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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hopefully within the next 6 months or so I will be able to afford my next custom order (BRJ Jekyll 727S) and I have really been tempted to opt for a Kahler trem. I have only been able to play one guitar with one a Peavey PDX and I was unable to really mess with it because it was locked down in hardtail mode, but the profile felt awesome and it seems like it is the swiss army knife of trems. I love how you can lock your trem without a T-no and the fact that you match the saddles the the radius of your fretboard without having to deal with shim's like on an OFR. My only concern is it seems like many people complain the they completely drain your guitars sustain and after watching a video on YouTube it seems like they tend to go out of tune after heavy bending. So i guess my question is does anyone have experience a with Kahler , and do they have any issues that have driven you away from them?
 

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My only trem equipped guitar has a kahler. I love it as it feels right under my hand as it sits up high like a TOM. There are a couple of issues with the Kahler.

First, in order to stay in tune the rollers need to be able to roll freely. Most of the kahlers that you see not working well are beat up and grimy, and that keeps the rollers from working. If you get one, make sure to keep the bridge clean, and keep the rollers lubricated (once or twice a year is fine).

Second, the kahler lock nut sucks. I put a floyd lock nut on my guitar and it stays in tune really well now.

As for sustain, I've never had any problem with sustain on a kahler equipped guitar.

The feel of the kahler is quite different from a regular strat trem or a floyd rose. It has a lot less resistance and I find it to be smoother. If that is good or bad is a matter of personal preference.

You can also do crazy Kerry King whammy madness with the Kahler that you can't with the floyd, but you can't do flutters that sound the same as an floyd with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
^ Thanks for the advice:yesway:
I have heard people say that keeping your rollers clean is the key to keeping your trem in tip top shape, thanks!
 

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I've got a pair of Charvels with Kahlers, and I know Dave does, too, so there's gonna be some feedback here, mos def.

I love the feel and adjustability of Kahlers, they're my favorite trem, feel-wise.

The sustain issue is probably a placebo, but it might be due to the construction, Kahlers are made from Brass, with (IIRC) Steel screws, and Brass is heavy, but not quite as resonant as hardened steel, like the OFRs. (In keeping with your swiss army knife comment, though, Kahler does sell parts for their trems in Brass, Steel, and some parts aluminum, but expect to pay a premium.)


The only Lock-able Kahlers are Hybrids (and the X-Trem), unless the 2300 series has been updated with the set screw, so make sure you check that.

Kahlers are notorious for falling out of tune after abuse, not only for the roller issue, but also because they're only a single-locking design, and the strings are only held to the trem by their own tension. When you dive them, the strings can come loose from the claws that hold them, and when you return to pitch, they might not seat properly again. With my FR guitars, I usually don't have to retune after I record a track, but the Kahlers, I almost always do. I'm sure there's a way to rectify that, but honestly, I haven't put the effort into it to learn how, as my main players have Floyd Roses, and the Kahlers have been relegated to practice axes.

If you like the adjustability of the Kahler but don't like the stability issues, there is a Kahler fixed bridge, but that seems like a cop-out to me, why get a trem-styled unit if it's not a trem. I'm not trying to dissuade you from Kahlers, because they're extremely cool and look awesome, to boot, I'm just trying to paint the most negative aspect of them in an awful light, so your experience will be better :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kahlers are notorious for falling out of tune after abuse, not only for the roller issue, but also because they're only a single-locking design, and the strings are only held to the trem by their own tension. When you dive them, the strings can come loose from the claws that hold them, and when you return to pitch, they might not seat properly again. With my FR guitars, I usually don't have to retune after I record a track, but the Kahlers, I almost always do. I'm sure there's a way to rectify that, but honestly, I haven't put the effort into it to learn how, as my main players have Floyd Roses, and the Kahlers have been relegated to practice axes.
Thanks! So as far as tuning stability goes they are probably closer to an PRS type trem than a OFR? If that is the case I could deal with that seeing as I am not really super hard on my trems, my main concern would be with bending as I do have a fairly heavy left hand.
 

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I am Groot
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The biggest thing you can do to combat the return to pitch problem is tin your ball ends with solder. This locks the windings in place, and makes them less likely to stretch/contract with use.

I think the bridges are more stable than anything that is not a Floyd, but remember that they will not respond like a fulcrum (Strat, Floyd, PRS, Wilkinson, Hipshot, etc) trem. I like the smooth feel, but to some people, it is a non-starter.

The Achilles heel is absolutely the saddles and string retainers. They are made out of soft steel, rather than the hardened stuff the baseplate and trem are made out of. I've seen them literally disintegrating on old Charvel/Jacksons. Matt really understated the importance of keeping them cleaned and oiled. Sweat is the death of them.
 

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The Achilles heel is absolutely the saddles and string retainers. They are made out of soft steel, rather than the hardened stuff the baseplate and trem are made out of. I've seen them literally disintegrating on old Charvel/Jacksons. Matt really understated the importance of keeping them cleaned and oiled. Sweat is the death of them.
Ah, Yeah, I guess the Flyers are made of Brass, and the Pros have steel parts. Still, all 3 saddle sets I have have Brass rollers and Stainless saddles.

I think a can of WD-40 and a bottle of 3-in-1 oil should come standard with all kahlers.
 

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It's not a myth that Kahlers hurt sustain. I've experienced it on every Kahler-equipped guitar I've owned (quite a few).

I haven't had much of a problem with the strings staying in relative tune, but it seems like every Kahler older than just a few years does not properly return to zero pitch. I think that's because the springs on a Kahler wear out faster. That can be fixed, but what a pain. Kahlers just have too many moving parts and are too fussy for me.
 

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I wouldn't say I have aged experience, but from what I've gathered, the kahler is much more convenient and imo if the guitar is built well, the sustain shouldn't really suffer, so I like my kahler.

what I really want is a 7 string parker bridge ......
 

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I've never really had a problem with Kahlers, and I've only had a few guitars with them. I can't really say too much about my impressions with them, other than I am a big fan of OFR's, and they didn't really bother me. Most of my Kahler equipped guitars did get replaced with OFR's though, if that helps any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thanks for all of the advice, I am really wanting to try one out but I dont think I will be ordering my custom with one. They sound really cool but I want to own a guitar with one and experience these issues first hand before I put custom guitar kind of money down on one. Now I am tempted to buy a cheap B.C. Rich or something to test one out, thanks for all the responses:yesway:
 

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If you've got a 22-fret neck, I've got this lovely Charvel Model 4 body with a Kahler lying around...
 

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I have always wanted a Kahler, and when I make my partscaster, if I can afford it, it will have a Kahler. The only problem i've seen in them is they like to go out of tune after a lot of bends, but if you do a small dive it goes right back in tune. I haven't tried a guitar with a Kahler unfortunately, so I have no personal experience with them, just what i've seen in videos and reviews. They are extremely adjustable, they take a lot less wood out of the body, and would probably retain a lot of the "tele twang" because of the mass of the bridge. So if you want to put one in a Tele (like me) it may be a better option to retain the tele tone than a Floyd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If you've got a 22-fret neck, I've got this lovely Charvel Model 4 body with a Kahler lying around...
The only 22 fret necks I have are AANJ Wizards off of my Ibanez S540's, Charvels all have square neck pockets don't they?
 
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