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Strat players. Which trem block for tone.

retrobob

Member
Messages
2,326
But first wondering, which Fender strats had the inferior aluminum block?
All imports (MIJ, MIM)? My 94-95 MIJ has steel??

That being said, I like the steel or brass. Seems to give more clarity and punch.
 

wingwalker

Fuzzy Guitars
Messages
6,783
I don't think any strats ever had an aluminum trem block, at least not stock.

It's not just that they have a steel block but it's the size of the block and the kind of steel.

Still, to this day the best tremolo I've tried, next to vinatge ones from the 50's are the Callaham. I had a full size, steel block tremolo on my Strat (CS Fender) and I snapped off the tremolo arm in the block one too many times and had to just replace it...I went with the Callaham just to see and was AMAZED at the difference in tone.
 

retrobob

Member
Messages
2,326
I don't think any strats ever had an aluminum trem block, at least not stock.

It's not just that they have a steel block but it's the size of the block and the kind of steel.

Still, to this day the best tremolo I've tried, next to vinatge ones from the 50's are the Callaham. I had a full size, steel block tremolo on my Strat (CS Fender) and I snapped off the tremolo arm in the block one too many times and had to just replace it...I went with the Callaham just to see and was AMAZED at the difference in tone.
Agreed on the Calaham. I had one in my last strat which I sold.
As I remember the Import Fenders had a funky trem block. Whatever material, it was non magnetic. Or am I wrong on this. Don't think they were steel were they?

My MIJ has a steel block, wondering if its a Calaham as the pickups were upgraded on that guitar.
 

K-Line

Vendor
Messages
8,523
Zinc is the usually suspect in MIJ/MIA strats. I like the warmth of Zinc for some applications. I really do like the tone of the Wilkinson Steel block Vintage style trems. A bit narrower spacing but bolt up to a regular mount pattern, push-in arm. They feel like an extention of your hand, no thread lag.
 

retrobob

Member
Messages
2,326
OK, maybe its zinc. Don't know what the composition is, but I'm assuming a magnet won't stick to zink and is probably more lightweight. correct?

Zinc is the usually suspect in MIJ/MIA strats. I like the warmth of Zinc for some applications. I really do like the tone of the Wilkinson Steel block Vintage style trems. A bit narrower spacing but bolt up to a regular mount pattern, push-in arm. They feel like an extention of your hand, no thread lag.
 

ducatisteve

Member
Messages
1,389
I have the GFS upgrade trem with the steel block in one of my project Strats and I'm plenty happy with it. Gave a bit more sustain, brightened the sound, and upped the complimentary harmonics a little compared to the stock zinc block. I look forward to getting the Callaham for a different Strat, and perhaps will do a back to back comparison in a single guitar before sending it to its final home.
 

conorb

Member
Messages
147
I just did an upgrade to my 2007 American Standard Strat and went with the Callaham.

Definitely recommended.

conorb
 

K-Line

Vendor
Messages
8,523
OK, maybe its zinc. Don't know what the composition is, but I'm assuming a magnet won't stick to zink and is probably more lightweight. correct?
Never stuck a magnet on it to be honest. Never weighed one against the other. Usually the zinc block will get a black residue on it that when rubbed, comes off easily on your fingers.
 

drolling

Member
Messages
6,102
Wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't tried it myself, but the Callaham block proved to be a HUGE upgrade to my MIJ Strat.

Mine's an early '90s ST-54, and about as good an example of Japan-made '50s RIs as ever produced, but a Callaham block greatly improved BOTH the tone & feel of the guitar.
 

candid_x

Member
Messages
9,667
In one I like the Callaham block, in the other I prefer and have returned to the the stock block. Both are '08 American Standards. Go figure.
 

candid_x

Member
Messages
9,667
Is the Callaham upgrade easily done on an American Standard Strat, or better left to a luthier?
Total no brainer to switch them, 3 screws, but you do have to set your strat up again, pretty much from scratch, since the saddles must be moved or removed to get to the 3 mounting screws.

I'd also recommend balanced trem springs, and the Callaham springs work well. Their saddles are also top notch, no pun intended.
 

Dillow4092

Member
Messages
2,498
I'll be putting a brass block in one of my strats this week. It's much heavier that anything I've seen. I'll let you know how it comes out.
 

bhorn67

Member
Messages
121
Total no brainer to switch them, 3 screws, but you do have to set your strat up again, pretty much from scratch, since the saddles must be moved or removed to get to the 3 mounting screws.

I'd also recommend balanced trem springs, and the Callaham springs work well. Their saddles are also top notch, no pun intended.
I just completed mine after getting the block and springs for Christmas. I marked where the saddles were on my bridge so the intonation would be close when I put it back together. It went very smooth.
 

Robert1950

Member
Messages
3,379
My strat has an "American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo" according to the specs on the Fender site. I assume this is a steel block, or is it zinc? I've had no problems with it so far.

Sorry for the bit of a hijack here. :cool:
 

retrobob

Member
Messages
2,326
My strat has an "American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo" according to the specs on the Fender site. I assume this is a steel block, or is it zinc? I've had no problems with it so far.

Sorry for the bit of a hijack here. :cool:
If a magnet sticks to it, its steel.
 

candid_x

Member
Messages
9,667
The new AS block is magnetic, claiming to be all steel, but copper infused. I don't understand how that works, but it sounds basically like a cast block to me.

The Copper Infused Cast Strat® Bridge Block (steel with copper—100% metal) provides increased mass and improved tone.
 




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