Model Range
Tremolo Units
Buying Tips/Opinions
Guitars for Sale



Tremolo (or more correctly, Vibrato) Units

In the 1980's at least three different tremolo units appeared on  MIJ Contemporary Stratocasters. My  understanding was that they were produced for Fender by the Kahler company BUT I've recently told by the GM of Kahler International that they were, in fact, produced by Schaller. Without the manuals it isn't always obvious how to set them up correctly - well we've got the manuals. And more!. If anyone has a manual for a different type they'd be doing fellow Fenderholics a service by scanning it and emailing it here so it can be shared.

I frequently get asked if it is possible to get spares for the tremolos fitted to Contemporary models. Up until now the answer has been no. But I've just been told about  www.axeparts.net and   www.fretsonthenet.com who may be able to help. Give them a try.

System I
Quote from the manual for the System I: " The System I features a fine tuning floating bridge with two knife edge pivots, height adjustable pivot posts, roller saddles, and a snap-in torque adjustable arm. It also comes supplied with a three section screw actuated locking nut." The only instructions I have for this unit are included in full Contemporary Model manual which can be downloaded here.

System II  Download the System II & III manual
Quote from the manual for the System II:"This is a fine tremolo system designed for those who desire the improved stability of a string locking system but want the 'vintage' feel of a more compact unit. While the bridge does not have the locking feature found on the System III, and does not have the adjusting tools in the arm, the arm does snap in and out of the receiver, and is torque adjustable for arm swing. The arm swing is best adjusted by utilizing the bridge balancing rod system. This eliminates the cover plate on the back of the guitar, and makes it extremely easy to adjust the spring to string tension. Access to the system is the 2.5 mm hex head screw located underneath the strap button on the bottom side of the instrument."

System III  Download the System II & III manual
Quote from the manual for the System I I: "The System III is a finely engineered, high performance piece of equipment - its unique 'tool free' design provides the finest in trouble free
tremolo performance. One of its unique components is its tremolo arm - more than its normal function, it snaps in and out of its receiver, is torque adjustable for arm swing, contains the tools necessary for set-up and adjustment and is utilized in the bridge locking feature of the tremolo..... It is designed so that it can be used as a fixed bridge (non-tremolo) as well as tremolo. In order for this feature to work you must insert the arm properly. The short end of the arm has a hex wrench inserted in its end......"

Thanks to  Duncan Woodward (aka 'Slacker' in the Fender Forum), Geno 'Peegoo'  and Jerry Kern for the supplying the manuals


Are you looking to buy a used Fender Japan guitar? Confused by what you see on Ebay and elsewhere?
 Read my 'buying tips' before commiting yourself. 

..and after doing that go to for the best selection of used non-export Fender Japan 
instruments you will find this side of Tokyo