I’ve been a huge proponent of sustain block upgrades for many years now. Since I tried my first upgrade on a Floyd Rose bridge, I was sold on the tonal benefits of brass and titanium block upgrades. The most perceptible difference comes when a guitar with a stock zinc/pot metal block is changed over for some actual solid metal parts, especially when they have greater mass than the original block. I’ve worked with Killer Guitar Components (KGC) in the past, and tried a wide range of their products. KGC reached out to me recently to see if I was interested in testing out any of their gear, and since I’ve tried out a bunch of their double locking tremolo gear, and brass claws, I told them I was interested in trying a block to suit one of my Stratocasters. KCG obliged by sending out their Squier Synchronous Twin Pivot Style Tremolo Blocks and one of their Killer Brass Claws, which I have previously reviewed.
I installed the brass block and claw into by 2018 Squier Deluxe Stratocaster, which has a basswood body, maple neck and fretboard, aftermarket bone nut, and originally was configured with the stock, thin, pot metal sustain block and basic bent spring claw.
The KGC block is beautifully made, with precise machinery work, OEM fitment, and longer mounting screws. It comes equipped with their proprietary “Flop Stop” nylon insert, which is designed to keep the whammy bar in place.
Installation is a relative breeze. Remove the saddles, unscrew the mounting screws, and install the new block. install the saddles and intonate again, and you’re good to go. The only down-side with the KGC block is that it does not fit the stock whammy bar. You will need to get an American Stratocaster style 10-32 thread whammy bar. So if you’re looking to replace the sustain block on your stock Squier 2 point bridge then you’ll need to budget for a whammy bar as well.
As I’ve found with my other experiences with brass sustain block upgrades, the KGC block took my tone to another level. the Deluxe Stratocaster started off as quite a resonant guitar, even with the bridge floating, but the block just took the tone to the next level. The Brass Claw probably contributed to this as well.
A brass block takes your stock tone, and makes it warmer and fuller. A layer of compression is added, which aids the feel of a volume boost, and longer sustain. An extra layer of articulation and string definition is added to the guitar, which just results in the guitar singing even more.
I ordered myself an American Stratocaster style 10-32 thread whammy bar, and was pleasantly surprised with how the whammy bar sat in the block. My bug-bear with the stock Stratocaster style whammy bar was that it was always lose and flopping around when you weren’t using it. KGC’s proprietary flop stop nylon insert does the perfect job of firming up the feel of the whammy bar, while still allowing you full use of the whammy bar. The larger brass block still allows the same range of whammy bar action as the stock one, so you will still have the same level of expression for vibrato, dive-bombs and crazy squeals.
Overall, the Killer Guitar Components Squier Synchronous Twin Pivot Style Tremolo Block is an amazing upgrade for your Squier Stratocaster that comes equipped with a Squier 2 point bridge. Whilst it is a bit more expensive than some of the options available for this bridge, the extra quality, attention to detail, and the flop stop insert make the KGC upgrade one of the best upgrade options available.