Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Nickel vs Chrome Hardware

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Kayle McGuire, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. Oldgitplayer

    Oldgitplayer Tele-Holic

    Nov 24, 2009
    Brit in Australia
    My ES 335 is 28 years old now with every bit of metal on it dull, dull nickel. I like it far better than my other guitars with their shiny chrome hardware. I think I have a nickel soul. There might just be a song line there .............
    Gibson likes this.
  2. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    Aesthetically, I don't have a significant preference - Nickel probably shades it, slightly.

    However, I have a friend who has a Nickel allergy - a form of dermatitis that brings him out in a rash if his skin touches the stuff. I know what he'd go for - and it wouldn't be Nickel.
  3. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    There was a Plating Shop just a couple blocks from where I once stayed on Bienville, in Mid City. What I learned was, not all nickel plating is the same, and not all chrome plating is the same. So, there can be a range of colors to the nickel - it can be more greenish than yellow, sometimes and sometimes it is just more of a warm grey. The "hue" of chrome is more confined, but defects are strikingly obvious when burs and die marks and so forth are just plated over. Nickel has a resilient toughness to it but chrome is much harder, and it is brittle I would say and chrome flakes or delaminates rather than getting so scuffed up.
  4. Fatstring

    Fatstring TDPRI Member

    Nov 23, 2017
    Denver, Colorado
    Agree with what LowCaster said, like Nickel, but built Chrome on my Warmoth Tele because it's what's more consistently available across part sources, particularly Fender authentic parts.

    Funny thing is, for Fender Tele's while nickel "seems" more retro, chrome actually is, from what I have seen.
  5. OneHenry

    OneHenry Tele-Holic

    Apr 16, 2018
    North carolina
    Some people are sensitive to nickel, something to consider if you will be coming into extended contact with it with sweaty skin. This is why you can't get real 18-8 stainless steel tableware any more, the nickel content has been removed.
    telemnemonics likes this.
  6. Telecasterless

    Telecasterless Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 29, 2011
    los angeles
    Chrome belongs on your Harley, not on your guitar
    Mr Ridesglide likes this.
  7. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Some of you may find yourself using Polished Stainless hardware also, and it marries better IMO with Nickel plate. The Chrome is normally too different in hue.

    I also don't like some items that look "over-plated" and this is normally more of a Chrome problem. The plating section on Chrome is almost always thicker, since it is one or more layers of plating greater in number/thickness.

    I like both. Nickel sure can get scratched up fast. And, it gets grungy - look at those coins in your pocket change.
  8. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    TDPRI -- On the nickel!

  9. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    My absoute favorite is smoke chrome. Hard to find enough smoke to equip a whole guitar in theses days , but it was fairly common in the 80s.
    I think nickel looks more toolike or utilitarian, and preffer that look.
    Chrome is to flashy=cheap, somehow.
    All my builds go nickel. Prehaps the only commonality amougst them.
    OneHenry likes this.
  10. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    Schaller's Ruthenium tuners look cool, but the rest of your hardware isn't going to match then.
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    The only preference I have is for the finish to not look too darn new and shiny, so I generally dull new chrome parts with a used 3M pad.
    Nickel OTOH looks used pretty quickly, but then looks really used before the rest of the guitar dulls.
    Since I never ever polish my guitars, I'd lean toward chrome, as it keeps the same look for years.
    Polished nickel HB covers with lacquer keep their pretty hue longer, and nickel really is a nice looking metal.
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Here’s a solid nickel cover 57 classic HB next to a chrome MIM bridge, you can see the slightly different hue. The HB has lacquer so has not tarnished.

    I'm not sure if the saddles are also nickel, but they sure do look different from the chrome bridge plate.

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