucial...next the mass of the body (density not quite as important)....next, the strings....next the pickups...next the bridge and nut...

    and then you have to factor in playing styles vs. action ...etc...

    If fender bridges are so aweful, why are there so many awesome sounding Fender basses out there?

    again, IMO, I repeat...$50 is better spent on finding the right strings than putting on a bridge...not that a BAII bridge isn't a worthy upgrade, it's just not as crucial...

    If I were buying a custom instrument, there is no way I'd have a Fender bridge installed over a BAII...but, first things first...
  7. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    Yah, just so long as nothing rattles on the bridge, it should be fine. If you want to get it, it's cool. It's always fun to get down in the instrument and work on things - makes it more personalized.

    Strings make a world of difference in the sound though.

    Had a similar experience with a Rickenbacker 4001: You know, they're famous for that clanky, metallic tone, esp. with roundwounds. They've got that big, massive looking metal brige and bridge plate, but when I had to pull the actual adjustable part of the bridge out for an adjustment - the part that raises and lowers, with the saddles on it - I found that with all that metal, the actual coupling was done with the height adjustment screws pushing down on bare wood beneath everything. All the rest of that nicely chromed metal is just a cover plate basically; the bridge doesn't even make contact like 'normal' with the underside against wood or metal; it's just two little 1/16" or so tips of those two screws (which were burrowing into the wood by the way).

    And yet the thing had that classic Rick clank all the way.

    So go for the bridge if you want; they're really nice, but if not, go for the strings.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ive changed out many a bridge, and I never notice one bit of difference in the sound.
  9. All the vintage jazz basses have pretty much the same bridge as your MIM fender and they sound great to me..
    I think it's more than just the bridge. But I'll still choose a BAII over the stock one.
  10. makaky


    Mar 26, 2004
    Montreal Canada
    First thing i changed, when i bought my old Jbass 15 years ago, is the bridge and the 4 keys.

    Fender basses( pre cbs) sound very good because of the wood, design.... The hardware is kinda sloppy but the qualily of the instrument compensate for it. adding better hardware makes those instument sound a bit better.

    The BAII has a huge plate that sits on the body which allow it to have a much better resonse to the vibration. The nut were the strings sits has also a nice plate.

    The Schaller keys have a better construction when compared to the old Fender vintage keys. I dont have to retune every 2 songs on live gigs.

  11. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    I have a P bass with a Badass II bridge and love the tone, it definatly helps.
    I recently bought a Fender Jazz fretless MIM and it's a great bass with a great action but it suffers from the age old problem of a dead spot at the 7th fret position on the G string. It's not a bad dead spot, just a lack of sustain. Do you think the Badass II will help cure this?
  12. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Cure it? Probably not. Compensate somewhat for it? It might. Certainly couldn't hurt. And it might just improve the overall tone of your instrument...

  13. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    They all have dead spots 7th pos., G string?
  14. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I must admit I don't quite get this bit. :confused:

    Surely the mass of any piece of wood (of a given shape and size) depends on the density? So how can the former be more important than the latter?

    EDIT Oh yeah... Badass bridges are fine by me, well made, solid, quality product. Once they're set everything stays put. As the bridge is where the strings are anchored to the bass I think solidity is important, and some cheaper Fender bridges (perhaps only on MIM basses, not totallly sure about this) do lack a little in this regard.
  15. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I beg to differ. I've had the experience of playing a decent bass that had a lousy bridge - then upgrading to a BA II and experiencing the dramatic improvement. The results speak for themselves...

    I'm not saying the stock Fender bridges sound bad, at least not all of them. Then again, maybe Fenders sound good in spite of their bridges - not because of them. Same thing goes for Rickenbackers. Some of them could sound even better...

    It's apples and oranges. A new bridge becomes a permanent component of your instrument. Strings must be replaced on a regular basis. Anyone who has to choose between upgrading the bridge and changing the strings probably can't afford to maintain the bass player lifestyle... :meh:

  16. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    I like my Gotoh bridge, which is extremely easy to intonate and set-up, unlike my MIM bridge which fell out of intonation and action. The sound improvement was subtle, but the extra attack and clarity was present, as I A/B'd the bridges with sound clips. Unfourtunatly, I lost them in a harddrive wipe. I'd go for Gotoh over Badass, simple because my ear can't notice a difference, and the Gotoh is $20-$40 cheaper.
  17. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I run the BA II on all my Fender bodies and I really like that bridge a lot. There can be a huge difference in tone and attack with a BA in comparison to a stock Fender. THe BA xomes with bridge pieces un-shaped. You or your luthier have to 'slot' the pieces. This is where the BA magic may or may not take place as you are determining the break angle of the string and also the width of the place where the angle breaks. If you get it ight, you get phenomenal sustain, a strong fndamental and lot's of over tones. Get it, not rght and you get something that is lifeless.

    Mine are all installed by one or the other of two extremely talented luthiers. So a BA II cost something like 50 or 60 bucks and the installation is another 40 or 50 bucks. It isn't cheap. It is however well worth the results if you go the whloe way! The BA is also extremely sensitive to string choice. You pretty much need to be settled on a particular string or at least string type (Round, half round, flat ...) when you slot the bridge pieces as that is one of the determining factors in how the slot is shaped. OK - so now you can add in another 40 bucks for a good set of strings...

    IMO the MIM Fenders are a great platform for modifications. Most of the ones I've played needed keys, a nut, fret dressing, pickups and bridges... and now we're talking the low end of USA made stuff BUT- it's customized to you and will knock the socks off most anything else that Fender has to offer. The downside is that nobody will buy it for what you have invested in it. If you're building it up to play it as a keeper. Go for it. If you're going to flip the bass down the road - you'll lose your shirt.

    Only two stock instruments in my house are the Tacoma Thunderchief ABG and an old Korg Synth. Well I guess my acoustic guitars is stock as well. Everything else is modded to hell and back. So I'm cleary in favor of modding but it can become a money pit ... just do it with both eyes open.

    And to net it out. BA II's flat out run rings around stock Fender bridges when installed correctly and with the appropriate string selection.

    Clips of Fender's with BA II's. Straight into Tascam 788 no DI, no eq, no compression, no nothin', not even chops :p These clips were designed to show off the tonality of the pickups installed prior to some swapping as opposed to me as a 'chop-smith'. Just so you're warned.

    Bill Lawrence P-46 PBass pup, D'Addario Half rounds, BA II on a 57 RI 'P' Fender body, 62 RI 'J' neck with ultralites. Click

    Fretless J, MIM R/W neck, Mity-Mite Alder body, Duncan SJB-1's, BA-II, D'Addario Chrome flats Click
  18. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Amen to that! I've got a MIM J that I bought before the prices went up. The only things that are original is the body and the pickguard screws. :) It is a killer bass but I'd be lucky to get 1/3 of what I've put into it if I wanted to get rid of it (I don't).

    What I've noticed about the BA is the way it makes the bass *feel*. I don't know if you could hear the differences in an A/B recording test but I think the BA does indeed give a bass a different vibe in terms of feel. Feels more "solid" to me, for lack of a better explanation.
  19. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    I had a MIM P-Bass and put a BA on it. It sure is worth it. The stock bridge is junk. The bad ass is much better as far as sound, saddle stability, intonation, and lets not forget looks.
    Go For it! I have Two SX Basses that I am going to put Bad Asses on.