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Bass with a whammy bar?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RapierSix, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. Has any one ever owned, played, moded, a bass to/that have/had a tremolo bar?

    I'm really interested with how it would turn out.
    Washburn makes one but I haven't played it and I won't buy it because 1. It could be crap 2. Tremolo problems (ie. Licensed Floyd Rose Locking, untuning etc)...
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Years ago when I was young and stupid I had a Kahler bass whammy bar bridge professionally installed on a quality bass. The result was terrible.

    It wouldn't stay in tune, ever. It was pretty useless for anything but radical "dive bomb" effects, and when you did that not only did it go severely out of tune, but it would snap strings at the bridge rollers because the bass strings were too stiff and would weaken at that point.

    I know Victor Wooten has a whammy bar on one of his Fodera's, but for the life of me I've never seen him use it.
  3. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Barry Dunaway used to have a whammy bass and he could flat-out burn that thing up.

    It was astounding what he could do with that thing.
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I had a BC Rich Warlock with a Kahler trem. It was fun, but really not that useful.

    One day I'll have a whammy on a Jazz bass, but that'll be the day when I have money to burn.
    AndreasR likes this.
  5. Les Claypool's got them on a few of his basses. Carl Thompsons, I think. He uses them lightly, IIRC, mostly for effects.
    mkfanforever58 likes this.
  6. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    claypool has a whammy bar on one of his ct's, does he not?

    i don't know how i feel about them personally. i don't think i'd install one, but then again, i also don't think i'd use it if i did so to each his own i guess.
  7. I played an old Italian semi-hollow bass with a single cutaway (sort of ES-175-shaped) that someone had installed a Bigsby, of all things, on to. It was cool in an "I will never use this" sort of way.
  8. routasydän


    Apr 25, 2006
    Oulu, Finland
    I have a Kahler trem on my AV custom fretless. I knew when ordering that it'll not get that much real use but i got it for a toy to play if you know what i mean. It's nice with vibratos, kind of makes them deeper or something. So to sum it up, i think it's ok for soloing (but i should practice more to make it really worth it)but for normal playing in band, i really don't see much of use for it. But it looks cool:D, and since there are no pictures in this thread yet...

    Helix, Matthew Fisher and Ghastly like this.
  9. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Just got one on a pbass yesterday.
  10. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    I have had mine since they first came out 80's? and stays in tune, but I do have strings break from time to time, but only under really aggressive pulling or on older strings.
  11. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007

    I did not care for the 6 string version- too much tension/springs to make it really responsive as my four string version.

  12. 130-3066_IMG.

    I wouldn't say they're useless or a horrible thing to have. If you want something as responsive as a guitar's Floyd Rose trem, bass trems don't do that.

    I've got one and I'm about to order another. Mine stays in tune and I haven't had problems with string breakage. As a 35" scale, it has a pretty good deal of tension on it. So mine isn't quite as agile as it would be if I had it installed in a normal 34" scale bass. My next bass with a Kahler will be a 33" scale. The only real downside is that I can't flip between E and D with a Hipshot Detuner.
    Cliff Bordwell likes this.
  13. bassrique


    Nov 27, 2007
    Anybody ever play with a Steinberger Tansstem?
  14. hansahol


    Jul 7, 2005
    Well,you can.If you use the Camstop Bolt to prevent the tremolo from going backwards,you can use a Hipshot detuner

    Hans Å

    Attached Files:

  15. True, but then I can't use it to yank back on the trem and bend up.
  16. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    Tony Levin used a MusicMan Stingray equipped with a Kahler for King Crimson's Three Of A Perfect Pair tour (and presumably also for that album).
  17. Dave LaRue used to have Ernie Ball and Spector basses with Kahlers. Almost forgot about that.
  18. grace & groove

    grace & groove

    Nov 30, 2005
    Self-Appointed Ambassador to the Dragonfly
    I have a Hipshot Floating Bass Tremolo bridge on my Peavey along with Dimarzio J's. It's fun to play with. Distortion/Artificial Harmonics/Dive Bomb technique is the best!

  19. no1likesme


    Dec 26, 2006
    Shepherd, MI
    my gretsch g5265 came with a bigsby.
  20. So is Khaler THE bass tremolo brand?

    I'm really just worried with the general mechanics of the tremolo working on a bass, with string tension, spring stretching, messing up tuning (I've been looking for a guitar and I notice alot of guitarist always complain about detuning and floyd rose locking etc), and how much use you can get out of it (Not only for soloing, but how much you can really safley bend the notes, because is it really worth it if you could only bend it one note higher etc?).

    Any one know how custom orders where they have the drop down boxes but it doesn't segregate for bass and guitar (So you could say order a Dean razorback body, bass bridge, floyd rose locking, an EMG Neck guitar PUP, and a bass soapbar on the bridge) and you ask for a tremolo system on the bass... Will they just ignore it or try and do it?