Callaham vintage Strat bridge

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Kmaz, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. Kmaz

    Kmaz Member

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    If the Callaham Strat assembly is considered to be bright, is it likely to be resonating through the saddles and plate more than through the actual block?
     
  2. darkphader

    darkphader Member

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    Probably more to do with the stamped steel saddles than the block Guessing that these would be a little brighter than the cast ones Fender uses. I installed the Callaham American Standard Premium Upgrade Kit on my Strat and don't really find it much brighter at all. It does seem to have more sustain and I really like the shorter Callaham "64" trem bar and how it stays in place with no sloppiness.

    Sometimes old dead strings are removed, the new gear is installed, and then new strings; not saying that's the case here but keep in mind just a string change could be the difference you hear.

    Get a brass block and some brass saddles and swap 'em around then you can tell us (no guessing involved).
     
  3. Kmaz

    Kmaz Member

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    The Strat in question has an ash body and one-piece maple neck. I thought that, along with the Callaham assembly, this might be the recipe for a very bright instrument.
     
  4. darkphader

    darkphader Member

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    One way to look at it is - you wont lose bass with the change and any perceived change in top end can be adjusted for with the amp or guitar tone controls.
     
  5. ceanat

    ceanat Supporting Member

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    A supervee sounded better than the Callaham in my Maple/swamp ash strat. Not as bright alot smoother sounding if that makes sense.
     
  6. effectsman

    effectsman Supporting Member

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    I would agree that it could be too bright.
     
  7. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    That has been my experience as well. Now, you can work pickups out to make it sound fantastic. I am currently experimenting on some pickup winds with the exact wood you speak of and a callaham.
     
  8. LReese

    LReese Member

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    I recently put a Callaham block in an older Custom Shop with a 2 post - It's Ash/Ebony. Its slightly brighter, but in this case enhanced the character of the instrument.

    I also did the full bridge in another CS - too bright. I've heard the saddles could be the culprit rather than the bridge itself. The Fender vintage unit sounds fine in that guitar.

    I'm a fan of the Fender and Gotoh vintage vibrato bridges. No bushing, but they work great. Gotoh 510 like Suhr uses is also a fine bridge.
     
  9. mixn4him

    mixn4him Supporting Member

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    I recently changed just the block out and the tone and resonance is much better and cant see needing to change the saddles..
     
  10. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Probably. What i found is the saddle AND the 6 mounting screws on cally bridges are what really spike the top end making it thin/tinny sounding. I would never buy another one, but th block is great. I would just get the block. I even had the cally saddles on a tele thinline, the 72 RI with the strat style hardtail bridge, and after i time i put the stock MIM saddles back which made me breath a sigh of relief. They made the tele so thin, yet i didn't realize how much so till after i put the stock saddles back on. Anyways, the strat blocks are great and thats IMO where the improvement is, not the rest. Maybe the plate adds something good, but i'm not sure.
     
  11. mellecaster

    mellecaster Member

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    Some of the very Best Vintage style Strats I've built were equipped w/ the Total Callaham assembly...those knobs on the Guitar and Amp are moveable for a reason........:wave
     
  12. Kmaz

    Kmaz Member

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    The guitar in question currently uses a set of Fralins Vintage Hots Strat pickups.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  13. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Member

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    Exactly!! I love Callaham stuff! Both of my Suhr Antiques and my Tuttle S have his bridges. And yes, one of the Suhrs is ash and maple.

    Now if he would only start accepting guitar orders again!
     
  14. nicolasrivera

    nicolasrivera Silver Supporting Member

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    Hardly anything will match the quality of the Callaham bridge.
     
  15. Kmaz

    Kmaz Member

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    I do have a parts Strat that has an alder body with one-piece maple and Callaham bridge assembly. This guitar sounds fantastic!
     
  16. bulbasaur_85

    bulbasaur_85 Member

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    The callaham is great. Noticeable difference in acoustic and plugged in tone. Bigger, beefier, and more articulate strat tones!
     
  17. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    I think there's some truth and some wives' tales about Callaham's brightness. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it depends on the whole package. I've found their steel block to be an excellent choice, and I have just one of their vintage bridges and do not find the instrument to be especially brighter than most. However, I have found a dislike for their hardened steel saddles, in every case I've tried them. I've either returned to the stock Fender saddles or in one case have switched to the Highwood design, which I absolutely love! Unfortunately, they don't make them for certain bridge spacing, but then neither does Callaham, though they advertise that their MIM size will fit American Standards. They do not. They're too narrow and the saddles drift to and fro, especially with frequent use of the trem. So for me, their Strat vintage saddles are a no-go, though I do use a single one for a high E string which repetitiously cuts strings on a stock Fender saddle. The longer string space opening prevents contact with the string. I don't notice any negative effect in sound on that high E as a result.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  18. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory Member

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    I sold mine to K-Line for his experiments :) I thought the bridge was just fine and I had it on a 65AVRI body, fat maple neck w/rosewood board. Using CS69's which are known to be bright. I also have my bridge wired to a tone pot so maybe that's why I never had an issue. I switched to a MannMade trem and really didn't notice any difference, no real tone shift.

    I used Ron Kirn's trick for floating the trem, putting small sections of nitrile tubing around each of the six the screws in between the body/trem base and it was very stable too.
     
  19. Vibrolucky

    Vibrolucky Supporting Member

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    I installed two of them, one in a SRV Strat (left hand assembly) and the other in a 90's MIJ 54' Reissue.

    Made a huge difference (improvement) in the MIJ Strat, I honestly cant tell a difference in the SRV.

    If you use the whammy bar its worth it. Its much more stable a platform for tremolo users than the standard Fender. Although I did switch back to the standard stamped saddles on the 54' Reissue.
     
  20. SackvilleDan

    SackvilleDan Member

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    I wish that Bill made a full size steel block and bridge assembly for the two point American Standard bridge... I only seem to find six point trems of which my '01 MIA is not!
     

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