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Kahler Bass Tremolo in a SBMM Ray34?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ian Perge, May 6, 2018.

  1. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    I’ll try can keep my usual verbose style reined in and get right to the point: anybody from either the Spector Club, the Effects Forum, or who knows me in general may recall my long-standing desire for a Kahler Bass Tremolo-and-Mainiac Music Bass Sustainiac, self-dubbed an “Effects Bass” - with a touch of mild Overdrive it’ll has the “growl” of a bowed Cello or Bass, with stronger Distortion and other Effects you can imagine just how out there you can get tonally... very much like Sustainiac-equipped Guitars, but in our Octave (some examples from YouTube: 1, 2, & 3: covering a “Type O Negative” song, whose Bassist/Vocalist used a rare Fernandes Bass Sustainer along with plenty of Distortion to play chordally and become the de-facto “Rhythm Bass” on their songs)

    My original plan was to route & mount both on a beauty of a Spector “Euro Bolt-On” 4 DLX FM (aka “ReBop”, a silly name for a fantastic Bass, IMO) ala a number of Spector Players but most highly Doug Wimbush & Dave LaRue before he moved to EBMM in the early ‘90s. However, I came to the conclusion that routing for the “Guitar-style” Neck Position of the Sustainiac Driver as well as possibly to route & permanently change the Pickup Positions to work better with the Sustainiac would be far too risky as well as expensive on a Bass this nice - it has both very nice flame vertical as well as lovely wood grain horizontally.

    ...which leads me to the “Sterling By Music Man Ray34”. I just picked up a Ray35QM in “Neptune Blue” 4-6 weeks ago (I went with the QM model as it has a Mahogany body & I’m not the World’s Biggest Fan of the scooped-mids of Swamp Ash) and been having a great time with it; physically with its string-spacing and neck as well as tonally with the pickup & the electronic versatility, etc. And then it came to me that with the 4-string version I wouldn't have to worry about the Sustainiac routing nearly as much with it being under a Pickguard, as well as a flat-topped as opposed to the carve of a Spector. The “sweet-spot” position of the Stingray-style Pickup would also save me from having to re-route for better Pickup positions. And finally, I’d be doing this project on a $650-$850 Bass as opposed to one that now runs in the $1000-$1200+ as a NOS, Never Left My Music Room Bass.

    I’ve also done both a Google Image Search as well as one of all my Bass Pictures and have seen more than one Music Man Stingray routed and equipped with a Kahler Bass Trem, but as it would not be going into exactly that Bass, my question is such...

    Can I fit a Kahler Bass Tremolo onto a “Sterling By Music Man Ray 34”? I have both a 2400 Forward Saddle Pro Series as well as a 7410 Rearward Saddle Hybrid, so I’m pretty sure I’m covered in both directions (pardon the pun) as well as tentatively sure it’s the latter I’d need to use - I’d just prefer if I had someone cover *MY* “Rearward Saddles” before I start this project. ;)

    (...and so much for not being verbose. :banghead:)
  2. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I can't answer your question, but maybe you can answer mine.

    What is the difference between the 2400 and the 7410?
  3. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    The 2400/2410 are the “original” USA-made Kahler design and were “handmade” with most-to-all parts milled from various metals (Brass, Steel, Aluminum).

    The 7410 is the “modern” Kahler design, when they came back to Guitar & Bass tremolos & bridges in 2005 after spending the Grunge Years making Golfing equipment. The 7410 “Hybrid” models are factory forged overseas, but I haven’t heard of an appreciable quality issue between the two. They are also said to have a somewhat simpler design and installation.
    wvbass likes this.
  4. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    With a Kahler trem, you need to minimize the friction across the nut.
    With a bass with a flat-across-the-nut string setup, you're good. With the Ray, it looks like you will want to remove the string "tree disc", be careful with string selection, and lubricate the nut with graphite(powder) or some other lubricant(Ed Van Halen's early tech(s) had a special formula for his guitar nuts).
    Big Bends Nut Sauce Techs
    I use the graphite powder on my Kahler-equipped basses.

    For expert knowledge, and thank Eric Haven for his, go here Bass Tremolo Fanatics
    His forum helped me set up a Fame/Hondo factory-Kahler-equipped bass to play great, stay in tune no matter the abuse, and maintenance issues. I'm following this to see how your Sustainiac turns out as Def Leppard's guitarist makes very good use of them! Having one work on a bass would motivate me to mod one or more here.

    Here's the bass I've named "Magic" because it stays in tune, plays great, and little has been done(except follow that forum's advice) to this bass. Looked like this when bought:

    Here it is with the string tree removed, setup, and used for many years:

    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  5. Very cool when I was playing lead guitar all the time all my guitars had a floyd rose on them, and I have had mahler. I like to get one installed in my Fender J bass.
  6. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Your Spector is not NOS. It may be 'minty', but it is a used bass.
  7. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I wish I could help but all I can do is wank some more
    Johnny Crab likes this.

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