If I deck the trem, do I still need a larger trem block?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by A1exand3r, Nov 30, 2019.

  1. A1exand3r

    A1exand3r TDPRI Member

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    As the title implies, if I block or deck my trem, should I still get an upgraded brass block? Will it still have an effect such as greater sustain over the baby trem block that's currently in my 03 MIM strat?

    Thanks in advance for everyone's knowledge and help
     
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  2. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    Changing blocks, blocking or decking the tremolo unit has little or no discernable effect on sustain.
     
  3. A1exand3r

    A1exand3r TDPRI Member

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    Wow, really? Thanks so much for the info. I would much rather not spend money needlessly.
    I'm an intermediate player, and I haven't even considered learning any trem techniques yet, I'm just not sure I'm ready.
    Most of my experience has been with hard-tail bridges, but I sold those a couple years ago at a very low point of my life. I finally have my regular life together again, and a $250 pawn shop strat is my starting point of getting my musical life back together. So I'm trying to slowly turn it into a high(er) quality instrument.
     
  4. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    Swapping the entire bridge unit for a better quality one may make you feel better and improve the way the guitar feels, even if achieving nothing else. :)
     
  5. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Afflicted

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    I personally stick a piece of hardwood tightly behind the trem block

    I figure it can’t hurt to have more solid mass directly in contact with the block
    Does it make a big difference probably not but you don’t have to tighten the springs as much

    I’ve never noticed a big difference between my big block and small block strats as far as sustain goes and that’s with the bridge just decked without my block of wood “mod”
     
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  6. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Howdy & welcome!
    I concur!
     
  7. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    You don't have to use a larger block but it will change the sound if you do.
    I put a large brass block in mine then blocked it and it significantly increased the sustain and changed the sound acoustically. It made the blocking part easier too because the block was uniform in shape so much easier to match the wood block to. I just went with a gfs brass block though. Not a fancy pants expensive one. It does make your guitar noticeably heavier though. I think the block is the most important part of the trem provided the saddles etc all work normally. The saddles, plate and arm wont change the sound and resonance much if at all but the brass block will. So will blocking the trem.

    20191017_194327.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  8. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Holic

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    If you can hear an increase on sustain with a heavier trem block (wether it’s real or in your head), it will be there wether the trem is decked or floating.
    When I still had my strat, I could feel a difference with the trem floating or decked, but the tone was the same as far as I could tell.
     
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  9. A1exand3r

    A1exand3r TDPRI Member

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    My interest in blocking or decking the trem purely has to do with not being able to adjust my playing technique. The hard bend will drop my other notes pitch, and I just can't seem to get past it. As far as adding a brass trem block goes, it was more of a curiosity thing. I figured if it would help something, then it was worth considering.
     
  10. A1exand3r

    A1exand3r TDPRI Member

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    Btw, all of you are awesome! I can't believe how fast the replies rolled in.
     
  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sustain isn't great on a Strat type because of the tremolo. Decking it or blocking it WILL improve the sustain and tone, but the amount of improvement in sustain will be subtile. The improvement of tone will be noticeable. Any improvement to the saddles and trem block will change the tone for the better. I've done it and it works.
     
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  12. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tightening the spring claw or adding another spring seems to do pretty much the same thing IME. It's not like it's a floating Floyd.
    YMMV of course.
     
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  13. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    Without wading into whether or not changing the block changes anything, decking/blocking the trem will not negate whatever change the trem block makes. Look at how many players deck/block their Strat trems but still use a Strat with a trem, even though hardtail and through-body Strats are there for the taking, from Fender and others.

    The trem block itself may or may not make much difference, but the entire assembly certainly does vs. other types of bridges.
     
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  14. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    Play around with it...only way you'll know!

    Try 5 heavy springs first and deck it. Lost of options for blocks and the most expensive ~$65 which is chicken feed in the guitar nerd world.

    I'm currently floating my bridge with 5 springs. I want to try blocking next but with limited tools and access to a shop I'm at a loss as how to manufacture a nice tight block....
     
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  15. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity

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    Those that want to deck the trem, should not be allowed to have possession of a Stratocaster :D
     
  16. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    If you want to come over and take mine off me, you're welcome to try, anytime. :D
     
  17. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Decking the trem will allow some use(diving and dive warbling) while allowing the player to palm mute and still get that Strat sound that comes from the springs. Great if you are a Mostly Rhythm player with occasional trem use.

    Decking adds more connection of the bridge to the body for more full body tone while still having the spring influence. Ditch the springs and then you just have any hardtail guitar.
     
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  18. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have large trem blocks on my Strats. One a Callaham. My Strats have the best resonance and sustain I have experienced on an electric guitar.(unplugged) To tell the truth though, they rose to the top of "keeper' guitars because they had sustain in the first place ... before I put the heavy blocks on them.
    I'm not 100% convinced the blocks improved things or not ....to tell the truth. I believe they did, but if so, it's a minor thing, maybe more than nut material or bridge insert type, but still minor.

    I believe the Strat Trem system improves resonance, but I don't believe it has much to do with intimate contact like decking... I've had hardtails that seem much deader. But even that is a misnomer as no two guitars are alike.
    After all.. an argument could be made that a big bell like the Liberty Bell resonates floating in air better than it will sitting on your deck.

    I deck my trems to stay in tune and like them that way. I wont believe your floating trem will stay in tune until you come over, do some deep dives, and show me regardless of locking tuners, roller nuts or etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
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  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My feeling is that most of the discussed changes will have some effect on sound and response, just like changing from one body to another will change the guitar a little.
    As far as the idea of “more/less sustain” goes I think this is overrated and over discussed online.

    For one thing a lot of what we hear as sustain comes from the amp and FX, plus the electric guitar is not a complete instrument when uuplugged, and becomes whole when the speaker drives the strings and adds sustain.

    I do think I’ve heard a change going from one of the mini blocks to a heavy steel block, but OTOH I recently changed out the steel block on an MIM road worn for a cavity filling block of maple that fits tight and essentially makes it a hardtail.
    Can’t say it lost or gained any tone, but it lost some weight!
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    63E37777-0B5B-4B61-9C65-AD1A8ABC1B02.jpeg THIS is a trem block!
    Hold the trem...
     
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