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Steve Henning

                                                                                

                                                                  

 OK, so I got the block into this Ti Floyd, put the guitar back together and set it up...

I'm gonna be honest here and say that as a scientific kinda guy (electrical engineer), I was pretty skeptical about the science behind this block and I really wanted to prove that it was just a way to get people's money. Obviously, I have no relationship with the company whatsoever...

Well... regardless of the actual science, the bottom line is that my subjective opinion after playing with and without plugging in for awhile is that this block has made the MOST significant change to my guitar than a block of any other kind, and I've had the big brass ones and the Ti ones. Without plugging in, the whole guitar vibrates in your hands so strongly when you strike a chord, it is almost disturbing. The body does the same thing under your right arm. It feels like it's ALIVE or something... Based on my testing, both chords and single notes sustain MUCH longer than with the previous Ti block. And remember, I'm testing a 42mm Ti block against a 32mm Stone block. The Ti one is way longer and heavier. When I plugged in, the guitar sustained much longer as well and it sounds "throatier" for lack of a better word.

I have no idea how this is going to translate to a recording. Truthfully, I expect the difference will not seem like much, but I'm going to play the same exact things as the previous clip and record them the same exact way to see. One thing that is undeniable is that the guitar FEELS much different - the vibrations of the strings through the body and neck are unbelievably stronger. I dig that feeling a lot, but it's weird at first. I compared it to my white relic strat guitar that has a big brass block and it is night and day - the feel of the vibrations with Stone block are way stronger and the guitar felt exactly like the white relic strat with the Ti block.

The guitar is louder in two ways:

1.) Acoustcally. Sitting in the room, the guitar is way louder with this block than the Ti block when it is not plugged in. It is louder than my guitar that has the big brass block as well.

2.) Electrically. When the guitar is plugged in, with the amp settings the same, the output of the amp is louder. When I mic'd the tracks into my DAW, you could see the waveforms were larger and the tracks hit higher on the meter with the Stone block and NO changes to the amp settings or anything else at all. When I was mixing, in order to match the output volume of the previous clip, I had to bring the faders down a significant amount on the newly recorded tracks with the Stone block.

So, because the guitar is louder acoustically with the Stone block, the pickups are generating more output, driving the amp harder (more input to the amp), resulting in more volume output from the amp for the same settings. More input to the mic, mic pre and tracks with no changes to the settings on the amp. So, yeah, more guitar volume output to the amp...

BTW - When I was mixing this on both the heavy and the clean I had to bring the faders down a couple dbs on the tracks to match the volume on the original titanium block clips. So the guitar definitely gets louder with the Stone block... The clean sounds "chimey-er" to me as well.

Based on my testing, I'd say that for sure it makes the guitar louder acoustically and louder through the amp and it makes the guitar body and neck vibrate like crazy compared to a Ti or Big Brass block. The enhanced vibration makes the guitar feel really alive and is really cool once you get used to it. It also sustains better for sure in my guitar. It sounds throatier and chimier than a Ti block - For me it is definitely worth $35-40 more than a Ti block...

- Steve Henning   

www.henningamps.com