Sustain block replacement

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Roca81, Jun 6, 2021 at 8:44 PM.

  1. Stevn

    Stevn Senior Stratmaster

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    The block is tightly screwed to the bridge saddle parts. Direct transfer of sound vibration. There is also almost two inches of string inside the block after those little barrels you refer to. It was only $30 sheesh!
    You may not realize it but you come off like this pissed you off. Did it?
     
  2. Ace38

    Ace38 Senior Stratmaster

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    See? Told you so. In the end, you have to be happy, not me.
     
  3. Stevn

    Stevn Senior Stratmaster

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    That bar was zinc.
     
  4. Stevn

    Stevn Senior Stratmaster

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    Isn’t that block zinc? Or did they use different ones?
     
  5. GhostJam47

    GhostJam47 Strat-Talk Member

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  6. Stevn

    Stevn Senior Stratmaster

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  7. Slyy

    Slyy Strat-Talker

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    You probably know this already but hard decking forces the string to move (and likely hang up) in the nut. End result, tuning stability issues......especially on string bends.

    "Soft decking" (allowing the bridge to deck, but keeping the springs just loose enough to allow the bridge to lift slightly on a low E string bend), or simply letting the bridge float (as Leo intended) will provide VASTLY more tuning stability.

    I soft deck now, as it's more conducive to stop bends and the guitar won't go out of tune if you snap a string mid-song.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021 at 3:53 PM
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  8. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    If the nut is cut properly, this is not an issue.
     
  9. GlassyD83

    GlassyD83 Strat-Talker

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    I put a Callaham block in my 2000. It was actually a welcome improvement. I tried the same in a 2007 deluxe and it made it too bright and unpleasant no matter how I set the guitar up. Went back to stock and much better. Approx 3 ounces difference in final weight of the guitar too. My 2000 American series was heavy to begin with and is now 8.5 pounds with the block in.
     
  10. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    This just goes to show you that "better" is not always better.
     
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  11. Slyy

    Slyy Strat-Talker

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    Yes, I've heard that but have not experienced it myself.......probably because my play style incorporates a stupid amount of string bending.
     
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  12. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    American Standard is Steel. It's tapered as well. It's a decent block.
     
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  13. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist

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    Yrs, this should make a difference. How audible it is can probably be depated to the end of days.

    This should make no difference at all. The string behind the saddles is dead and out of the equation, just like the string behind the nut is dead. Same reason a nut change has very little impact on tone, it can only affect the 6 open strings.
     
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  14. Cesspit

    Cesspit Strat-O-Master

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    Got a 'big block' in my partscaster. Tonal differences. Very hard to tell because I put it in with a new bridge, machine heads, neck and other bits. All that made noticeable, positive differences, but how much is down to the block????

    I do believe every change makes some difference but half the time the change is very small. It's a sum of the parts thing for me.
     
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  15. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    Same experience I had with my black strat. I changed from the skinny little pot metal block to a solid brass block. I like the feel of the bigger block but the tone difference was minor. I'm pretty sure the existing steel block in the American Standard strat is more than adequate.

    If I were looking to upgrade an AM Standard from 2000, I'd put my effort into leveling and dressing the frets and doing a killer setup. I might look at getting a set of pickups. I never liked the tuners on my AM Standard so I'd more than likely get some locking tuners. Maybe a roller nut too.
     
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  16. Stevn

    Stevn Senior Stratmaster

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    I thinks it’s only dead because the vibrations bleed off at the bridge into the body. Sound waves are transferable.
     
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  17. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist

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    Yes, that's correct. My point is that the part of the string that is inside the block or behind the nut (or behind the fret on fretted notes) don't make any difference at all. They could just as well not be there.
     
  18. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member

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    From my experience, the block upgrades depend on what you are replacing - a MIA bridge will yield minimal tonal difference (though if you go Callaham you will probably see an improvement of function due to the delrin insert.) Replacing a pot metal block and/or bridge is where things can really show up.

    Case in point - a few years back I replaced the entire bridge assembly on my JLV strat with a Callaham - it functioned much better, but it wasn't like "OH MY GOSH IT SOUNDS SO MUCH BETTER"...
    BUT, I took the old bridge from the JLV and put it on my mid 80's, bullet truss rod MIJ Squier and HOLY CRAP - MAJOR improvement. The original bridge was die-cast saddles and pot metal block, and the guitar never was very lively or had much sustain - but with the JLV bridge that guitar came alive.
     
  19. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I always thought the vintage style steel block was the best. The later style zinc cast blocks aren’t nearly as good. I think I hear a difference with the steel block sounding a bit more solid.
     
  20. Stevn

    Stevn Senior Stratmaster

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    I agree Scott. When I learned to play lap steel one of the first things is “mass = sustain” referring to the tone bar.
    So if you have a crap metal resonator bar then your note’s “hang time “ is diminished. I get the longest clean notes on my strat now. It was just ok before.
    I wonder, if there is a sustain competition? Where you hit a note or chord and see who rings the longest? that would be interesting in a nerdy guitar freak way! :)
     
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