anyone used both Callaham and fender vintage trems?

fender4life

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And by the way, i mean the american vintage fender trtem, not the MIM or anything else but the ones that came on the AVRI and probably the same one as on the pure vintage and AO lines. I assume they are all the same steel block trems. Anyways, i have the callaham and have used it for many years. But i am curious about the fender and how it compares sonically. The Callaham is very bright, yes, but it's also very great sounding aside from that and of course amp settings help to offset brightness. It's very harmonically right sounding, but i'd like to hear from anyone who's used both hopw the fender stacks up as tone goes.Not just "better" or "worse" but in what way....brighter, darker, as harmonically complex or not, etc etc. Not concerned with performance like tuning for example as i don''t use the trem much, but i'm not sure if they are drilled the same for the strings which can affect tension. Is the fender drilled shallow, IE: longer strings or deep, shorter?
 

SixStringSlinger

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Apologies in advance for not exactly meeting what you’re asking, but perhaps my experience can help.

I put a Callaham block on my 2005 American Deluxe Strat, which until then was all stock aside from a pickup replacement under warranty.

I had recently gotten my first Tele (which was also my first hardtail
guitar, and really my first electric at all aside from the Strat and an earlier Squier Strat). I loved the difference in tone which was due to many things but which I mostly put down to the strong being anchored to something more “solid” on the bridge end (it’s also relevant that I set my Strat’s trem to float).

To be clear, I already loved my Strat’s tone; I simply also loved the different tone I got from the Tele and wanted to cop a little of that for my Strat.

I eventually went for the Callaham block, which got me what I wanted; the same Strat tone in a floating set-up with just a dash more “solidity”.

I eventually also got the Callaham saddles (really just for the more vintage look) and trem springs, though none of these made as much of a tonal difference as the block.
 

Fenderbaum

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I felt that the Callaham operated more smoothly than my Pure Vintage Fender tremolo.
Sonically, cant say since i had Highwoods on the Callaham. Plugged in i hear no difference anyway.
They are drilled shallower than Fender in the block if i remember correctly.
Sold my Callaham in the end. I found regular Fender trem to work just as fine.
Only one i want to try is Wudtone these days.
Still i try to get a Callaham block for most trems since they have the delrin bushing. I dislike play and wobbly arms.
Just wish Fender could make Delrin equipped block that Callaham do, but for a cost-cutting loving company that Fender is, that will never happen..
 
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schmee

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I find no tone or sustain difference between Callaham or Fender full size blocks. The Callaham arm stays tight and not floppy though which is the big benefit. You'd think after ~70 years Fender could make a non wobbly Trem arm for the vintage style trem!
 

fender4life

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Apologies in advance for not exactly meeting what you’re asking, but perhaps my experience can help.

I put a Callaham block on my 2005 American Deluxe Strat, which until then was all stock aside from a pickup replacement under warranty.

I had recently gotten my first Tele (which was also my first hardtail
guitar, and really my first electric at all aside from the Strat and an earlier Squier Strat). I loved the difference in tone which was due to many things but which I mostly put down to the strong being anchored to something more “solid” on the bridge end (it’s also relevant that I set my Strat’s trem to float).

To be clear, I already loved my Strat’s tone; I simply also loved the different tone I got from the Tele and wanted to cop a little of that for my Strat.

I eventually went for the Callaham block, which got me what I wanted; the same Strat tone in a floating set-up with just a dash more “solidity”.

I eventually also got the Callaham saddles (really just for the more vintage look) and trem springs, though none of these made as much of a tonal difference as the block.
Thanks for the reply, but yeah, thats kinda apples and oranges. I was wondering about the vintage fender trem compared to the cally, not the deluxe which is a 2 post and they sound completely different to my ear than vintage. Really the only way to know is if someone has replaced a fender vintage trem equipped strat with a callaham or visa versa. I have a cally and like it but i put USA fender saddles on it and it sounds better like that, as the cally saddles are super hard and right. The fenders lose nothing in the way of chime or clarity or anything associated with brightness yet sound less tinny. So i wondered about the full fender USA vintage trem.
 

fender4life

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I find no tone or sustain difference between Callaham or Fender full size blocks. The Callaham arm stays tight and not floppy though which is the big benefit. You'd think after ~70 years Fender could make a non wobbly Trem arm for the vintage style trem!
Thats good to hear, thanks. As i said above i replaced my cally's saddles with USA fender vinatge and liked the result. So if the blocks sound the same i'd just stick with what i have. Just wondering about the full fender trem because i haven't had a strat with the USA one for many years and i forgot if it compares to the cally sonically.
 

Fretting out

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I find no tone or sustain difference between Callaham or Fender full size blocks. The Callaham arm stays tight and not floppy though which is the big benefit. You'd think after ~70 years Fender could make a non wobbly Trem arm for the vintage style trem!
Isn’t that what the little spring that people lose/don’t know what it’s for is for?
 

schmee

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Isn’t that what the little spring that people lose/don’t know what it’s for is for?
Yeah, but it doesn't really work very well, the arm still wobbles readily. Putting pressure on the end of a bolt with very loose threads does little really. You can buy the springs though, I have a few here. I have one in my Clapton Strat, it helps a tiny bit. I dont really want to change the block on the EC Strat trying to keep it mostly stock. I dont use trem much anymore anyway.
There are classes of threads, all they really have to do is specify a high quality level of thread tolerance, which is probably what Callaham does.
 

Fretting out

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Do they even come with that spring any more? I never even had one in my(long gone) CS Strat.
It should whether in the case or under a sticker in the trem hole

The vintage series has them and some American series, I don’t think Mexico does them
 




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