Mayos Music
Guitar Lessons and Instrument Repair

Instructions for Restringing and Tuning a Kahler Tremolo Equipped Guitar
Plus: Instructions to install the "Mayo Crimping Insert" (MCI)


Here at MayosMusic, in addition to offering great guitar/bass lessons and complete luthier services that includes guitar and amplifier repairs/restorations, we are also a great resource service. Below are the detailed (step-by-step) instructions for restringing and tuning a Kahler tremolo equipped guitar.

Tools Needed: High grade Phillips #1 screwdriver and Kahler supplied or high grade tight fitting hex drive (Allen) wrench.

  1. Loosen the 3 hex drive screws on the locking nut.
  2. Loosen strings at the tuning keys.
  3. Loosen the 4 Phillips drive mounting screws on the locking nut.
  4. Cut stings, unwind and remove from tuning keys and locking nut.
  5. Remove strings from the bridge if not already free.
  6. Tighten and/or adjust all applicable parts of the guitar.
  7. Clean the guitar.
  8. Remove the 4 Phillips screws from the locking nut and remove the nut from the guitar.
  9. Place all locking nut pieces on table and inspect.
  10. Replace or install the "Mayo Crimping Insert (MCI)" if not there or worn out.
  11. Align the new or reused MCI into the locking nut so that the holes are best aligned.
  12. Align the plastic truss rod cover into position (if equipped).
  13. Place the 3 clamping inserts clean side up on top of truss rod cover and array in all the same direction.
  14. Insert strings in proper order through the slots of the locking nut making sure the MCI is above the strings.
  15. Make sure the strings are not laying across the pickup as this will magnetize them and cause tuning and intonation issues (a folded up rag over the pickups will work).
  16. Place locking nut over the MCI and position over screw holes.
  17. Install the 4 Phillips head screws but do not tighten all the way, leave approx. 1/16" of play.
  18. Install the 3 Hex drive locking screws but leave quite loose.
  19. Make sure the strings are properly inserted into the Kahler bridge and tightened.
  20. Insert the strings into appropriate tuning keys and restring as normal.
  21. Begin tightening the strings on the tuning keys making sure the strings are aligned and installed properly at all points.
  22. Cut off excess string after tuning keys.
  23. Remove rag or other spacer between strings and pickups.
  24. Finish tuning up all strings to basic tuning and cycle the tremolo several times with wammy bar (tune with tuning keys - not fine tuners).
  25. Repeat tuning several times as all floating tremolo systems need to settle into a balanced state.
  26. Once tuning is fairly settled, push down on locking nut and tighten down the 4 Phillips head screws.
  27. Check tuning again and repeat step 24 until guitar holds tuning, with a reduction in the tremolo movement until the last few tunings are with no tremolo movement (tune with tuning keys - not fine tuners).
  28. Come back after some time, and check tuning again.
  29. Tighten down the 3 Hex drive locking screws (note that all remaining tuning will be done with the fine tuners at the Kahler bridge).
  30. Finish tuning up all strings to basic tuning and cycle the tremolo several times.
  31. Adjust the final tuning as needed at the Kahler bridge with the fine adjusting thumb screws and with NO tremolo motion.
  32. If drastically off in tuning due to time, excessive playing, changes in temperature or humidity, and the fine tuning screws are not enough to correct tuning, loosen the 3 Hex drive locking screws and repeat steps 24 through 31....
Note: Always let the guitar acclimate to the room temperature and humidity for at least 20 minutes outside of the case before performing or recording.  Remember that the metal strings expand  with heat (causing them to go flat), and shrink with cold (causing them to go sharp).

Experience since 1968
Providing Guitar, Electric Bass & Ukulele lessons and Guitar/Amp Repair in the Greater Phoenix Valley area of Arizona including Maricopa County and The Salt River Valley.

Mayos Music will continue to provide Guitar/Amp Repairs in Southern California's South Bay cities and Greater Los Angeles Area.
Originally located in Manhattan Beach and Torrance, California.

Now located in:
Gilbert, AZ 85298
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 955 - 0246