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

Tremelos?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Greg Johnsen, Mar 9, 2006.


  1. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    Hey guys, I was just wondering about all thw work that goes into making a tremelo fit a non-tremelo bass. I think the squier would be a good test subject because I'm trying to put modern technology into the bass with old school looks. My other question is whether or not a tremelo will fit or work under a bridge cover. I saw a cover for a strat bridge, but I wasn't sure if it was a hard tail or trem. However, I might change my mind and decide to not do covers if it won't work, or I might decide not to use a tremeli if it's too much work, or will cost me an arm and a leg for a luthier to do it (I'd hope it'd only be around 100 dollars, but maybe a little more)/

    Also, what brands do you suggest? I've been looking at Kahler and Hipshot, experiences with the 2? Cons/pros of each one?

    Thanks

    Greg
     
  2. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    Neither Kahler nor Hipshot will sell you a trem for less than $100. The Hipshot is cheaper at $240 before shipping, but it requires a lot of routing - much more than the Kahler. The Kahler is a bit more expensive, but it is easier to install. I'm personally a fan of the Kahler (something about a knife-edge trem doesn't sit right with me), with its smaller footprint, a cam-based design, and very high quality of materials and construction (I'm not saying anything bad about Hipshot, by the way - I'm a big fan of their UltraLites, as well as the layout for their website). Both sites will have better information than I can provide.

    And they will not work under a bridge cover - I don't really understand bridge covers anyway, so using them with a trem doesn't seem any more logical.
     
  3. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    ok, and I know I spelled Tremolo wrong in my title (I know you didn't comment on it, but google yelled at me when I typed it in wrong). Thanks for the info, I'm actually viewing the kahler site right now and I'm liking those more than the hipshots, partly because wooten uses them, and I've heard him use the tremelo and I'v always liked it so I think I may go with that.

    When I was talking about the 100 bucks, I meant for a luthier to route the cavity and install the trem. for that. I know the tremolos are more expensive than that, and btw, the hipshots are only 150 on warmoth.com, they have good prices for hardware, but the bodies and necks are too expensive for my tastes as of now.

    thanks

    Greg
     
  4. When ordering a hipshot trem from warmoth, see if it has 4 or 5 springs with it when it arrives. The first generation batch of tremolos that hipshot sent out had 4 springs with them and 5 holes to put strings into. Mine that I got from warmoth was one of these, so I called up hipshot and they mailed me a 5th spring for free, but it took like 2 weeks (which I'm told is very typical of dealing directly with Hipshot, great quality but very laid back timeframes). Other than this 5th spring, there's no difference between 1st and 2nd gen tremolos.

    The other thing I can say about the hipshot trems is that they're wonderfully stable. I've got one on my fretless jazz (all by warmoth and strung with TI jazz flats)) and I have to make only the most minor tuning adjustments from week to week and venue to venue, if even at all.
     
  5. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    I think I'll probably go with the Kahler. I've been looking at their site and it's starting to look like the 2400 is what I'll be getting. I'm going to scan Ebay when it's time for me to buy one because I know I can get it cheaper from there.

    The thing I'm worried about is the routing. I think I'll have to hire somebody to route out the cavity like I said earlier because I have no clue how to route, nor do I have a router.

    Greg

    EDIT: This is really difficult, I can get a hipshot trem for 150 from Warmoth, or I can spend 380 on a kahler from Kahler. If I can't find a Kahler for around 200, I might have to go with the hipshot. Being a 15 year old on a hard budget sucks.

    Greg
     
  6. Holmann

    Holmann

    Dec 23, 2005
    Ashland, WI
    The hipshot is a fantastic product- I've installed several dozen without ever having a problem. I also have a long standing bias against Kahler produts, stemming from years of repair work on cheap 80's guitars.

    HIpshot does sell a routing template, but it's awfully spendy for a chunk of plastic, and nothing any repairperson couldn't make in no time.
     
  7. Theband

    Theband

    Mar 14, 2008
    San Diego
    I love the hipshot, i just can't tune down to D without having to readjust the bridge, because the tension has to be just right, but it stays in tune doesn't really slip out. I wish i could find a way to go to drop D on that bass without doing tons of readjusting, or switching basses.:confused:
     
  8. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Hey, the Kahler can be got for $180, from Wammiworld.
    I have two here, one installed, and they are very good.

    As for Hipshot, I've heard their trem(Which I really wan to try sometime) is just as good as the Kahler. As for their Customer Service, just recently I had a Extender Key sent to them, remachined to suit my bass and sent to Ireland within two weeks. Very fast service, and a very helpful bunch.
     
  9. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    It is possible, you need to block the trem so that it can't be pulled sharp to increase tension, but can be tipped down to lower tension. Less versatility with the trem, but easily downtunable, guitarists often do this, I've heard of Hipshots being installed with just this purpose too.
    Just gotta decide what you need more.
    Drop D, or sharpening your notes with the trem.
     
  10. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
  11. Theband

    Theband

    Mar 14, 2008
    San Diego
    :D So how do i block it so i can drop to D and back to standard, without touching the bridge? It's still a new toy for me and I want to figure it out, Because I want to be able to jam it with different tuning styles. I'm lost with dropping the E string. Its was done on my fender Aerodyne, sounds great plays wonderful i was able to lower the action, and the thing sound great, i just want to be able to use it for all my songs and quickly tune for whatever tune style they are in, but simply From E to D and back again.
     
  12. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    The idea is to put a block of wood under the bridge, so that it can't tip back, when its at tension the bridge should be pressing down on the block so as the tuning is slackend the bridge cannot tip back, it can be set in such a way so tht the whammy bar can still tip forward for dives.
     
  13. Theband

    Theband

    Mar 14, 2008
    San Diego

    Hmmm. You get my wheels turning, I would have to make some sort of shim, and design something so I could at least push on the whammy bar, but I wouldn't be able to pull on it. Thanks for the help.:bag:
     
  14. grace & groove

    grace & groove

    Nov 30, 2005
    philly
    Self-Appointed Ambassador to the Dragonfly
    I have a Hipshot trem.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Really cheap (compared to competitors), and you don't need the template they sell.
     
  15. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    So you do. But the strings are on upside down.:eek:



    Looks good dude, I like to hear your impressions of it more in depth.

    Have you tried Kahler?
    If so how do they compare?
    I had a hard time deciding between the too, at $189 and $150, which is more value.

    I went with Kahler in the end, for easier installation.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. grace & groove

    grace & groove

    Nov 30, 2005
    philly
    Self-Appointed Ambassador to the Dragonfly
    Ooh, that is a beaut! I've played basses with Kahlers, but I've never own/installed one. They're nice to be sure, I just wanted a floating tremolo because it can get more extreme sounds. As far as staying in tune, both of them seemed to be pretty well at it, though when I use this bass I tend to check my tuning after every song... thank god for rackmount tuners...
     
  17. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    So the Hipshot has more range?
    Cool, definatly be trying one in the future.
     
  18. grace & groove

    grace & groove

    Nov 30, 2005
    philly
    Self-Appointed Ambassador to the Dragonfly
    Yup. Yet using the range gets it out of tune quicker.