• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


trem blocks...heavier=better?

dazco

Member
Messages
14,793
let me first say no need to bring up steel blocks being better. i prefer zinc. But heres the deal....I have this block which i've had for years and don't recall what it's from. But it's zinc or whatever (non magnetic) and it's thicker and considerably heavier than the typical zinc block. In my main i have a standard size zinc block, a MIM RI block i believe. I've been considering trying this one i have thats very heavy, but i've already been experimenting with blocks lately and i'm tired of tearing trems down and chucking strings, and i have a new set on now i'd rather not toss. (locking tuners, strings pulled tight b4 locking)

so before i try this i'd like to see if anyone has experimented to see not what the particular material sounds like such as steel vs zinc, but what a heavier block does to the tone.
 

blastastick

Senior Member
Messages
394
Brass Blocks are great for Floyds, and the ABM Guild Mueller on my Liberator. Titanium is nice too, but cost a LOT of money. They really do make a difference, and well worththe money, much cheaper than most gas (except the titanium). Zinc is too soft in my opinion. Just my 2 cents.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,793
i was asking about weight, not material. I've already come to a decision as to what i like material wise.
 

blastastick

Senior Member
Messages
394
Weight does make a difference. Mass= sustain. Small cheap soft blocks, have bad sustain. Heavy dense materials, just sound better.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,793
Maybe, but time and time again i keep trying steel blocks, a callaham and a ESP in several vintage strats over the years and w/o fail they cause the guitars to sound thinner. Stick a zinc back in and it becomes full and round sounding again. And if steel does add anything, i don't notice it. (except that unwanted brightness) But again, i'm not here to debate materials, just weight. But i think i'll just try it and see. (but man, i'm so sick of wasting strings)
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,282
Stick a zinc back in and it becomes full and round sounding again. )
I have a Strat with a zinc, I think, block. (non-magnetic)
I would like more full and round in the tone so have been wary of advice to change to an aftermarket block on the basis of reports of 'brighter, clearer' (not my goal) and more sustain (that would be fine).

Brass? does it ring like a bell? or ping? or add to the dreaded, to me, Strat plinkiness that some players interpret as 'airiness' and love. Post your results, please.:drink
 
Messages
23,950
I've got a pretty heavy zinc stock block in a mid 2000's Comanche. Heavy, and yeah it sounds good; way better than any other zinc alloy block I've had.

I've got both versions I and II of the Glendale Chimemaster brass block Strat 3 barrel bridge assembly. The first is 11 ounces and the second, 8.5 ounces I seem to recall. The second has a world class Floyd style trem arm setup, but the first version sounds better. Just don't expect a steel trem arm into a brass block to tolerate heavy use over 30 years.
 

blastastick

Senior Member
Messages
394
Brass sounds better. Titanium sounds even better, but not 300.00 better. Worth the investment IMHO. Try it, not a big investment. If you don'y like it, sell it and get your money back. You can be the judge. Nice option.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,793
I would love to hear a brass block because i once tried brass saddles and was very impressed with the way they gave me a fuller rounded tone. Problem was that i use my trem and the brass would wear a lot and create burrs that cause me to break a lot of strings. So i was forced to give them up. I would think brass would be fantastic. Who has them, and can you get them to fit mim or mij reissue type trems?

Tone terrific....what saddles do you have? I can tell you this....the worse case of harsh thin highs i ever had was with a genuine fender set of USA vintage saddles. I was actually shocked at what they did to my tone. I now have some callahams that i thought were supposed to be the same as fender in materials and hardness, but they have none of that harshness. my MIM saddles sound the same as the callahams tho i kept the callys because they have the smaller screws and wider string area. i just like them more. So if you have USA saddles try some MIM, MIJ, or pretty much any others and you will likely hear a nice difference.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,793
I did search and came up with a couple interesting things to note at various forums. One guy said he called tom anderson and tom recommended he try a zinc block. It just goes along with what i keep saying....neither is better, they are just different and you use the one that works best for a particular guitar. Bright guitar, use zinc. Dark, use steel. i have one strat thats way dark and steel works good in it.
Second thing i saw, and this could be some guy's ears, but he swore he used a brass CLAW and it improves the tone a lot. He may be nuts or eric johnsons brother, but if i could find one i'd give it a go. How much could a brass claw be anyways?
 

Steven

Member
Messages
2,291
I beliewe there are non magnetic steel alloys out there so the megnetic test might not be accurate for telling what material the block is made of.
 

bluesjunior

Member
Messages
5,915
I don't use my whammy and have used a block of mahogany wood between the block and the guitar ala Clapton and this did improve the sustain in my Strat I feel. Reading this thread started me thinking if a metal block used in this way would have a more beneficial effect than wood. Has anyone here ever heard of anyone attempting this?.
 

rockstarjay

Member
Messages
368
Yeah its pretty common practice to block a squier trem with a 9v battery.

Sounds about the same as using hardwood. The block makes less of a difference with the trem blocked in general.
 

Dr. Tweedbucket

Deluxe model available !!!11
Messages
47,994
I wonder what the Eric Johnson Strats come with? They are painted, that's all I know... I am assuming steel.
 

Guinness Lad

Senior Member
Messages
15,860
I'd rather have density over weight. Every guitar I have used a Callaham block in has made the guitar more alive sounding and piano like. I'll choose hard steel every time over a soft metal.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,793
My question to those who prefer steel is this. Have you ever put a steel block in then after several weeks or so with it changed it back to zinc? I ask because like everyone else i also thought steel was better. But i long ago learned that no matter how sensitive my ear has become and how aware i am of placebo effect and how to differentiate between better and different, I often find that after trying a new part it's now mandatory for me to re-install the old par after a few weeks because thats when the difference become most apparent and become obvious whether it's good or bad. like i said, i thought steel was better at first too. But having learned that lesson i went back to zinc and was surprised at just how big the difference really was with zinc...to the GOOD ! I since have tried steel 3 other times out of curiosity thinking maybe in THIS guitar, or maybe my ear has changed, or maybe this or that etc. But every time going back to zinc proves it indeed sounds fuller with no detectable losses anywhere.
So my advice is try your old block again now and keep an open mind about it and see how you feel. Do it for yourself because you could be missing out. I can't tell you how many times i have used a piece of gear thinking it was better only to go back to the old one a year or more later and kick myself when i realized i just waster a years worth of gigs with inferior tone. i say always A/B things back and fourth a few times or you too may spend a lot of time onstage with a lesser tone. And if you just assume it was better and never try the old part again you may never have quite as good a tome again. how many times have you older guys especially thought to yourself, man, i seem to recall i had much better tone back then? Always go back and check it again against the original part/pickup/amp/whatever.

One last example....i recently tried a mare neck and i thought it had slightly better dynamics. So i decided to keep it. then i remembered my theory and i decided to try the van zandt that was in there before after a few weeks....what a wake up call ! the VZ was much better to my ear. But you just don't hear things the same way when you are A/B'ing a part that your ears are totally used to to one they never heard before. thats why the only way to know is to go back to the old part later on when your ears are now thuroughly used to both parts.
 

Bloozcat

Member
Messages
226
dazco,

Well, solely on the question of the mass of a zinc block making a difference, I find that it does. I've used one of AllParts trems that come with the large zinc block, and I've found they sound better than the thin, smaller blocks like those on the MIM and Asian guitars.
 

jtm622

Member
Messages
9,303
Are we saying this:
A) Metal "Density" INCREASES "Sustain"
and...
B) "Sustain" = Length of Time the String Vibrates
therefore...
C) The "density" of the bridge effectively INCREASES the string's vibration time (all other factors being equal)??
 




Trending Topics

Top