My logic about bridge metals...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by ♫♪♫, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. ♫♪♫

    ♫♪♫ Member

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    Musical instrument companies don't make instruments like saxophones, trumpets, etc. out of steel. They make them out of brass. Why? Probably because brass resonates better and just rings out.

    So, wouldnt it make sense to build a guitar bridge/tremolo out of brass instead of steel?
     
  2. Structo

    Structo Member

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    Well there are brass trem blocks, brass nuts, brass saddles for teles.
    So I think if you search dealers a bit, you could find what you are after.
    One of the problems with brass is it is a softer metal so will not take the abuse that steel can.
     
  3. Free

    Free Member

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    It has to do with maluablity of brass in contruction and the fact that it doesn't rust like steel. It's not just a tonal consideration. I'd bet the maluabitlity and anti-rust factor of brass is first and foremost in it's preference to builders. So, I'm not sure your logic holds up too well.
     
  4. Structo

    Structo Member

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    It might not rust but it sure tarnishes.
    So in a way it does oxidize, just not like steel.
     
  5. Free

    Free Member

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    Completely different types of oxidation - no comparison: rusting involves a degradation of the metal itself due to oxygen. Tarnishing is simply the outer surface combining with elements it is exposed to and thus losing its luster.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  6. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Yes, that's what everybody thought ca. 1975.

    Remember all those boat anchors with brass everything, including pickguards? Guess not.

    "Sustain blocks" made of brass inside the body anyone?

    I'll take two.

    And gimme a brass nut, brass "Fat Finger" headstock plate, and brass knobs while you're at it.
     
  7. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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  8. Ud Reks

    Ud Reks Member

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    All the old shredder Charvels had brass trems. Some people swore by them, others hated them with a passion. Eddie Van Halen thought they sucked the tone right out of the guitar.
     
  9. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    I hate brass. Hate the sound of it. Won't allow it on my guitar.

    DC
     
  10. Free

    Free Member

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    You might have a point - sure looks like a brass block in the tremolo pocket there. Why couldn't he have replaced his Frankenstein's block if they sound so bad?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Ud Reks

    Ud Reks Member

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    Heh, well, he did play his Charvels afterward but with Floyds, so how much did he hate them?
    I know he had a falling out eventually.
     
  12. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I never read EVH hated brass trems. Free's pic shows right there that he must've liked them.

    I sure do like the brass saddles on the tele compared to the thinner steel sounding ones. I'd love to try a brass trem for my strat.
     
  13. TomK

    TomK Member

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    Ah yes...The Leo Quan "Badass" Bridge comes to mind.
    Yamaha even built a solid brass version of its SG2000 double cutaway.
     
  14. jtees4

    jtees4 Member

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    I know 99% of guitarists will disagree with me, but there is absolutely zero advantage to resonance in an electric guitar. Acoustic...yes. Having said that, I have had guitars with brass bridges as well as brass nuts....they are great, however, depending on the guitar...it can make some sound too bright. For others, it is perfect.
     
  15. Ud Reks

    Ud Reks Member

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    That particular VH guitar has a Floyd on it.

    When he first put that thing together in 1978, he just used a standard trem off a Fender strat.

    Later he experimented because he wanted a locking trem. He worked with a company that built one out of brass. I forget the company's name but it's no longer in existence. They did come up with a prototype that to my eyes looked very much like the Floyd Rose. It was on the Frankenstrat briefly, but EVH hated the brass. When he suggested to the manufacturer that they needed to make it out of other metal, the manufacturer didn't like his ideas, and refused. Shortly after that EVH collaborated with Floyd Rose, and the rest is history. That Frankenstrat with the picture had a Floyd prototype on it.

    The change to the Floyd was made early on, before their second album tour.

    This is an interview with EVH in 1979:

    "GP: What's your opinion of brass hardware?

    EVH: It's too brittle sounding. I like the sound I get out of a normal old Fender tremolo."

    Check out what Allan Holdsworth has to say (granted, he starts off talking about brass blocks, but then talks of brass more generally:

    "I hate brass blocks; they just seem to absorb. It's like if you have a practice mute on a violin. You stick a piece of brass or lead on the bridge and all the sound goes; it's absorbed. And that's what I think happens with brass."
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  16. The Smith

    The Smith Supporting Member

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    See This Thread.

    I can't find a brass tune-o-matic anywhere. I admit I want to try it out for cosmetic reasons, and then draw my own conclusions regarding tone/timbre. Currently, my guitar hardwear is gold, but I LOVE the look of tarnished brass.
     

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