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Sly

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PostSubject: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:11 am

When I got my bass back a few days ago with the Kahler installed I felt the tension on the bar was way too tight so I loosened the spring tension to avoid tendenitis (did I say it was really tight).

Now when I pull up, all the strings stay sharp - but they are ok when I push down.

Any tips??
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:15 am

welcome to the board SLY, wait a bit, and the Kahler experts will get in here and help you out. I have one on my Charvel, but I never had any issues with the springs.

One thing they may tell you is to find the "longer" arm, and leave the spring tension higher.
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:19 am

How far are you pulling up? If its more than a whole step (or 2 I forget which), then you can't really avoid it going out of tune.
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:07 am

Hmm...the way I had my Hamer set up, it was pretty stiff. About the greatest amount of rise I could get was a step with everything still settling back to pitch properly.

It sounds like your strings are binding in the nut. As you use the trem, as there is no locking nut for bass, the strings slide through the nut slots. Maybe as you're pulling back, the strings catch in the nut slightly, causing the strings to stay sharp as you bring the arm back to pitch?
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:02 am

I can tell you right now that Chowderboots is right, your strings are most likely getting stuck in the nut. If you feel comfortable doing so, I would loosen the strings and move them out of their slots, then take a round needle file and file a little bit on either side of each slot (don't file the bottom!). Then maybe add a tiny bit of vaseline into each slot and re string.

If you don't feel comfortable doing that, take it to a local tech and let them know what's going on. Any decent repair guy should be able to widen the slots for you. I have the same problem on my bass, I'm just too busy/lazy to correct it (and I don't like to bend the strings up in pitch after losing quite a few doing that Rolling Eyes ).
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:43 pm

If you don't want to use Vaseline, you can rub graphite into the nut slots instead. Some companies sell graphite power that you can squirt into the slots.

I just got done carving a graphite nut for my Hamer and I found that I didn't need any files at all to carve the nut slots, just a hacksaw and an old set of roundwound strings. If you observe that the strings are in fact binding in the slots, take off a string that you're having trouble with and pull it taught between your hands. Then, carefully rub the string back and forth in the string's slot, not pressing down, but pressing gently to the side of the slot where the sting will be seated. Do this a couple of times very cautiously to either side and test it out. If you have to put that string back on again to test it, do it. It's better to wear out a set of strings than to have a poorly set up instrument.

The objective, as Yvarg said, is to widen the slot so that the string doesn't get hung up on anything other than what it's being pressed down against (the bottom of the slot). Before taking out any material, I'd recommend getting a graphite pencil (I like .09 mechanical pencils because the lead is usually pretty soft and flaky--good for drafting and good for nut lube, too!). If you have a bone nut, that is (which I guess you do since it's a vintage style Fender), it's a good idea anyway, because it can help you see how much material you've taken out once you've started shaping/filing.
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:10 pm

i agree ... nut problem.

widen those slots.

teflon grease (just a tad) or graphite (eric uses a pencil ... i tried it ... works pretty good).

i'll expand as well ..............

i've never tried it, and some would say its fine, but i'de never install a trem on a bass that doesnt have a 2x2 headstock. there is the slight difference in tension from nut to machine head consecutively. just a preference.

the fenders (and many other 4 in a row headstock models) have string trees for the bottom strings ... just more resistance and friction to get hung up on. my 2x2 headstocks are 13 degree ... no tree necessary. you stated that this is a fender product???

didnt someone find rollers for the string tree to address this issue? stew mac maybe?

you might also try (and i favor a heavy gauge string) lighter strings. the tensions are lighter overall and they just seem ... i dunno ... more flexible ... springier. of course with the nut hangup issue, a thinner string would help. i put thinner strings on my trem basses.

still ... no matter how particular i get with the setup, i still hafta tune for the next song after going nutzocoocoo on the trem. dont think its so much a mechanical problem for me as much as its just stretching and unstretching the strings across the bridge and nut.
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:35 pm

madmike wrote:
i agree ... nut problem.

I'll give you a nut problem! Laughing

madmike wrote:
i've never tried it, and some would say its fine, but i'de never install a trem on a bass that doesnt have a 2x2 headstock. there is the slight difference in tension from nut to machine head consecutively. just a preference.

the fenders (and many other 4 in a row headstock models) have string trees for the bottom strings ... just more resistance and friction to get hung up on. my 2x2 headstocks are 13 degree ... no tree necessary. you stated that this is a fender product???

didnt someone find rollers for the string tree to address this issue? stew mac maybe?

you might also try (and i favor a heavy gauge string) lighter strings. the tensions are lighter overall and they just seem ... i dunno ... more flexible ... springier. of course with the nut hangup issue, a thinner string would help. i put thinner strings on my trem basses.

still ... no matter how particular i get with the setup, i still hafta tune for the next song after going nutzocoocoo on the trem. dont think its so much a mechanical problem for me as much as its just stretching and unstretching the strings across the bridge and nut.

I can't weigh in on what I think the best headstock for a bass tremolo is, but I know that my Hamer has a good setup going on where it doesn't need a string tree--13 degree and 4-on-a-side. The thing is, with so many 2x2 headstocks, the strings come off the nut at extreme angles. Only on more modern headstock shapes is this different. I really want to put a Kahler on my Ibanez Roadstar with a 2x2 headstock. The strings aren't perfectly straight, but I'd still like to give it a try. I would like a more "normal" looking bass with a Kahler trem on it.


I have a question, especially for those of you who have had a bass with a trem on it longer than I (over a year). How fast has your using the trem ground down the nut slots? After a year, the nut on my Hamer had been shaved down by steel rounds sliding back and forth over it (I rubbed graphite in the slots with every string change, sometimes in between) to the point where every note below the 5th fret buzzed horribly. I have a new nut carved, I just need to recess the trem and get another bridge to put on there.
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:11 pm

Chowderboots wrote:
I have a question, How fast has your using the trem ground down the nut slots?

I dunno it hasn't happened yet and the thing has been on there for 20 years geek . ( graphite nut )

Martin, I made a 30 second after dinner clip and posted it on youtube, bending up and down a whole step with that junky short arm to actually see if I could get it out of tune. the part you dont see is me messing around on it for about 5 minutes before the part in the video where I'm checking the harmonics.
the bass is tuned to DGCF

I just don't have nearly the experience as the others do when it comes to problems since they have been dealing with it for many years and many different types of basses and headstocks since my particular config seems to work.
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:14 pm

yeah boots, i definately agree ... it would seem the angle the strings are from nut to machine head would definately effect the tensions keeping it from returning to tune.

the warmoth headstock and ibanez heads that are 2x2 that i've used have a pretty straight line from nut slot to machine head. this, no string tree, proper slot width and a bit of pencil lead ... i have had minimal tuning problems.

i've seen the paddle headstocks that your talking about. that angle from nut to machine head would keep me from deciding to install a trem on that bass.

but i find it strange that some here have tremed basses with 4 inarow charvell and hamer headstocks with no tuning problems at all. scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:22 pm

i just looked at sly's original question.

of course strings mooving freely is a necessity (not binding up in the nut).

[you cant have it bind up in the nut Laughing ]

i havent had much luck with adjusting it ... eric would know more, but theres the allen key set screw adjustment on top of the cam. i think that this is for adjusting where the dead center falls. am i right guys? have i just not messed with this because my 7410 was always adjusted properly out of the box? if the dead center isnt set for the back motion, then its not returning to the center from that motion.

give it a fiddle ... see what happens.
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:25 am

Kugelspot wrote:
How far are you pulling up? If its more than a whole step (or 2 I forget which), then you can't really avoid it going out of tune.

I'd have to do some serious forearm workout to get more than a whole step of pull. Does anyone get more? I have .35 -.90's. Much lighter than what I'm used to.
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Sly

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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:31 am

Thanks for all the input, guys. For now I'm having so much fun with the new toy that I'll probably wait a while before fine tuning the setup. For now, after a pull, I push back down and the tuning is OK.
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Sly

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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:33 am

amimbari wrote:
welcome to the board SLY, wait a bit, and the Kahler experts will get in here and help you out. I have one on my Charvel, but I never had any issues with the springs.

One thing they may tell you is to find the "longer" arm, and leave the spring tension higher.

Thanks.

Where can I find this 'long' arm? just how long is it?
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Sly

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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:38 am

[quote="madmike"]
the fenders (and many other 4 in a row headstock models) have string trees for the bottom strings ... just more resistance and friction to get hung up on. my 2x2 headstocks are 13 degree ... no tree necessary. you stated that this is a fender product???

Yeah a Jag bass. The guy who installed the bridge told me about the string tree problem. He modified the tree so that the angle is less sharp but still gets rid of the annoying ting you get without it.
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:41 am

It's good that you're able to easily bring it back into tune. I know that the Kahler guitar trems have some interesting quirks when it comes to tuning stability.

I just mentioned the website in another link--fretsonthenet.com. You can order a new trem arm from him and it'll probably be about an inch longer than your old arm. It feels a lot better, though. When I switched from the arm that came with my 7410 to the arm that came off of my 2410 from '85. It makes everything easier and smoother when you have a longer arm.
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:27 am

big problems I have using mine SLY if you saw the video:

I play inverted, and it is harder to control the bar in relation to the strings.
The bar was bent for a righthander so it is #1 too short, and #2 bent the wrong way for me just to hold onto it Smile

and SLY, I have 45-100's tuned to DGCF on mine, and the cam screw is pretty much adjusted for 1 step up/down.


and YESSIREEE, it is a fun playtoy, and I told one of the members here I would do a video with me ACTUALLY playing an original where the trem is being used purposefully, but not until then !!!



THE other MEMBERS HERE KNOW WHO I'M TALKING ABOUT geek
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:06 pm

Who would that be, Mike? scratch

OK....lots of great advice for Sly, Guys. Glad to see you've all been paying attention. Laughing

In as much, I can only elaborate on what has been said already, Sly.

1. LOOSE THE STRING TREES. I cannot emphasize this enough. String trees are a MAJOR cause of string binding. Bill/Darkstrike uses a set of string trees that employ rollers, and this is an excellent option if you must have string trees. But I haven't used string trees in 20 years.

2. Along with the string tree issue, you might want to try doing what I do, and winding the strings up the tuning posts, instead of the normal downward way. The point here is to straighten out the angle of the string as it passes from the nut to the key because, like I always say, LOSE THE ANGLES. From the claw to the key, you want your string path to be as straight as possible. Now you have to be careful not to have the strings sitting so high and straight to where they want to pop out of the nut. You have to experiment to find just the right spot. I have been doing this for several years now, and it is one of many valuable tricks I use to keep my Kahler in tune.

3. The string gaps in the nut are also a major hang-up. Now, the only thing here is that you use a light gauge, so I can't imagine that this is an issue. But like Martin/Chowderboots said, try taking a loose string, and sliding within the nut. If the nut grabs the string to where it won't go through easily, then filing the sides of the nut slots will work wonders. Just please remember to only sand the sides and NOT the bottom of the slot. And you don't want such a huge gap so that the string flops around. Just enough so that it slips back and forth easily. And like the Guys said, using some sort of lube in the nut will help a lot. Coloring in the slots with a pencil works well.

4. Pulling up on a trem is always a risk, since you are stretching the strings. Even locking systems for guitar will go out tune when doing this, since even a locked string will stretch. But you have the opposite problem of going sharp. My next thought would be that the tension on the springs are too much for the string tension. But again, you said that you've loosened the springs, correct?

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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:43 am

Yeah, I loosened the tension adjuster for easier manipulation and a more comfortable bar position. The string tree was modified (longer shaft) for less angle while still eliminating the post nut overtone.

Are trees with rollers easy to come by??

Thanks again for all the tips!
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:25 am

EricHaven wrote:
Who would that be, Mike? scratch

actually I was referring about Martin, but your another one Twisted Evil

I took that video and marked it private again, it was only there so you all could see that on my CharvelHeadAngledStrings-no tree bass, the thing works perfectly.
and I was worried I was gonna break a string pulling up, so I didn't how in the video the full upward bend, just in case
and YES SLY, if anyone here can be the most help, yep....that would be Eric. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:54 pm

amimbari wrote:
....and YES SLY, if anyone here can be the most help, yep....that would be Eric. Razz

Thank you, Mike! So, where do I send the money to? Laughing

Sly, these Guys are some of the greatest folks I have ever met in this biz, and they often say some very kind things about me and my level of experience. But let me be clear: I am no expert. There are still many things that I have yet to learn, and everyone here teaches me something new all the time. I can only share my experience, and hope that it helps someone along the way. I've said it before, and I'll say it until I am blue in the face. This is why I created this board. Because there aren't any other resources for bass tremolo users to refer to, and I wanted to not only share my knowledge, but also bring other bass tremolo users together to share their knowledge as well. EVERYONE here brings a lot of valuable information, and I could not be more grateful to hold court with these Guys. They are always there to remind me of what I've overlooked, or gotten wrong. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:36 am

Sly wrote:
Are trees with rollers easy to come by??

Stewmac - Roller String Tree
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:25 am

What are these string retainer trees you speak of ?




cyclops

Wink wink nudge nudge
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:12 am

Now that the honeymoon with the Kahler is over, I finally got around to checking it's setup. I found the source of my problem when I went to change my strings - the ball of my E string was slightly out of it's slot and was getting hung up in the side of the hole that was routed out for the bridge's installation.

With a new string properly installed - bye bye tuning problems!

I also installed the roller string tree...works great...

I'm really happy to have it setup properly - thanks to all for the insight!
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:46 am

should we say "you dummy" now or later Smile

like my computer...it would not come on I had no clue why. I looked and fiddled with everything I could possibly fiddle with..I found the issue a day later after I gave up from frustration.

the stupid power strip tripped it's circuitbreaker from a voltage surge, and I never knew since all the other outlets on it were working ( only 2 out of the 6 outlets on the strip are protected with the breaker )<<< man I was MF'ing myself since I busted out the old junk laptop I had to finish my work at home for that day Sad

anyway.... glad your Kahler is 100% operational, now you can dive-bomb till your nose bleeds ---lol
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:56 am

Sly wrote:
Now that the honeymoon with the Kahler is over, I finally got around to checking it's setup. I found the source of my problem when I went to change my strings - the ball of my E string was slightly out of it's slot and was getting hung up in the side of the hole that was routed out for the bridge's installation.

With a new string properly installed - bye bye tuning problems!

I also installed the roller string tree...works great...

I'm really happy to have it setup properly - thanks to all for the insight!

Ah yeah I had that happen once. On my Hamer, I was changing the strings and one of the ball ends didn't seat properly. Thankfully, I caught my mistake as I was tuning up.

Now it's time for a second honeymoon! cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Strings go sharp when I pull up   Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:39 pm

I am really glad to hear this, Sly! I always get a little worried when someone here asks for help, and the rest of us scramble to give a good answer. It's hard to know for certain what will and what won't work without holding the bass.

And now we have yet another good point to add to our little "bag of tricks" that we have here to keep a bass trem in tune. Make certain that the ball ends are properly seated AND that they are not being hung up somewhere.

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