Gold Supporting Member
The trem block debate has raged on for quite some time, so I thought Id post the titanium vs. steel vs. the real 56 Strat comparison that Pete F. and I embarked on today. As a reference, we each own similar Suhr Classic Strats Petes is a swamp ash/maple Mary Kaye and mine is a 2-tone with the same woods. We have compared their glorious tones before so we were able to use Petes guitar as a reference once we had installed the titanium block in my 2-tone Suhr. It can be noted that my Suhr sounds a hair brighter, anyway, with the same steel blocks but they sound very, very similar. Anyway, I bought the DeTemple titanium block and installed it in the 2-tone. Now our Strats diverged from their common 1088/steel block original bridges. I like the way the ball ends of the strings sit where you can get at em when strings break. The titanium block was nicely machined as well. And about 4 oz lighter too! Now heres the tonal difference. The 2-tone with the titanium block became brighter with the change there was a shift in the frequency spectrum. It also seemed, if anything, not weaker (as might be expected), but slightly punchier, louder, and spankier too. So, even though we might have predicted a weaker sound, it just wasnt the case still rich tonally! Now for me, although I wouldnt call the change negative, the guitars total frequency response was shifted to the brighter side. But the Suhrs are so well balanced with the steel block that I found that I preferred the sound of the steel block on balance - a great fat and solid tone that is neither too bright nor too dark! Where I can see the titanium block working well would be to brighten up a Strat that might be a bit on the dark side. It would add clang and brightness it could work well. Now after all this, we plugged in the 56 Strat the real deal! To me, it was muddier that the Suhrs particularly on the neck pickup. The notch positions were definitely more chimey and aggressive on the Suhrs. The bridge position was nice and edgey on the 56 without being harsh and ice-pickey but the Suhrs have a great, almost Tele-like tone on the bridge pickup that I have come to love (its a little over-wound). I often use the tone control with the Suhr bridge pickup to tame it a little. Pete F. and I feel that the Suhrs are every bit as good as those vintage treasures thank goodness for John Suhr! So now to the basement to re-install the steel block on my Suhr Classic!!!