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Darkstrike



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PostSubject: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:01 am

As the title says, recently, I've been experimenting with my Kahlers, a lot.
Changed the bend on the arms, tried the cam at different angles, tried it with less springs, etc.

Seems to me, with a few small mods, they could be incredible(more so, that is), really.

First, please, vintage arms! Or at the very least, add 3" to the current one, raising the angle of the arm, to counterbalance this works to give more dive, but is a harder dump, plus, its not so easy to alter the current arm at home, lol. The longer arm gives more leverage, making the dump easier. A locking arm'd be sweet too, but is not a big deal, not for me so far, anyway.

Second, springs, from my research, two springs are too light, unless you use low tunings, or light/super light strings, but three are two heavy, IMHO, so, added with the longer arm, I'm betting either two extra heavy springs, or two normal ones and a third light one, would give the perfect balance between too stiff, and not strong enough.

Third, for the love of all thats good, get rid of that crappy cam adjuster screw, and replace it with a longer, more sturdy one, that takes a phillips head, not an allen bolt! Damn' they are the one thing I despize about the trems, Eric's modded ones for the large screw are exactly what I'm talking about, but I don't have the resources to do that myself.

Fourth, the four bolts holding the trem to the body, I have not had a problem with them, but slighlty bigger ones would be nice.
I have put bigger ones(only just) on one trem, makes me feel better that the trem is harder bolted to the body, should help sustain even more than Kahlers normally do too. Not a bid deal, but would be nice. I believe Eric, and Hans, have reamed out the holes and put neck bolts in theirs. Hardcore!

Fifth, finally, a little longer intonation adjusting room would be pretty sweet, I've *never* had an intonation problem with one yet, but I wouldn't mind a bit more room, of course, this would make them harder to retrofit on basses with little room at the back, but as I've had no problems with this, it was just a thought more than anything.

Wow, sorry, didn't realise this was gonna be such a long post......
Pretty much a rant even(sorry I'm not in the Rant Room Eric!)......
Heh, you'd never tell by this post that I adore my Kahlers..... lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:29 pm

Whoa, now there Bill! Easy on the coffee! Laughing

One of the things that I admire about us musicians is that we aren't afraid to do our own mods to suit our needs. That's really cool that you did those changes, Bill!

Here are my two-cents regarding your points.

1) Don't expect the arms to get any longer. I have told Kahler about this problem many times, and they don't appear ready to make any changes anytime soon. Your best bet is to get an after-market arm, or to have one made.

2) Since it's not too hard to swap springs, you can do like Hans does and incorporate a guitar spring in the middle of the cam. This gives you almost the same amount of return using the three original springs, but with slightly less tension. You might not get it exactly as you want it, but as you said, you'll be pretty close.

3) It's actually really easy to replace the original cam adjustment screw. All I did was to go down to my local hardware store with the original allen head screw, and I simply looked for a longer phillips head screw that was the same thread size. And since it was the same size thread, it went right in. Voila! So you don't really need resources per se. Just a hardware store that has screws.

4) Yes, both Hans and myself have drilled out the mounting holes, and used larger bolts to install our Kahlers. It's not difficult to do. Just be sure and use a hard drill bit, since the holes in the steel frame are murder to cut through otherwise.

5) It is true that the more intonation length you are afforded, the more room options you would have for installing. But bear in mind that the frame is already larger than a lot of bass bridges to begin with, and they would have to make this even larger to allow for more adjustment space. I mean, we can't even get Kahler to go back to the original arm length for crying out loud, so I cannot imagine they would consider changing the size of the frame.

And since this is a Kahler-specific set of issues, it's perfectly at home here in this thread, Bill. Not to worry. Cool

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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:40 pm

Damn...I just lost a big post because my cat trampled all over my keyboard Laughing

What I started to write, though was that I think you have some valid ideas, Bill. I agree with them and I think it would be beneficial to everyone to be able to voice some of them to Kahler. It seems as though everyone who uses these trems extensively arrives at the same conclusions about these things.

What I think is that Kahler tremolos being the best damn bass bridge available isn't enough. I think Kahler needs to offer a little extra in order to gain a larger user base, you know? They don't have to give up their status or their identity, just do little things to increase the accessibility of the trems to help persuade more people to use them.

Now, I am not a businessman, nor do I claim to be, but small things about their tremolos don't seem to be fully evolved, you know? And improvement comes from trial and error. 2 springs? Not such a good idea. They fixed that to great success. The shorter arms was a step backwards. Adjustable claws? Brilliant! But what about the 2410 that lots of people like? A lot of things abotu Kahler seem to drift in and out of shadows.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:46 pm

Well, Eric, I knew Kahler wouldn't do anything, but I just had to throw my thoughts out there, lol.


1, I will look into at a local metalworks.

2, I should buy a bunch of guitar spring and experiment some more, I'll try and pick some up.

3, I thought you reamed it out and re threadded, will visit the hardware store asap.

4, I might try it, as I said, I do have slightly bigger bolts in there now. But as I've had no problems yet, I'm in no rush.

5, I thought that, was just a flight of fancy, there is no problem really as is, and bigger = harder to fit, as you say.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:51 pm

Yeah, I feel ya Martin.

The adjustable claws and saddles are genious, indeed, and as you said, a few conceps should evolve a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:01 pm

And I want you to toss out any and all ideas, Bill! I don't know it all, and I certainly don't have all of the answers, so it inspires me when I hear what everyone else is doing, and I learn something new from the experience. Wink

The thing is Martin, we are a rare lot. Just the stigma of doing anything over-the-top to even the slightest degree is enough to discourage the majority of bass players from having a trem. You have to be willing to experiment with your playing technique in order to incorporate a bass trem, and for many players, that involves doing things that do not seem natural for them to do. So while Kahler holds the top honor of the #1 bass tremolo system available, they still get the majority of their earnings from their guitar trems. There simply is not enough of a purchasing base for them to want to spend any more time and money on changes and development than they already do. It's the old build-a-better-mouse-trap thing.

I'll let you in on a little secret. Kahler is a small operation, and I don't mean that in a critical way, either. What I mean is that they only have a handful of employees, and they do a lot of multi-tasking to get their production done.

So what I am trying to say is that we are lucky to have available what we do.

And you know what? This is why we have guys like John Gallagher who cook up their own creations to fill their needs. And I can absolutely promise you guys that, had I not ever discovered Kahler, I would have definitely created my own bass trem at some point.

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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:11 pm

I figured. The rarity of the bass trems adds to my pride in owning a couple, but it's a pity that such great devices don't get mroe attention or actual use. The trem on my Kelly, I can tell that every owner did a couple dives, then got bored and hung it on the wall or sat it under their bed for 5 years and it's gotten to me spotless. The cams haven't moved all the way around in 20 years! I don't get it.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:20 pm

EricHaven wrote:
I'll let you in on a little secret. Kahler is a small operation, and I don't mean that in a critical way, either. What I mean is that they only have a handful of employees, and they do a lot of multi-tasking to get their production done.

So what I am trying to say is that we are lucky to have available what we do.

Thats for sure Eric, they do great work, and I love mine, but its like everything, I try to think of ways to make it suit me better, I didn't want this to be putting Kahler down, as much as brainstorm, and see what you guys made of my experiences, and to hear your own, of course.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:30 pm

You betcha! And I hate to beat a dead horse, but again I will say that this is exactly why I created this place! Because there wasn't anywhere for bass trem users to go for information, and I got really frustrated with the idea that there wasn't anybody I could confer with on the subject. It wasn't until Kahler had their tremolo forum up where both Hans and I moderated the bass threads that there was anywhere people could go for help. And since it was Kahler hosting the site, we had quite a large membership. And so when Kahler pulled the board down, it was a no-brainer for me to go "so I'll just start my own damned board!"

And now, here we are! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:34 pm

I honestly didn't know Kahler ever had a board, to be honest, but that may have been before I was looking for a trem.

I was actually trying to find one for years, but didn't have much in the way of intenet, until I heard of Kahlers, which of course coulsn't be got, though we both know they could, damn misinformation, ha, I'da had one a long time before I did, if I had the resources you're building here.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:38 pm

And thankfully we have more resources than in the early days. Back then, all there really were was Kahler. And when Kahler pulled the plug there for a bit, those were some dark days for me, let me tell you!

But now there are at least 14 different makers of bass trems in varying forms, so I don't think they will ever entirely disappear ever again. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:40 pm

And if the all somehow do, we'll just follow JohnG's path! king

Never Gonna Stop!
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:42 pm

AMEN, BROTHER BILL! king

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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:44 pm

Hear, hear!!

How long ago was it that the Kahler bass trem forum was taken down?
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:55 pm

It was taken down probably about two or three years ago.

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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:02 pm

Huh. Do you know why?
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:05 pm

Gary Kahler decided that he didn't want to mess with it, so he pulled the plug.

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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:33 pm

Huh. Too bad. That sounds like it could have been a cool forum.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:15 pm

Pure heaven...................................... Crying or Very sad

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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:04 pm

What'd ya do there?

Yeah...that looks like just about the right length Suspect
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:42 pm

Its an extension for a screwdriver, those ones that take different heads, its not stuck in or anything, just had to try it, and now I know what I'm missing............
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:47 pm

now that's a COOL "reversible" idea!!!!!

my crappy bar is way too short to be useful!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:55 pm

Yep. After I played my friend's Carvin with a bar that reaches to the end of the fingerboard, I realized, too, what could be better...
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:58 pm

Hahaha, you guys should have seen when I had it with two extensions, and the screwdriver, was out past the 12th fret, bounced like a Floyd Rose, lololol lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:05 pm

Hmm really?
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:13 pm

Chowderboots wrote:
Hmm really?


So much leverage it was like a toy, and came back in tune perfectly every time...
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:19 pm

mmmh.... need to get a longer bar pirat
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:25 pm

True that, even gonna mention it to my guitarist buddy.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:46 pm

What kinds of trems does he use?
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:17 pm

Floyd Rose.

But he's looking for a bit more bounce, heck a lot more bounce, if he could get it! lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:45 pm

GAH!!! Now there's a trem arm! Shocked

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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:13 pm

Definatly gonna ge some new long bars. Love 'em.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:43 am

I know...screw the gimpy new Kahler arms Evil or Very Mad

And not in my bass, either Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:24 pm

Does anyone happen to have pictures of this third spring mod? My Kahler only came with two and I don't see how I'd fit a third on there, but I'd love to be able to use heavy gauge strings without losing much bending range.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:54 pm

They're generally made for three springs now, I don't think you could mod one for them.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:28 pm

You could machine holes in the baseplate and load lever for another spring and then get bolts and an extra spring.

The 7410s are all made with 3 springs, I believe.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:34 pm

Chowderboots wrote:
You could machine holes in the baseplate and load lever for another spring and then get bolts and an extra spring.

The 7410s are all made with 3 springs, I believe.

Depends where the springs are on the two spring model.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:51 pm

Ah true. I thought they were in the same place as the outer two springs on the three string version. Are they?
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:59 pm

Dunno. scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:08 pm

I could look at that on my Kelly...but nah. What a Face
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:34 pm

Well damn, my Kahler only came with two springs (was bought new directly from Kahler last fall).
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:38 pm

Huh...weird. It's a 7410, right? I don't know what's up with that. Maybe Eric does?
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:57 am

I don't know the exact model number because I didn't order it, but it might be a 2410.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:05 pm

When Kahler went back into making tremolos, they re-introduced the bass trems with only two springs. Personally, I have never had good luck in getting the two spring models to come back in tune properly, so when I was working with Kahler, I told Gary that the bass trems absolutely needed the three spring option. Gary agreed, and that's why they have three springs again. My little addition to the cause. Cool

So if you have a newer Kahler, it might be one of the first run when they started up production again, but it would be a 7400 series. The very first 2400's also had only two springs, but they added the third spring within a year or two.

If you wanted to add a third spring, like Martin said, you would have to remove the brass cam piece, and have it drilled and tapped. You would also need to have the underside of the frame drilled and tapped. Since I'm not at home, I can't post any pictures, but will do so after we get back in a couple of days.

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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:50 pm

I remember you saying that. How cool is that? Very Happy

How do you like the action on your Kahler, Yvarg?
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:32 pm

Well, it's a love/hate relationship. Either, I can put on some normal-to-heavy gauge strings and get a nice long action while losing some bending range; or I can put on some lighter strings and have a lot better bending range with higher action. I did go to Home Depot and find a longer cam-adjustment screw and that helped a bit. I'd really just like to be able to use normal strings on my bass without forfeiting 2-4 half-steps of bending range.
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:26 pm

Getting a longer arm will help you a lot. Hit up fretsonthenet--you can get extra long Kahler bars there. It'll make things smoother and grant you greater range with greater ease. What you can do in addition to that is bend the arm itself at the joint where it veers towards the strings upwards (away from the body when it's screwed in), like a vintage Strat trem bar. I got the idea from Hans here and it's awesome! Makes using the trem easier--it gives you more leverage and greater drop range. If you bent a longer arm up, it would be a vast improvement over what you currently have. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:55 pm

Hold on there, Yvarg. You said that your action gets worse with lighter strings? scratch

Not that I am doubting you, but again, this is one of those things that doesn't make any sense to my tiny brain (remember, I'm the first to admit that I don't know everything). With the decrease in tension that lighter strings afford, the neck should want to bend backwards more, and your action should lower. Can you clarify?

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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:03 pm

Eric--come to think of it, that sort of thing has happened on one of my basses and I couldn't fathom why...
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PostSubject: Re: Experimenting,   Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:10 pm

EricHaven wrote:
Hold on there, Yvarg. You said that your action gets worse with lighter strings? scratch

Not that I am doubting you, but again, this is one of those things that doesn't make any sense to my tiny brain (remember, I'm the first to admit that I don't know everything). With the decrease in tension that lighter strings afford, the neck should want to bend backwards more, and your action should lower. Can you clarify?

With lighter strings you need higher action to play without buzz, and espcially with trems, because the dives will buzz of the frets quickly otherwise.
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