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homemade whammy?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by paniak17, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. alright.....so i took my old old bass and put some piccolo strings on it and tuned it an octave and some up. It feels like a guitar...and i was thinking is there anyway i could make like a homemade whammy bar......i know there really expensive to add on, but im just talking about a cheap way out...say i detuned it down a bit so the tension wasn't so tight, then added like a rod to a piece of soemthign, and that was connected to my bridge....my strings arn't through the body, there on some cheap peavey bridge..anyway...Thanks!!!
  2. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
  3. Number one.......why? Number two, you'd have to replace the entire bridge assembly(can you say "Franken-bass?"...the bridge on a bass is fixed to the body, in other words, theres no pivot point for the thing to rock back and forth on. Three....it would be pointless as a bass guitar and sound like crapola. Buy a cheap beater guitar instead.
  4. exactly. real whammys are expensive because they're, you know, engineered and precision made, not "a rod to a piece of soemthign, and that was connected to my bridge...."
  5. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    If you really want a tremolo, get a hipshot. They're only $150-165 bucks at Warmoth for a 4 string bridge, $164-177 for a 5 string.

    The only problem with a hipshot is you'll need to route out a huge chunk of the back in order to fit the springs.

    But if you save up a little more money, you could go with a Kahler. You can get a new one for $380 for a 4 string $400 for a 5 string. They require less routing and are built better. Kahler has a better design.

    The Kahler is more self contained then the hipshot.
    Notice that back, no big routing space.

    So I guess you could make a homemade job, but you'd probably need to make enough room for springs. Not to mention the problems you'd have keeping it in tune, string breakage, or other problems that you wouldn't forsee.

  6. *Cough* Whammy Pedal *Cough* ;)
  7. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    +1 Whammy. No routing, no waiting and a heckuvalot cheaper

    And you can always disconnect it.
  8. Ripper


    Aug 16, 2005
    let's see here...

    1.) I think that a tremolo could possibly be built, but it would take time, a little knowledge (optional), a lot of guesswork, and a really old, junk bass and bridge that you could care less if you wreck. I'm tryin to think of how to do this but am drawing a blank right now.


    2.)I didn't know Kahler still made a tremolo for bass... Link please??
  9. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    Kahler bass trems

    I just bought a 2410 last month.
  10. If I was thinking of buying a tremolo, is it worth the extra $200 to buy a Kahler? And if I don't want to spend that much money, is the Hipshot worth it? Will it stay in tune and does it work well and all that good stuff?
  11. Keef


    Jul 3, 2003
    Hollywood, CA
    Wow, that's a beautiful bass! I don't know if I've ever seen figuring like that before. What is it?
  12. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    The bass itself is a CB bass. The wood is quilted champhor.
  13. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    Whammy bar shmammy bar! Take a cue from Billy Sheehan and just bend the neck - why fuss with all of that hardware and routing. ;)
  14. I tried bending the neck on my wishbass once....

  15. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I can tell you that the two are similar but not the same, the Kahler was much more comfortable to play, but the Hipshot was just as solid and stable. The Kahler was THE original bass trem and the originals were very sought after, up until Kahler began reintroducing them, building them better than they did in the 80's.

    Hipshots are good, Kahlers are THE BEST.
  16. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Thank you! That's how I use vibrato. A little bend goes a long way.
  17. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    It sounds crazy, but it does actually work. Plus it looks cool when you grab the headstock at the end of a cool run and start bending the note by yanking on the neck. ;)
  18. You won't believe this...but there was an old electric guitar on Ebay a week or two ago that looked like somebody had tried to rig a home-made whammy bar. There was a hinge screwed to the body behind the bridge--directly behind the bridge, on the front of the body. A big ugly utility hinge from the hardware store, bolted right to the face of the guitar.....I'm guessing they made a rod bolted to the moving half of the hinge, and the rod would press on the strings (between the string saddle and the string end). So this would whammy up, but not whammy down, unless there was more "meticulously crafted" stuff I couldn't tell from the picture.

    In other words, somebody had absolutely messed up what would have been a decent guitar.
  19. Thanks for the input, its good to know more about what you might be gettin' into. :) Now I have to think...
  20. BillytheBassist


    Aug 18, 2005
    Just for the record... I own basses with both kahler tremelo's and hipshot tremelo's as well.... and IMHO, The hipshot is much smoother than the kahler... the kahler tremelo had a very limited range to ascend, the hipshot affords plenty of room up and down...I also have tuning issues with the kahler but that could be the tuners on the bass....As far as a place to buy a kahler... almost impossible except ebay...plus, The kahler 5 string tremelo is even harder to find. Just my opinion on hipshot's for all those thinking of getting one.

    P.S. If you know how to use a tremelo
    it won't sound like "crapola". ;)