Sunday, June 26, 2011

Leo Quan BADASS Bridges


I have owned scads of basses throughout the years that had Leo Quan BADASS replacement bridges on them, and I was think that maybe you folks would be interested in how they came to be and the differences between their different models.

In 1972 Glen Quan (Leo?) started constructing his own guitar bridges, as he wanted something more adjustable than the factory bridges that came on guitars of the day. Other musicians saw what he had done, and asked him to make bridges for their guitars too. He started die-casting more of these bridges and made his own market. Not much later he switched to milling them from a high-density zinc alloy, for considerably better precision.

One thing led to another, and by the end of the 1970s, every Fender bass on the planet had a BADASS bridge and a brass nut. Funny how all those collectible basses do not have them anymore…

Leo Quan sells guitar and bass bridges, but their bread and butter are the bass bridges. They have a few different models of bass bridges, and their website is a little vague, so here are few details about them:

Bass Bridge

This is their first BADASS, which attaches with 3 screws. It is not a direct replacement for anything, except for the Martin Basses that came equipped from the factory with these bridges. Geddy Lee put one on his Rickenbacker, which had to be an improvement over the mess of a bridge that 4001 basses come with. This is not the best bridge if you want to change out your Fender’s bridge.

Bass II Bridge

This is a direct replacement for 5-screw Fender bridges, and works on both Jazz and Precision basses with no modifications to the bass. Fender is using these bridges as an OEM parts for some of their basses, such as the Geddy Lee artist model.

Bass III Bridge

Heh. This one is not even shown on the Leo Quan website, which does not seem to have been updated since 2001. This is a direct for later model 3-screw Fender Bridges, and allows stringing thought the body. The Bass III bridges have grooved saddles, so no filing is needed.

Rumor has it that that Leo Quan is out of business, or pretty close to it. Many stores no longer have their Badass bridges in stock, and they seem to be going for stupidly prices on eBay. Smart money has it that their product line will soon be picked up by Fender, which makes sense as they use the bridges on some of their basses, and have an established parts distribution business and network.



  1. The original Badass was made to replace the Hagstrom bridges on Guild basses.

  2. or some kramer aluminum neck basses also.......

  3. Even Fender Custom Shop basses use the old vintage bridge, so why replace them?. IMHO A Gotoh 201B is way better than any Badass.