Callham block on a Springy?

Tokai guitar discussion

Moderators: ian, ned

villager
Guitar God
Posts: 3738
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:24 pm
Location: Middle of Nowhere.. France.
Contact:

Post by villager » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:39 am

no he used the wilkinson...

JohnA
Guitar God
Posts: 4176
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:49 am
Location: Leicester UK

Post by JohnA » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:49 am

Good info. Project for the weekend then, install a wilkinson trem on my ST-80. I'll post my findings when I'm done!

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Wilkinson-Strat-b ... dZViewItem
Last edited by JohnA on Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

kmarccoco
Guitar God
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:48 pm
Location: California

Post by kmarccoco » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:59 am

ahhhh, those look good. but i want to keep mine as close to vintage looking/function as possible. callaham would be good, wonder if they make custom drillings.....

JohnA
Guitar God
Posts: 4176
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:49 am
Location: Leicester UK

Post by JohnA » Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:12 am

kmarccoco wrote:ahhhh, those look good. but i want to keep mine as close to vintage looking/function as possible. callaham would be good, wonder if they make custom drillings.....
Put the original saddles back on and no-one would know the difference, apart from the push-in arm.

luis
Guitar God
Posts: 2428
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Spain

Post by luis » Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:57 am

Going on with Callaham block I have a question too.What about a Silver Star?I guess '79 SS-36 has not a steel or iron and I think a steel one would improve tone on it.I know not being steel because I try a magnet and it was refused away from the block....

chrisheyes
Guitar God
Posts: 714
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 9:56 am
Location: NW England

Post by chrisheyes » Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:03 pm

JohnA wrote:
kmarccoco wrote:ahhhh, those look good. but i want to keep mine as close to vintage looking/function as possible. callaham would be good, wonder if they make custom drillings.....
Put the original saddles back on and no-one would know the difference, apart from the push-in arm.
Sorry for the late reply chaps, been away on business

Unfortunately that didn't work for me :cry:

The Tokai saddles have a smaller apperture in them than the Wilkinson ones. When I put the Tokai saddles on the apperture in the saddle didn't line up with the hole in the top plate, hence either the string wouldn't go through or there was no adjustment for intonation.

The Final ProSpec Tremolo's are the most accurate clone of the pre CBS Fender Tremolo.

chrisheyes
Guitar God
Posts: 714
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 9:56 am
Location: NW England

Post by chrisheyes » Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:14 pm

luis wrote:Going on with Callaham block I have a question too.What about a Silver Star?I guess '79 SS-36 has not a steel or iron and I think a steel one would improve tone on it.I know not being steel because I try a magnet and it was refused away from the block....
I can answer this one too Luis

I have a '79 SS38 which I've replaced the original non-steel tremolo with a Final ProSpec Trem, along with changing all the internal electrics with top quality stuff and pickups to Bare Knuckle Trilogies (Top Right in photo)
Image
The guitar came alive with marked improvement in tone and sustain

The pickups are very high output - 11.5K Neck and Middle, 15.5K Bridge



This is what the guitar sounds like now with all the mods (Click on link below and download the MP3)

http://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/for ... highlight=

Chris

kmarccoco
Guitar God
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:48 pm
Location: California

Post by kmarccoco » Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:57 pm

nice picture Chris. THREE MAPLE NECK ST's!!!!!!!

i need another!!!!! do all the maple's u have sound alike? or different. what is the tone differences on each??????

Cybercat
Guitar God
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 12:52 pm
Location: Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
Contact:

Post by Cybercat » Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:22 pm

kmarccoco wrote:nice picture Chris. THREE MAPLE NECK ST's!!!!!!!

i need another!!!!! do all the maple's u have sound alike? or different. what is the tone differences on each??????
The one in the middle of the three looks strangely familiar to me... Image
Bill - Hong Kong.
http://homepage.mac.com/cybercat/

My current Skype status is : -
Image

chrisheyes
Guitar God
Posts: 714
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 9:56 am
Location: NW England

Post by chrisheyes » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:21 am

kmarccoco wrote:nice picture Chris. THREE MAPLE NECK ST's!!!!!!!

i need another!!!!! do all the maple's u have sound alike? or different. what is the tone differences on each??????
From top left to right they are '84 Goldstar ST-50, '80 ST-80 and then '80 ST-100.

The middle one will be 'Strangly familiar' to Cybercat as it now belongs to him :wink: He swapped a very cool Jeff Beck signature Fender Strat. Which, to get back to the thread of this topic has a Callaham Steel Block.

ST-50 is very very bright, ST-80 was bright and vintage the ST-100 has vintage tone and now with Custom Wound David Barfuss Pickups and the Wilkinson Steel BLock Tremolo it's strings ring evenly, has long sustain and oodles of tone.

settebello
Guitar God
Posts: 1262
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:13 pm
Location: France,Lorraine

Post by settebello » Sat Apr 14, 2007 11:32 am

Whats about the ES in the middle? We found in another Topic,that
marcusniesmann has a very close Sister of my ES 100R(10131825).
Think it must be funny,to find a lot of 1981 First Run ES Guitars.

Volker

BigTone
I only know 3 chords
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:30 pm
Location: Somerset UK

Post by BigTone » Sat Apr 21, 2007 2:08 pm

I fitted the Callaham block (and whole bridge assembly) to my mexican classic series strat a couple of years ago and it definately made an improvement. It certainly didn't make it brighter as someone was asking earlier, but was louder and clearer when played acoustically and has better sustain. Generally a fuller and more pure sound.
Not only are they made from the correct lead-free steel to the correct dimensions but they are also manufactured correctly by cold rolling i.e. forging and not casting.
I'd reccomend them to anyone, and Bill Callaham is a top guy, I had a problem with a thread stripping a year after I bought it and Bill sent me another one to the UK free of charge!

kmarccoco
Guitar God
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:48 pm
Location: California

Post by kmarccoco » Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:54 pm

BigTone wrote:Not only are they made from the correct lead-free steel to the correct dimensions but they are also manufactured correctly by cold rolling i.e. forging and not casting.
I'd reccomend them to anyone, and Bill Callaham is a top guy, I had a problem with a thread stripping a year after I bought it and Bill sent me another one to the UK free of charge!
are the wilkinson vs6sb made in the same method, cold rolling, forging using led free steel ect? i would have went with calaham, but would have had to re drill. so i got the wilkinson. i read their info page, it seems to elude to theymake them the same way.

Cybercat
Guitar God
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 12:52 pm
Location: Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
Contact:

Post by Cybercat » Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:20 pm

Hi kmarccoco,

I don't think so. But it's certainly going to be a marked improvement over the Zamak one!

I've not tried the Wilkinson personally, though it does look as if it might have been be easier to slap on there by myself.
I'm not sure if the fit would be as, erm, 'tight" & transfer as much of the vibrations & whatnot as with the Callaham, owing to the elongated holes etc.;
...but whether anyone in the audience would ever hear any difference between the 2 in a crowded pub gig, after a few beers, & when played through a cranked amp &/or distortion pedals, over drums & bass etc. is altogether another matter though. Image

I read a mammoth thread on the Fender Discussion Forum a while ago where Bill Callaham maintained that he's the only one with the correct special UNS 1018 cold rolled steel & all the milling machines, tools and so forth to make them the way he does. Apparently the steel blocks on some of the Fenders, for example, are made from pressed, powdered steel, others are either a hot rolled leaded steel, or soft cast steel - none of which apparently gives the optimum results tonally.

I fitted a Callaham block on a MIJ Strat 5 or 6 years ago, and to a Jeff Beck Strat about 3 years ago, and in both cases it made a world of difference, louder, clearer, fuller, more sustain, but as BigTone says above, not brighter.

Callaham also makes a big deal out of machining the exact correct angle of the bevel on the bottom side of the plate which allows the bridge to pivot, and which they say must not extend past the diameter of the pivot screws :-

Here's the Fender Custom Shop plate: -
Image
...and the Callaham one: -
Image
Here's the spiel : -
The Fender bridge is not only crudely angled but extends well past the diameter of the pivot screws. This causes the bridge now to try and pivot along 2 axis. The bridge slides down the screws instead of pivoting and then must slide back up on return. This creates unnecessary friction and inconsistent return to pitch.
More info here: -
http://www.callahamguitars.com/bridges.htm
and here: -
http://www.callahamguitars.com/blocks.htm

This will be the first time I'm trying his top-plate too.
My ST-80 Springy is still with luthier Simon Pinder (high humidity here has made the refinishing take longer than expected, he can't do the re-assembly & set-up etc. till it's hardened enough to be buffed out) ...but I should be collecting it within the next week.

I will report back on the difference the Callaham assembly has made on that as soon as I get it back, & do a couple of gigs with it. Image
Bill - Hong Kong.
http://homepage.mac.com/cybercat/

My current Skype status is : -
Image

Post Reply