Kahler Tremolo System

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A licensed Kahler tremolo system on a '87 Gibson Les Paul Standard

The Kahler Tremolo System is an electric guitar bridge with a cam operated vibrato arm system. It was invented in 1979 by Gary Kahler and Dave Storey. They shifted their business model to making Golf clubs in the 1990s (mostly due to lower popularity of tremolo use), but are back to bridge manufacturing as of April 2005.

Models and varieties[edit]

Cams and saddles are available in several different types, including brass and stainless steel. Stainless steel models were introduced in 1985. Brass cams and saddles have a warmer, more full tone, whereas steel produces a brighter tone with enhanced harmonics[citation needed]. Aluminium cams, announced in 2004 and released in 2005, have what is described as a "bright, growling midrange with super clean harmonics." The 2310, their current OEM model, is the only tremolo to offer the aluminum cam - though parts are interchangeable - and offers brass rollers. Steel rollers can also be used, but, due to increased sustain and harmonics, they are primarily for metal and not preferred for other purposes.

Kahler also produces one of the only[weasel words] bass tremolo systems currently[when?] available (Hipshot produces a fulcrum-based unit not unlike the two-point system used on Fender Stratocasters currently[when?] built in the United States)[citation needed]. The first two bridges Kahler sold after their return in 2005 were 2410 bass tremolos.

Guitars that have carved tops (as opposed to flat, like the Fender Stratocaster), such as the Gibson Les Paul, cannot properly mount the 2300 series of Kahler tremolo, and instead have to use a stud-mounted 2200 series.

For a period spanning from the mid-1980s to the time when Kahler ceased production in the early 1990s, Kahler also produced fulcrum-based systems similar to the Floyd Rose brand of tremolos. The 2600 "Steeler" tremolo was licensed to Kahler by Floyd Rose during the late-1980s. The 2500 and 2520 (the former having steel rollers; the latter brass), were designed as an alternative to the stock Fender trem, and were offered on several Fenders during the 1980s. Today, Kahler no longer produces fulcrum-based tremolos.

Neal Moser offers Kahler bridges on many models, and the Jackson and ESP Custom Shops currently offer Kahlers as a custom option. ESP and B.C. Rich also offer the Kahler X-TREM on their more affordable signature models for Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King respectively. ESP and B.C. Rich offer the Kahler Hybrid model on their mid-range guitars such as LTD JH-600 and B.C. Rich Wartribe, both with EMG pickups. Gibson has included the Kahler system on limited edition guitars such as the Gibson Shred-X Explorer and the Gibson Tribal Explorer. Peavey's PXD Void III and Twenty-Three III guitars also feature the Kahler system. Because they are suitable for left handed as well as right handed guitars, Gaskell Guitars offers all Kahler models on their custom left handed guitar builds.[1]

The Kahler tremolo system does not use a conventional "cam".[clarification needed] There is no true[weasel words] "cam" in the Kahler tremolo system, although it is called "cam-operated" in the patent application.

References[edit]

External links[edit]