“With electric guitar and bass bridges it’s all about tone…how to get more tone, more stability, more sustain and finer adjustments…without adding weight. This is really what Full Contact Hardware is all about.” – Jeff Babicz

By now most guitarists are familiar with the Babicz Guitar company, an innovative brand that featured Jeff Babicz’s remarkable designs. The company was established in late 2003 by Jeff Babicz and Jeff Carano, veterans of the guitar industry with established track records. As the executive management team for the Steinberger Guitar company in the late '80's and early '90's, Babicz and Carano were directly involved in launching innovative technology for the music industry on a global scale.

What most musicians do not know is that prior to launching Babicz Guitars, Jeff Babicz was working on a new bridge system for his own electric guitar and bass designs.

“It was a consistent problem, even back in the Steinberger days, where bridge saddle adjustment set screws would come unscrewed, through natural vibrations of the instrument, and the vibrating string was no longer coupled to the bass or guitar bridge. This happened often, and when it did, there was a clear loss of sonic performance. I was constantly working on bridge designs that would get me maximum saddle surface contact and yet maintain all the expected string height and intonation saddle adjustments.”…states Babicz. (For more info on Jeff's work at Steinberger Sound please click HERE).

The first FCH prototypes bridge was mounted to Jeff Carano’s Fender Jazz bass and the result was immediately prominent. The locked down saddle design dramatically improved sustain while the lightweight materials offered a new level of tonality compared to the original bridge.
Babicz continued to experiment with alternate FCH designs, all-the-while continuing to finalize designs on his distinctive acoustic guitars. Through high product demand, the two “Jeff’s” focused exclusively on the acoustic guitar designs, and Babicz Guitars quickly made a considerable impact in the competitive guitar industry. This had been accomplished both through its development of innovative and revolutionary patented technology (US Patent # 7,157,634, 7,112,733 and 7,534,945 B2), and through its enthusiastic acceptance by the artist community.

Left, Jeff Babicz builds Eddie Van Halen’s custom Steinberger TransTrem six string guitar in the Newburgh New York factory (circa 1988).
The company had realized success in capturing the enthusiastic support of dozens of internationally recognized artists. In a highly competitive industry such as the US guitar market it is rare to receive the acceptance of so many renowned musicians in such a relatively short period of time. Everyone from legends like Todd Rundgren and Earl Slick, to Heavy Metal icons Judas Priest and Queensryche, or Southern Rockers like The Outlaws and Molly Hatchet, Classic Rock 'n Rollers like Joe Lynn Turner, Foreigner, Howard Leese and The Pretenders, Progressive artists such as Porcupine Tree and Umphrey’s McGhee, Pop Super Stars the Black Eyed Peas, even acclaimed virtuoso Adrian Belew, have made Babicz their acoustic guitar of choice.

In 2008, through years of design refinements, Jeff Babicz officially introduced The Babicz Design "Full Contact Hardware", featuring the patented “eCAM” (for “encapsulated cam”) saddle design for electric guitars and basses. The FCH bridges offer a dramatic improvement in sustain and tonal quality achieved by eliminating any gaps or voids between the bottom of the bridge saddles and the body of the guitar or bass.

K. K. Downing of Judas Priest, right, plays his Babicz Spider acoustic six string guitar live in Edmonton. "I use the Babicz because it looks cool and it's loud as hell!" ~K.K. Downing
The 'Full Contact Hardware' system now offers "full contact" between the vibrating string and the body of the instrument. Babicz designed FCH with the intent of gaining the maximum amount of direct string coupling to the body of the instrument, with over 50 times more contact surface per saddle compared to conventional saddle designs.

With FCH, string height or "action" can now be set with more precision. The "eCam” saddle allows for instant "action" adjustments without ever adding space or air gaps between the saddle and the body of the guitar, and conventional string height action adjustment set screws are eliminated. With the Babicz FCH design, the bridge saddle can never "sink" or "shift" while playing. Each FCH eCAM saddle also includes a specially designed “String Height Lock” feature, which keeps your string height setting in place…even during extreme saddle vibrations over time. Precise intonation adjustments are also easily attained and in most cases include a “Saddle Housing Lock” feature.
Click on the video above to view the FCH eCAM saddle in motion. The single Height Adjustment Screw is on the right of the housing, which moves the eCAM saddle and string up or down. On the left of the housing is the Saddle Lock Screw which fixes string height settings. Full Contact between the string and the bottom of the saddle is always maintained at any interval of string height settings.
The ‘Full Contact Hardware’ technology has already attracted the serious interest of the world’s largest musical instrument and accessory distributor such as KMC Music (formally KAMAN) and the largest global manufacturer of guitar hardware for OEM in Reliance International. The “Jeff’s” have also already seen serious OEM interest for the Full Contact Hardware design from several established guitar and bass brands. In addition, many of the industries largest retail establishments have already placed purchase orders for the aftermarket Full Contact Hardware products. Full Contact Hardware has the clear potential to become an industry standard for many years to come.