Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Any other bass tremolo users here?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by erich, Mar 4, 2003.


  1. erich

    erich

    Mar 3, 2003
    Birch Bay, WA
    Endorsing Artist: Kahler Bass Tremolos
    Hello all,
    I'm new to Talk Bass, and I was curious to know how many others use bass whammy/tremolo systems on their bass? I've been using Kahlers for over 18 years now, and I just got a Vibrotek Double Whammy that I have been experimenting with. Also, I plan to get a new Hipshot bass trem unit within the next couple of months. I'm also searching for an old Steinberger bass Trans Trem system.

    My main axe is a black Tokai Jazz with stereo DiMarzio Model J pickups and my Kahler trem. I have the trem set for maximum divebomb (I can drop my E string a whole octave down), and I can also do wild fluttering-and it stays in tune. :bassist:
     
  2. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I'm looking at getting one of those double whammy setups. How do you like it?
     
  3. NioeZero

    NioeZero

    Sep 2, 2001
    I've had a Kahler on my bass for a little over a year now, and I love it. There are a few things I'd change about the Kahler design, but overall, it's a pretty reliable piece of hardware. I've never had tuning problems to speak of, and I use a Hipshot bass Xtender in conjunction with the whammy.

    I'm looking into possibly building a custom bass with the Hipshot trem system, but I'd like to hear personal feedback from someone who has played a bass with one before I commit.

    How has the Vibrotek been working out for you, Erich?
     
  4. erich

    erich

    Mar 3, 2003
    Birch Bay, WA
    Endorsing Artist: Kahler Bass Tremolos
    Hey guys,

    Well to be honest, I still have some tweaking of the bass to do before I can get the DW to behave completely. One of the tricks I discovered over the years to keep my Kahler trem in tune is that the strings should come off the nut onto the tuning keys in a straight line-but the bass that the DW is on has a Tele-type neck that has the strings going off at slight angles. Therefore, I have not been successful in stabilizing the tuning yet. I'm thinking of putting a Carvin neck onto the body (it's an ESP Jazz bass) to fix the problem.

    Part of it is that I have always had my Kahlers set to drop the maximum amount while staying in tune-so I expect the DW to be able to do the same. My E string can drop an entire octave to where it starts to flop around on the neck-but the whole works comes back in tune once I return the bar to pitch because of all of the little tricks I've learned. I still have not given up on the DW though! :D

    I am anxious to try the Hipshot one of these days. I am also in search of an old Steinberger Trans Trem since this was the only true locking bass trem system ever made. But my favorite will always be the Kahlers! ;)
     
  5. i have a digitech bass whammy.. does that count?
     
  6. erich

    erich

    Mar 3, 2003
    Birch Bay, WA
    Endorsing Artist: Kahler Bass Tremolos
    Well....I suppose it comes close. The spirit is there!

    Actually, I've always wanted to try one of those Digitech units-but to be honest, I get a kick out of the reactions I get with my Kahler that I don't think would be possible with a floor pedal. Lots of looks of "what the heck is THAT?"

    Come to think of it, I think John Gallagher of Raven (one of my heroes) has or had a Digitech unit at one time. But he also uses bass trems as well. In addition to one bass equipped with a Kahler, he took an old Hondo bass of all things, and had the stock bridge welded to a Strat-type trem. He then had the Hondo routed for the trem-and he loves the thing! I asked him about how well it works-and he told me that he never has a problem with it-although he keeps snapping the arms! :D
     
  7. bwbass

    bwbass

    May 6, 2002
    WA
    Hey, we're doing the setup right now to offer routing for the Hipshot bass trem on our bodies. Should have this available in a couple of weeks.

    Stay tuned!
     
  8. erich

    erich

    Mar 3, 2003
    Birch Bay, WA
    Endorsing Artist: Kahler Bass Tremolos
    Cool! I'm looking forward to trying one of those Hipshots one day. For now, I'm a diehard fan of the Kahler units. I spoke with a guy over at Kahler who told me that they are meeting this month to discuss bringing the bass trem back into production. I sent him my list of tricks on how to keep them in tune-and he told me that they are thinking of posting my tricks on their website! :D
     
  9. Since this deals with hardware and not the pedals, i'm sending this off to Misc.
     
  10. NioeZero

    NioeZero

    Sep 2, 2001
    Originally posted by erich.



    What sort of tricks might those be, erich?

    I've had to do a couple of non-conventional things to keep my Kahler in top playing condition.
    Stuff like putting a felt cymbal spacer underneath the E and A saddles to counteract my bridges tendancy towards saddle-sink. (My saddles will slowly ease down on the height adjustment screw, resulting in the two lowest strings laying on the fretboard.)
    I've also had to put a tiny square of electrical tape over the intonation adjustment screw to keep the low E from buzzing against it while playing. It doesn't carry through when playing amped up, but acoustically, it can get pretty annoying.
    Theres a couple things that I would love Kahler to change if they reissued the whammy bridge... I should write them an email.
     
  11. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    Mexico
    pictures please
     
  12. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I wouldn't mind having a tremolo on my bass...taht would be pretty neat actually.
     
  13. NioeZero

    NioeZero

    Sep 2, 2001
    Yes. Yes, it is.
     
  14. bwbass

    bwbass

    May 6, 2002
    WA
    We've got the routing done and Hipshot bass trems in stock!

    Here's the glamour shots...

    ..the 4...
    [​IMG]
     
  15. bwbass

    bwbass

    May 6, 2002
    WA
    ...and the 5...

    [​IMG]

    This isn't on the Warmoth site yet, but we're ready to go with it. You heard it here first!
     
  16. fbauer1

    fbauer1

    Apr 12, 2003
    Cologne, germany
  17. sub forum

    sub forum

    Jan 2, 2004
    glasgow
    I put a kahler trem on my spector about two months ago and its a whole lot of fun ,i would recommend anyone try one, as i have a short attention span i thought it'll be cool for a month or so but hey iv'e not looked back great for dive bombs and simulating fretless
     
  18. fastplant

    fastplant

    Sep 26, 2002
    Connecticut
    This is an honest question. When would you use a tremolo on a bass? It seems pointless to me.
     
  19. NioeZero

    NioeZero

    Sep 2, 2001
    I use mine for playing melodies with harmonics, diving my low E with envelope filter and delay for a cool "black hole" noise, adding vibrato to sustained chords, pre-dive and release with a volume swell for a backwards type of effect... Basically, it comes down to the person using it. You may find it completely useless, others may find it a missing piece of the puzzle.

    It's a tool, and a tool is only as good as the person using it.
     
  20. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Easy. TO MAKE THE MOST ROCKING ROCK SOUNDS OF ALL TIME!! ;) Playing with a trem has as much point as playing a fretless, or a multi-string, or a lightwave, or an acoustic, or...

    I used alot of whammy bar antics on the bass solo on Sicarii, if you'd like to hear it used in a song. Come to think of it, there's alot of whammy bar stuff in Primus, too.