FDP Home Page / FDP Forum / FAQ's

The FDP is made possible by the following companies and individual members like you.
Please use the links below to show them we value their sponsorship.

Jensen Loudspeakers

Amplified Parts

Guitar Center

Apex Tube Matching

Antique Electronics Supply

WD Music

Musician's Friend

Yellowjackets Tube Converters

Sweetwater

Advertise here

MOD KITS DIY


* God bless America and our men and women in uniform *

* Illegitimi non carborundum! *

If you benefit and learn from the FDP and enjoy our site, please help support us and become a Contributing Member or make a Donation today! The FDP counts on YOU to help keep the site going with an annual contribution. It's quick and easy with PayPal. Please do it TODAY!

Chris Greene, Host & Founder

LOST YOUR PASSWORD?

......................................................................

   
FDP Jam
Calendar
Find musicians
in your area!
  Search the Forums  

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Callaham block and saddles input

Next 20 Messages  
Big Joe

USA

Oct 7th, 2018 07:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

Have those who have installed Callaham block and saddles noted an improvement to tone, clarity and sustain verses stock Fender hardware?

(This message was last edited by Big Joe at 10:00 PM, Oct 7th, 2018)

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
**********
****

USA/Taos, NM

Oct 7th, 2018 09:30 PM   Edit   Profile  

In short, no. I've tried various parts from Callaham and have learned to take his (their) claims with a grain of salt. Back in the day when I was first checking out their stuff, there was a claim that their trem block had an extra "quarter pound" of mass compared to a modern Fender block. Well...it's actually more like a couple of ounces (maybe). My wife is in the food prep biz and has a nutritionist's scale (very accurate) and I certainly measured it out.

I still use some of the Callaham parts on one of my Strats, and some compensated brass saddles on my Tele; only because they are certainly well made parts. But I'm sure there are other quality parts around that are made just as well and also do a serviceable job.

But the claims of significantly improved "tone and sustain" over standard Fender parts (which I think are also made well) is a bit of a stretch. By all means, they are quality parts; I just wouldn't go overboard spending tons of money upgrading guitars thinking you'll get a stellar change in tone.

Not reality in my book. YMMV...

littleuch
Contributing Member
**********
*******

Ocala, Florida

Outrage is the new twinkie
Oct 8th, 2018 05:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

If you have the money you'll never be happy unless you try for yourself. If it's an exhorbent expense for your budget you'll likely hear a huge difference. :-p


Big Joe

USA

Oct 8th, 2018 07:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

I need new saddles. Callaham saddles are $40 a set. The saddles, trem block, new springs and arm are $126. Not that expensive. That’s the reason for my question on the block. Change it all or just the saddles.

littleuch
Contributing Member
**********
*******

Ocala, Florida

Outrage is the new twinkie
Oct 8th, 2018 07:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

A friend, bandmate and someone I trust immensely bought a Callaham brass block and swears it solved some spiky issue he had on his guitar. He sold me his Callaham steel block, I already had a Callaham top plate, but not the saddles. To my ears there is a subtle acoustic difference when the guitar is played unplugged. Plugged in, too many variables for me to opine honestly. I like quality parts in my builds and Callaham certain is that. I recently added some Highwood Contoured Vintage Saddles to this guitar and really like the look, fit and function.

Big Joe

USA

Oct 8th, 2018 10:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

I ultimately went with new Callaham saddles which I need anyway. I’ll report back after I install them.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Oct 8th, 2018 10:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

I am of course biased as I used to work there and consider Bill an acquaintance. As far as tone as sustain, when it comes to say an MIM Strat with the real small block, yes I definitely noticed a difference. I think it may be less of a difference when it comes to the more substantial blocks found in the 2000's American Series Strats, though I don't know for sure. The MIM offers the biggest upgrade because those blocks(at least the one in my 2002) were quite small and made of zinc.

It's certainly possible that it changes sound just as saddle material on an acoustic can. It's all involved in the process however large or small the influence is, it's just hard to quantify.

What the parts do sound wise aside, they are definitely some of the highest quality parts for guitars out there. No doubt about it.

(This message was last edited by Achase4u at 12:26 PM, Oct 8th, 2018)

Big Joe

USA

Oct 8th, 2018 11:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have an American Standard and am looking forward to see how the Callaham saddles work with my Strat.

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
**********
****

USA/Taos, NM

Oct 8th, 2018 11:23 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yes, I agree...when upgrading something like an imported guitar with less than optimum parts, you are more likely to notice a difference.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Oct 8th, 2018 11:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

I personally use the Callaham parts for their high quality and the tonal perks are just icing on the cake. I think they exist but I think everyone's idea of how big a change it is will be different, which leads to disappointment in some cases.

I like that the Strat bridges are close vintage repro's. I recall Bill having an original block scanned by an SEM to find the same grade of CRS etc. It's a nice reproduction with some modern upgrades.

Big Joe

USA

Oct 12th, 2018 09:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

Well I just installed new Callaham saddles on my ‘93 Strat.
While they obviously did not transform my guitar, I did notice, a bit more sustain and note clarity. All in all, this was a good $40 investment.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Oct 12th, 2018 10:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

Glad that it worked out for you. It's one of those things that some people say makes a good effect, and some say they don't hear it, thus the contention.

I'm glad it worked out for *you*.



stratcowboy
Contributing Member
**********
****

USA/Taos, NM

Oct 12th, 2018 10:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

Amen.

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Oct 12th, 2018 11:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

One of the most important things to check is to make sure that the bridge plate is securely fastened to the tremolo block.
I'll take a good flat mill file and smooth the top of the block to make sure that it goes flush to the bridge plate. That is one of the most important things that can be done for your guitar when working on your tremolo setup. Then, if you have the right tap,clean out the screw threads to ensure a smooth and secure fitting happens. This is all just good maintenance for your bridge.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Oct 12th, 2018 11:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

Cal is correct. When I would assemble the bridges for sale at Callaham, we were told to use gorilla strength to tighten the three machine screws down that hold the plate to the block. Important for max tone and sustain.

Once every so many years I'll tighten those suckers back down as much as possible.

Leftee
Contributing Member
**********
**********
********

VA

Oct 12th, 2018 12:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

They let you out of the zoo to work at Callaham?!?!?!?

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Oct 13th, 2018 02:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

Special furlough program for the gifted-grippers.

ejm

usa

Oct 13th, 2018 08:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

Big Joe: You noticed a difference.

However, when you made the change, did you also put on new strings, or did you use the current ones?


Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Oct 13th, 2018 01:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

"However, when you made the change, did you also put on new strings, or did you use the current ones?"

Indeed there are many variables at play. It's so hard to isolate what changes we are hearing.

Big Joe

USA

Oct 13th, 2018 06:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

Good point .....New strings.. however, the strings on the guitar were only a week old with very little play.

(This message was last edited by Big Joe at 08:10 PM, Oct 13th, 2018)

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Callaham block and saddles input




Reply to this Topic
Display my email address             Lost your password?
Your Message:
Link Address (URL):
Link Title:




Moderators: Chris Greene  Iron Man  reverendrob  

FDP, LLC Privacy Policy: Your real name, username, and email
are held in confidence and not disclosed to any third parties, sold, or
used for anything other than FDP Forum registration unless you specifically authorize disclosure.

Furtkamp.com 
Internet Application Development

Copyright © 1999-2018 Fender Discussion Page, LLC   All Rights Reserved