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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm searching around for opinions on something that I've been mulling over for quite some time...Don't worry, I won't get pissy or incorrigible if you tell me you think it's a bad idea. The main reason why I'm asking is because there's the possibility that it is a bad idea, but I was curious as to whether or not anyone (besides me) might think it's a cool idea.

Ok...here goes nothing:

I have a very nice Gibson SG Special Faded (got a good deal on it, too :yesway:) for my main guitar and sole electric. It feels great and sounds great--oh, and looks great--and it's been able to handle pretty much everything I've tried to play on it, from NWOBHM to Western swing to blues and so on.

However, a little while ago, a very silly idea popped into my head: the idea that, perhaps, I could install a locking vibrato system on my beloved SG, and add some more potential texture to my lead work. I looked up the various options for these types of bridges, and came upon the Kahler Hybrid bridges. These are ***-operated systems which mount to TOM-style studs, which are already installed on my guitar. While they require some top routing :)( luckily though, I do have some experience with woodworking, just in case...) they wouldn't run through the whole of the body like a Floyd Rose would, and they are generally easier to install on a TOM-style guitar than most other vibrato bridges/tremolo bars/wiggly sticks. Another good feature of this bridge is that it can be locked in place to be used as a fixed bridge. I would also need a behind-the-nut string lock, or to replace the nut with a Floyd-style locking nut (although I don't know how well this would work out.)

Generally, I've heard decent things about the Kahler bridges. They seem to maintain their tuning pretty well on the whole (although they are also said to have problems with string bending, and supposedly return to pitch after bends only after the arm is depressed), and their feel (from my own experience on other instruments) is very smooth. I haven't seen or heard any claims about radical changes in sustain or tone due to the installation of a Kahler bridge. My problems are mostly in the fact that I'd have to route the top of the guitar (I know, I'd need to if I wanted any sort of tremolo bar, save for a Stetsbar, which seems both overpriced and very limited,) and that I might regret the decision later. I might be better off just getting a second guitar--a super-Strat kind of deal, like from Charvel or Jackson or Ibanez.

The idea of a locking tremolo on an SG has appealed to me for a while, but I'm not sure if I want to go through with it. I'm also saving up for a better amp, and at the same time trying to save as much dough as I can to get through college--I'm not paying as much as I could have for my education, luckily I managed to snag a pretty hefty institutional grant, but I still don't want to spend frivolously through school--so a vibrato bridge isn't really a top priority right now. I suppose I just wanted to see what others had to say. Sorry for the long post.



...Aww, heck--if I want to upgrade my guitar, maybe I ought to put some GFS pickups in it. :ugh::rofl:

EDIT: Awww, shoot. I just realized that I should've put this in the "Instrument Discussion" section. Sorry it's in the wrong section, guys.
 

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I assume someone with more experience in this area will give you some good advice on the actual execution of the project. But as far as going for it, I would have no qualms about it. I have come across a fair amount of Gibson enthusiasts that shun drastic mods and treat them as some form of sacrilege (moreso than other brand loyalists in my experience). But bottom line its no different than any other decent priced guitar you got a deal on. If you will get a better experience out of the trem and don't mind doing this to a guitar of this price, then do it----as long as its not a logistical nightmare.

I've only played one kahler trem so I won't even act like I can give advice there.

...Aww, heck--if I want to upgrade my guitar, maybe I ought to put some GFS pickups in it. :ugh::rofl:
:lol:GFS has become the official whipping boy of the week:lol:
 

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Hey, its not a permanent mod, right? I mean, if it isn't, the worst that happens is you lose a few bucks and sell it on ebay.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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Another option to a locking nut would be to install locking tuners instead, which would have less impact on the already-weak Gibson nut area and headstock.
 

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Slow Money
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I'd say maybe a stetsbar, cause there's NO permanent modification
 

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Before modding your guitar, see if you can find a guitar (probably a used one) locally with a Kahler to try out. They are very much a love/hate thing with most people. Since you're in New York, there's a very good chance that at least one guitar store or pawn shop somewhere in the area has one you could try out.

I've gone hot and cold on them. If set up properly, they stay in tune as well as a Floyd and have a smoother trem action. They also are great for palm muting, since the saddles are fixed. However, they are over-engineered and have to be maintained in order to keep the various parts from jamming up. Also, set-ups are more complicated if done right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey, its not a permanent mod, right? I mean, if it isn't, the worst that happens is you lose a few bucks and sell it on ebay.
Well, I can always go ahead and pull the bridge off and resell it, yeah, but I'll always have a large-ish hole routed out on the top. That's the only real problem with the Kahler.

Before modding your guitar, see if you can find a guitar (probably a used one) locally with a Kahler to try out. They are very much a love/hate thing with most people. Since you're in New York, there's a very good chance that at least one guitar store or pawn shop somewhere in the area has one you could try out.
I've tried out a few guitars with Kahler bridges on them, and as far as tuning stability goes, I've abused them as far as I could (without getting the stink eye from a store clerk) and the tuning stayed pretty solid, with the range being very good. It also felt pretty nice.

YouTube - Gibson SG with Kahler Hybrid 7200

Another option to a locking nut would be to install locking tuners instead, which would have less impact on the already-weak Gibson nut area and headstock.
Yep, I saw the video back when I was first researching Kahler bridges. It works pretty well in that video. As for the locking tuners? I hadn't thought of that, so thanks much for bringing those up! :yesway: One of my concerns about the locking nut is that it would put strain on the nut area and headstock, which are notoriously weak on Gibsons. I guess maybe what I'll have to do is go out somewhere and try to find a guitar with a locking tremolo and locking tuners (but no locking nut) to demo. Thanks for the suggestion.

Maybe try one of these so you don't have to route? Stetsbar
Well, maybe I'm a little hesitant on the Stetsbar because I haven't been able to try one, or maybe I'm hesitant because I haven't seen a lot of demos of it online, but for some reason I had always been a little dismissive of the Stetsbar. Seeing, however, as it is cheaper than a Kahler 7300 at MSRP, and requires no routing, that may be the way to go. If I end up not liking it, I could always take it off, put the old bridge and tailpiece back on, and sell the Stetsbar assembly on eBay. My only problem is that it seems to have the range of a Bigsby...and I could get a Bigsby for less.

I dunno, this is going to require some thought, but I may just end up leaving it stock. The Kahler still seems like a cool idea to me, but I need to give it some more thought for sure.

Thanks for the help, everyone.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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Go try an EBMM Petrucci out. They have a non-locking bridge and locking tuners. I used to be able to do a lot of whoop-whoop on my JP7 and it stayed in tune pretty well. (Though the bridge stayed locked and the bar lived in the case most of the time.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Go try an EBMM Petrucci out. They have a non-locking bridge and locking tuners. I used to be able to do a lot of whoop-whoop on my JP7 and it stayed in tune pretty well. (Though the bridge stayed locked and the bar lived in the case most of the time.)
Will do, Darren.

Damn, it actually looks like a really nice guitar...:yesway:
 

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Well, I can always go ahead and pull the bridge off and resell it, yeah, but I'll always have a large-ish hole routed out on the top. That's the only real problem with the Kahler.
I was thinking of the Stetsbar, too. I just saw the vid of the Kahler and assumed it was the same thing :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
the stetsbar is miles ahead of a bigsby. Bigsbies are terrible
That much, I know from experience (my teacher's guitar has a Bigsby and its tuning stability is flat out awful.) I was really only talking about the range--but I would never get a Bigsby, though. IMO, they're pieces of shit and, for me, it would be a waste of money.

The Stetsbar is nice, but I think I'm just going to leave the SG stock. I like it enough way it is. Thanks for the help, everyone.
 

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There are some super-wacky Floyd roses out there that are designed to fit on a TOM/Stopbar setup, with 10 little springs underneath it for tension, that requires no routing to the guitar at all.

one of these bad boys, in fact.

 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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Those things are quite rare, and if memory serves correctly, they never really worked very well.
 

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I am Groot
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Those things are quite rare, and if memory serves correctly, they never really worked very well.
This. I got to play with one a few years back, and without the big sustain block, notes just die.
 

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Guiterrorizer
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Gibson at one point made an SG with a trem IIRC.
 
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