Babicz Bass Bridge.............

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by soulman969, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,582
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Location:
    Englewood, CO
    This was discussed in another thread related to the Babicz Full Contact Telecaster Bridge but I thought it deserved some comment in the Bass Place Forum as well since this is where these bridges really shine.

    I've posted an email from a good friend who is a pro player and recording engineer about his experience with them which is what encouraged me to install them on my Jazz and Precision Basses.

    If anyone has been consider installing one on their bass hopefully this will answer some questions and lend some encouragement. I'm very pleased with the results I'm getting from installing them on mine.


    Originally Posted by soulman969 View Post
    Thanks for the tip on pricing.

    Let me just say that while I realize this thing will kinda ruin that "vintage look" if that's the type of bridge you have but I can't find any reason to reject it in favor of modern six saddle bridges or for a bass.

    From all that I can see the only real drawback is the high price but since my basses were bought right to begin with I have no problem treating them to upgraded bridges to go along with their upgraded pickups.



    Quoting myself here I know but I wanted to report back on the Babicz Bass Bridges. I managed to get lucky and pickup a couple for under $100 to install on my Jazz and Precision Basses and I can honestly say now from personal experience that what my friend commented on in his email to me is spot on.

    Hi Paul:

    I was doing a search for Babicz and turned up a current thread on TDPRI. Saw you posted, so thought I'd pass along a note on the subject.

    On bass, they absolutely kill. My brother has used them, too, replacing Hipshot and other units. Pricey, they are! Eminently better sustain, clarity and punch. Not subtle. You'd have to be a corpse not to notice. That's how I felt when I replaced the standard bridge on my Fretless Jazz Bass, anyway.

    In terms of the Teles, it's similarly positive on solid-bodies. I am really comfortable recommending them. On Thinlines, they contribute a thin, unpleasant characteristic. Underwhelming.


    They are definitely "difference makers" both in tonality and playability. Both basses have a "tauter" feel to them and the action is a whisper above the frets low with zero buzz. The aluminum bass plate and cams impart a brighter tonality with more punch. It's quite noticeable on both but even more so on the PBass with a set of old school LaBella flats.

    The install was a snap and though it took a few minutes to get used to the cam system adjustments after that the setup and intonation was a breeze. Once that's done you can lock everything into place and not have a need to redo it with every string change. I realize it's all a matter of personal preference but in this case Jeff Babicz has seemed to have "built the better mousetrap".
     
  2. Manolete

    Manolete Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,041
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    I set up a buddy's bass with one of these installed. It seemed overly complex, with many little grub screws.

    With any aftermarket bridge the backlash is fierce. There are those that will always flock back to the original bent bit o' tin design. Like the Badass II bridge, I think it is hard to accurately predict the outcome simply of swapping over. People will use attributes like 'stiffer' or 'colder', etc. For some people, and some basses, these bridges will not enhance a thing.

    I admire the Babicz design though; definitely a feat of engineering!
     
  3. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,582
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Location:
    Englewood, CO
    I think you're absolutely correct. While there are definite and noticeable audible sonic differences between the Babicz and the stock bridges on my basses not everyone will consider those gains to be beneficial to them. So I make no recommendations in that regard because we all hear differently but the increased clarity, sustain, and punch my friend mentions in his email are all very accurate descriptions of those differences.

    Once one gets their head around the adjustment screws I think they'll find as I did that it is the easiest bridge to set up they've ever played. There's only one adjustment screw on each cam. The other is the lock screw to keep the cam locked to where it was set. Intonation is set in the same manner as any other bridge and there is a second set of locking screws that mount in front to the cam housings so they won't move either.

    It took less than an hour to unstring the basses, remove the old bridge, mount the new one, restring, and do a setup. That part really amazed me because I was expecting things to be more complex as well.

    I had a chuckle over what I highlighted too. You're so right, and if wasn't for that I wouldn't have been able to buy the ones I did so inexpensively from others who may have done just that. LOL
     
  4. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    72
    Posts:
    4,506
    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    My 2015 SG Standard Bass came with the Babicz bridge. As far as any tonal difference, I haven't done a side by side comparison with the godawful 3-point bridge Gibson used until this year, but the Babicz is much easier to adjust and to get lower action, and it's much better looking.
     
  5. Manolete

    Manolete Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,041
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    Even the 3-point Gibson bridge has its fans!
     
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    72
    Posts:
    4,506
    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    True. There will always be masochists. :)
     
  7. Manolete

    Manolete Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,041
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    First encounter with a 3-ponter was restringing an Epiphone EB0. I removed the strings and the thing skipped onto the floor, shedding its saddles in the process. Epiphone market this thing as a student instrument!

    Still the only bridge design I know of where you can control yaw. That has to be something?
     
  8. Bruxist

    Bruxist Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,074
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Location:
    Kentucky, USA
    Dusty Hill likes them.

     
  9. howlin

    howlin Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,277
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Location:
    Who wants to know?
    I think they're great and had one on a MIM J bass. I like Jeff Babicz too. Great guy to deal with.

    That said I probably won't ever put one on my P bass though. Why? Palm muting. That's the one place where the design profile of the FCB falls down for me. Also, I'm running flats and can't really imagine that an FCB would really be necessary. But that's just me...
     
  10. simonsp

    simonsp Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,995
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Location:
    England
    I appreciate this is an old thread but could you tell me if the flat plate shim for the Babicz is installed on the 2015 SG bass? I'm considering getting the Babicz. Also, how have you found using it, are there any issues I should be aware of? Thanks for any light you can shed.
     
  11. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    72
    Posts:
    4,506
    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Yes, the flat plate shim is installed. It has the exact same footprint as the bridge so it isn't obvious.

    It loads like a Warwick bridge, i.e. the string doesn't fit through a hole in the end of the bridge, it lays in the notch for the ball end. Some people don't like this b/c the ball end can slip out of the notch while you're tightening it if you're not careful. Not a problem to me, though, and it makes removing old strings easier. No other issues.

    The adjusting instructions didn't come with the case candy, but it's on his website here so I saved it as a pdf.
     
  12. simonsp

    simonsp Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,995
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Location:
    England
    Thanks for the info Dave, it's really helpful. I recently picked up an SG Bass but it comes with the standard Gibson 3 point bridge. I haven't had any particular issues with it but it does look a bit alarming the way it stands up on those three poles. I'm swapping to flats shortly and I'm thinking I'll take the opportunity to fit the Babicz.
     
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    72
    Posts:
    4,506
    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    The shim makes the height just right on my bass. It's possible that some other Gibson basses had shallower neck pocket angles and wouldn't need it. The old ones varied a lot more than now.
     
  14. simonsp

    simonsp Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,995
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Location:
    England
    I went ahead and installed a Babicz bridge on my SG Bass and I'm very happy with it. One small query though, I was fine tuning the setup today and have dropped all the strings down somewhat. This has resulted in the grub screw that fixes the saddle height to be unscrewed to the point that it is sticking out the rear of the bass. It's only happening to any great extent on the E & G strings and although it feels tight in the hole and is locked by the left side locking grub screw, I'm wondering whether it might come loose or even fall out over time what with vibration etc.

    All the saddles are set quite low now and I'm wondering if perhaps I would be better off removing the shim plate and having the saddles set high.

    Does anyone have any experience with this issue? Here's a pic to illustrate -

    Babicz-Bridge-Flat.jpg
     
  15. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    66,768
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    I'm impressed with them.
    I played a Zelinsky bass at GC that had a Babicz bridge.
    Now I want one, bass and bridge. ;)
    Might put one on my Epi Toby bass.
     
  16. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    72
    Posts:
    4,506
    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    The grub screws on mine were slightly out when I got it. That was a factory adjustment, not a dealer adjustment. Lowering the saddles slightly moved them out a little more. There hasn't been any movement in the 10+ months I've had it, they're all still tight.
     
  17. DW Calumet

    DW Calumet Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    188
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Location:
    Chicago/NWI
    Im a big Babicz bridge fan, ive used a dozen or so in various styles on builds...hardtails, trems, and bass models. I prefer the look of their z-series units and for those who prefer a more traditional look they just started offering a z-series bass model....

    http://www.fullcontacthardware.com/fch-z-series-4-string-bass-bridge.htm

    They are also are a little more economical than the standards. They are taking orders now and will begin shipping in a few weeks from what i understand. I have a few on order and im looking forward to seeing how they compare to the standard models. I havent noticed much of a compromise on the z-series guitar models.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
  18. simonsp

    simonsp Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,995
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Location:
    England
    Great, that's exactly what I was hoping to hear. I suppose I should have just unscrewed the grub screw completely to see how long it is but I was wary of not being able to get it back in again. Anyway, problem solved, thanks again Dave.

    I'm really liking the Babicz, it's a great improvement over the standard SG bridge. Gibson obviously though so as they installed it stock on the 2015 model. I was set on a Walnut colour though and couldn't find a 2015 in that colour so went 2014 instead and had to retrofit the bridge myself. Very simple upgrade and 100% happy with the result.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.