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2017 MIM Charvel: Floyd Sustain Block Upgrade

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  • 2017 MIM Charvel: Floyd Sustain Block Upgrade

    Has anyone upgraded the sustain block on their MIM Charvel, which has the FR 1000? Mine came with a size 32, and I'm wondering if the 32mm L-block will fit or I could go up to a 37mm block.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Nope sure haven't. I've only upgraded my MIJ Charvel.

    Comment


    • #3
      I upgraded my Satchel with a brass clock. 37mm fits.

      Comment


      • #4
        32mm is for recessed installs. 37mm is for top mount installs (i.e. the Satchel). 42mm is for installs on guitars with thicker bodies.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bryan View Post
          I upgraded my Satchel with a brass clock. 37mm fits.
          Fits sure, but how well does it keep the time?
          In the future though I need to remember to not buy guitars while on Nyquil

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by CaptNasty View Post
            32mm is for recessed installs. 37mm is for top mount installs (i.e. the Satchel). 42mm is for installs on guitars with thicker bodies.
            Yep, and if you're going upgrade to a brass block, you should consider upgrading to a brass spring claw at the same time, which will help bring back some of the highs.
            '95 Charvel San Dimas USA Model I Koa - BKP
            '91 Charvel 650 Custom - EMG 85/SLV/SLV+SPC
            '92 Jackson Soloist Pro MIJ
            '91 Charvel 475 Exotic Cherry Sunburst - Duncan PATB set
            '90 Charvel 475 XL
            '10 Charvel San Dimas MIJ Style 1 2H - JB/'59
            Mesa Boogie Quad Preamp/Stereo Simul-Class 2:90
            Mesa Boogie MkIII+ Simul-Class & MkIVb with Mark Series stack
            Marshall JVM410H

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Black Shadow View Post
              Yep, and if you're going upgrade to a brass block, you should consider upgrading to a brass spring claw at the same time, which will help bring back some of the highs.
              Yup, I got the brass spring claw and titanium screws. I also got the regular 32MM and the L-Block 32mm. Hoping I can make the L-Block work.

              Comment


              • #8
                The 37mm L block does NOT fit in my MIM San Dimas. I had to saw the L off. The reg 37mm block and the brass spring claw are good upgrades though. I believe it noticeably approved tone and sustain.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I just installed a 37mm on my 2017 MIM Charvel ProMod. My Floyd is a German OFR, The block came from FR, as well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Black Shadow View Post

                    Yep, and if you're going upgrade to a brass block, you should consider upgrading to a brass spring claw at the same time, which will help bring back some of the highs.
                    People usually get thicker brass blocks to help with sustain and bring back warmth. I don't really think a spring claw would affect tone, but if it did, wouldn't it yield warmer tone instead of bringing back some high end?
                    I feel my soul go cold... only the dead are smiling.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I did both at same time. The guitar is definitely warmer now. It was a little too shrill for me before.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A
                        Originally posted by toejam View Post

                        People usually get thicker brass blocks to help with sustain and bring back warmth. I don't really think a spring claw would affect tone, but if it did, wouldn't it yield warmer tone instead of bringing back some high end?
                        I have now done two different tremolo claw upgrades: brass and titanium. The brass claws sure don’t break the bank at < $10. The titanium claw was a bit more pricey at ~ $35. The guitar in question started life with a stock Floyd claw. In my opinion (and that of both of my grown sons) the tremolo claw does have an impact. Not as great as a sustain block, tremolo mounting stud, or saddle upgrades; but there is a noticeable difference.

                        The brass claw in my guitar reduced the treble resulting in greater warmth. It is basically the same effect as upgrading to a brass sustain block from a pot metal sustain block or upgrading from a stock brass sustain block to a big brass block, just less pronounced.

                        The Titanium claw was a different beast. I have read where people say that titanium increases treble. I disagree. The effect was subtle but noticeable and in my opinion was more balanced. There were more highs, mids, and lows left in the vibrating strings. Note clarity and articulation also seems to improve subtly. In my opinion the titanium is more “transparent” unlike other “tone” metals. One of the reasons (but not the only) that titanium is used in critical application like the aerospace industry is its ability to resist the absorption of sympathetic vibrations... like the type that occur when a string is plucked on a guitar. Also, for the energy that the titanium does transfer it does not have a frequency bias, unlike metals such as brass which are biased towards the transfer of higher frequency energy.

                        I have spent quite a bit of time of the past year reviewing peer reviewed academic sources such as scientific research, physics dissertations, and research from highly respected luthiers on the topics of tone woods, tone metal, Tremolo systems and their impact on passive sustain (the sustain that occurs naturally in an electric guitar when the instrument is not amplified) and as a result I now have a better understanding of the physics and mechanics of how electric guitars actually work.

                        There is a lot of misconception across the internet. We tend to get the net result right (e.g. brass sounds warmer, an alder body is brighter), but generally as players we do not understand why brass makes our tone warmer or why alder makes our tone brighter. The tremolo claw is another example. A floating tremolo is a perfect mechanical design for the transmission of energy in the form of vibration, but people use “common sense” to form our opinions on how we think the different parts affect the overall system.

                        A tremolo system dissipates the energy it absorbs in one of two ways: 1) it converts some of the energy to heat and dissipates that heat into the dampening medium (I.e. air) surrounding the tremolo and 2) it transfers the energy to connected components in the form of vibration. This process continues for each component until the energy is transferred to a much larger sink with the capacity to accept greater amounts of energy: the guitar body. Once the energy is transferred to the guitar body, the guitar body resonates, converting the energy to heat which dissipates into the dampening medium. There are only two locations at which a tremolo can transfer energy to the guitar body: the tremolo claw and the mounting studs. For purposes of completeness another source of energy transfer is via the nut (for unfretted notes) or via fret contact (for fretted notes), but that is not part of the tremolo system.

                        The vibrations that are absorbed by a tremolo system are a form of “free vibration” known as “simple harmonic vibration”. The springs of the tremolo act as a “restorative source” to counter any disturbance that occurs within the system (e.g. a string being plucked, a palm being rested on the tremolo, the tremolo arm being moved). For the spring to act as a restorative source, energy has to make it to the springs. If energy makes it to the springs, some energy will also make it to the tremolo claw.

                        The only way tremolo components that are not directly attached to the guitar body (sustain block, saddles, base plate) can eliminate the energy they absorb is to either convert it to heat or to transfer the energy to connected components. The tremolo claw is definitely in play. It may not receive as much energy as the mounting studs, but is does receive energy. All you have to do to verify that the tremolo claw plays a role in energy transfer from the string is to pluck a string and then measure the vibration in the claw. The claw does in fact vibrate and thus plays a verifiable role in the transfer of energy from the strings to the guitar body. Anything that receives energy originating from the strings plays some role in the overall tone of the guitar.

                        When all is said and done, I believe the greatest misconception that I see many players tout is the idea that tremolo materials, tone woods, etc add to tone. They do not. They affect tone by removing energy from the strings. Some materials are more biased to absorb high frequency energy, others are more biased to low frequency, etc. The energy that is not removed is the energy that keeps the strings vibrating so the pickups can translate the vibration to an electrical signal. And no, the vibration of wood does NOT interact with your pickups. Modern pickups have been designed to prevent that: tightly wound, potted coils. If your windings were accepting sympathetic vibrations from the guitar body you would get squealing and feedback of the bad kind.
                        Last edited by CaptNasty; 07-23-2019, 01:54 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CaptNasty View Post
                          A

                          I have now done two different tremolo claw upgrades: brass and titanium. The brass claws sure don’t break the bank at < $10. The titanium claw was a bit more pricey at ~ $35. The guitar in question started life with a stock Floyd claw. In my opinion (and that of both of my grown sons) the tremolo claw does have an impact. Not as great as a sustain block, tremolo mounting stud, or saddle upgrades; but there is a noticeable difference.

                          The brass claw in my guitar reduced the treble resulting in greater warmth. It is basically the same effect as upgrading to a brass sustain block from a pot metal sustain block or upgrading from a stock brass sustain block to a big brass block, just less pronounced.

                          The Titanium claw was a different beast. I have read where people say that titanium increases treble. I disagree. The effect was subtle but noticeable and in my opinion was more balanced. There were more highs, mids, and lows left in the vibrating strings. Note clarity and articulation also seems to improve subtly. In my opinion the titanium is more “transparent” unlike other “tone” metals. One of the reasons (but not the only) that titanium is used in critical application like the aerospace industry is its ability to resist the absorption of sympathetic vibrations... like the type that occur when a string is plucked on a guitar. Also, for the energy that the titanium does transfer it does not have a frequency bias, unlike metals such as brass which are biased towards the transfer of higher frequency energy.

                          I have spent quite a bit of time of the past year reviewing peer reviewed academic sources such as scientific research, physics dissertations, and research from highly respected luthiers on the topics of tone woods, tone metal, Tremolo systems and their impact on passive sustain (the sustain that occurs naturally in an electric guitar when the instrument is not amplified) and as a result I now have a better understanding of the physics and mechanics of how electric guitars actually work.

                          There is a lot of misconception across the internet. We tend to get the net result right (e.g. brass sounds warmer, an alder body is brighter), but generally as players we do not understand why brass makes our tone warmer or why alder makes our tone brighter. The tremolo claw is another example. A floating tremolo is a perfect mechanical design for the transmission of energy in the form of vibration, but people use “common sense” to form our opinions on how we think the different parts affect the overall system.

                          A tremolo system dissipates the energy it absorbs in one of two ways: 1) it converts some of the energy to heat and dissipates that heat into the dampening medium (I.e. air) surrounding the tremolo and 2) it transfers the energy to connected components in the form of vibration. This process continues for each component until the energy is transferred to a much larger sink with the capacity to accept greater amounts of energy: the guitar body. Once the energy is transferred to the guitar body, the guitar body resonates, converting the energy to heat which dissipates into the dampening medium. There are only two locations at which a tremolo can transfer energy to the guitar body: the tremolo claw and the mounting studs. For purposes of completeness another source of energy transfer is via the nut (for unfretted notes) or via fret contact (for fretted notes), but that is not part of the tremolo system.

                          The vibrations that are absorbed by a tremolo system are a form of “free vibration” known as “simple harmonic vibration”. The springs of the tremolo act as a “restorative source” to counter any disturbance that occurs within the system (e.g. a string being plucked, a palm being rested on the tremolo, the tremolo arm being moved). For the spring to act as a restorative source, energy has to make it to the springs. If energy makes it to the springs, some energy will also make it to the tremolo claw.

                          The only way tremolo components that are not directly attached to the guitar body (sustain block, saddles, base plate) can eliminate the energy they absorb is to either convert it to heat or to transfer the energy to connected components. The tremolo claw is definitely in play. It may not receive as much energy as the mounting studs, but is does receive energy. All you have to do to verify that the tremolo claw plays a role in energy transfer from the string is to pluck a string and then measure the vibration in the claw. The claw does in fact vibrate and thus plays a verifiable role in the transfer of energy from the strings to the guitar body. Anything that receives energy originating from the strings plays some role in the overall tone of the guitar.

                          When all is said and done, I believe the greatest misconception that I see many players tout is the idea that tremolo materials, tone woods, etc add to tone. They do not. They affect tone by removing energy from the strings. Some materials are more biased to absorb high frequency energy, others are more biased to low frequency, etc. The energy that is not removed is the energy that keeps the strings vibrating so the pickups can translate the vibration to an electrical signal. And no, the vibration of wood does NOT interact with your pickups. Modern pickups have been designed to prevent that: tightly wound, potted coils. If your windings were accepting sympathetic vibrations from the guitar body you would get squealing and feedback of the bad kind.
                          Great post!

                          I recently added a brass block + brass claw to my Soloist Pro and feel it went TOO far toward warmth at the expense of attack, especially for the stock J50BC, which is a mildly warmed up PAF style anyway.

                          I am probably going back to the stock claw + possibly a titanium block (you can find some reasonably priced ones on ebay....it's not like they are sourced from Mars, although you wouldn't know it from some vendors!!! ). I believe this will restore the attack that I am now sorely missing. It is amazing how much of a difference those two pieces made.

                          '95 Charvel San Dimas USA Model I Koa - BKP
                          '91 Charvel 650 Custom - EMG 85/SLV/SLV+SPC
                          '92 Jackson Soloist Pro MIJ
                          '91 Charvel 475 Exotic Cherry Sunburst - Duncan PATB set
                          '90 Charvel 475 XL
                          '10 Charvel San Dimas MIJ Style 1 2H - JB/'59
                          Mesa Boogie Quad Preamp/Stereo Simul-Class 2:90
                          Mesa Boogie MkIII+ Simul-Class & MkIVb with Mark Series stack
                          Marshall JVM410H

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If it is only attack you are wanting to address (I am referring to attack in the sense of the initial note bloom due to a string being plucked) , you might be able to change your pick material and get the attack you are after. I was unhappy with attack on my instruments and tried several different pick materials before finding Dunlop Primetones, which gave the attack I was after. I believe the Primetone is based on Ultex.

                            The other big upgrade you can do is to go with a Tungsten (NOT Titanium) block. A standard sized Tungsten block has the mass of a brass big block. They also make a Tungsten big block. Tungsten gives a very lively, aggressive voice to overdriven tones and is very articulate. On clean tones Tungsten is lively and articulate.

                            I also like the noiseless springs. In short, they eliminate the reverb like effect that tremolo springs can create.

                            I will also replace the stock string inserts with Titanium. This is not a tone upgrade from what I have experienced, but the Titanium inserts do not crack, swell, or rust.

                            Comment

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