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Kluson Hardware Upgrades

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I learned a lot about hardware recently.


Apparently Gibson has never made its own hardware. It used to source it out to other American companies. But now the standard tuners, bridge and tailpiece are made by Ping Wells, a Taiwanese company with factories in China. Also, the parts used to be made of different materials. Tuner cases used to be steel; now they are zinc. Bridges used to have brass saddles; now they are zinc. Tailpieces were aluminum for a while; now they are zinc. And the studs used to be steel; now they are (you guessed it) zinc.


Now that I know all that I feel like the hardware on my Gibsons screams out for a hardware upgrade. I've done a lot of research, and it turns out there are a lot of choices out there for American made hardware made of the same materials as Gibson used in the old days.


For example, Kluson Supreme tuners have a higher tuning ratio and steel cases. Also, Kluson sells American made bridges and tailpieces. They have abr-1 ad Nashville bridges with brass saddles, aluminum tailpieces and steel studs.


My link


I like Schaller tuners for my Fender, but I'm going all Kluson for my Gibsons.

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I also ended up changing to Alnico II Burstbuckers for pickups. IMHO the improvement in tone is substantial. The hardware changes have much more of a positive effect when paired with unpotted pickups. I was on the fence about the hardware changes with 57 Classics. But the combination of brass saddles, aluminum tailpiece, steel studs, etc. and Burstbuckers really works well. It's a keeper!

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