Les Paul with... a Kahler bridge?

JamCam

Member
Messages
21
Hey Guys,
Wondering if you could give me a hand here. There's a guy in town asking me to trade a Strat I'm selling ('99 Lonestar) for a Les Paul he has (picture below). I've never seen an LP with a locking-nut and Kahler bridge before. He says some '82 LP's came standard with the Kahler.
Anyone know anything on these guitars?
Here's the guitar... it looks nice other than the big gaudy bridge-piece:
 

daddyo

Guest
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11,805
They made them. There is a black 83 custom for sale locally with one on. Think Neil Schon.
 

JamCam

Member
Messages
21
do they generally go out of tune easily, do ya know?
and can the Kahler be removed without making the guitar look terrible?
 

mc5nrg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,990
The main key with Kahler trems is keeping them clean and lubricated, especially the roller saddles. Looks stock, should say Maestro on the trem IIRC. Kahler trems have more adjustments than Carter had pills (archaic American figure of speech). The company is back. I was searching on line for Floyd Rose info and found a tutorial on restoring a Kahelr that wasn't kept clean and lubed.
 

mc5nrg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,990
To answer your question, they work fine if maintained and installed correctly. Usually have a softer feel than the more common FR/ Fender fulcrum designs. Just like the myriad of possible adjustments ,you can customise the feel by changing some of the parts. Sustain depends a lot on downpressure on the saddles.

There is a route in the top so removing is problematic.
 

rastus

Member
Messages
1,536
Yep, that was an upcharge option at the time. Wonderful units if you maintain them. That's a nice piece, much more interesting to me than a Lonestar (that's just me though) Looks like an early Studio Standard, pretty rare, rarer with a Kahler. Probably has Shaw PAFs in it if it's still stock.
 

slipbeer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,348
I just flew from San Francisco to Minneapolis last week and sat right behind Neil Schon.

As much as I wanted to reach over the seat and whack him for making this butchery popular I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Now that I see a fresh reminder of this sacrilege, I'm kicking myself.

Just remember, it ain't gonna play like a regular old Les Paul.
 

DrPCR

Member
Messages
598
that is a studio standard les paul, not a standard.

Its actually thinner in the body and has the dot inlays on the neck, also different pups. Also I think 3 peice top and back.

I have a LP standard with a Kahler and have owned 2 others in the past. Make sure all the parts are working and nothing missing. I actually have a spare for parts in case I need it. I would play it first before commiting, cause some were very bad and the trem never sat well. Now if I could get my hands on an Alex lifeson floyd rose LP historic, thats another story.

 

JDouglee

Member
Messages
1,959
I just flew from San Francisco to Minneapolis last week and sat right behind Neil Schon.

As much as I wanted to reach over the seat and whack him for making this butchery popular I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Now that I see a fresh reminder of this sacrilege, I'm kicking myself.
I can think of alot of reasons other than his Les Paul modifications. :NUTS

It's OK to not dig trem LPs, but it's not like there's a shortage of stoptails. Even the new Floyd Axcess models have a stoptail option.
 

daddyo

Guest
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11,805
When the sun is shining and I want to feel a chill, I just think there was probably some schmuck who paid some other schmuck to install a Kahler on a vintage pre-61 Les Paul.
 

alanbass1

Member
Messages
1,166
The Les Paul's with factory fitted Kahler's that I have seen do not have the bone nut like the ones picture in this thread - the locking nut was seated right where the traditional nut would have been. I also note in the first picture that the truss rod cover has been removed. This makes me think that the Kahler is an aftermarket installation.
 

mc5nrg

Silver Supporting Member
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9,990
I don't now what you have seen, but when I was selling them working retail the lock was behind the nut with a chopped TR cover.
 

StJimmy

Member
Messages
935
Mine has the nut, also. My TR cover isn't chopped though and the lock looks slightly different than the other two photos. They look like they go straight across while mine straddles the TR cover on the E strings. It's an 83.

 

dtube

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
266
LP's with dive bomber wang bars are not my cup o' tea. But who is to say that, in ten years, they won't become the vintage flavor of the month? There are a lot of historic examples of shunned/taboo guitars that became the darling of the ball with age.

In my 80's, band days, I preferred the Kahlers over the Floyds. To me, the Floyds seemed to go from light wiggle to strings falling off the guitar too quickly. Conversely, I remember that the Kahlers had a smoother, more usable range. But, I'm also looking back through quite a haze of Dokken tunes and controlled substances here...
-Darren
 

JamCam

Member
Messages
21
yeah, I'm at least gonna try it out and see how it plays/sounds.
I, too, hate the look of any floating trem on an LP, but if it plays/sounds better then my strat (two different monster, I know). I originally planned on selling the strat because I need the cash, but if he's willing to trade for the strat, I might as well look into it... right?
 

rastus

Member
Messages
1,536
I know that the Kahler option was phased out in early 89. The neck was set at a different pitch on the Les Pauls, I remeber they had to be carved differently, and we had another pitch guage just for Kahler guitars. The last guitar I ever saw come through with a Kahler for an Artist was Steve Clarke's Firebird 5. I liked the Kahler, it was a quality piece, worked nicely. The ones we did had the nut (which sucked) Most people had them shelfed and a locking nut installed. The factory didn't do it. I remember that the techs at Music Man on Nolensville Rd in Nashville (long since closed) did a brisk business not only fitting entire Kahlers to Gibsons, but also changing the behind the nut string lock to the locking nut set-up.
I actually like em even though they don't look that cool.

When they went out of style I made good money buying them at greatly devalued prices, plugging the holes and refinning the are and reselling with stoptails. But, that won't work at all with a factory Kahler (Maestro) from 86-85. The neck angle is too shallow for a tuneomatic.

I have a crazy Namm show 1990 Les Paul for sale in the emporium, if noone wants it, I might just Kahlerize it. It's so 80's goofy that it can't get anymore unfashionable.
 

captainT

Member
Messages
106
Hey Guys,
Wondering if you could give me a hand here. There's a guy in town asking me to trade a Strat I'm selling ('99 Lonestar) for a Les Paul he has (picture below). I've never seen an LP with a locking-nut and Kahler bridge before. He says some '82 LP's came standard with the Kahler.
Anyone know anything on these guitars?
Here's the guitar... it looks nice other than the big gaudy bridge-piece:
In the early 80's I bought a Les Paul Custom with a factory installed Kahler trem. at that time it was the most expensive guitar in this particular store. A week previous to the purchase a bought a Kramer Pacer series which with-in that week already started having electrical problems. I received a compensation award and took the Pacer back and walked in and said I'll take that Gibson. I paid $1200 bucks back then for that guitar but it was a top of the line Les Paul Custom with 24K gold hardware the tuners had flip out winders built in and was a fret less wonder with the new fangled Kahler trem. WHAT a mistake That ****en guitar would not stay in tune for your life. I did have it set up and for a short while it held tune but what a struggle. I kept the guitar for a couple of years then sold it for $600 :Spank . I think if it has a factory installed trem you maybe able to put in a fixed bridge; that is what I should have done, I still kicking myself. The guitar did have PAF's in it and what a sound. My only compensation is that after all these years when I see one for sale their resale value isn't much. I've seen them for around about $600-650. The early eighties for Gibson wasn't their best years. If you really want a Gibson save your money and play a **it load of them because they are all different in some way and you'll know when you find the right one then grab it. Just a quick thought you said you were playing a Strat I'd really be sure you want a Gibson because there are Strat guys and there are Gibson guys It really has to fit you. After that sale I promised myself I wouldn't sell off another guitar unless I had a dire emergency, now my wife keeps asking me how many guitars can I play a once. Sounds like a code RED. Good luck.
 




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