#1 First off, if you have a newer locking Kahler model, lock it now. If not we will adjust later.
With tremolo upright on a table or in the palm of your hand, unscrew and remove the 3rd and 4th fine tuners.
- Step 2 Remove the phillips screw that is between where the 3rd and 4th fine tuners were. Discard or save.
- Step 3 Re-install the 3rd and 4th fine tuners back into their respective holes.
- Step 4 Flip the trem over, upside down in your hand. Thread the D Stop all the way up into the back end of the hole you just took the Phillips out of.
- Step 5 Create a tiny 1/2" deep trough in the back wall of the trem cavity for the Drop-D Stop to pass through when diving. Using a Dremel or drill, simply carve out the opening.
- Step 6 Create a solid footpad for the Drop-D Stop by gluing a quarter or a similar metal pad under the stop. Just make sure the top of the quarter is 1 inch below the guitar surface.
- Step 7 On the tremolo, screw the Drop-D up (retracted) all the way using a .050 allen key (Picture 1). If you have a locking Hybrid, lock it (Picture 2). If not, don't worry about it. Reinstall your tremolo. String it up, tune it up, stretch the strings.
So to set this up properly you want the guitar tuned to standard pitch.
Ok, if your all tuned up, the CAM is level and your arm is set at the right height. The strings have stretched and your ready to set up this Drop tune gizmo. Next take the load lever adjustment in the middle of the CAM and screw it downward in effect rolling the CAM back a bit. Do this while watching the tuner needle. When you do this the CAM rolls back and makes all the string sharp equally. Your actually making the springs below stronger through leverage. So the idea here is to have all the strings equally sharp a few cents. then you take the D stop and screw it down until it just bottoms out as shown in the first picture. The second picture shows the CAM stop bolt extended as it would be inside the cavity.
At this point your still those few cents sharp as before. Now relieve most but not all the pressure on the D-stop by barely pushing down on the arm slightly or your strip the hex out, at the same time screw the D stop down a bit further until you get to the point where the CAM was oriented before and all cents are back at zero. At this point you cannot pull back any and when you dive and return it will stop where it is tuned at. Now when you drop any tuning on any strings you wont go out of tune anymore. But first an educational primer...
"String pull above, offset by spring pull below, is equalized over a pivot point thus keeping everything equally floating. If you subtract any of these two forces like break a string, an equalizing reaction take place where all the forces will seek out and find their equal balance point again."
What just happened here? Answer: You broke a string and everything went out of tune. But guess what? The same thing happens when you drop tune too. Your not really breaking the string in this case, your just loosening it. Like breaking it halfway. So the springs underneath which aren't broken and still have the same pull as before, will overpower the pull of the six strings above (now really five and a half), and thus the arm will go up in the air and the CAM will rotate backwards until everything re-equalizes again.....but out of tune.
If only the CAM was prevented from rotating backwards during drop tuning or when I break a string, it would stay tuned. That's where the Drop stop comes in. It acts like a stilt under the back of the CAM preventing rollback.
Once completely installed and setup, you have 3 choices of operation when playing:
- 1) Full tremolo mode: When the D-Stop is retracted all the way up, you are in full tremolo mode. The Drop D lock is up and out of the way so you have full "to the hilt, up a fifth" pull ups or bottom scraping dives.
- 2) Half tremolo (dive) only mode: When the Drop stop is extended all the way down and bottomed out, your in Drop tuning mode. You can drop any strings as far as you want and it won't go out of tune. Remember even with out a Drop stop, you can still drop tune. Its just a pain to switch back and forth with one guitar. Using the drop stop gives you the freedom to go any way you want on one guitar without any modifications.
- 3) Full locked mode: Screw in the lock screw (only on specific models since 2008) and you'll be in fixed bridge mode. Get perfect double stop bends, easy re-stringing and tuning up. Great for beginners too!