Big Blocks and Other Upgrades - Jemsite
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
 
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Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

Has anyone replaced thier Edge, Lo Pro Edge, Edge Pro etc....block with a big block from FRUpgrades? Is there a dramatic difference. Also, I had a tremolno on one of my prestiges a while back but saw the FRUpgrades has thier own version and didnt know which is better?

I know these are only opinions and not definitive but advice is needed........
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

Check this out:

http://www.jemsite.com/forums/f21/bi...ro-114683.html
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 05:41 PM
 
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

I have tried it a lot (on many different guitars) and it makes a very noticeable difference both in sound and feel. The first to the worse and the second to the better, it sounds less good than the original block but feels great (the trem gets more stable).

The direct feeling the first time you try it is that it makes the bass and heights more prominent. The bass sounds a bit tighter and less muddy and the heights clearer.
But if you really analyse it (and look at the sound in a spectrum analyzer) do you see that the reason why it sounds like that is that a lot of the mid range are gone.
It does not really do much in bass and heights, it just sounds like that because other frequencies are missing.

Those missing frequencies makes it harder to cut through when your playing over music (especially real instruments instead of computer sample sounds).
Most of the tone that makes a guitar a guitar are in the mid range.
(That is what made me analyze it, that I had harder to be heard over music when playing live or in studio).

For me are that a very bad thing.


Feel wise do the extra wight make the tremolo more stable, strings feels a bit less slinky (sort of the feel difference between 09 and 10's strings, but not as much). A bit less wobbliness. Trem work will require a bit more force.

For me are that a very good thing.


All in all, sound comes first.
I took most of them away quickly but left one for a 100 gig job in France just to really try it even more (give it one more chance). But after coming home did I remove that block too.
I gave them all away.

A lot of people disagree, but when you really talk about have they never really analyzed it (not any of the ones I have talked to that can be trusted). They have just stayed with that initial feeling and not really given it any more thoughts than that.
(Noting wrong with that, that's not what I mean).

EDIT: Forgot one thing, there are no really noticeable difference in sustain more than the little it gives that the trem gets stiffer.



/Magnus
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 06:12 PM
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

Thanks, Magnus.

that's the most truly objective and analytical post about this subject that I've seen on the internet, not just this forum.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 06:18 PM
 
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by jono View Post
Thanks, Magnus.

that's the most truly objective and analytical post about this subject that I've seen on the internet, not just this forum.

Thank you, Jono.
that was very nice words of you to say.

Thanks!

/Magnus
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 06:27 PM
 
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

Great approach to on your analyses Magnus..

This is enough to convince to stay away from these "upgrades"..
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by apadua View Post
Great approach to on your analyses Magnus..

This is enough to convince to stay away from these "upgrades"..
Thanks!

But don't take my opinion for truth, try one and see what you think.

(All of my friends that I encouraged to analyze it a bit deeper has removed them too).

Shame that all little magic things are so expensive to try.
But it seems that the more expensive they are, the more do we believe that they just have to be better than sliced bread.
Thinking about all the money I spent on trying most new things you just have to have because it will make my sound so much better makes my cry :-)
Now I try to believe in, practice will make me and my sound better.
But I still fall in the trap every now and then.

/Magnus
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

That's quite a review, Magnus. I haven't tried one yet, but to me a regular Gotoh brass block already improves a lot, especially in basswood.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 02:19 PM
 
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by tearsx View Post
That's quite a review, Magnus. I haven't tried one yet, but to me a regular Gotoh brass block already improves a lot, especially in basswood.
Thanks!


I am not against you (have not tried the Gotoh block like that) but just out of curiosity, have tried with another block?
I mean that the block would be the only thing you clanged (same guitar and everything ells).

Why would it improve more/better in basswood?

I think the actual sound change of a block change would be the same no matter what the wood is. And since those blocks and trems are more or less identical are the change the same all the time (not like wood where all bits are different). I call those parts the consistent parts of a guitar, tuners, bridge and some others (I mean, a change from one EGDE trem to another will make very little or no change on the sound).
A change from one bit of mahogany (or any wood) to another will sometime make a massive change in sound, so I call wood non consistent parts of the guitar.

I might like the change better if it is a mid range heavy guitar with muddy and unclear high end than I would do in a very bright guitar that lacks mid range.
But no wood type are consistently "muddy and unclear high end" or "very bright guitar that lacks mid range", no wood type are consistently anything sound wise.

(Prof of that is that no one I ever meet have been able to say for sure what wood a guitar are made of as soon at it comes paint on it. If I would make 50 RG's in 5 different wood types and paint them all black. And everything ells beside the wood would be the same would no one in the world be able to tell which guitar that was made of what wood.
No one could put all the guitar of the same wood in one corner, a different wood in the next and so on. What I'm trying to say are, all basswood guitars don't sound the same, or even close).

/Magnus
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 02:44 PM
 
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

I tried them, and liked what they did for the tone/sustain. Everyone's mileage may vary. No deep analysis is necessary. I wouldn't be so quick to write them off. Try it, if you like it great, if you don't, oh well. I've tried both brass and titanium and liked them both for different reasons. My main guitar is still equipped with a brass big block, others have a stock brass block, except for my RG which is just whatever metal of the day.

At the end of the day everyone has different guitars, gear, ears and fingers, so what works for some won't work for others. I don't really understand judging any guitar, amp, pedal or other item based on internet reading or youtube clips, you're never getting the whole story that way.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 03:49 PM
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

To each their own. With respect to Magnus' analysis of it--I love them. I don't care what a spectrum analyzer tells me it's doing--I go by how it feels and sounds. I put one in an RG-770 and couldn't be happier. It does add some beef and sustain to the guitar. Yes, it alters the overall tone a bit, but I can also compensate with my EQ pedal. Some people like them, some don't. Unfortunately, like previously mentioned--it's a slightly expensive upgrade that you cannot go into a store a try out. You have to buy one, install it and judge for yourself. It's very hard to be interested in something and have one half of the people on this side of the line, and the other folks on the other side. The best thing to do is read reviews and absorb as much info as possible. Try to find reviews from people that have similar gear that you use and also similar tastes in guitar tones. It's no different than person A likes Teles, and person B hates them. It's a great guitar all around, but not for everyone.



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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

I have never tried any of these upgrades, nor am I really interested in them.

If really all it does is to remove some frequencies, wouldn't it be kind of silly to pay for them to be removed and then add the lost Hz with an EQ? I also wonder how you can AB test these concerning sustain and tone. With several guitars it would be possible, with one you would be very subject to the "this thing cost too much to not work, so I like this better".

On the other hand, if the "scooped" sound (not really scooped, but you know what I mean) is what you want, then it must be great.

However I must say, based on experience, that Magnus usually knows what he's talking about and he's very honest in his way of testing. What he wrote about making it harder to cut through the mix is enough to keep my hands far from any of those blocks.

That said, who can argue with mojo? And I don't mean that as a rude remark. Guitarists love to have something special, that mojo, it don't have to sound better or be better by any means - as long as it got that "undefined thing that talks to me". On this forum that might very well be neon paint.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 08:14 PM
 
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

Your quote "what he wrote...is enough to keep my hands far from any of those blocks" is what I meant by judging without hearing. Based on that person who did not like what it did for "his" sound you will write it off. You're doing yourself a disservice in my opinion. Re-read his follow-up to you. "But don't take my opinion for truth, try one and see what you think."

On this forum, what if he had said he didn't like Ibanez Jem's, for whatever reasons. That's no reason to assume they're no good. Lots of people like them, I don't.. but whatever right?

See what "YOU" think. Maybe you'll hate it, but maybe you won't.

Last edited by blackspy; 09-21-2011 at 08:20 PM.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 09:18 PM
 
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

I had a bigger brass block and I got a similar impression as Magnus. But there's something else that made me get rid of a big brass block quickly. Somehow the heavier mass removed "attack". I first thought the sound got more bassy, but what really happened is that the big block (maybe due to the more inert mass?) dampened the pick attack.

So indeed, some might like that, I don't. What I dont understand is when people claim it has better sustain but dont notice or comment on the other changes. Its in any case not the wonder drug for tone. Which is subjective anyway .
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 04:43 AM
 
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Re: Big Blocks and Other Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackspy View Post
Your quote "what he wrote...is enough to keep my hands far from any of those blocks" is what I meant by judging without hearing. Based on that person who did not like what it did for "his" sound you will write it off. You're doing yourself a disservice in my opinion. Re-read his follow-up to you. "But don't take my opinion for truth, try one and see what you think."

On this forum, what if he had said he didn't like Ibanez Jem's, for whatever reasons. That's no reason to assume they're no good. Lots of people like them, I don't.. but whatever right?

See what "YOU" think. Maybe you'll hate it, but maybe you won't.
I'm not tempted to begin with, no need for me to try. Just interested in what a test like that is really worth. If others have done similar tests with different results, or the same results, it would be interesting to hear. Recording before and after with the same settings etc.
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