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Opinons on Kahler's

3444 Views 25 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  noodles
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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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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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.
If you've got a 22-fret neck, I've got this lovely Charvel Model 4 body with a Kahler lying around...
Yep. :(
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