Kahler Tremolos for Left Hand Guitars
Personally, I like Kahler® tremolos. I had a guitar with an original “patent pending” Kahler tremolo back in the 1980s. It was solid brass. I also like Floyd Rose tremolos, so I am not biased towards either. They are similar yet different. I like both. Each have their strengths and weaknesses.
Much has been said about the comparisons of Floyd Rose and Kahler tremolos and I am not going to get into a repeat of that here. That’s something for you and Google to undertake together if you want to go there. But what is perhaps important to know as background for the following is that Gary Kahler also manufactured licensed Floyd Rose tremolos in the mid 1980s. In fact, after winning a court battle with Floyd Rose, Gary Kahler went on to make the famous Floyd Rose-style Steeler tremolo, and the Kahler Killer and Kahler Spyder tremolos. At the same time Kahler became Floyd Rose's major competitor with his own tremolo system which he had introduced in 1981, almost four years before the final Floyd Rose designs went into official production. Kahler and Floyd Rose tremolos were equally popular during the 1980s and 1990s.
For left handed guitarists today, there is one very solid reason to like Kahler products: KAHLER TREMOLOS ALL FIT LEFT HANDED GUITARS! Floyd Rose options for lefties are very limited. All Kahlers are made for right or left hand orientation.
And there is another reason: Multi-scale guitars. Kahler make, 8, 9, and 10 string tremolos. Who else does? Yeah, no one.
The basic difference between a Floyd Rose tremolo and a Kahler tremolo is that the Floyd Rose is a fulcrum based mechanism and the Kahler is a cam based mechanism.
The fulcrum type tremolo acts like a “see saw.” The whole tremolo moves on a pivot. The two posts at each end of the tremolo hold the unit in place. Underneath the unit there are usually four springs fixed to the guitar at one end and the unit at the other which creates the required tension to keep the tremolo floating in its "rest state" hence why a Floyd Rose is also called a "floating tremolo" or "floating bridge." When you push the tremolo arm down, the underside springs stretch and the strings loosen off the saddles and become slack and floppy. The springs return to their original tension and the strings return to normal tension when released. When you pull up on the tremolo arm the springs underneath compress and the strings tighten. A locking nut at the neck of the guitar stops the strings from loosening or tightening beyond the neck.
The cam system is essentially a rolling pin that “winds” and “unwinds” the strings when you push or pull on the arm. The bridge itself does not move, only the cam mechanism. The saddles have rollers, so the strings just roll back and forward on the rollers while the saddle remains static. As with Floyd Rose, Kahler too uses a locking nut at the neck to lock the strings in place at the other end of the guitar.
The very best thing about Kahler tremolos as they can be fitted to 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 string left handed guitars. There are tremolos for left handed basses too. They are 100% made in the USA.
Kahler offer flat mount, stud mount, fixed bridge, and multi scale bridges.
Options for nearly all tremolos are steel cam with steel saddles, aluminium cam with brass saddles, brass cam with steel saddles, and brass cam with brass saddles.
If you are considering a Kahler tremolo check out the Kahler website.