How do you prevent gold on the LP Custom Pro from tarnishing?

HotlineBirdman

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I bought my first Les Paul a couple months ago, and it's amazing. It's an Epiphone Ebony Custom Pro and it feels and plays like a dream.

However, while the gold hardware looks beautiful, I'm worried about it tarnishing or changing colours over time. Does this actually happen or are my fears unfounded? If it does happen, how do I prevent or fix it?
 

TheX

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Epi gold hardware is nearly impossible to keep mint if you actually play the guitar.
 

notjoeaverage

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A friend of mine suggested spraying with a clear lacquer to me for mine.

If I were to do it I would take off all of the hardware, spray, let dry and then reinstall.

Don't know if it would work but, if you prevent oxygen and acids from your skin from contacting the metal it should eliminate the problem.
 

chasenblues

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Epi gold hardware is nearly impossible to keep mint if you actually play the guitar.
Couldn't the same thing be said about any brands hardware.
Its Gold plating not solid..Its gonna wear off if you play it, Specially if you have acid sweat.
 

MusicLaw

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Most important is to wipe it down to keep it clean! Also helpful to use a cleaner and polish.

Formula 409 Streak -Free Glass and Surface Cleaner (not the general antibacterial nor stone cleaner variants) works great! So does Dunlop 65 Cleaner/Polish.

For either of the above products, apply a small amount to moisten -- not saturate -- a clean dry microfiber or cotton cloth and rub on. Then use a clean section of the cloth to rub off any grime, etc., until clean.

I had tiny spotting on the gold pickup covers of my Les Paul Custom Pro's. It took several rounds of Formula 409 to remove. They are now spotless, stay clean.

The above process is best done when you have removed the strings. Once you have thoroughly cleaned the sufaces it only takes a moment to wipe everything down after playing eben with the strings still on.

Most of the time my guitars are not stored in cases.

If you live in a humid tropical climate zone or near the ocean you will need to step up the cleaning interval.

YMMV.
 

fry

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I had a used one and the gold on the tailpiece had just rubbed off leaving a shiny chrome surface. No tarnish, though.
 

Walt_T

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Here's my '01 Sheraton....

You can see the gold is all but gone on the top of the bridge and tailpiece. No corrosion, it just wore away. Funny, the bridge saddles haven't done this-different plating I guess.
Not anything you can do about it, the plating just wears away.
I wouldn't clear coat, it could be a tone killer.
 

TheX

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Couldn't the same thing be said about any brands hardware.
Its Gold plating not solid..Its gonna wear off if you play it, Specially if you have acid sweat.
But he asked about Epi.
 

pbekkerh

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If its gold, even guilded it will not tarnish. Gold will not be affected by any acid, only a mixture of HNO3+3 HCl will dissolve it.
A very thin layer of gold will however wear away. It happens mostly on the tailpiece where many people lay their hand when playing and also polishing will wear it away.
 

sk8rat

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some just fade more than others I guess. the gold on my lp custom is way more faded than the hardware on my sheraton II despite the lp being newer. but even when new, the hardware on the lp was way lighter than on the sheraton.
 

BadPenguin

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Very simple. Don't touch it.
Seriously though, it's the nature of the beast. Gold hardware fades away from use. Polishing it? not the best idea, since the polish wears away the finish over time. Just deal with it.
 

Woderwick

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Like they said, the plating is microns thick, watch it get thinner everytime you handle it, even cleaning it takes a lil more off. No chance I'm afraid, enjoy it, genuine road-wear. :thumb:
 

penguinchit

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If its gold, even guilded it will not tarnish. Gold will not be affected by any acid, only a mixture of HNO3+3 HCl will dissolve it.
A very thin layer of gold will however wear away. It happens mostly on the tailpiece where many people lay their hand when playing and also polishing will wear it away.
Agreed. But I really doubt it's real gold plating, even if it's microns thick.
 

AK Epi Player

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The "Gold" plating on real cheap bridge, TP and pup covers is just that! I tried to clean up those pieces on my fake BB3 with some Never-Dull polish, and it disappeared on contact! Now they are half and half. :shock:

Been hesitant to try it on a real Epi (or any other guitar) since then. Keeping the guitar clean and wiped down after use is your best bet.
 

Dolebludger

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Some gold (and chrome and nickel ) is more resistant to tarnishing and wear - off than others. For example, I have a Carvin SH225 (like an ES335) with gold hardware that has been played a lot since 1981 when I bought it new. No tarnish or wear. On the other hand my '09 Epi 56 GT with chrome developed wear through on the TP in six months of moderate playing.
 

MarkW

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Other than coating it in something as a couple of people have said, I don't think you can prevent it.
 

Dolebludger

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As I've said above, I strongly feel that there is a big difference in quality of plating on guitar hardware -- whether it be gold, nickel, or chrome. My Epi (chrome) happened to be of very poor quality as to the plating. I'm not saying all Epis are, but mine was. I don't have "acid sweat" because I've not hd this problem with any of my other guitars, including one that is 55 years old.
 

Side Burns

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The gold will wear thin on the bridge and tail over time where ever you rest your hand like the folks above said.

I like the fact that my Burny Custom has worn in. I wish I could help you out, but there's not too much you can do. When / if it wears on your epi, you can upgrade to steel studs and aluminum tail.
 


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