The Great Floyd Rose Big-Block Shoot-Out!
Written by: Jay Hale
Since over the past year and a half I've become addicted to FloydUpgrades Big-Blocks of both the Brass and Titanium variety, one of the questions I'm invariably asked is "What do they sound like? What are the differences?" Well, sometimes verbal descriptions fall short; something has to be heard to be truly appreciated, if not felt. It wasn't enough to merely tell someone how much either of them kicked ass over the standard, you really have to hear it and decide for yourself. Telling people even my DRUMMER noticed a difference was a head-turner, true - but I wanted to document it once and for all.
So I decided, since I had all three types lying around (I use the Brass and the Titanium as different flavors for different applications now, and have the originals as paperweights), I have Pro Tools and am only moderately afraid to use it ;) I'd throw together my own sonic shoot out of sorts. I decided to use my Koa Warmoth Strat as the test-bed for the experiment, since she has the most even tone of all my Floyd-equipped guitars.
First order of business was to reinstall the original (eww) standard 37mm block for the "reference riff/MP3". After slapping back on the standard, I recorded two sample riffs, one slightly dirty and one balls out to get a feel for their individual characteristics in regards to open chords, palm muting, and overall dynamics. For this test I used PODfarm and Recabinet - a Marshall Plexi and Soldano emulation both running into the same Recabinet "Green 4x12" with a single 121 mic emulation. I'd then repeat the process with the other two block types- same emulations, same settings, same guitar - different block each time.
Here's the riff(s) with the Standard block:http://soundclick.com/share?songid=8557826
Once that was done, I also took the opportunity to install the FloydUpgrades Brass Spring Claw and Noiseless spring set for the two "upgraded" riff examples, as I wanted to illustrate the full tone-freak Floyd Rose overhaul process. Those were quickly swapped out, then it was on to the Brass Block. Here's how that one went:http://soundclick.com/share?songid=8557842
You can tell in that clip the low end is now seemingly boosted, and the tone is fatter overall. Gone is the dreaded Floyd Rose "thinness" players long complained of, and note transfer seems to have improved as well. The mids seem thicker and the highs seem to have been warmed up as well, without becoming screechy. There's also a noticeable increase in sustain. Definite UPgrade. I remember how excited I was when I tried my first one. I knew I was hooked.
Brass alone is impressive, but - if you really want to go tonal crackhead with it, Titanium IS the push over the cliff. It is more like Brass' evil cousin. Everything Brass does, it seems to do "one louder". The sustain increase is most dramatic, making notes seem to jump off the fretboard...there's something more aggressive about the highs too, but it's not at all harsh...check it out:http://soundclick.com/share?songid=8557880
So now at least no one has to ask me to tell them what the different advantages of the blocks are now...you can hear them for yourselves... :)
Big Block Shoot Out Written by; Jay Halehttp://www.facebook.com/l/389ad;www.soundclick.com/jayhalehttp://www.facebook.com/l/389ad;www.myspace.com/jayhaleguitar