from hardtail to Kahler...and back???

Napa Mac

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I was recently gifted a heavily modified Ibanez Blazer Series S-type guitar. The maple neck and ash body are pretty cool, and I think I could make this thing rock again. It was originally a hardtail, and I was hoping to put a top-loader bridge on it. Unfortunately, it's been routed for a Kahler trem. I don't know how to remedy this, or if it's worth the time and $$$. Any ideas would be appreciated!

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John C

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You would pretty much have to cut a block of wood to fill the Kahler routing, glue it in and refinish the guitar if you want to use a top loader bridge similar to the original bridge.

For what it's worth Gilmour did that with his original "Black Strat" - he put a Kahler on it circa 1982, and the Kahler was still on the guitar when he loaned it out to the Hard Rock Café. When he got it back from the Hard Rock it was in pretty poor shape, so David had his tech remove the Kahler and restore it to a Fender tremolo. I think there are some details about how they did this in that book David's tech wrote about "The Black Strat", but I never owned the book and have only flipped through it a couple of times in bookstores. I do know that Fender was copying the filled-in Kahler rout on the relic versions of the Gilmour Signature Strat (but they didn't do that on the NOS finish versions).

EDIT: I wasn't sure if Kahler was still making their fixed bridge; they are. It kind of looks like they might have changed the shape slightly this would at least cover up the routing for the tremolo or save you having to refinish the body to cover the filled-in area:

https://www.kahlerusa.com/guitar-tremolo-and-bridge/3300-cx-6string-fine-tuning-brass

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fenderchamp

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set it up, and get the Kahler working properly. Spend your time, money and effort on the fretwork, and the nut. Doesn't if have a locking nut as well?
 

Peegoo

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I have a 1990 Carvin DC125 that came with a Kahler like that one.

About 10 years after I got the guitar, I lifted the bridge out and removed the two springs. I made two steel links from 1/8" steel wire and installed them where the springs were.

It immobilized the bridge and effectively hardtailed it. Works great.
 

hamerfan

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There must be guitars techs (i don‘t call them luthiers) who hacked up boatloads of now vintage guitars and others (i call them luthiers) who had to fill the gaps years later.

Look between bridge and stoptail.
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fenderchamp

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There must be guitars techs (i don‘t call them luthiers) who hacked up boatloads of now vintage guitars and others (i call them luthiers) who had to fill the gaps years later.

Look between bridge and stoptail.


My buddy has a red Les Paul Light Custom from the 80's it has an ebony filler block. It was a factory installed Kahler though. He had it blocked in about '91 because he had no use for tremolos.

Was the guy that blocked it a luthier or tech? He simply repairs builds and modifies guitars for money.

I don't think there is any reason to disparage luthiers who put Kahlers on Les Pauls, or take them off. Gibson was installing them too after all, probably still is if you can afford it.

Give the people what they want.

Despite all the "Beauty and burst" fetishism around vintage '59 Les Pauls and vintage guitars in general, and current trends about what is collectible and what makes it valuable. i.e. it's worth more in shambles than repaired, guitars are just tools for musicians, and damn the collectors for making it all a hassle, why don't they go back to pottery and art or whatever.
 

hamerfan

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Squier and recent Epiphones are tools. Higher range guitars are also pieces of mastership and craftsmanship imo. In case of US made guitars like Fender and Gibson also part of your own American Heritage.
 

fenderchamp

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Squier and recent Epiphones are tools. Higher range guitars are also pieces of mastership and craftsmanship imo. In case of US made guitars like Fender and Gibson also part of your own American Heritage.

Maybe I'm confused but what are you saying exactly?

It seems like you are saying that the working stiffs working in the factories in Asia are not artists, in contrast to the working stiffs working in the factories in the USA who are, and these guitars, e.g. a new Tele-Ultra in Cobra Blue, that these masterly makers in the USA happen to produce on their assembly line, is somehow mixed up in the national character of America and thus are sacrosanct and shouldn't be modified?

Are the CNC machines running in the USA different than the CNC machines running in the East?

Are the handworked guitar's in the East different in some quantitative way, other than the cost of labor, than the handworked guitars in the US?

Every Gibson or Fender guitar sure as heck are not "pieces of mastership" are they?

I understand what rare and beautiful and untouched means especially regarding rare collectible guitars, and I would personally never slap a kahler on my vintage Les Paul or even on my new Les Paul, but I don't think that doing so is like vandalizing the capital building or drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

I also think that a player has every right to make his guitar do whatever he needs it to.

On the other hand I still don't think @tonytrout should put a B-bender on his cousin's '69 Paisley Tele if he ever gets his hands on it. :eek:
 

Sax-son

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I liked those Kahlers. I thought they were well thought out and engineered really well. I wouldn't put one one a vintage strat or tele, but I would have no problem putting one on a strat partscaster.
 
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hamerfan

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Maybe I'm confused but what are you saying exactly?

It seems like you are saying that the working stiffs working in the factories in Asia are not artists, in contrast to the working stiffs working in the factories in the USA who are, and these guitars, e.g. a new Tele-Ultra in Cobra Blue, that these masterly makers in the USA happen to produce on their assembly line, is somehow mixed up in the national character of America and thus are sacrosanct and shouldn't be modified?

Are the CNC machines running in the USA different than the CNC machines running in the East?

Are the handworked guitar's in the East different in some quantitative way, other than the cost of labor, than the handworked guitars in the US?

Fender and Gibsons made both at the same time and factory: Higher range guitar, which became the Custom Shop in the End of the Eighties, and bread-and-butter guitars.
Quality guitars from the east are a very recent thing like Eastman guitars. The chinese craftmanship of the past was denied for a long and damned as a bourgeois thing until very recent. But now its coming back.
 




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