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Steel Block for Strat Tremolo

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greybeard
(@greybeard)
Posts: 5840
Illustrious Member
Topic starter
 

I know that there a lot of people interested in improving the performance of the Strat's sustain. The Callaham block will do that for you - it only takes a few minutes, at the next string change. Sadly Callaham blocks are quite expensive.

Particularly for the European members, there is another alternative, that I found on EBay.

http://cgi.ebay.de/Steel-tremolo-sustain-block-Fender-Stratocaster_W0QQitemZ150380791729QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Musical_Instruments_Guitars_CV?hash=item230364c7b1

Having been on the lookout for a steel Callaham block, I thought I'd give this one a try.

If you read the auction, he says that there is some discrepancy in the layout of Strat trems, depending on the origin of the guitar and he will, happily take your own block (or the measurements, if you prefer) and make one up to your exactly to your old block.

I have a 90's US Strat with 2 point trem and, as I live in Germany, decided to send him my old block. I closed the auction and contacted the seller. We agreed that I'd send him the block and payment. As soon as he had both, he'd make up the new block and post them to me within a couple of days.

True to his words, the block arrived a few days after I paid by e-bank transfer.

So, what's it like? Sustain is up, not in the realms of a '59 LP, but better than the original. I suspect that the improvement will be greater in the cheaper ranges of Strat, such as the Squier Bullet, where the materials are cheaper. I have also noted a small change in the tone, it is somehow beefier - perhaps akin to going up a string guage or two.

Was it worth it? To me, definitely - I'm going to see if there is any greater impact when I put the Strat through a cranked tube amp.

In fact, I've noticed that the block on my Marquee is very similar to a Strat block, so when I have a bit of cash doing nothing and the desire to have it sitting, unplayable, for a few days, I'm going to have one built for that, as well. That should be interesting, because the Marquee already has more sustain that the Fender, due, probably, to the heavier neck.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
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Posted : 17/10/2009 11:22 am
Blue Jay
(@blue-jay)
Posts: 1630
Noble Member
 

That's fantastisch, Greybeard! I'm glad it was a success. I totally dig what you're saying, playing and hearing. :D

We are kind of neck & neck here, I was going to post a sustain diction of my own soon, time permitting.

And I never truly want to show off things, 'cuz that ain't cool, but I like to share, it's awkward? :?

But I have one of Fender's last titanium blocks, NOS brand new, and a brass plate for it.

I believe they stopped making them because people weren't spending the bucks.

I got both pieces as a gift from an American, for building him a Strat.

Carry on, enjoy that newfound sustain and beefier tone, yeah!

Every time I've been into bridge design, it fell through.

So, people can still choose Callaham & Gotoh.

Oh, I forgot Wilkinson... or yours! 8)

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bridges,_tailpieces/Electric_guitar_tremolos/Gotoh_Traditional_Tremolo_for_Strat.html

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

 
Posted : 17/10/2009 7:30 pm