Big Blocks for Ibanez trems / FU-Tone Block benefits?

soldierkahn

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Now that Ive got all the guitar models that I want, I wanted to start looking at upgrading what I can in the models i have. I was curious if the big Brass blocks from FU-Tone were hype or genuine? I dont use my trems traditionally, i make them all hardtails, so I was curious if this change would improve anything or just be a waste of money and time?

 

TheWarAgainstTime

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I swapped the stock block on a Floyd Special for an L-shaped big brass block from FU. The guitar it went in is bright with a relatively thin low end and the bigger block helped fill it out a bit. Not a night-and-day difference, but there's definitely something to it, at least tonally. I haven't noticed a change in sustain, but at least that also means it didn't hurt it :2c: I also leave it fully blocked with a Tremol-No most of the time.

The physical weight is something to consider too, depending on the overall weight and balance of your guitars. Overall, I'd say they're worth a shot as long as you're okay with or looking for that extra touch of low end/lower mids. They're a good value if you're comfortable with installing them yourself, otherwise you'll have to also factor in the cost of having a tech do the swap and a new setup.
 
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If the trems were floating, maybe the different mass those add would do significant changes in the overall tone, but since they're blocked, I wouldn't even bother with that. I think a volume (and tone?) pot change can do MUCH more for a guitar's tone, specially on passive pickups/circuits.

The FU TONE can be useful to change a FR's feel when in free floating mode due to the added mass, but more than that... naaah, all about tweaking the amp or an EQ pedal either in loop or in front, or, as said, a new volume pot with a measurable higher value to open the guitars' voice.
 

soldierkahn

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I swapped the stock block on a Floyd Special for an L-shaped big brass block from FU. The guitar it went in is bright with a relatively thin low end and the bigger block helped fill it out a bit. Not a night-and-day difference, but there's definitely something to it, at least tonally. I haven't noticed a change in sustain, but at least that also means it didn't hurt it :2c: I also leave it fully blocked with a Tremol-No most of the time.

The physical weight is something to consider too, depending on the overall weight and balance of your guitars. Overall, I'd say they're worth a shot as long as you're okay with or looking for that extra touch of low end/lower mids. They're a good value if you're comfortable with installing them yourself, otherwise you'll have to also factor in the cost of having a tech do the swap and a new setup.

thank you so much, this was exactly the kind of information I was looking for!
 

soldierkahn

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If the trems were floating, maybe the different mass those add would do significant changes in the overall tone, but since they're blocked, I wouldn't even bother with that. I think a volume (and tone?) pot change can do MUCH more for a guitar's tone, specially on passive pickups/circuits.

The FU TONE can be useful to change a FR's feel when in free floating mode due to the added mass, but more than that... naaah, all about tweaking the amp or an EQ pedal either in loop or in front, or, as said, a new volume pot with a measurable higher value to open the guitars' voice.

thats exactly what i wa curious about.... i figured that it was the extra mass that helped when using a floating trem since the smaller block wouldnt resonate as decently, but didnut know if it would make any difference in how mine are setup. I put a wood block on either side of the toneblock (where the springs used to be)that exert a bunch of pressure from both sides. this way i could take every string off the guitar, but the bridge wouldnt even move a mm in either direction. This helps the string vibrations transfer to the body really well, and the added weight is really nice for balancing the instrument as well. None of my guitars have neck dive :)
 

Lozek

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The benefits you get will depend on the tonal qualities of the guitar it's going in. Brass is good for 'thickening' a thin sounding guitar (it's more like the speed, resonance and note separation in the low end), but if the guitar is already dark sounding then it will smear the low end. For darker guitars, something like Ti will tighten and clarify the lows. You also have to factor in pick-up choice (again, more pronounced in thinner guitars), amp/cab choice etc

Unfortunately there's not really a one size fits all approach, you will probably have to experiment and see what works.
 

Emperoff

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Mark this: Blocks don't increase sustain in any meaningful way. It's all marketing bullshit and any possible "increase" is negligible at best.

Now that we're done with the mythbusting. They do make a difference in tone. A pretty big one if you ask me. But remember that Floyd Rose blocks are brass already, so the difference won't be as drastic as swapping the block of a Fender or Ibanez trem.

Brass usually adds mids and increases the guitar's perceived volume. Aluminum has more of a "flat" response and Titanium adds brightness and clarity. So depending on which guitar will go on, you can fine-tune its sound to taste.

The claw will also make a slight difference, so if you want to go all in, swap it too. These are cheap upgrades that can save you the costs of a pickup swap.

These videos will answer all your questions:



 
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soldierkahn

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If those wood blocks blocking the trem are already transferring the strings' vibration to the guitar's body, why would you need a FuTone big block? In my opinion it would be a waste of money on a mod hardly noticeable, if at all. I'd faster experiment on pots than on those.

muuuch appreciated. this is the whole reason that im cming and asking before buying them and end up finding them as useless for me lol.
 

Grindspine

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I got a copper big block dropped into a light-as-hell B.C. Rich import Virgin. The added weight was very welcome to that guitar. It did not drastically change the tone since that guitar already had EMGs and an SPC tone circuit. It certainly did not take anything away from it.

My USA B.C. Rich Warlock NT, Washburn Dime, 3x Ibanez Prestige 7 strings, and PRS P24 all have brass blocks too. As said above, brass blocks will not make a night and day difference in tone. I find that the guitars with brass sound a touch less thin and have a bit more growl. It is a subtle change, but also an inexpensive modification.
 

skullfxr

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I have probably 15 guitars with FU-Tone blocks. I have noticed a difference in every case. Thsts mainly USA/MIJ Jacksons, USA/MIJ Charvel, and USA/MIJ Strats.

I think it's worth it especially on floating guitars. Especially if it's a good tremolo (OFR / Gotoh / Schaller Lockmeister) you will notice it.
 

Emperoff

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One important thing to note. Original Floyd Titanium blocks (made by Tisonix) were like 60$. FU-Tone ones cost like 450$. The point is not wether is worth it or not, but how much are you willing to pay to get robbed by FU-Tone :lol:.

Those scammers won't get a single cent of my money, that's for sure.
 

Jarmake

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I once had a RG3120 into which I installed a big brass block and the biggest difference I noticed was a change with harmonic overtones. They got much louder on sustained notes, which was really cool, imo. It was like the mix setting on a sustainiac at times. No such thing with the original lo-pro zinc (?) block.
 

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hey... @Emperoff Fu-Tone blocks aren't THAT expensive, they'er about 50$ give or take a bit of coins... only the titanium are 3X - 10X more (depending on the model), all others are bellow 60$...
Buy the Floyd Rose versions direct from the website or Sweetwater, much cheaper than FU.
 


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