#1
i am looking to swap the trem block on my '96 MIM strat. it has the smaller block. what are your opinions on steel v. brass? i haven't heard great things about the GFS ones, and don't want to cheap out, but i don't want to spend a TON either.

also, i have my trem decked now, i know how to block a trem, is there much of an advantage of blocking it versus just leaving it decked?

and finally, if it is blocked, does the trem block matter as much? [somehow i should know this though haha]


thanks and cheers.
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#3
Quote by Tony Done
I prefer blocked so I can take out the trem springs, since that potentially adds sustain. - No springs to soak up energy. OTOH, some say the strat "vibe" is better if you leave the springs in, ie just deck it.


thanks.

do you think that changing the trem block makes a difference if the trem is decked?
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#5
I'd try the GFS block. all it is, is a piece of brass

But I don't know if it would be of benefit if your blocking the trem
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#6
i always get the feeling (or maybe that's just what I read) that brass is meant to be warmer than steel, and steel's probably more historically accurate for strats. but I've never done extensive, scientifically rigorous tests (i.e. where there are no other variables), so it might well make very little difference.
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#7
Even if blocking I'd swap the trem block for someting more substantial than the original MiM melted milk bottle top block. But make sure you get the correct replacement as there are differences between MiM and MiA blocks and saddle plates, and differences subject to year.
Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.
#8
unless you know your instrument inside and out to the point where you can detect literally anything on it, it won't make much difference between a steel or brass block. A lot of it depends on whether you're running a single coil or humbucker, as i've found brass blocks tend to dilute the "strattyness" if you have single coils. They won't get as dirty and greasy sounding and will take some of the shrill highs out, while a steel block will add a bit to that stratty sound. There's no definite science to it, it really depends on your guitar and amp. Every rig will sound slightly different and much of the time amps that are more sensitive to touch are the only ones that will relay the tonal difference a brass vs steel block makes
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#9
Quote by Tony Done
Dunno, I've never tried cahnaging a trem block. However, if it has an effect on a floating trem, I would guess (no more than that) that it has a similar effect on a decked trem.

I'll admit, I put expensive trem blocks in the snake oil category though.


I've put large brass sustain blocks on most of my Floyds at this point. It does change the sound, and I think for the better (all subjective, of course). I've tried brass, steel, titanium, tungsten and one or two other materials (copper and something else I can't think of at the moment), but to my ear the brass was best (and, thankfully, the least expensive as well).

I haven't actually decked a trem with a big brass block on it, but I'll offer this:
Both the Ibanez AR-300 and the Yamaha SG2000 from the early '80's have 10-11 ounce solid brass sustain blocks that mount (screw into) the solid mahogany bodies of those guitars. The bridges mount to those sustain blocks. And yes, there's a difference in the sound and the sustain of those guitars compared to the same design guitar (different model, of course) without.
#10
Quote by dspellman
I've tried brass, steel, titanium, tungsten and one or two other materials (copper and something else I can't think of at the moment), but to my ear the brass was best (and, thankfully, the least expensive as well).



Oh, I'm all in favour of the experimental approach, it's just that the prices of some of them look ludicrous to me.

I would have added aluminium to your list. It worked well for vintage lap steels (and I have made a couple), and I am using aluminium (actually hardware store alloy) for saddles and nuts. It works nicely as an acoustic saddle, but I don't think it would be hard wearing enough for nuts for most folks.