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Gold Hardware: the Good, Bad & Ugly

Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by Artwerk Orange, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. Artwerk Orange

    Artwerk Orange TDPRI Member

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    I have mixed emotions when it comes to gold hardware, but I fell in love with a Custom Shop made with Black Ebony on the body and it looked stellar with the gold hardware. At close to $5000 it put a lump in my throat but I showed no hesitance, pulling the trigger like a pre-Republican Clint Eastwood. My question is this... is there anything I can do to maintain the gold. It is really, really gold. We all, well, most of us maintain the fret board and the wood, but there is not much said about the hardware. Recommendations? I will upload a photo very soon. Promise.
    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    1) edit out the adjective for Mr. E.

    2) let's see that picture

    3) wear it out!
     
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  3. VillainSean

    VillainSean Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    LOL - "pulling the trigger like a pre-Republican Clint Eastwood"

    Seriously though, It's my understanding that the only real way to preserve it is try to keep it as clean as possible.
     
  4. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    The only way to preserve it is to never play the guitar. The gold is only 2-4 microns thick, so it doesn't take much to wear it off the base metal.

    I like it anyway, even though it wears and looks blotchy, and my next build is a white blonde, hardtail Strat with gold hardware.
     
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  5. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    I wrote a poem about this:

    Gold Hardware
    No
     
  6. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    Solid gold? At those prices it should be. :lol: Realistically, how long the gold PLATING lasts will depend on two things, thickness and composition. Fender wants those FCS guitars to look reliced as soon as possible. The plating will start wearing from the moment it's touched. It's about as wear resistant as nitro. The guitar will be a closet classic in no time.

    I have a guitar with gold hardware that doesn't look worn, a Simon and Patrick Showcase Rosewood. I bought it used and can only guess how old it is. I have no idea of the composition of the plating but the gold hardware on a guitar that's 20 years old, give or take a few, still looks good. I haven't found anyplace it's wearing through.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
  7. Jerry J

    Jerry J Friend of Leo's

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    You are a regular Longfellow, mate

    As for any metal item on a guitar, they're all subject to corosion unless coated with something. But to me that is what builds character. Gold and nickel in particular are very subject to it.
     
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  8. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    I love Gold Hardware on Black Gibsons. It's pretty much always been my thing. That being said Idon't think there's anyway to use the guitar & keep the gold looking like new. What I have done in some cases (& some will think this is stupid) with a super expensive or rare guitar is actually buy replacement hardware right away, then store the originals.

    Typically I just play the guitar & what happens happens, but if you're worried about resale value then having the original hardware in mint condition will help you out.
     
  9. Erebus

    Erebus Tele-Meister

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    worn gold hardware looks the best, in my opinion
     
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  10. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I generally agree, BUT (there’s my big but again) I LOVE it on a shiny black Les Paul Custom.
    Only two of my guitars have gold hardware.
    These two.
    Both look great, IMO.
    72CCAF81-A094-4186-B6B5-8CC108811372.jpeg B0CE0412-E8AD-440D-946B-4081DC416B2A.jpeg
     
  11. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    I love worn gold hardware. I dislike new, lacquered, untouched gold hardware, which looks cheesy, IMO. Unfortunately, sometimes the gold wears well, is in my SG (IMO), but othertimes you do get the bad flaking and quick, almost total loss of thye plating, which sux.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. JJLC

    JJLC Tele-Holic

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    I like both nickle & gold
     
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  13. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Hmmm. I hope you haven't 'borrowed' the poetic concept. :D It sounds like what's accepted as the shortest poem ever written by a cowboy poet.

    Miniature Horses
    By Skinny Rowling

    Miniature horses.
    Why?

    I've never had the opportunity to mention this in a forum, until now. :lol:
     
  14. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    Like others have said, gold plating (at least the real deal stuff that was done in the 50s and 60s, and is currently done on higher end guitars) is very thin, and it wears off much more readily than chrome or nickel. In my opinion, the best thing to do is to take it in stride, it's part of the aging process for gold plated hardware.
     
  15. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Gold hardware sure looks great in pictures when the guitar is brand-spankin' new. But it's sort of like the Glamour Shot many realtors post on their Website: they look nothing like that in person after they've been played for a while. You know what I mean :twisted:

    Ultimately it's "brown" hardware with shiny areas that are gold colored in the recesses.

    For me, it's like gold hardware on vehicles: it has a fake-it-'til-you-make-it vibe. YMMV!

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Got to wear these at the gig - accessorize. upload_2020-10-16_15-10-13.png
     
  17. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Never again will I have gold hardware on a guitar -- tarnishes either from case storage or playing. NEVER think of polishing it -- the finish will evaporate before your very eyes!!
     
  18. LPTyler

    LPTyler Tele-Meister

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    I like gold hardware, especially on black guitars, and acoustics. The way it wears is part of the charm to me.
     
  19. Treehouse

    Treehouse Tele-Meister

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    Does pre-republican gold sound better?
     
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  20. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    Good artists borrow
    Great artists STEAL
     
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