The debate over the original origin of the tremolo is a much heated debate on forums and chat rooms around the world. Some can trace it back to the early 30's and some can dig back to the first mechanical tremolo's in 1555. Guitar players either seem to love and worship the invention of the tremolo or they seem to despise the addition of it on there favorite axe. A constant debate of tremolo's on guitars is installing them will remove so much of the natural sustain and tone from your guitar cause of the lack of actual contact with the wood or losing vibration of the wood. Guitar players are always searching for ways to take there tone and natural sounding sustain to higher and grand levels without having to sacrifice anything to make it happen. Some players turn to things like effect pedals to juice up there sound and some turn to upgrades on there guitars. I met Rob from Stone Tone® a while back via social media, Rob and I had messaged each other here and there more keeping contact. One day (Not remember exactly how the conversation went) we decided to touch bases via phone and talk. What sold me on Rob is he did not pick up the phone and start preaching to me on how his product was going to save my tone or even try to sell me anything. Rob talked about family and friends. Rob had told me his story from when he started and his trials and the amazing people he worked with from all levels of musicians. I knew that with this deep burning passion and a take no bullshit attitude I had to talk to him more and learn for myself what makes something that comes straight from mother earth such a great thing for us musicians!!!!!
Lets do a bit of background on the company. When was the company created? Where are you located?
The company was created September 2006 and is located in Naples, Florida.
There has been tons of debate over the whole ''Tone Block'' and the materials used. why use stone? Does it really make a difference?
Quarry In India
The stone we use is premium black granite that is quarried in India and is recognized from geophysicists as the optimum transducer for any stringed instrument comprised of a bridge system.
Yes, it does make a huge difference because vibration and pressure on the Rock Block moves the atoms of the atomic crystalline structure, re instituting the stored energies in which it was created billions of years ago thus creating the Stone Tone® signature tone.
I see that not only do you make Floyd Rose blocks but the company Floyd Rose has given Stone Tone® the seal of approval introducing a new product line for there tremolo sustain block upgrades. How did this come about and can people get blocks for non Floyd Rose tremolos?
I contacted Floyd Rose back in 2010 to present them with one of my Rock Block prototypes for clinical trials. I explained in great detail the benefits of utilizing this natural mineral composition along with its many excellent attributes. Floyd Rose accepted my proposition and agreed to have me send them some more examples of my work so their sources could try out the product for evaluation purposes. After an extensive battery of studies (recordings, scientific data, artist use, and recording studio tests), they corroborated my findings. On November 19, 2013, I received a call from the President, Andy Papiccio, congratulating me that Stone Tone® Rock Blocks was now an integral part of their company. Three days later, the following press release was posted on their website:
Floyd Rose is proud to announce exclusive distribution of Stone Tone Rock Block sustain blocks. These patented blocks are made of granite, and are designed to enhance and strengthen the sound of your tremolo-equipped instrument across the entire audio spectrum. After installing a Stone Tone® block, the guitar’s clarity, sustain, and overall tone will be improved equally in all ranges of the fret board… the extraordinary results of this upgrade are indisputable.
Granite, when quarried in its natural state, is not only of an ideal density for the purpose of sustain, but also has a crystalline atomic structure which is ideal for sonic transference— it requires no factory processing or dilution, and the natural change in sound, upon installation, is so drastic that signal loss from the guitar to the amplifier will be decreased by at least 30%. The Stone Tone® Rock Block is compatible with the Floyd Rose Original Tremolo System and its derivatives, as well as many licensed models. Comes with stainless steel sustain block mounting screws, and available in an L-shape block configuration… check them out!
You can purchase these Rock Blocks from www.floydrose.com or from www.stonetoneproducts.com direct yet we are a Floyd dealer and offer combo deals like the OFR “Original Floyd Rose” tremolo pre installed with a Rock Block and many other great specials to offer.
We welcome any custom specification, brand / style of non Floyd Rose Tremolo. Contact us and we’ll be glad to discuss your ideas so that we can make those possibilities reality.
Stone Tone® is much more then just ''Tone Blocks'' I have seen some very impressive guitars on the Facebook page, I would love to hear all about them and what separates them from a standard guitar?
Every one of those guitars you are referring to are early prototypes that I began doing in 2002, modifying first, was the “Dean Cadillac.” From that one until the third instrument in 2004, a “Peavey Wolfgang,” sums up all the final designs (internally and externally) that ultimately ended up as integral data for the current patents on file with the United State Patent and Trademark Office. I also have a line of Stone Tone® guitars produced between the summer and fall of 2005 thru the fall of 2006 and was unveiled at 2006 winter NAMM show. At some point in the future, I will explain further the complexity of how the waveforms of the granite interacts with the wood and all the benefits of this concept, but for now, my center of attention is on the production Rock Blocks for any style or manufacturer’s tremolo upgrades.
Stone Tone Modified Dean Cadillac, Stone Tone Modified Peavey Wolfgang, Stone Tone Modified Gibson Explorer
You just had a great time at NAMM tell us all about your travels there?
The winter NAMM Show of 2015 was a nonstop discussion with many artists wanting to know more about the Rock Blocks and how they worked. To name just a few major ones , Andy Sneap, Keith Merrow, and Eddie Ojeda and many others all requested to try the Rock Block upgrade and we are now waiting on their feedback about the product’s performance. After being with Floyd Rose for a year and three months and having attended three NAMM events, there is far more curiosity and interest about the Rock Block upgrade. That trend is definitely continuing.
You are working with some pretty impressive artists, How did they become Stone Tone® players and tell us what it is like working with some of these artists?
It is a great honor to work with national artists like Chris Poland, Jeff Loomis, Ira Black, George Lynch, Eddie Ojeda, Greg Howe, Dave Reffett, Scott Gailor, Jerry Outlaw, Andy Sneap, Ronny North and many many others. I met most of these artists at the 2014 winter NAMM, 2014 summer NAMM and the recent 2015 winter NAMM shows. While there, Scott Gailor and I had ample time to explain how this product works and what the attributes would be to their rig utilizing this Block in their chain of tone. Scott Gailor was paramount for introducing me to the majority of these artists as well as explaining to them in great detail of all the attributes to what this product has to offer on all levels. At first, the looks on their faces were very intriguing you could see that certain spark of curiosity because they logically realized it could work. But once they installed the Block, the obvious became quite clear. In other words, what they envisioned and what they finally heard became a reality.
Jeff Loomis (Ex-Nevermore/Arch Enemy), Ira Black (Lizzy Borden/Attika7), Chris Poland (Ex-Megadeth, Solo, Ohm)
Quotes from these artists
I can really tell the difference already without having the guitar plugged in... It's louder and much more resonant.. Using these Stone Tone® Rock Blocks on tour with Arch Enemy makes my guitar brighter, punchier with more sustain besides better signal to my amp. My guitar sounds awesome ! Yeah man, I dig it. - Jeff Loomis
"The Stone Tone® Rock Block completes the circle of cosmic vibration! When it comes to music, especially Rock-N-Roll and Heavy Metal, it comes from a very primal place. Try to imagine the the beginning of how humans made sound and you'll realize that we haven't come so far away from wood and stone! As metal is man-made, it still comes from earth elements as well, but don't pass up on the idea of utilizing stone. The Stone Tone® Rock Block was made under pressure over millions of years from the elements of the cosmos. You want to get primal and even cosmic, go there for real with The Stone Tone® Block tremolo modification and hear the true vibrations created by the universe! Sustain, harmonics, beautiful, clear, full sounding chords, soaring solos! The right place at the right time, millions of years in the making:Stone Tone Rock Block"-Ira Black
"I am positive now that your granite blocks work on any guitar and seem to have almost the exact same results. As I said before one of my guitars just wasn't quite working for me so that was the guitar I put the first Stone Tone on. Said guitar became my main guitar that day. So I took my main guitar and put one of the blocks you sent recently on it last night. I heard the difference right away but the crazy thing is that both guitars respond almost identically. No two guitars sound and or feel the same...until now. I think that is amazing. What I am trying to say is you could make a guitar out of a toilet seat and this granite block would bring it to life. I am so glad we met at the NAMM show this year. I may never have known or even believed if some one told granite blocks work this substantially." - Chris Poland
Rob & Chris Poland Chris Poland's band Ohm at 2015 NAMM
Since we are a Gear and Music blog I would love to hear about some of your favorite gear? Guitars? Amps? Effects?
Since this question is very subjective, I’ll be brief with my opinions. From what I have observed with many amplifiers, it seems quite obvious that any tube amp gives the most natural tone. The Rocks Blocks produce a beefy, warm, articulate, projective tone for starters. As far as effects go, (coloring your tone with reverb, and other types of effects) they are all great, but bear in mind that they are not intended to be the dominant part of your tonal palette. Players, who do not use the Rock Block in their chain of tone, tend to rely on the gadgets such as compressor, distortion, BBE to generically boost their signal path to the amplifier. This takes away from the “real” tones of the guitar which is produced by the natural woods (neck body, etc.) The overall performance of the instrument would be greatly improved if the Rock Block were implemented into the signal path. This means that the signal path from your guitar to the amplifier would be greatly increased to the point where reliance on effects to “improve” the sound in the signal path wouldn’t be needed as much as before. In effect, you would be hearing the “true” tones from your guitar as a naturally thick and full-bodied tone. (Just my opinion)
Kinda similar question, What music drove you to take the plunge into being more then a listener and a actual player? What music today impresses you and keeps that fire alive.
ST Rob, Scott & George Lynch
For me growing up as a teen, it was: EVH, Hendrix, Led Zepplin, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Scorpions, Judas Priest, Joe Satriani, and Steve Via as my main influences. Now in today’s music, there is so much out there. But I like genuine Rock ’n’ Roll, Heavy Metal of all genres and much, much more.
Stone Tone® has been taking the entire guitar world by storm and gaining so much recognition from artists of all levels, What is next for the company?
The ultimate goal for Stone Tone® is to modify all 54 stringed instruments of a full orchestra. My 15 1/2 year quest in research and development has yielded the following prototypes: 33 guitars, 4 bass guitars, 1 Baritone, 1 acoustic guitar, 4 grand pianos, 2 baby grands, 1 cello, 1 viola, and 1 violin. With the completion of these instruments and confirmation from top artists and geophysicists, my work has credence both aesthetically and scientifically. There is only one thing left to do, and that is to accomplish the extensive research and development tasks that lie ahead.
What is the easiest way for the musicians reading this to get there hands on your products? What is the turn around time from ordering?
You can contact me via our website at www.stonetoneproducts.com
or our Facebook page at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact direct at 239-216-6731
Turn-around time relates to a customer and their particular needs. For those who are not sure if the Rock Block will fit on their Floyd, I have the following chart that folks can refer to:
The Original Sustain Blocks function with:
Floyd Rose Original 2015 NAMM display
Floyd Rose Original 7-String Floyd Rose Hot Rod or 1984
Floyd Rose Hot Rod or 1984 7-String
Floyd Rose Original Non-Fine Tuner
Titanium Floyd Rose Original
Floyd Rose Special
Floyd Rose 1000 Series Original
Floyd Rose 1000 Series Pro
Floyd Rose 1000 Series Pro 7-String
The Pro Sustain blocks function
Floyd Rose Pro (German made)
NO Sustain blocks we currently carry function with:
Floyd Rose 1000 Series Original 7-String
Floyd Rose Special Series 7-String
Floyd Rose 8-String
Floyd Rose L blocks are available in 32mm, 37mm, 42mm
Stone Tone® has widened its line to include tremolo's from these makes:
Sterling By Musicman JP60, JP70, JP100D String Thru and AX40D
Floyd Rose announced at NAMM 2015 three new additions to there already existing lines. 28mm block caters to the Dean Ml's and Razorback's, Ibanez Edge Lo-Pro 31mm, Gotoh 40mm.
If you are unsure of the block your guitar needs simply send it in to Stone Tone® and have it installed on your guitar with exact intonation as it was sent in with.
When you order your block, you will receive the product within 3 to 7 days (depending on your location within the USA).
For those of you who have single-grounded electronics in your guitars, we’re now including a .020 copper grounding strip that's recommended to be installed between the StoneTone Rock Block and your baseplate to counteract any possible grounding issues. A few users have experienced buzz in single-grounded guitars after installing a StoneTone block, especially if the only ground point on the guitar was at the tremolo claw, but were able to easily nullify it by adding this grounding strip. While this isn’t a particularly frequent problem, it is recommended that you install the strip on single and even double-grounded guitars with your block merely as a precaution, so that if you experience buzz or hum after installing your StoneTone block, you or your trusted tech can easily run an extra ground from the tremolo claw ground wire and solder it to the strip, after which your guitar is guaranteed to be quiet. If your guitar is triple-grounded, you can disregard this precaution.
This is a rough business to get into if you was not doing Stone Tone® what would you be doing?
I would continue utilizing my lifelong trade skills in the stone industry as passed down to me through my father. FYI, the grand total of our experience and expertise here is 70 years (40 years for him and 30 for me).
Contact Stone Tone® Direct 239-216-6731
Whether you like or dislike the thoughts of having a piece of granite inside your guitar there really is no debating the tone of musicians like Chris Poland, Jeff Loomis or Ira Black. These musicians along with legions of others swear by the invention of Rob and his company Stone Tone®. Taking a trade he has known his entire life and putting it to use in ways that no one in the past had even conceived. Rob has clawed his way up the ladder earning every believer and not letting anyone or anything slow down his commitment to tone. I love the brimming passion that Rob puts into all parts of his life entangling up believers and non believers alike!!!!!
If anyone has any questions about Stone Tone® or the blocks feel free to leave a message or email us at email@example.com.
We will be reviewing one of Stone Tone®'s blocks in the coming month and will link this Spotlight!!
Scott Gailor using the Rock Block
I did the install on my Parts Mutt Charvel with the Stone Tone® Rock Block. All I can say is “WOW” we all sat around after and could not believe the change in punch, clarity and tone. All the bell like chime that I chase in my guitars was right there! It was louder (in a good way) and so much more alive. That guitar is always in Eb tuning with drop C# on the low E. The low was tight and articulate, the harmonics screamed! Palm mutes, tapping, sweeps, you name it, all sounded so much better. It was like a whole new guitar. THIS IS THE FUTURE OF TONE!!!!!! -Scott Gailor
Steve ''Madweeven'' Harvey & James Stocephas ''STO E'' from the band ''Who Was I''
My name is Steve M Harvey, I am the founder of the band out of Melbourne, Florida. “ WHO WAS I ” We have been together as a group for 8 years or so. I have heard my band in many different settings and the sound of our band has went though many different changes in sound between our amps, guitars, etc. But since our good friend Ricky Cook introducing us to Stone Tone® I can honestly tell you the Rock Blocks has changed the sound of the band to a whole new level. All of our guitars are equipped with 28 mm Stone Tone® Rock Blocks without even plugging it into my amp you can tell the difference right away. I was optimistic at first like my other band mate James (Stowie) Stow kept telling me about this block he heard about thru Ricky Cook so I ordered one which led to a total of five I currently use on all my guitars. I'm sure glad that I did because my tone has changed tremendously when I plugged my guitar into my amp. I was blown away by how bright and clear it was and how you could hear every string ring out with tons of clarity because playing with all your knobs on your amp turned up to 10 gets a little muddy. I really noticed the signal was much stronger since I didn’t have to turn my amp to the same volume as I used to as my tone was much more thicker full and just bad ass and exactly what I was looking for and I found it in the Stone Tone® Rock Blocks. Thank you Rob for letting my band be a part of this great addition to guitars. We will be playing with Drowning Pool adrenaline mob and full devil jacket on March 13th at the county line in Melbourne Florida come check out our tone for yourself.