Just installed the locking stud mod I ordered from Ibanezrules. The studs seem of very good quality and work exactly as they're supposed but I noticed a change in tone...
I must say the bridge (Edge pro) does indeed seem more solid and it holds the tuning very well. However, I feel a loss of tone and a feel of dampening in the strings. The low end seems more flubby and the high end less sharp and cutting. The original non-locking studs are much heavier than the locking ones because of the fact that they are one piece metal parts unlike the locking ones that have the locking mechanism inside. I feel this makes less vibrations from the strings go through the body (this is the best way i can explain what it feels like!) and changes the tone in a slightly negative manner.
I'm going to put new strings on tonight and see if it is in fact the strings the cultprit but I doubt it. I'll also put back the non-locking studs so I can compare a second time to see if it makes the tone better.
Has anyone else done this mod on his Edge pro? Did you feel a change in tone?
I've never done the locking stud mod to a guitar with NON locking studs, but what you're describing would really surprise me. Couple reasons.
One, the "locking mechanism" is just another bolt inside the bolt - it works by, after you tighten the first bolt until the trem is at the right position, tightening the locking screw inside the trem stud, which as it screws in eventually makes contact with the bottom of the stud anchor the stud screws into, which has the effect of kind of "wedging" the stud in place, by applying upwards pressure to it which locks it in place in the stud anchor.
If anything, I would think that this would give you a stud that's MORE dense, because the interior of the stud now needs to be entirely hardened to not wear out as you tighten the set screw. Also, because screw is now rigidly held in place, if anything I would expect it to increase the vibrational transfer between the bridge and the body.
Also, anecdotally, the only experimentation I've done in adding things to increase the mass of the bridge was adding a Tone Pros brass block to my OFR in my UV. That had the effect of thickening the midrange audibly, which I suppose you could describe as weakening the low and the high (though I would disagree). This makes me wonder if what you're hearing is better vibrational transfer giving you a fuller midrange.
A straight-up loss of low end and high end doesn't make sense to me. Are you sure the trem is at the same hight? I think I would bet placebo effect over anything, but that's my only guess...