#1
Hey guys,
So I have constructed my own Steve Harris "Tribute" bass. Basically a Squier body with an aftermarket maple fretboard neck, Steve Harris Sig pickups and strings, but I am still using the Squier bridge.

My question is does it make a big difference in sound by upgrading to a Badass bridge?

If so, then what do you guys recommend? If I can get a Leo Quan, do that, or is there an alternative that is just as acceptable and more readily made and possibly more affordable? Also what's up with bridge saddles that don't have grooves for the strings? I assume you cut them yourself but is that a good idea? I would think a professionally cut saddle would be better. Anyone ever used any of the bridge alternatives?

Thanks
#2
Waste of money, IMHO. I never felt like I got much, if any, tonal improvement out of a replacement bridge, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the stock Squier bridge.

Plus, depending on which aftermarket bridge you buy, you likely will have to drill additional holes in the body because the mounting holes in the aftermarket bridge may not line up with the ones in the body.

Then there will be the discovery that the new bridge doesn't add any dollar value to the bass if and when you try and sell it.

So, no, and no, and no. Unless you just have a lot of discretionary income burning a hole in your pocket.

A set of premium strings on the stock bridge will likely sound better than cheap strings on a Badass bridge. Just my $.02 worth and YMMV.
#3
I have owned Fender basses with the standard bridge and with the bad ass II bridge. My 2 cents:

1) There is a noticeable improvement in sustain with the bad ass
2) The bad ass bridge saddles, by design, cannot slide or move apart from each other from side to side. This is also true of many after-market bridges. Fender bridge saddles can and will move - this is a pet-peeve of mine and I've always wondered why Fender hasn't addressed it. Leo Fender himself changed the bridge design on the MusicMan basses in order to correct this - adding metal "posts" on the outside edges to prevent saddles from moving

There are other after-market bridges such as the Hipshot "A" style, where a special version is made to fit the standard Fender screw mount holes.
#4
There was a big difference for me when I put a high mass bridge on my Mexi P-Bass.

Badass bridges are no longer made and overpriced when one shows up for sale. There is a bridge called the Omega Bass now that uses the same design. If you want more sustain and a fuller sound most high mass bridges will sound about the same.

https://www.allparts.com/BB-3350-010-4-String-Omega-Bass-Bridge_p_5231.html
#5
Sparkopath
Well, the Badass II is a direct replacement for the standard 5-screw Fender tailpiece and it also allows a bit more saddle travel if you do have a slighty mis-placed bridge.
However, I've realised that the Badass doesn't quite seem to work for me; I had one on a Ricky and it never quite sounded right; I replaced it with one of the Hipshot Ricky bridges and the bass came alive!
I then put it on a cheap-ish one-off bass, where I couldn't adjust the string length (see above not about mis-placed bridge!) and it let me get the required adjustment. However, it killed the sound, so I put back the stock Fender-style bridge.
I'm now playing around with a Squier P-bass and I've put it on that; guess what? It killed the sound.
I think that one issue is that they can be difficult to get flush to the surface of the guitar, eg. if there are any imperfections or if they sit on the earth wire routed under the bridge, but with the Squier I am certain that it was flat before I put the screws in.
I'm going to try refitting it again and also checking out the string grooves, to see if they're right.
It's a shame, really, as it is a nice chunk of metal.
It may be that you do indeed need a professional guitar tech, rather than an enthusiastic amateur to set the Badass up.
Allparts (Omega) and Hipshot (Kickass) make replicas now; I met an Allparts rep at a guitar show and he said that Leo Quan had passed away and the company had ceased trading.
(Incidentally, I think the Badass I was taller than the stock Fender bridge and required the body routing out to fit it; the Badass II has the same height, but it is longer.)
Last edited by prowla at Nov 14, 2016,