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 String buzz on old 4 string Kahler trem

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sonicbruise



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Age : 61
Location : Pittsburgh PA

PostSubject: String buzz on old 4 string Kahler trem   Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:39 pm

Hiya folks.

I have an old 4 string Kahler trem:
no model #, but it's been on my mid-70s Kramer lumie half-fretless for over 2 decades.
Provided years of service under rigorous conditions.
(the string claw is one piece, no adjustable poles)

Lately the G string has been dull and buzzy, like it's brushing or touching something.
Doesn't matter what fret I'm on
The other 3 strings ring true.
String height doesn't seem to make a difference, neither does new strings.
(Aluminum Kramers use a zero-fret system, no nut issues)
G roller is lined up well, but seems a bit 'stiff'
(Had the unit professionally installed by a qualified luthier w/ Kramer experience)
I've kept it well lubed over the years.

Any tips or suggestions?
Take it off and give it a good cleaning?
A spring needs replacing or something?

I'd love to get the old boy back into live work,
it scares the crap outta the gtr players................. Twisted Evil
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EricHaven
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PostSubject: Re: String buzz on old 4 string Kahler trem   Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:18 pm

sonicbruise wrote:
I'd love to get the old boy back into live work,
it scares the crap outta the gtr players................. Twisted Evil

You sound like one of us! Laughing

Greetings! Welcome to BTF!

I would think that your idea of taking your Kahler off and giving it a good cleaning would be a good start. If that doesn't take care of it, a couple things come to mind. First off, how curvy/flat is your neck? Does it have a backwards bow in it? The other thing I thought of is that the brass roller on the G string might be worn out. By dull and buzzy, does the G lack sustain? Meaning, does it decay quickly compared to the other strings?

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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: String buzz on old 4 string Kahler trem   Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:13 pm

I was thinking about this today.

Disassemble, clean and oil (3 in 1) the roller assemblies. If the cam bearing is clean, don't mess with it.
Reassemble.

If that didn't fix it, you may need new brass bridge saddle rollers. If your ordering new parts, ide get new cam bearings and springs too. It may be a spring buzzing underneath.

Welcome to BTF!
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sonicbruise



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Location : Pittsburgh PA

PostSubject: Re: String buzz on old 4 string Kahler trem   Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:22 pm



I would think that your idea of taking your Kahler off and giving it a good cleaning would be a good start. If that doesn't take care of it, a couple things come to mind. First off, how curvy/flat is your neck? Does it have a backwards bow in it? The other thing I thought of is that the brass roller on the G string might be worn out. By dull and buzzy, does the G lack sustain? Meaning, does it decay quickly compared to the other strings?


Thanks for the comeback,Guys, glad to be here.
Never had a clue there was a bass trem community out in the interwebs.

The neck is one of those old Kramer aluminum jobs, (no truss rod, it's a exoskeleton)
with the fret board made out of the same material from which bowling balls are made.
Pretty tough stuff: the neck is half fretless, and barely shows any wear despite years of abuse playing.
Body's routed so the trem goes up or down.

the G string was dull and lacked sustain as you surmised.

I did pull the trem (curiously enough it has 3 springs given it's age)
cleaned years of pretty disgusting crud from it, and checked the G roller, it had some wear on it.
Couple quick spins with some 600grit paper, and it's all shiny.
Put it back on, moved the G roller over about an RCH, lubed the whole thing good, strung it back up,
and the ol' bastid is back..............


I'll be test running it at an open stage I host tomorrow.
Guitar player will be surprised: most folks here have never seen or even heard of a bass trem before.


Oh yeah, I have a hipshot on it as well, I usually play 4string in drop D

My next project will be getting a trem for one of my sixes

hope this pic works, taken right before removing it for cleaning.


[left]
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sonicbruise



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PostSubject: Re: String buzz on old 4 string Kahler trem   Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:28 pm

[left]Disassemble, clean and oil (3 in 1) the roller assemblies. If the cam bearing is clean, don't mess with it.
Reassemble.

If that didn't fix it, you may need new brass bridge saddle rollers. If your ordering new parts, ide get new cam bearings and springs too. It may be a spring buzzing underneath.



Did the lube, but just touched up the rollers with some 600 grit.
Briefly thought of drilling out the screw holes with my press for something more robust in fasteners, but Nah.
I did have to move the ground, where somebody had tied it to one of the spring screws.

See ya later guys, have to intonate my fretless 6...............
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: String buzz on old 4 string Kahler trem   Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:20 am

Yeah, I drill mine and put beefier screws in there too. Never had a problem with stock but its a lot of tension.
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sonicbruise



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PostSubject: Re: String buzz on old 4 string Kahler trem   Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:59 am

Took the ol' boy out last night. Made a lot of waves.
(guitar player's idea of using a whammy is to wield it like he's boxing the bishop in the privacy of his bathroom)

Worked great, except there's some kinda weird microphonic thing happening in the control cavity.
Tap on the back, or let the trem arm down to the face-mounted jack, and there's audible noise.

Has a single p-bass Bart and a Seymour Duncan 18V pre.

Guess I'll have to strip it down, start tapping stuff and find out what's up.
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: String buzz on old 4 string Kahler trem   Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:37 pm

I've always looked for a better way to ground the kahler. Last install, I hooked it to the spring screw; like you found when you took it off. It sounded horrible and ended up overboard single coil shielding the whole bass with the bridge ground under the trem base plate.

I've also tried scraping the finish off the underside of the base plate .... eh.

Let us know what you try and your results.
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sonicbruise



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PostSubject: Re: String buzz on old 4 string Kahler trem   Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:28 pm

Looks like the main prob is the Bartolini PU.
I'd lined the cavity a while back.
Today (when not moving sectional couches) I isolated all the components.
One of the batteries was touching the ground from the trem going to the jack.
added some padding to keep stuff from flopping around.

Now only the PU is slightly microphonic.
I have an old EMG layng around, might try that one instead of the Bart
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