#1
Hi:

I have an Ibanez JEM7

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/ibanez-jem7v-steve-vai-signature-electric-guitar

- which is fitted with a Floyd Rose tremolo system and I'd like to replace it with a stud mount Kahler. Does anyone know of any special problems I might encounter when doing this?

The existing cavity looks fine, there's enough wood to accommodate the rear studs. What concerns me is how the bridge/saddle side would be supported because the existing system is recessed below the flat top of the guitar and the Kahler is mounted on top.

Anyone done this? Anyone got any thoughts?

Thanks - rev
#2
No. Just... no.

That is the worst possible thing you could do to a guitar like that. Especially when it's worth £2600.

You cannot just fit a Kahler to a guitar that was never designed for one and expect it to work. You will need to do some highly invasive and very expensive modifications that can easily go wrong and cause irreparable damage. The resale value of the instrument will be totally ruined. The amount of money you will be haemorrhaging to make something like this work on a guitar like that is ludicrous. On every possible level this is a horrible, nonsensical idea.

Why don't you just buy another guitar? If you're able to afford a guitar like that, I don't see how buying a guitar that already comes with a Kahler is beyond your financial means.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#3
^ Yeah that's the unfortunate truth.
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Et tu, br00tz?
#4
>You will need to do some highly invasive and very expensive modifications that can easily go wrong 
Such as what? The cavity already exists and the dimensions of the two systems are extremely similar, in fact, the distance between the bridge side support studs may be exactly the same in both cases.

>Why don't you just buy another guitar? 
First, that seems a little like buying a new car when you only want to replace the shock absorbers, second, I can't afford another guitar as good as the JEM7. I have a 35 year-old BC Rich Mockingbird fitted with a Kahler so I'm able to measure and compare all the dimensions and while I'm not yet sure what the required modification may be - it really looks doable.

Since posting, I took another look on the Kahler site and a flat mount model might be better than the stud mount. It simply has four screws that secure it to the top of the guitar - long screws at the bridge side may be all that's required.
#5
revnice Which Kahler are we talking about here? There are loads of different vibrato designs Kahler made. Can you send a link?

Is this system a Floyd copy like the Kahler Spyder or something?

If you already own a guitar with the system you want already in it, why not take the bridge out and see if it fits the Ibanez? That being the case, I'm not entirely sure what you need us for.

I mean if we are talking in terms of a Floyd copy, then why swap out the bridge in the first place? What's wrong with the Ibanez Edge?
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#6
https://www.kahlerusa.com/guitar-tremolo-and-bridge/2320-6string-brass-brass

>Is this system a sort of Floyd copy like the Kahler Spider or something? 
No, see link. The primary difference between the two systems is that the Kahler has the moving part behind the fixed saddle/bridge part. This means I can rest the heel of my palm on it. On the Floyd-Rose, there is nowhere to rest your hand without accidentally changing the pitch. I have difficult things to play in a studio environment and I can't be fighting with that design the whole time.

>why not take the bridge out and see if it fits the Ibanez? 
I will, and I'm sure I'll solve whatever problems exist.

>I'm not entirely sure what you need us for. 
For precisely this type of discussion. Someone else might have been where I'm going and be able to point out any pitfalls. 
#7
Having now seen what the bridge actually looks like, I would never, ever retrofit a bridge like that to a guitar like that, for the reasons I've already explained.

Having to drill additional holes to mount it is an invasive procedure that affects the guitar structurally. That's just not worth doing to a guitar that's worth such a large amount of money. The guitar's resale value will got down the toilet, assuming resale value is something you actually care about.

But it seems like you've already convinced yourself that you want to do this modification. That's fine. It's your guitar. But you asked for what my thoughts are on the idea and I gave them to you. Bad idea.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#8


The trems are nowhere near similar in dimensions.  With your guitar being top routed for a recessed Floyd you may have to fill the top rout in before having a proper surface to mount the Kahler to.  Like people mentioned, not a good idea and a very expensive mod with basically no gain. I rest my palm on my Floyd's all the time without issues of changing pitch.  Work on your technique with the Floyd and you will have no issues.  
Last edited by Way Cool JR. at Mar 7, 2017,
#9
Quote by revnice

>Why don't you just buy another guitar? 
First, that seems a little like buying a new car when you only want to replace the shock absorbers, 


No, it's more like buying a new car and then replacing the chassis, suspension and engine. 

That said, you can buy adapter plates that will cover the Floyd Rose rout, and then you can mount the Kahler to that.  They've been availablle for years. 
http://www.wammiworld.com/Adaptor%20plates.php
#11
Exactly, if it bothers you in studio, just buy a Floyd stabilizer like the tremol-no. 

Or block it so it only works one way, dive only 
#12
ArturPr That's exactly what I did to my Floyd. I just taped together a load of 5p coins and jammed it in the cavity, and tightened the screws. Much more tuning stability now, and less of a pain when changing strings (IE - I don't have to retune them 1000 times before they're even slightly staying in tune)
#13
So this 'very expensive' modification is $78! And the 'highly invasive' procedure requires no modification to the instrument. This is a forum in action, proving itself as a discussion area via a variety of opinions and, in this case, preventing me from reinventing the wheel. Apparently (quite a lot) of others have been where I'm going. Looks like a well-worn track with multiple solutions in all colors, styles and materials.

>No, it's more like buying a new car and then replacing the chassis, suspension and engine.  
I can't agree with that and there must be a significant number of others who don't agree either, otherwise there wouldn't be a market for mounting plates and stoppers. Adding two screws for a mounting plate doesn't change the performance of a guitar. 

>just buy a Floyd stabilizer like the tremol-no.  
You have to know they exist and I didn't.

>The trems are nowhere near similar in dimensions 
The trems are not similar but the mountings are. The more I look and measure, the more I'm convinced that it might even be the same drill press being used in the two different factories. The cavity on the Floyd is larger, if anything, than that required for the Kahler and it's coated/painted/laminated too, so if any cavity is still visible after the replacement, it wouldn't look modified.

> ...what's wrong with the floyd? 
Apart from having nowhere to rest your hand, the Floyd I have (which is probably Floyd made under license by Ibanez) doesn't have individual saddles for each string. The bridge is a fixed canberra that mimics the curve across the neck. Most guitarists rest their hand on the bridge as a reference point but the Floyd needs a 'fix' of one kind or another before that's possible. The Kahler cavity is all you need to route, no cavity is necessary for the springs, they're attached between the fixed and moving parts of the bridge unit, so some of my prejudice is just personal taste, preference for a better design.

Not sure what I'll do but thanks to everyone who contributed to the solution!

rev
#14
Al: In my case they would have to be 5 peso coins because I live in Mexico, and it might depend on the exchange rate
#16
An expensive system like the Floyd shouldn't need to be fixed with a stack of 5 p coins! The design should be changed, or a tremol-no included along with a hand rest guard and individual string saddles. 
#17
You can buy Floyd rose saddle shims, it may be harder for ibanez bridges.  But their radius is matched to the fretboard, so why? 
Also I've never noticed my Floyd going out of tune because of my hand position. Maybe just correct your position? 
#18
>  You can buy Floyd rose saddle shims 
Saddle shims AND a corrective hand rest AND a conversion plate AND a stopper OR you can even use a stack of coins to correct the design - a low tech answer is out there, who could ask for more? I'm sure it's the best.
#19
Quote by revnice
An expensive system like the Floyd shouldn't need to be fixed with a stack of 5 p coins! The design should be changed, or a tremol-no included along with a hand rest guard and individual string saddles. 

The Floyd needs no kind of design change (they are the perfect bridge design IMHO).  I (and many, many pros and regular Joe's over the decades) have been resting my palm on floating Floyd's for many, many years without any issues of pitch changing.  If you do the change just remember the adapter plate may not cover the extra trem cavity notches that the Jem's have.  Good Luck.    
#20
Quote by revnice
So this 'very expensive' modification is $78! And the 'highly invasive' procedure requires no modification to the instrument. This is a forum in action, proving itself as a discussion area via a variety of opinions and, in this case, preventing me from reinventing the wheel. Apparently (quite a lot) of others have been where I'm going. Looks like a well-worn track with multiple solutions in all colors, styles and materials.

>No, it's more like buying a new car and then replacing the chassis, suspension and engine.  
I can't agree with that and there must be a significant number of others who don't agree either, otherwise there wouldn't be a market for mounting plates and stoppers. Adding two screws for a mounting plate doesn't change the performance of a guitar. 
rev


Hey, I'm the one who told you where to find these things. I've got Kahlers, both new and old (well, late '80's), on a number of guitars. And I've lost track of how many Floyds are in the mix (half a dozen or more on LPs alone). I've helped two guys dump Floyds and use the adapter plates. I'll let you tell me what you think of the conversion after you've worked with it a month or two. 
#21
Basically, you've come here looking for someone to bless your idea, but been told it's a terrible idea, so you're throwing your toys out the pram.

You're evidently going to do it whether we think it's a good idea or not anyway. So, just go and do it.

There's nothing wrong with a Floyd, as evidenced by it's usage by many many many professional musicians.
#22
Quote by revnice
So this 'very expensive' modification is $78! And the 'highly invasive' procedure requires no modification to the instrument. This is a forum in action, proving itself as a discussion area via a variety of opinions and, in this case, preventing me from reinventing the wheel.

Nobody on this forum is preventing you from doing anything whatsoever.

All we've done is suggest that this is a bad idea. Sorry if that wasn't what you wanted to hear, but we're under no obligation to validate your decision.

You also forgot to add the $329 the Kahler system itself costs to that $78 total.
Apparently (quite a lot) of others have been where I'm going. Looks like a well-worn track with multiple solutions in all colors, styles and materials.
In my 10 years experience with this forum and a few other ones, what you're doing is not something that people commonly do. Sure, a number of products out there do exist. But that doesn't necessarily mean that a lot of people are doing it. And especially not to a £2600 guitar. It isn't difficult to make a new product by just taking an existing one and making it out of a different material or plating it gold etc.
Quote by revnice
>just buy a Floyd stabilizer like the tremol-no.  
You have to know they exist and I didn't.

Lovely. Problem solved then.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#23
why should they include a blocker....even though ibanez does that in some of their guitars

the floyd does what its supposed to do super well. It should be expected that you should have to buy an additional part if you want it to do something it's not designed to do...which is act like a fixed tail.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#24
Quote by AcousticMirror
why should they include a blocker....even though ibanez does that in some of their guitars

the floyd does what its supposed to do super well. It should be expected that you should have to buy an additional part if you want it to do something it's not designed to do...which is act like a fixed tail.

Waaaaaalll..... Kehler has some of their trems available now as "hybrids." It's the standard trem, but has the ability to be locked down in a few seconds so that it will operate as a hard tail. And then there's the Steinbeger design that allows you to transpose...
#25
Quote by dspellman
Waaaaaalll..... Kehler has some of their trems available now as "hybrids." It's the standard trem, but has the ability to be locked down in a few seconds so that it will operate as a hard tail. And then there's the Steinbeger design that allows you to transpose...

That stuff is designed in though as part of the functionality. That's different then what the op was saying. 
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#26
 dspell: > Hey, I'm the one who told you where to find these things. 
Yes! And I thank you for it.It was exactly what I was looking for, you've been very helpful. I'm probably going with an adapter plate because it looks like the simplest solution and I don't mind if a little of the existing cavity shows afterwards because it's been finished (painted or laminated) like the rest of the guitar.

toodeep: I think you read me wrong, I wasn't looking for a blessing, I don't need emotional support or anything like that, I was looking for solutions because I didn't know they were out there.