Floyd Rose sustain block

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Freddy G, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Wow....I just tried two different sustain blocks in my Floyd Rose equipped guitar.

    I changed the Floyd's original block to a tungsten carbide block:
    https://floydrose.com/collections/upgrades/products/frotub
    [​IMG]


    Yeah, it's not cheap at $124!

    But I wanted to get the most expensive one....cause I deserve it! (hey you should see my frivolous 1/4" Neutrik guitar plug encrusted with Swarovski crystals lol)
    [​IMG]

    But anyway, I did notice a bit more sustain than the original block but the tone shifted into a warmer, darker spectrum.

    Then I changed the block to a fat L shaped brass block:
    https://floydrose.com/collections/upgrades/products/froftbl?variant=29837560786

    [​IMG]

    Great Googly Moogly!!!!

    The guitar just came ALIVE. Spanky as hell. The High E and B strings ringing out LOUD.

    I just didn't expect THAT much of a difference.
     
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  2. Tone_Chaser

    Tone_Chaser Senior Member

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  3. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Ok I'm intrigued.

    I'm a fan of the tungsten blocks. I have one in the Phoenix guitar I just built. I agreed with your assessment across the board. Better sustain than a regular brass block, but a touch darker sound.

    Would you say the L shaped block gave you the same sustain as the tungsten block but a brighter tone?

    In the case of the Phoenix I have a JB trembucker in the bridge now which is a fairly bright pup and I like the warmth the tungsten block brings to balance that out so I doubt I'd swap it for a brass block, but for other axes....
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  4. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    yikes!!! and I thought the tungsten was expensive! i buy my stuff from floyd rose directly, not FU.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is the the fat L brass block sounded superior in every way. The tungsten sounds very 'controlled'....actually kind of boring. The brass just jumps out...louder, warmer, brighter....just more musical.
     
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  5. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Thanks :)

    I think I'll have to give one a try :)
     
  6. Tone_Chaser

    Tone_Chaser Senior Member

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    Looking forward to trying that one too. Got one I'll be finishing up in the spring.
     
  7. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    From the 32mm size can I assume that went into your Hentor?

    I bought that same 32mm tungsten block for my bosses bosses bosses guitar (Strat) and its considerably thinner in addition to being 5mm shorter than the 37mm I have in my phoenix.

    With the added thickness as well as length, the 37mm is almost double the mass of the 32.

    The Fat L shown in your picture looks thicker as well as having the extra L.

    Since the L block is not only longer, but also thicker, and has the extra L as well, would you say that the Fat L has more overall mass than the tungsten?
     
  8. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Those block pics above are just stock photos. In fact, the guitar swap I was referring to (yes indeed it was my personal Hentor) takes a 42mm block. Come to think of it...all my floyd equipped guitars take a 42 mm block.

    I have a pile of new 42mm L shaped fat brass blocks waiting to be installed in Hentor floyds, so I'll pull one out of the package and weigh it and the tungsten one as well once I get back to the home base later today. Right now I'm at the Skunkworks shop.
     
  9. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    With no neck angle, how do you fit a 42mm block into a 1.75" body?
     
  10. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Who says there's no neck angle? :wave:

    The Hentor does indeed have a neck angle. But not like you think. Like the original guitar that I backwards engineered, the heel of the neck is cut on an angle, not the neck pocket. Kind of a weird little thing but that's what it is.
     
  11. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    That makes sense :)

    I was trying to imagine (and failing) sticking a 42mm block in the Strat I'm building for the bosses bosses boss (I like saying that) which has zero neck angle. Block would be sticking out the back ...

    Well, not really, but the springs would be hitting the cover, forget about recessing the cover...
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  12. Who

    Who I'm back. Back in the New York groove.

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    I wonder how much better it would sound to have the block made from ebony, instead of Richlite.





    Seriously, though.... let's made some wooden ones, and use wood screws to hold them in.
     
  13. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    That would defeat the purpose. The idea of a sustain block is to add mass to the bridge. There is no wood that could be used thats as dense as even the block that comes by default. Making a wood block would reduce the mass of the bridge and really affect the sustain in the wrong direction...

    Its not a tone wood thing. Its a mass thing :)
     
  14. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    The tungsten block is 238 grams
    The brass block is 245 grams.

    So....virtually the same. That leads me to conclude that the material itself is the determining factor in the tone. Of course the one down side is that because the brass block is so much bigger, there is a reduction in the amount of clearance....you can't dive as much or pull back as much. But I'm fine with it....I don't need to dive so much that the strings are hanging off the neck, nor do I need to pull back more than a whole tone.

    If that's really serious, Skyjerk explained it well enough. If it's meant to be a "I don't believe you...all the tone comes from the pickups" kind of argument that we frequently have to suffer around here, you can believe what you want, and scoff all you want.
     
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  15. Who

    Who I'm back. Back in the New York groove.

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    No, I totally believe the trem materials affect the sound of a Strat. even dampening the springs with tubes of foam rubber affects the sound.

    Heck, I'd be willing to be a discerning ear can hear the difference between the sound when played by a fat-guy, guitar on his fat belly, versus a skinny-guy, guitar bouncing off his belt-buckle. I'd be willing to bet that sound difference is more significant than fretboard material.
     
  16. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    I'm thinking your brass block is fatter than the tungsten block?

    The 37mm fat tungsten block I have weighs 11.6 oz or 328 grams

    This is from info I could find on line, not from direct measurement, but I have to think thats substantially more than the 37mm L shaped brass block.

    Since tungsten is 19.40 grams per cm3 vs 8.70 for the brass, and in the case of mine their dimensions are the same except for the extra L-piece, the
    brass block has to be substantially less in the grams dept...

    I'm trying to decide if the more musical quality is worth the loss in mass. Probably the only way to tell is to swap it out and see for myself :)
     
  17. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Think about that for a minute. :cool2:
     
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  18. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Perhaps a better way of stating it would be to wonder if the potential loss of sustain is a worthy trade-off for slightly better tone :)
     
  19. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    I didn't notice a loss of sustain. Quite the opposite...more sustain.
     
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  20. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Yours were more or less equivalent in mass. In my case the brass one will have significantly less mass. Maybe 40%-ish less is a rough guess...

    Still, if the brass gave you more sustain at a roughly equal mass, perhaps I'll get the same sustain with less mass...

    Ive got the thing right here. Only thing I have to lose is a set or two of strings and some time....
     

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