Killer Guitar Components are a company that offer a whole host of parts for guitar bridges, both Tremelos and Tune-O-Matic style bridges made from Brass. I was sent the Brass Block to review and I fitted it on my Suhr S4′s Gotoh 510 Bridge. I’ve read so many glowing reviews I was looking forward to seeing what the difference would be to my guitar tone. When I removed the Gotoh Steel Block I realised that it was not only the same size, but also the same weight, the Gotoh block is already a serious piece of hardware. In the past I have owned Ibanez guitars and the Edge Trem blocks are small, lightweight pieces of what I’ve heard people refer to as Pot Metal, not Stainless Steel blocks and I can imagine these blocks would be a considerable upgrade on those trems.
Here is a photo of the KGC Brass Block installed on my trem:
Here is another shot:
And here is the block that I replaced from my Gotoh 510 Trem, as you can see it is similar in size:
And another view:
So how did it sound? I made a few recordings and listening back on a clean tone you can definitely hear that it smooths out a little of the brightness you get with a Steel Block. A while ago I switched the humbucker in my Suhr S4 to a Seymour Duncan SH-16 in order to take away some of the brightness that was present using the Suhr SSH+ humbucker and it did exactly what I wanted it to do. I imagine this Brass Block would have altered the tone in a similar way giving it more of a vintage sound. Because of this pickup change the guitar to me was already perfectly balanced in terms of top end however so I felt that the change to Brass took away the chiming top end that I like to hear from my single coils when I have the amp set to clean, instead you get smoother sounding chords which some people will love.
When I switched to overdrive I noticed an even more pronounced difference but not only in top end, there seems to be a reduction in the upper mids too, I can see this visually in my DAW. I did try to make sure the recordings were identical, the amp settings were unchanged as were the guitar settings but as you know pick dynamics are impossible to replicate and I don’t think I can accurately produce an absolutely 100% fair comparison but here is the audio with the Steel Block followed by the KGC Brass Block for each example and a bit of brass block front single coil noodling at the end:
If you have an overly bright guitar this may be a great solution to round off some of that top end and take out some of the upper mid frequencies that can sometimes sound harsh. If you have an Ibanez Edge trem I’m sure that replacing the block with a the KGC Brass block would make a huge difference to the tone and sustain of your guitar but if you have a large Gotoh Steel block already in place I would think about whether you want to take away some of the brightness before committing to the change.
For more information check out http://killerguitarcomponents.com/.