Post by Auf Kiltre on May 26, 2020 12:45:37 GMT -5
Not a "does a Callaham block sound better than..." thread, just curious what you typically go with on your builds. On 4 of my builds I have a Callaham, a Kluson brass block, a stock Fender and some nondescript non metal block that I could probably put teeth marks in if I tried. Oddly enough, its on my favorite guitar. The Callaham gets my vote for construction because of the wiggle stick insert.
I don't like any of the traditional screw-in-wigglestick blocks because it's a cheap and weak way of attaching the bar. It's one of two things Leo could've done better (the other cheap-out was the Telecaster's jack cup). The modern push-in blocks with the little retention spring is much better, but it's not optimal.
On Strats that I have with Fender bridges, I modded them to accept a Floyd bar. You can buy the entire Floyd-branded bar and clutch for about $12 (red box below), and with a little modification of the bridge plate and block, you have an adjustable-tension wang bar with no slop at all. No need for that little spring, no need for grease, no need for Teflon tape. And it's easy to assemble and disassemble.
The modification to the bridge plate involves drilling out the bar hole to 3/8", and slicing off the end of the block near the high E string hole to allow the new bar hardware to fit under the bridge plate. Here's that that looks like when it's installed.
Most other times, I generally prefer to use a Wilkinson vibrato and not have to mess with modifying the Fender hardware. Even the cheaper imported Wilkinson VS100 vibrato bridges are very high quality. They just don't look like a Fender unit, and that bothers some people. But they work much better.
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Post by funkykikuchiyo on May 26, 2020 15:12:39 GMT -5
I like brass on non-Strats and super Strats. PRS uses them, Music Man, and a few other instances. If you want your Strat to sound like a Strat it isn't a great option, but if you're just building on a form and making something different, they sound pretty nifty.
As for traditional blocks, I haven't discovered any that I really like over others. There are a few supposedly more vintage accurate ones out there by small builders that seem like they're on to something, but I haven't tried them. Me trying expensive mods usually means a customer spending the money and then bringing it in to us... I haven't personally gone down that rabbit hole.
I'm not a builder but my guitars have had brass, steel, zinc, and aluminum blocks. As Peegoo said, the screw-in trem arms are awful, but I'm happy with push-in bars if there is a tension adjustment. Other than that, my opinions on each guitar have nothing whatsoever to do with trem blocks because it has never made a difference to me. Hell, even my brass and aluminum block guitars feel almost identical in use. Blindfold, it's really hard to tell the difference. Shocking, I know!
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Post by Auf Kiltre on May 26, 2020 16:30:48 GMT -5
My last build I tried a Kluson brass block. The guitar still sounds very much like a Stratocaster. Years back I bought an Allparts block that I swear was marketed as steel. It looks like steel, not that dull grey that you see on cheaper imports. But it is not magnetic. I'm compelled to just buy the Fender vintage blocks going forward, but I really do like the Callaham threaded insert.
And I don't have the mad skills of Peegoo to do such modifications, holy cow. Nice detail!