David Torn’s Trans-Trem Klein Electric Guitar

Regarded as “Best Experimental Guitarist” in the 1994 Guitar Player Magazine Reader’s Poll, David Torn is many things including producer, composer and recording artist. Here we see him in the role of guitarist demonstrating one of the most interesting innovations in the history of the guitar – The Steinberger Trans-Trem by inventor Ned Steinberger. In short, the Trans-Trem is an extraordinary type of tremolo system that allows the guitarist to transpose the instrument up or down on the fly.

Mounted on a spruce bodied Klein Electric Guitar, David Torn explains how it works and takes us through a demonstration that includes very cool pedal steel sounds courtesy of the Trans-Trem, his talented playing and YouTube.

6 Responses to “David Torn’s Trans-Trem Klein Electric Guitar”

  1. You know Rob, all of the digging on YouTube is cool… but how about a clip of YOUR Klein build? Or one from the other guys who have done it? I would really like to hear how your DIY efforts came out. The latest Klein on Ebay as I write has a reserve of $6,500 USD. They are starting to get completely out of reach at this point.

    You can, however, still buy a Steinberger GM7TA and get that TransTrem thing happening. Thanks for sharing Torn’s clip.


    1. Sounds like a great idea. If I were any good, I’d make one but all you’ll get out of me is a handful of chords. 🙂 However, its definitely something to follow up on which I will do. Thanks, Roger!

  2. Trans-trem or not, I wish I could do those pedal-steel licks!

    1. Pretty cool stuff, huh? One of the side benefits for me digging up these videos is that I’m getting exposed to musicians I may not have necessarily listened to in the past. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    2. Believe it or not, I have managed to procure a TransTrem equipped Klein… should have it in a couple of weeks. Will definitely report back with the usual video and comments!


      1. Fantastic! Let me know and I’ll be happy to feature your video!