Review: Killer Guitar Components – Brass Tremolo Block


squier deluxe guitarNot being a high profile player ( or even low for that matter ), my axe is a humble Squier Deluxe Stratocaster.   And I love it.  When I tried it out in the store it was better than the MIM ( made in Mexico ) Fender’s and I figured I’m not so pretentious to give a crap about what the logo says.  But as with any less-than premiere guitar there are always upgrades to be done.  And indeed I have done them such as replacing the nut with a TUSQ, added string rollers and also put in full sized potentiometers.  For now, the stock Seymour Duncan pickups rock pretty good, although I’m eyeballing a Dimarzio Area 61 for a future project.

The Squier Deluxe has a twin-point tremolo which although amazing, can be hard to find block upgrades for.   Both Callaham and Guitar Fetish sold blocks that are close…but close is not what I want.  I want an exact fit.  I also wanted brass because I have a maple neck and I hear that brass can tame the tone somewhat.   That left me with one option, and it was with Killer Guitar Components.

After being unable to resist their Columbus Day Special, I purchased the block that was designed specifically for my guitar.   And it has arrived, and let me tell you…it it a beautiful thing to behold.  What made me purchase from KGC was their online reputation for stunning quality and in the case of my block they did not disappoint.   The craftsmanship alone radiates sex appeal.

For those too freaked out to ever attempt such an operation on their baby, allow me to show you the quick and easy procedure I used to get Mary-Ann rocking and the results that followed.  And yes, I named my guitar.

1- Prep for Surgery

As with most blocks that are slated for replacement, mine had this typical half-sized zinc piece of crud…

squier deluxe tremolo blockSo at this point, place your baby on a clean working surface and get to work.   I placed a couple towels underneath to prevent scratches.  Remove the strings and then take off the back and remove the tremolo springs.  The tremolo should fall right out unless you have a more conventional 6-screw system.   Either way, it’s not brain surgery at this stage of the game.

2- Mark your Intonation

Mark my words, this will save you a metric ton of time.  All you need is some masking tape and a pencil to mark out the intonation height of the saddles.  And DO NOT MIX THEM UP.  Put them back in the same way they came out or you’ll spend forever getting it back to the way it was.

squier deluxe twin point tremoloOnce the saddles are out you’ll have instant access to the screws that hold on the block.  Unscrew the old, and pop in the new.  Simple as that.  Oh, one thing…your old whammy bar will not fit.  This is a Fender sized hole ( 10/32 ), not a Squier.  But you’ll probably never know because that thing has been tucked away in your gig-bag for years anyway!

3- Saddle Up

Now put the saddles back in in the same order they came out…which should be easy because you lined them up somewhere safe.  If you failed to heed my advise then may the Lord place upon you and your family the plagues He bestowed upon Pharaoh for your unmitigated insolence.

Here’s where the tape pays off.  Due to my genetically superior intellect, my intonation was bang on after install.  So go ahead and pop the tremolo back on its mounts and reattach the tremolo springs.

killer guitar components brass block

4- Restring. Tune.  Jam.

Only a few days prior to installation I put in a new set of Ernie Ball Super Slinky’s just so any tonal nuances couldn’t be blamed on a mere string change.  After the block went in I replaced the strings with the exact same type.

After getting it all tuned up it was time to play a few songs I’ve played perhaps a few million times just so I would be able to hear subtle differences.

Instantly I noticed something good.  Very good.  While using some overdrive I noticed my sound was more ballsy, not as tinny ( or thin as some say ), and definitely hung onto the notes longer ( sustain ).  The sun was bright, the children sang and I was happy.

After cranking out a few Boston and Lincoln Brewster tunes it was apparent that the major benefit from this upgrade was the sustain, which was certainly never rocket hot with the stock block.  Yet now it is there and it is awesome.  But where you’ll really notice this benefit is when you use delay.  U2’s Where the Streets Have No Name had a chime that was never there before and even though I’ve played it a hundred times, it was like cranking it out for the first time.  Brilliant.

Lest I get too pumped, I should reinforce my statements with a disclaimer…this is an upgrade that will help a good guitar be a better guitar.  If you own a turd ( let’s hypothetically call them Squier Affinities ) then your mileage may not be as significant.   A good guitar is much more than just the block.   It’s the craftsmanship, the wood, the neck, electronics, etc.  The Squier Deluxe is already a great guitar out of the box and this just gave it that little something extra.   Just don’t expect your $300 guitar to suddenly rival a $3000 custom shop Fender Strat.

Also remember, the change in tone and sustain will not change the fact that your Strat will still sound like a Strat.   Only now it’s running on premium instead of regular unleaded.   So for those sitting on the fence wondering if they should take a leap of faith and upgrade their instruments,  I highly advise taking a look at Killer Guitar Components.

© 2011 – 2015, Dysfunctional Parrot. All rights reserved. No reproduction of written material is permitted.

About Author

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.


    Better prices to be had everywhere else. OVER PRICED!


     KGC That is

    • Given the impossibility of finding a brass tremolo for a Squier Deluxe anywhere else, I’m going to side with KGC.  Plus I really like what it has done for my guitar.  True, these things can get pricey and better PRICES can be found elsewhere such as Guitar Fetish for steel blocks.  But QUALITY will not.  GF has nothing on these.

  • Stratakus

    If you are interested in cheaply made chinese components and expect them to be an upgrade – GFS is the place to go. If you want high-end, high-quality, hand made cponents that truly are amazing upgrades that will actually fit -without then you will spend the extra dough to get the best at KGC

  • Satch

    How long did KGC take to deliver the block to you?

    • It was some time ago, but I don’t recall it took very long. A few weeks perhaps? I’m up in the abandoned reaches of Canada and it still got here on the dogsled in good time. ( No…we don’t actually use dogsleds :) )

      • Satch

        They took 3 months to ship a block to a friend of mine.

  • Discussssssted

    I ordered blocks for Wilkinson VS100, 2 different models plus compensated claws, saddles and more. He told me it would take 2-3 weeks to get the pieces made. It took almost 4 months and the order isn’t complete. He still owes me a block and saddles and it’s been five months. I don’t care how good and pretty your stuff is, If you can’t get it, it’s worthless. He won’t refund my money and is extremely slow to respond to emails. (unless you’re buying something) What a piece of work this turd is.

    • Was Discussssssssted

      OK, Not to long after I posted this comment, I received the remainder of my order. All the components I have purchased have appeared to be of high quality. They took so long to get that the guitars I was building to use them on are finished assembleed and have moved on. So, I really can’t atest to the function of the units. I have to assume that all will perform as stated on KGC website. The compensated brass claw and brass saddles did enhance and bolster the tone of the guitars that was able to use them on.
      My advice to first time customers of KGC – Be prepaired for a lenghty wait. Be prepaired for frustration with lack of comunication.
      My advice to KGC – Be up front about your lead times, Be proactive and contact your customers if there are delays, Don’t expect everyone to be sepathetic to your problems when you neglect and ignore them. Do continue engineering and manufacturing quality guitar parts that really stand out. Success is earned.
      Good times and good music to all

  • Larry

    Do not buy from this clown . He has been jerking me around for a brass
    block for almost a year. The one he sent me was the the wrong block for
    my guitar. Months later when I received the right one , the tremelo bar
    did not fit. He boasts on his site about how his blocks are finely
    polished brass. The one he sent months later was a piece of crap that
    was sanded down to fit and the holes for the springs were badly aligned.
    To boot it was missing the set screws for the tremelo bar insert. I am
    still waiting weeks later for 2 set screws. FU-tone is much better and
    half the price. What a waste of time. This is guy is the worst of the
    worst when it comes to customer care. Don’t bother unless you want an
    overpriced piece of crap.

    • RPKGC

      Larry, Let’s be clear about this issue. You ordered a Deluxe Strat block for a Floyd Rose Deluxe tremolo. You then sent us your original block to make a custom copy of – which we did. ..and it came out pretty nice. The arm we had here fit beautifully, but you had a slightly different arm that was a tight fit. Everyone can see the attached custom-made block we made for you. If this were a standard Strat tremolo or something not so out of the ordinary – it would have been a much faster and easier problem to deal with…

  • StillWaiting

    Also having issues with KGC.
    Ordered my block early spring and still haven’t gotten it.
    Leading up to the order KGC were very intense, to say the least, with getting me to order from them. After paying him I waited a couple of months until I asked how my order was getting along. No answer at first, but after repeated emails I finally heard from them telling me that the order would be ready very soon.
    Three months later I still haven’t gotten my block. Emailed them a month ago but no answer yet.
    The reviews I read before ordering sounded really good, but that doesn’t mean much if you never get your block.

    • RPKGC

      Please email or call ASAP so we can figure out what the problem is here. I don’t know who you are, so please get in touch ASAP and we will handle this…


    To everyone reading this… We had a period of time recently where we had some personal and health issues that put us behind schedule – thus pushing back some people’s special order blocks – such as Larry and the other guy below – both were CUSTOM blocks a Deluxe Floyd and an old style Wilkinson VS100 with Square studs rather than the normal round studs. If you need something custom made, it is likely going to take a few months, if you have something that is on our website as a standard item, it won’t take more than a few weeks now that we are back on track full-time here.

    We are only 2 men (father/son) and we do our best to serve everyone as fast and appropriately as possible. We are a small, custom shop and sometimes things take time, but everyone (with the exception of Larry, apparently – loves our stuff. There is no comparison out there to the quality and finish we provide. There is a lot of work that goes into these parts and they come out beautiful every time. See other reviews – Thanks