1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Whammy bars?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nowhere, May 28, 2004.

  1. Nowhere


    May 27, 2004
    I used to play guitar for a while before switching to bass a couple of years back, and I loved that thing. Do any basses come with whammy bars? How well does it work on them?
  2. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    See Les Claypool.

    or perhaps more Claypool. ;)
  3. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I think the general consensus is that they are more of a novelty than a extremely functional technique and that the Kahler was one of the best. You can search for Kahler if you want to know more details.

    I think the Hipshot Tremolo Bridge (actually a vibrato) is one the few available currently.

    Jens Ritter has one that is an option for his basses, if can afford that kind of money.

    "Calling John the Fisherman" - Claypool has found uses for his though
  4. just wait for benjamin strange to wake up. it's nine AM here, and he's unemployed. he'll tell you all about his wang bars.
  5. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I don't think the general consensus is that they are a novelty (unless that consensus is among closed minded, pig headed bassists :smug: ).

    There's a few basses with whammy bars, but they don't show up often since they aren't really popular currently. It also requires a bit of engineering, since it can be a bit tough making a trem with springs to handle the tension of bass strings. Kahler used to make some, but now they are making golf clubs :confused: . The Hipshot trem ain't bad, and a company called Vibrotek makes a "doublewhammy", which is a trem split down the middle. It's got two bars on it, and you can pitch bend your E and A or your D and G strings separately. I've played those and the are pretty cool, and stay in tune fairly well.

    The Holy Grail of bass trems is the Steinberger TransTrem. Only 200 were made, and even less actually made it onto basses. I am lucky to have two of them. The premise of these is that each string bends at a different rate, so the strings stay in tune relative to each other as you are using it. You can lock it into 5 different positions for instant transposing. They stay in tune beautifully. Last I saw, they fetch around $800-$1000 on ebay, just for the bridge.

    Here's the obligatory pic (the bass on the left is waiting for pickups currently):


    By the way, the proper term for it is "wiggle stick". Take note.
  6. my god those are beautiful -drools-
  7. andysvec

    andysvec Supporting Member

    '80 Kramer XL24 w/kahler<br />
    <img src="http://www.jride.com/images/kramer1.jpg" border="0" alt="" /><br />
    I bought this new in '81, and had the kahler installed around '87. It actually stays in tune as long as you stretch your strings real well when you first put them on.
    (I need to find a schaller m4 tuner for this thing, the post is cracked on the e string one).
  8. Bass Tranquil

    Bass Tranquil

    Nov 16, 2003
    I personally want to hunt down a beater Rickenbacker because I love the sound of a trem on one. Too bad I personally don't know anyone good with that type of work near me.

    When used nicely anythign can be fun.
  9. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I just agreed to purchase an old L-2000E with a Kahler tremolo. I let you know what I think of it after I receive it.
  10. Scott French

    Scott French Dude

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Kahler is gearing up to start building bridges again. I don't think they have a site up yet but there are some pics of things in progress @ http://www.nealmoser.com/kahlerusa.htm

    I've built a bass with a 4 string Hipshot model and it seemed to work well. The springs seemed pretty beefy and it stayed in tune fairly well under the small amount of playing I was able to do before we parted ways. :(
  11. I've got a G&L ASAT bass with a Kahler tremolo. I love the thing, although I've really only been experimenting with it for the past couple months (bought the bass in June). It adds a totally different dimension to your bass. I use it a lot with harmonics... sounds awesome. Here's a pic :)


  12. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Woohoo! Trem-equipped bassists unite! No longer will we suffer under the tyranny of close minded, fixed bridged oppressors! We will throw off our chains, and march down the streets with our heads held high! We will show the world that we are here to stay, and not even the most stodgy, bull headed, Jaco-only-needed-4-strings purist can stop us!

    And while I'm at it, here's a pic of my project bass completed:


    Fretless with a wiggle stick. The opportunity for out-of-tune-ness is staggering.
  13. ive also been wanting a trem on my bass.. is it really worth the trouble? and how should i go about getting one installed?
  14. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Well, I'd highy recommend trying one first. Failing that, the Hipshot bridge has been getting some good reviews. Make sure you get it proffesionally installed; it's critical that it's done right, otherwise your bass will suck.
  15. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Maybe we can convince Kahler to do a 7 sting version and offer JT a buy one get one free offer...
  16. I've also heard good things about the Hipshot, but if possible I'd go for a Kahler. For the Hipshot you'll have to get a hole routed through your bass, and a big chunk out of the back. Where the Hipshot is installed on a bass as a trem would be installed on a guitar, the Kahler requires much less routing, as it is all one piece. I know you probably have no idea what I'm talking about, as I've been up for nearly 26 hours, so I'll post some pictures. (actually I'll just do the links so you guys don't get gargantuan pics. When I learn to do the thumbnail trick though, I'll be sure to use it ;) )



  17. Note the broken string on that bass......wonder if you bent it too much? ;)
  18. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I think that would be due to the broken tuner he mentioned... :D
  19. I wish Kahler made trems again.

    We should make them. :ninja:
  20. Isn't the trem effect going to be too much for the heavier gague strings? The E string is gonna be super sensative. For every halfstep on the G string, the E is gonna take like 3! SOUNDS LIKE FUN!!!