Fender Pure Vintage VS Callaham Trem Parts

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by cooljuk, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    I'm in the process of building 5 Strats for myself, to house my demo pickups, and was convinced by a friend I trust to give Fender's new Pure Vintage / American Vintage hardware a chance, with promises that it amazingly accurate and of the highest quality. I gave it a chance on his advice and when my first trem system arrived I did some side-by-side comparison photos to my old reliable standby, Callaham.

    I thought some of you guys may also find these comparison photos useful. If anyone would like any specific measurements or photos of particular details, please let me know. I would be happy to accommodate and won't be able to install the hardware until the paint is done in a month or more, anyway.

    Enjoy!


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  2. BlueCajun

    BlueCajun Senior Member

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    Interesting. I'm a little biased in that I have a 65 Reissue that I love. I've also never tried the Callaham hardware. But holy cow! I love the machining marks on the Callaham block. It's like a work of art. I'm also curious whether you'll hear any sonic differences.
     
  3. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Nice.

    I have an old school machinist buddy at work..gonna see if he can make me Delrin sleeves to fit in my blocks where the trem arm fits..which to me is the advantage of the Callaham. There will ONLY be Fender saddles on my Strats though..

    Tonally however..would really love to hear a blind and unbiased test..

    Some say it's the mass that matters..

    But to be fair, a full size zinc block should be included.:cool:
     
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  4. ntotoro

    ntotoro Member

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    Beat me to it. That's the one that that, tonal improvement or not, I love about the Callaham block. You can get rid of that spring most everyone loses anyway and the Delrin bushing combined with his arms adds to zero slop in the motion at all. Whenever I have a Strat with an American Vintage trem, I only replace the block and bar.

    Still oddball that I live like fifteen minutes from his shop, but he still requires mail order. I'm sure there's some practical business reason for it.

    Nick
     
  5. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    If he makes you some, can I get in on that? I'd like a few myself. Though I've not yet installed the new Fender trem in a guitar, my Callahams feel so much better than my Am Std. trem or trems any Strats on the music store wall I've picked up, because there's no slop in the Callaham arm.
     
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  6. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    btw - I'd consider doing a sonic shootout recording but I don't have a spare Callaham trem plate, just the block and saddles. I bought the Callaham set in the photos several years ago for my American Standard (with the 2-point plate) but ended up removing it promptly because I actually enjoy the extra wiggle room of the stock angled block in that guitar, with the 2-point. If I can get my paws on just the Callaham plate for a 6-screw mount, to have a complete system for comparison, I'll consider doing a sonic comparison recording when the guitars are built/finished.
     
  7. GT40

    GT40 Senior Member

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    I replaced the pot metal block on a MIM Strat with a Callaham. The pot metal was 0.1oz (2.8g) lighter than the steel block and there was no noticeable change in tone. But the term arm had no slop.

    If mass is the most important thing, a Gotoh block I got from Stew Mac was 0.3oz (8.4g) heavier than the Callaham and the mating surface was just as good.
     
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