I bought an early 90s MII Deluxe off Pushead a couple months back and it's a beast of a guitar. Totally changed my thoughts about not liking bolt ons and sounds way more aggressive and heavier than my neck thru MI.
Amazing guitar, highly recommended.
BUT, it's got the ESP branded, Floyd style Kahler tremolo and it's pretty far gone. Even when blocked, it doesn't hold in tune for shit and the fine tuners are extremely limited in their range.
Relatively soon I plan on replacing it with a Schaller Floyd or an Original Floyd, but the locking nut has the string retainer built into it on the Kahler style. I've read around a bit and I'm not sure if there's any problems with swapping to a Floyd style nut and string retainer or if it can throw off the scale. Anyone have experience here?
I'm also under the assumption that the Kahler "Floyd" is the same size as any other OFR or Schaller style Floyd. Hopefully I'm not wrong about this.
The Kahler Floyds are slightly different shaped... I think the Takeuchi TRS trem will work just fine on there, they are almost indentical in shape. Or, you can try to find another Kahler unit, although I don't know how readily available they are. As for the lock nut, I think it should be the same dimensionally as the Floyd or Schaller nut, but I don't know about screw hole locations... if it's top mount, you could always fill the holes and redrill. If it's rear mounted, well... same as the bridge, try and find a new nut.
Strange, I never had problems keeping it in tune. The fine tuners are a bit small, but have a half-step of adjustment range.
Admittedly, a good deal of the tuning issues are related to the room my guitars are in, but I'll take them being a bit out of tune in this house over having to adjust my truss rod every three months in my old house. Either way, the fine tuners don't give nearly as much range as a Floyd or even Floyd Special and I wish they did. If I put a couple days between playing the guitar, it's always easier for me to reset the tuners and go from there.
So I guess this is the dilemma, when I use the trem (and I rarely do), it seems to go out of tune pretty quickly. I think this could be in part because of the fairly stripped bolt on the nut clamp. I don't give it everything that I've got because I'm skeptical of their lifespan, but I would say it's within reason. It doesn't have tuning problems with regular playing, but if it sits, it'll be far enough out of whack that it needs totally reset.
Either I buy a new trem or I just upgrade parts on this one. The tricky part is that it's an old model, so the parts are tricky (Kahler does sell some), but I'm wondering how many Floyd parts I can use instead.
The nut clamping bolts are cheap enough that I'm willing to roll the dice on those, my main consideration for the different nut was if I swapped the bridge completely.
The saddles and locking pins are the other part, I have to do some measurements, but maybe between new nut clamps, new fine tuners and new saddles I'd take care of the whole issue, and probably a bit cheaper.
These would be ideal if they fit: Graphtech string saver saddles.
Floyd size saddles are definitely a no go.
Kahler sells most of the parts, but the stringlock bolts are $12 each. Brutal.
Hey, when one of my guitars go out of tune or needs new strings it gets tossed in my "junk" room and I get a new guitar.
Why not just replace the bridge and keep the nut thats on it. It's only locking the strings and if it's not stripped why mess with it? I have an old mii with this kahler and I've always loved the trem. Do you live in the swamp? Have you tried keeping the guitar in the case when not playing it?
My old house wasn't far off from swamp level humidity. Had to keep all my guitars in cases. This one isn't so bad, but I think at this point I'm going to say that after replacing the string clamp bolts and stringlock bolts, most of the problem will be taken care of.
My concern was that after dropping $72 on new string lock bolts, would I not be better off dropping the extra cash for an OFR.
$72 on string lock bolts!? Wammi World has the 1 5/8" and 1 11/16" complete nuts for $59 each. Clamp screws for the pads are $1 a pop, pads/plates are $5 a pop. In total, $18+shipping. Links!
clickity click click
You point and click the part number you need. There's 2 types of clamp screws you can choose from.