Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Hardware Finishes

Recommended Posts

I've just received my new, slightly been used, 2019 Gibson Les Paul Classic Satin limited-run Manhattan Midnight guitar, and so I am ready to get busy with the project work involved in "customizing" it the way I want.  As of now, the game plan is to obtain all the replacement drop-in hardware/accessories in a black finish, save the pickup covers, which will be black-chrome finish.  I am really looking forward to making this guitar my own, and I love the way a Les Paul looks with black hardware.  I am not a huge fan of the otherwise much more typical nickel and/or chrome finishes which these guitars come with 99% of the time.  I can't explain it really, beyond simply saying that I just don't like chrome on a guitar.  I feel like chrome belongs on a nice Harley, not gracing the appointments of an otherwise gorgeous guitar.  I realize that I am one of what must be a very select few people who feel this way, and that to most folks, I likely sound a bit off my rocker.  That's all well and good, this won't be the first, nor the last time that situations involving aesthetics are something that I see very differently than the much greater part of the gander.  But, it's like they say, "what's good for the goose", right?

Anyway, as I was looking around for my replacement hardware this time around, I found myself on ebay at one point, getting way too excited when I began to look over what seemed like an all but endless stream of options in regard to Gotoh's 510 series (or "Mag Lock") locking tuning machines!  And more than the vast amount of possibilities which exist, based upon all the different options one can find in relation to these particular tuners in specific, what really got me immediately hyped up, was running across NEW HARDWARE FINISHES for the first time since I was 14 years old and first began my journey into the realm of electric guitar customization or personalization!  See, unbeknownst to me - until this visit to EBAY of course - Gotoh had, at some point in the very recent past, released more than just a couple all together new and exciting hardware finishes!  ANYONE who has even a minute interest in guitar personalization, should be able to appreciate how significant a breakthrough something like this could potentially stand to be!  I mean, it's only a very well known fact, that the area in which guitar hardware suffers the most, is easily the extremely lacking amount of options in regard to FINISHES!!  I mean, hell, the majority of hardware and accessories out there, are only available in one of three finishes, and two of those (chrome and nickel) might as well be the very same, for all intents and purposes!  I prefer nickel if I had to choose one, but I don't pretend to see any huge distinguishable difference between the two at the end of the day.  So, essentially the reality is, that if you can't enjoy a guitar decked out in chrome or gold, then you might as well not even get too deep into trying to find any one guitar that might seem as though it was made just for you, because if you aren't too excited about either of those finishes, or the "look" they play a huge part in creating upon the surface of just about any guitar that's available out there, then chances are, you're never going to find anything that "fits" your own personal type of style, or that is ever going to have you feeling too over the moon in regard to the look of any one guitar or another.  Now, it most certainly is true that BLACK is also an available hardware finish, however, BLACK hardware is actually pretty rare in the grand scheme of things as a whole.  For instance, even in regard to the Les Paul...  One could manage to find just about any part they could possibly hope to find in a black finish for a Les Paul...  Provided that Les Paul is an Epiphone, or Tokai, or maybe a Memphis or something of that ilk!  Because if it's a USA built Les Paul, you will very quickly find yourself screening page after page of hardware options available in a black finish, only to come to the understanding that your options are minimal to say the least...  If not all together unavailable.  I have managed, over a period of YEARS worth of working on guitars, to find EVERY "drop-in" part I might need for a USA Les Paul, from top to bottom.  However, at the same time, when it comes to black as a finish, there are really no "options", per-say, in this regard at all, as there is only the one Tone-Pros bridge and tailpiece kit option in black, for a USA Les Paul, PERIOD!  At least, if you want to have both black, and matching one and other!  As black is concerned, there are plenty of other bridges on offer, however, not nearly as many, if any, tailpieces made by any of these "3rd Party" companies, which might be purchased in order that whichever one of the bridges might be in question could be installed with a tailpiece to match...  I still can't wrap my head around why companies would bother making one, but not the other?!  It makes absolutely ZERO sense!

Anyway, as I had begun saying a while ago...  Gotoh suddenly has all these exciting new finish options avilable, right!  However, just as quickly as I had discovered these new finishes, I also came to discover the fact that EVERY single one of them is, as of yet, ONLY available in relation to their wide selection of tuning machines, but NOTHING more!  PERIOD!  Oh Gotoh manufactures just about any replacement part one could hope to find for a Les Paul guitar...  Even USA Les Pauls...  But what they do NOT do, is offer those parts in a black finish.  So, at the end of the day, I guess the idea is, that folks are supposed to accept a guitar with two different hardware finishes!  At least, that is certainly how it seems to me!

Some of the new finishes I've seen, are Vintage Chrome and Vintage Nickel (which are both just "brushed" or "satin" type finishes), as well as Black Chrome, Satin Chrome, Satin Nickel, and even a sick looking satin version of a gold finish as well!  The best, simplest way I can describe these finishes, would be to say that they are each, more or less, their own take on a stainless steel type of look, where the metal is not at all shiney, but instead, has a satin or brushed type look to it.  The colors themselves are just as you would expect them to be, only, instead of being all shiney, they are, for all intents and purposes, NOT shiney at all.  Instead, what you get is a tuner that is representative of any one of these particular colors, only a much more subdued, and not nearly as "in your face" and/or "look at me" as their shiney counterparts!  And I for one, happen to LOVE this type of look!  The only other time I have ever seen anything at all like them, was a finish which used to be available from FENDER, that was, if I recall correctly, also called "satin chrome", or something to that effect.  And just the same as these Gotoh finishes, the Fender one was also only available on a beautiful set of their two-post style tuners.  So, one could purchase the tuners - and they looked GREAT on any headstock you could install them on - but all the other hardware on the guitar would still have to be chrome, or gold, super shiney stuff, which is such a stark contrast to these beautiful tuners which essentially looked like a brighter hue of stainless steel.  Brighter in color, or hue, but NOT shiney at all, not by any means.

So, I guess, the entire reason I am here, is simply to ask whether there might be anyone out there who might have some information I don't have, as far as where I might be able to find some other parts for a USA Gibson Les Paul Classic, made by Gotoh, and available in any one of their new finishes, or more???  Because honestly, after having seen them all, I have become convinced that my new, ever so slightly been used Les Paul Classic, would look AMAZING with an entire hardware setup in the Antique X Satin Nickel finish!  The more I think about it, the more I agree with myself about the fact that this guitar would truly be something special if I were able to deck it out in such a way.  And so, in spite of the fact that I've already got all my black hardware on the way, I still wanted to at the very least, do my due diligence to at least try my best to find out whether or not there might be a place I'm not privy to, where I might be able to find other Les Paul parts in these satin-type finishes.  Because if there IS such a place/company/store selling these types of items, I would immediately go back and re-order every last part in a Satin Nickel finish!  So anyone who might have some good information in regard to this subject, I would greatly appreciate it if you wouldn't mind sharing it with me.         

Thanks in advance for your time and consideration!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...