G&L tech resources: Bridges

 
 

The Kahler™ vibrato was invented by David Storey and covered by 2 of his patents: US Pat. 4,457,201 filed on August 31, 1982 and US Pat. 4,487,100 filed on April 2, 1984. When G&L introduced their Superstrat models in 1985, they used the Kahler™ 2320 flat mount fine-tuner vibrato with brass cam and brass saddles. The same unit was subsequently also used on other instruments. As a representative cross-section, a 1985 Rampage, 1985 Broadcaster w/Kahler & maple board, 1986 Interceptor HH (2nd X-body), 1986 Superhawk w/Kahler, 1986 Skyhawk w/Kahler, 1986 ASAT w/Kahler & ebony board, 1986 Invader w/Kahler, and 1988 Interceptor HSS w/Kahler (3rd style) are shown. As can be judged, most G&L guitars seem to have the dark and stylish “Black Krome” version, certainly the first couple of years, even though it would have cost one $60 more compared to the silvery “Krome” until that price difference disappeared on the September 1, 1987 price list. Recall these are the mid-1980s when metal and shred reigned supreme. For the needed sonic pyrotechnics, the existing vibratos were not providing enough tuning stability, if any at all, for the barrage of dive bombs. In the day, Floyd Rose was the main competitor of Kahler and both these companies provided much improved designs. The Kahler has been standard on the (Jerry Cantrell Signature) Rampage throughout the years. However, that model was discontinued after the announcement at Winter NAMM 2020 that Jerry officially has become a Gibson endorser. In mid-2020 G&L announced the “standard” Rampage would return in 2021. As Gabe Dellevigne pointed out to me, there are some subtle differences between the units from the 1980s and those used today. Unlike the modern day Kahler, the older unit was only available for a right-handed guitar, i.e. the cam only had a single socket for the tremolo arm on the treble side, and squarer shoulders with the Kahler script logo on the bass side. What old and new units share are a spring tensioning set screw and tremolo clutch set screw on the cam but the modern unit also has a locking mechanism to become a “fixed” bridge.


In the mid-1980s, G&L even built some basses vibrato units. Only few L-2000, El Toro, and Interceptor basses from that era can be found with a Kahler™ 2410 4-string unit vibrato with rearward saddles as discussed in Greg Gagliano’s article “Wiggle Stick Basses”.

 

Kahler™ flat mount Vibrato