Tremolo Replacement

I own an early 80’s Hohner L59T, made in Korea. I bought it from a guitar shop in Collingswood New Jersey back in ’86. It’s basically a copy of a 1959 Les Paul, but with an Accu-Tune tremolo.

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The tremolo is made with a poor grade of metal, along with some notable design flaws. The part that has the most torque and tension also turned out to be the weakest point on the piece. The springs weren’t very reliable either, due to stretching. About the only things that were good on it were the fine tuners, the saddle rollers and intonation adjustments.

At some point by 1990 I had taken the tremolo apart, removed the springs and secured the system with an aluminum plate, where the springs were. This worked for a few years, until the tension started twisting the frame to the point that it would have broken completely.

I bought a flat mount Kahler tremolo as a replacement and it fit into position really well, that is except for the intonation. The bridge actually needed to be moved back another 3/16 to be correct. But I persevered for a time, but eventually used the set pin to lock the tremolo into a fixed position.

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Today I decided to go back to the original tremolo system, using 2 pieces of fixed angle aluminum in the cavity to hold the tension point from bending and twisting. I needed to notch it and trim away some sections so that it fit into position. I only needed to add 4 small screws, that only went into the wood about an 1/8 inch. Not too bad compared to other fixes I’ve seen online. In one of the above photos, you’ll see an orange line around the first aluminum plate I made. I had to cut a notch in that as well to allow the new piece to fit inside it.

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Everything fit nicely together, and after I got the strings on and set the height and intonation, we were ready to ROCK!

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