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HipShot bass tremolo

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Budget Bass, Dec 1, 2005.


  1. Budget Bass

    Budget Bass

    Dec 1, 2005
    Switzerland
    I am VERY interested in getting a HipShot Bass Tremolo
    for my fretless and would welcome feedback from others
    concerning playing, installation, etc.

    Thanks,
    Budget Bass
     
  2. FireBug

    FireBug

    Sep 18, 2005
    Houston
    A tremolo on a fretless seems kind of pointless to me...
     
  3. BillytheBassist

    BillytheBassist

    Aug 18, 2005
    Texas
    I had a hipshot tremelo installed on my 4 banger about a year ago. I do not regret this decision, It was costly to have it installed by a proffesional (about250$) but worth every penny. I will say that im not to impressed with the tremelo arm itself. It's kind of thin,... thick enough, but just seems like they could have given it a little more girth. Also, the tremelo arm is free floating ... It can't be fixed in one position, but other than that. I love it, stay's in tune!
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've never seen a Hipshot in person, but judging from the pics, I'd say Kahler is the way to go. However, much as I like bass whammy bars, I too have to question why you'd want one on a fretless, because it seems to me that a fretless is already a big whammy bar anyway.
     
  5. Budget Bass

    Budget Bass

    Dec 1, 2005
    Switzerland
    I'm definitely someone into effects and I THOUGHT the fretless bass would be the one to use. Thanks guys for letting me see the lite. Now I'm stuck.

    Oh well, maybe in the future a solution will turn up. There's no way that I'll get my Stingray or G&L modified!

    [JimmyM]: I didn't know about the Kahler. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I wouldn't mod those basses either. I had a custom bass built with it. You could build one out of parts, or buy one that has no history of high collector's value and mod it. I would never put one on a Fender or MM, but I might buy an Ibanez or Peavey and put one on it.
     
  7. Budget Bass

    Budget Bass

    Dec 1, 2005
    Switzerland
    I've started to play the lottery. :D Should I win, would any of you know of a 4-string already equipped with a tremolo unit. It'd have to be left-handed too!
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A Kahler can be used left or right handed. You just have to switch out the saddles.
     
  9. Budget Bass

    Budget Bass

    Dec 1, 2005
    Switzerland
    Thanks [JimmyM]. You've been a great help.
     
  10. BillytheBassist

    BillytheBassist

    Aug 18, 2005
    Texas
    Hipshot's are also left and right handed as well. ;)
     
  11. metalguy2

    metalguy2

    Dec 26, 2004
    Boston
    I like music.......... :hyper:
     
  12. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    If you go with a tremolo, go Kahler, much less routing.
     
  13. Budget Bass

    Budget Bass

    Dec 1, 2005
    Switzerland
  14. I'm very happy with the Hipshot tremolo I've got on my fretless Jazz. Stays in tune perfectly (and requires only minor tuning adjustment from week to week, I play Sundays at church). True there is a lot of routing involved, but I think its worth it being able to bomb open strings and also to bend harmonics without having to pull the strings above the nut or yank on the neck.

    Hipshot is on 2nd generation now, so there are 5 springs instead of four, and the arm can be locked in place via a set screw. Works very well, because you can move the arm if you want, and it stays exactly where you leave it.

    Only problem I have with it is that I have a d-tuner as well and when I drop down, it throws everything on the other strings way off, but its a fretless, so I can compensate, and I'm in the process of making an aluminum shim to put under the back of the bridge to lock the tremolo in place.
     
  15. Budget Bass

    Budget Bass

    Dec 1, 2005
    Switzerland
    So there are players who use it on a fretless!

    Tell me CaptainJoe6 what kind of music you play in church. It surely can't be gospel (or can it)?

    My interest in HipShot's bass tremolo for my fretless is renewed.
     
  16. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    It can be pretty easy if you get a body from Warmoth and have them rout for the Hipshot. They offer it as an option.

    IMO, don't let somebody talk you out of a trem on a fretless because *they* don't think it is a good idea.
     
  17. Sound Chaser

    Sound Chaser

    Mar 19, 2005
    Lockport, NY
    I've heard of people using them on fretlesses before.

    Get a Kahler. You lose a lot of wood (and therefore sustain) with a hipshot, for one thing. Kahler is the brand that Victor Wooten, Billy Sheehan, Les Claypool, and Dave LaRue use. Leeland Sklar is the only person I know of to use the hipshot.

    http://www.kahlerusa.com
     
  18. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    Connecticut
    m
    My money went to a Kahler 2410. (I understand that the $380 price tag my be a bit too much for some.) I liked the way it requires less routing than the Hipshot's or the ABM's tremolos.

    Both the ABM & the Hipshot require mass amounts of routing on the backside of the bass to make room for the springs. For me personally, this was the biggest flaw on both designs. If you have a bass and you want to keep as much of the natural wood as possible, my only suggestion is to go with a Kahler.

    Yes, you'll hear many different stories that they have a hard time staying in tune......but not if you prepair for it. They sell something called a "Graph-tech" Trem -nut.

    [​IMG]
    They also make them for basses, & in blanks so you can make your own groove, IE: string spacing.

    More info:

    I can't really say how good it is due to my bass not being finished yet, but after doing the research on the 3 bridges, I believe that I had made the right decision on the Kahler.

    Here's a shot of the schematic's of a Kahler bass tremolo..
    Note: taken from the Kahler website (caution, be aware of copyright laws)
    [​IMG]

    Here's a shot of how much routing the Kahler involves....
    Notice that there it's a really small amout of routing compaired to the other 2 offered. No back routing needed.
    [​IMG]

    Here's another shot of the what the bridge looks like once it's in place....
    [​IMG]

    The Kahler has 2 small springs that are easily repairable with a repair kit.
    [​IMG]
    This repair kit will run you about $35

    To be fair, I don't have this bass in question here, (very soon) so I don't have solid evidence of the ability of the Kahler. I'm going on the info that I could find avalible off of the interweb. And after everything I had read, the Kahler has the best design, the toughest construction, and the best features for what I was looking for.

    As far as doing a set up on one of these (IE string height adjustment, intonation, spring tension) Kahlers, I don't have any experience with one yet, but I will let you know as much as I can when I get mine.

    For my basses, my money has, and will always go to Kahler......as long as they stay business that is. ;)


    More to follow.....
     
  19. Budget Bass

    Budget Bass

    Dec 1, 2005
    Switzerland
    Yes, the Kahler does look like a fine piece of equipment.

    My main problem is finding someone over here who would do the work. I've asked in 3 shops so far (about the HipShot) and there were no takers.

    The bass I have is an el cheapo Japanese Vantage (shaped like an Alembic). I've already had it defretted and have changed the original [awful] pickups to a PJ set made by Seymour-Duncan.

    The price for the Kahler is correct (and I've had the good fortune TODAY of finding a buyer for my left-handed Ibanez Black Beauty guitar made in 1977). Money comes in and money goes out.
     
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Fair enough, but I would think the only thing you could do with a whammy on a fretless is dive bomb, which is just a small part of why a whammy is cool. My reasoning in not wanting one on a fretless is everything you can do with a whammy other divebomb, you can do with your fingers.