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  1. #1
    Unchained
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    Default Floyd Rose Sustain Block & Attenuator Questions

    Can anyone tell me if the Floyd Rose Sustain Blocks really work as far as improving tone and sustain? Are they easy to install (i.e., can anyone do it or do I need to take it to my local guitar tech)? Is brass the way to go? There's several sizes, which is best or is it based on what will fit? 32mm, 37mm, 42mm? Did Ed use this upgade?

    I play in the "other" Van Halen tribute band in Southern California (www.fanhalen.com) and have many VH replica guitars. I play through either a Peavey 5150 II or an EVH 5150 III, would one of these Sustain Blocks be too much for such a high gain amp?

    Also, I was thinking about getting a Bad Cat Leash attenuator...
    http://www.musictoyz.com/guitar/amps/badcatleash.php

    as many times when I play live I'm asked to have my "stage volume" low so I loose some tone. Does anyone here use an attenuator with a high gain amp and does it help? The Leash looks like a real simple attenuator with mutiple ohm settings, does anyone know of something better?

    Thank you for your help!

  2. #2
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    11.17.15 @ 08:56 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJODOJO View Post
    Can anyone tell me if the Floyd Rose Sustain Blocks really work as far as improving tone and sustain? Are they easy to install (i.e., can anyone do it or do I need to take it to my local guitar tech)? Is brass the way to go? There's several sizes, which is best or is it based on what will fit? 32mm, 37mm, 42mm? Did Ed use this upgade?
    I put a "big block" on my 5150 and I really like it alot.
    I can't really tell a huge difference in tone, but I did notice that it felt alot more "solid" and offered a bit more resonance.

    Swapping out the blocks would require removal of the tremolo from the guitar and removal of all the saddles to gain access to the (3) screws that hold the existing block. Not a real big deal, but the guitar would most likely need to be setup and the saddles re-adjusted for proper intonation. If you're willing, we could probably talk you through the process, but if you're not comfortable with that ... yeah, take it to your tech.

    Did Ed use the "upgrade"? ...
    It wasn't an "upgrade" when Ed used it ... it came standard.
    I guess sometime during the production process, they reduced the size of the block in an effort to help reduce the costs of material.
    So now, it's considered an "upgrade".

    If you're not sure what size you need, it should be stamped right on your existing block.

    Quote Originally Posted by MOJODOJO View Post
    I play in the "other" Van Halen tribute band in Southern California (www.fanhalen.com) and have many VH replica guitars. I play through either a Peavey 5150 II or an EVH 5150 III, would one of these Sustain Blocks be too much for such a high gain amp?
    The block isn't an electronic device nor will it have any effect on your amp.

    Quote Originally Posted by MOJODOJO View Post
    Also, I was thinking about getting a Bad Cat Leash attenuator...
    http://www.musictoyz.com/guitar/amps/badcatleash.php

    as many times when I play live I'm asked to have my "stage volume" low so I loose some tone. Does anyone here use an attenuator with a high gain amp and does it help? The Leash looks like a real simple attenuator with mutiple ohm settings, does anyone know of something better?

    Thank you for your help!
    I personally don't use an attenuator, so I can't really make any recommendations on any specific make or model. But I totally agree with lower stage volumes and I think an attenuator would be a wise investment.

    JMO

  3. #3
    Unchained coyote's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 02:02 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJODOJO View Post

    Also, I was thinking about getting a Bad Cat Leash attenuator...
    http://www.musictoyz.com/guitar/amps/badcatleash.php

    as many times when I play live I'm asked to have my "stage volume" low so I loose some tone. Does anyone here use an attenuator with a high gain amp and does it help? The Leash looks like a real simple attenuator with mutiple ohm settings, does anyone know of something better?

    Thank you for your help!
    The main complaint with the attenuator is the squashing of frequencies that seems to accompany their use. Yes, you'll work the power tubes harder, but you'll lose some of the tone of the amp. Maybe the trade-off is worth it, I've never used one on a high gain amp, I've always just used the master.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by coyote View Post
    The main complaint with the attenuator is the squashing of frequencies that seems to accompany their use. Yes, you'll work the power tubes harder, but you'll lose some of the tone of the amp. Maybe the trade-off is worth it, I've never used one on a high gain amp, I've always just used the master.
    Using the master will certainly work, but it doesn't compare to the sound you get when you crank an amp. Again, I don't use an attenuator, but I'm guessing it allows you to get that type of sound without the high volumes.
    Using the master will work, but it sorta gives you a more "mushy" or "fuzzy" sound, for lack of a better word.

  5. #5
    Unchained coyote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dino5150 View Post
    Using the master will certainly work, but it doesn't compare to the sound you get when you crank an amp. Again, I don't use an attenuator, but I'm guessing it allows you to get that type of sound without the high volumes.
    Using the master will work, but it sorta gives you a more "mushy" or "fuzzy" sound, for lack of a better word.
    Right, but when you use an attenuator many people complain about how muffled the tone becomes. It depends on how attenuated the volume is. Like I said, it's a trade off, whether the fizzy tone is better/worse than the muffled one.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by coyote View Post
    Right, but when you use an attenuator many people complain about how muffled the tone becomes. It depends on how attenuated the volume is. Like I said, it's a trade off, whether the fizzy tone is better/worse than the muffled one.
    I gotta take your word for it bro.
    They sure sound good in theory, but again, I really don't have a whole lot of experience with em.

  7. #7
    Unchained coyote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dino5150 View Post
    I gotta take your word for it bro.
    They sure sound good in theory, but again, I really don't have a whole lot of experience with em.
    They are great in theory, the only one I've ever used is a THD Hotplate with a non-master Marshall reissue. The Marshall sounded good at 'birds falling out of the sky' types of volume, the Hotplate tamed it, but there were some definite issues with the attenuated sound.

    I guess the onlyway MOJODOJO will know for sure if the leash is a viable option is to try it, it could be just what he's looking for.

  8. #8
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 06:52 PM
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    My solution to your particular problem isn't visually pleasing, but it is cheap and effective.

    Get a sheet of plywood, and cut it so that it is as tall as your speaker cabinets, and a little wider than your cabs. Cut two more pieces half the width of the first, and attach them with hinges to each side of the first piece. When that is done, you should be able to fold the outer pieces to the middle for ease of transport. On the side that will face the cabinet, glue some thick acoustic foam (egg crate pattern) to the plywood. When you are done, you will be able to stand up the plywood in front of the cabinet, but still be able to mic the cab between the foam boards and the cab. On the stage, the volume shouldn't be that noticebly different, although the tone may sound a little muffled, but it will make a huge difference to the audience.

    It's just a mini isolation "booth" for your cabinet. You could do something like put your band logo on the front of it so that it's not an eyesore on stage. Most guitar players won't pursue this solution because then people won't be able to see their half stacks. I guess in the end, you have to balance out image and tone.

    Anyway, this will lower your percieved stage volume without sacrificing your tone in the way an attenuator would.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  9. #9
    5150
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    04.02.10 @ 06:19 PM
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    actually the thd is a great piece of gear but the thing is you cant attenuate to much. if say you have a 5150 you can crank the thing to 4 or 5 and attenuate down to about -8 db. once you start going lower your not driving the speakers in the cabinet so they are gonna sound flat and sound just like a 5150 set at bedroom levels in the .5 to 1 range. wiht anything if you kill the signal to the speakers enough your gonna lose tone cause the cab isnt being pushed hard enough. hince why the 5150 is designed the way it is. i asked james bown about some of the designs of the 5150 and he told me ed never played it lower then 5 so didnt care what it sounded like at those lower volumes. its not the thd that cuts the tone its the volume. if you setup your rig at 5 to a tone you like and turn it down to .5 maybe 1 its not gonna sound the same at all. just my 2 cents.

  10. #10
    5150 A&Z Guitar Repair's Avatar
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    03.24.17 @ 08:25 AM
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    Default

    Look at the DR. Z Airbrake... http://www.drzamps.com/airbrake.html

    It works perfectly for what you're wanting. It doesn't color or squash your tone. I've got one and it works with high gain and low gain amps. I prefer it over the THD hotplate.

    You should also explore the Weber Mass
    http://www.tedweber.com/atten.htm

    Both work great, but the Dr. Z is my preference...
    Scott Eivins
    A&Z Guitar Repair

  11. #11
    Romeo Delight
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    10.07.13 @ 11:58 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    Get a sheet of plywood, and cut it so that it is as tall as your speaker cabinets, and a little wider than your cabs. Cut two more pieces half the width of the first, and attach them with hinges to each side of the first piece. When that is done, you should be able to fold the outer pieces to the middle for ease of transport. On the side that will face the cabinet, glue some thick acoustic foam (egg crate pattern) to the plywood. When you are done, you will be able to stand up the plywood in front of the cabinet, but still be able to mic the cab between the foam boards and the cab. On the stage, the volume shouldn't be that noticebly different, although the tone may sound a little muffled, but it will make a huge difference to the audience.

    It's just a mini isolation "booth" for your cabinet. You could do something like put your band logo on the front of it so that it's not an eyesore on stage. Most guitar players won't pursue this solution because then people won't be able to see their half stacks. I guess in the end, you have to balance out image and tone.
    I know this sounds stupid, but this is a great thing to try and won't cost a lot. The main thing with this method of approach is you will not sacrifice ANY of your signal tone and even have the facility to crank the amp a bit more.

    Joe Bonamassa uses one all the time for live shows, but his is made from clear plastic, in fact it's pretty difficult to spot until the occasional light catches it.

    I've never had much luck with attenuators, always found they need eq adding, so imo they're a tone changer and another link in the chain... less is more!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by decatone View Post
    I know this sounds stupid, but this is a great thing to try and won't cost a lot. The main thing with this method of approach is you will not sacrifice ANY of your signal tone and even have the facility to crank the amp a bit more.

    Joe Bonamassa uses one all the time for live shows, but his is made from clear plastic, in fact it's pretty difficult to spot until the occasional light catches it.

    I've never had much luck with attenuators, always found they need eq adding, so imo they're a tone changer and another link in the chain... less is more!

    I have no doubt it would work well for a soundman, but on stage, I'd be a little concerned with being able to hear myself clearly. What sounds phonominal within that "isolation shield" probably sounds like mud on the other side.

    I'm just say'n.

  13. #13
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    unless you got in ears

  14. #14
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dino5150 View Post
    I have no doubt it would work well for a soundman, but on stage, I'd be a little concerned with being able to hear myself clearly. What sounds phonominal within that "isolation shield" probably sounds like mud on the other side.

    I'm just say'n.
    Depends on where you're standin'. You can put the barrier a couple feet in front of the cab, so if you're standing within about 5 feet of the amp, you shouldn't notice much difference, except for maybe a little drop-off in the higher frequencies if your listening for it. It really isn't very noticable once everyone starts playing. You just have to resist the temptation to adjust your e.q. settings to make it sound right with the barrier in place.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

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    Default Titanium Sustain Block?

    Can someone please explain this to me? ....

    From my own experiences, what makes the brass sustain block upgrade work so well is the fact that it adds mass/weight which translates to better resonance and better sustain.

    Having said that ...
    Why would anyone want to make a sustain block out of Titanium?
    From what I understand, Titanium is a light weight alloy with incredible strength.

    IMO, strength really isn't a factor here ... a block is a block is a block, big deal.
    What confuses me is how Titanium (a light weight alloy) can supposedly work better than brass (a heavy high mass metal). ????

    Either I'm totally missing something here, or this has got to be one of the worst uses of titanium ever.

    If you act now, you too can have one for the low price of $259!

    http://floydupgrades.com/index.php?m...roducts_id=182

 

 

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