How to avoid gold plating wearing off?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by UlisesV, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. UlisesV

    UlisesV Electromatic

    Apr 27, 2019
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Hello. I recently purchased a G5420TG Electromatic. I noticed some of the golden plating is starting to rub off in some areas like the bridge, bigsby lever and the part of the bridge where I rest my palm to mute strings. (I play fingerstyle.) Is there some product that can be applied as a protector for this parts? Something hard enough to prevent the gold from wearing off from the constant rubbing?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Don't buy anything gold, then you won't have to be worried about it wearing off.
    Gold plating is only a few molecules thick, so, there's not much there to begin with, and, it WILL wear off eventually. That's just the nature of the beast. Coating it with a clear lacquer might help, but it also could dull it some.
  3. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Synchromatic

    Feb 17, 2020
    Not easy to apply to complicated shapes like the bridge but I've used clear vinyl tape to protect wear spots. Invisible on any normal solid surface.
  4. knh555

    knh555 Electromatic

    Apr 22, 2019
    Think of it as patina and enjoy playing your guitar.
  5. Mark W

    Mark W Country Gent

    Jun 6, 2008
    Central Florida
    The only avoidance that I have found is to avoid gold plating. Unfortunately some of the guitars I really liked only came with gold hardware. The other option is when and if it gets to the point that the wear or corrosion drives you new hardware. I have done that.
    Drifter likes this.
  6. AllenK

    AllenK Gretschie

    Yes. Some folks pay a premium to have a new guitar made artificially to look like a "relic".
  7. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Country Gent

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    It's a real sore point with me.
    Even the Proline models, marketed as premium guitars have the cheapest, rubbish gold coating I've ever seen.
    I've owned Peavey (USA) models which have gold and it lasted 8 years without "wearing off".

    Anyway in my experience there is nothing you can do to prevent or retard the corrosion - and gold doesn't corrode or tarnish.
    In my opinion it is poor metal prep before the coating is applied.
  8. SAguitar

    SAguitar Gretschie

    Jan 17, 2020
    Jack Plate, Oregon
    Gold plating may not corrode or tarnish, but it is applied in a very thin coat and being a very soft metal, it will wear off quickly.
    MotorCentaur likes this.
  9. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Country Gent

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    I agree, except that on my Proline G6120 the corrosion popped through from underneath in a rough form which had nothing to do with wear. And, I might add, in two months from purchase.

    The gold tuning keys manufactured and coated by others had no wear after 4 years when I sold it. They were genuinely gold plated.
  10. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    Stop playing it and bag it.:p
    Gretschmen65 likes this.
  11. SAguitar

    SAguitar Gretschie

    Jan 17, 2020
    Jack Plate, Oregon
    Hah! I did that with a few parts on my Gibson B.B. King Lucille! After a few weeks I was already seeing wear on the pickup covers, so I unsoldered and removed them. It wasn't until a few years later that someone told how risky it is to remove those covers. Oh well!
    j.s.c and loudnlousy like this.
  12. Defib Tim

    Defib Tim Electromatic

    Dec 3, 2018
    Sydney Australia
    I haven't tried it but I expect a spray metal lacquer like Incralac would protect the gold plating from wearing off. It's used a lot on brass parts like tap fittings etc to stop them tarnishing - on the gold it would just be a physical barrier to wear. Some care would need to be taken with prep & masking etc but could be worth trying out.
    GlenP and new6659 like this.
  13. GlenP

    GlenP Country Gent

    Jul 23, 2019
    I have not tried this and am not an expert, but this might be worth consideration and trying on a test part, maybe, before applying to an actual guitar. The product was once called Future, but now is known as Pledge floor care finish. This is a glossy clear acrylic based product. It should stick to the gold hardware and protect it pretty well. I have used it to protect decals on models as a clear overcoat, but have not tried it on gold plated hardware. Someone want to give it a try on a spare part?
  14. El Marin

    El Marin Gretschie

    Oct 4, 2018
    Madrid, Spain, EU

    Never heard that... I had many guitars with or without cover and never had any problem
  15. SWoody

    SWoody Gretschie

    Aug 27, 2018
    I am a HUGE fan of gold hardware. I have a bunch of Gretshes with gold hardware. I put a coat of car wax over all the gold occasionally and I'm not seeing any wear. On the ones that do have wear, a bridge or the Bigsby arm are easily replaced with shiny new ones if it really bothers you.
    new6659, GlenP and calebaaron666 like this.
  16. OzzPocket

    OzzPocket Gretschie

    Aug 11, 2020
    I like the looks of new gold hardware, but I avoid it like the plague for this very reason. I know people say "Guitars are meant to be played"...and that's true....but I like my stuff to look nice, and it seems like there should be a better way of applying the stuff that would avoid this happening. And it's not just Gretsch....seems to be gold hardware in general...
  17. Back in Black

    Back in Black Gretschie

    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    That's me!

    I've bought new gold plated parts and intentionally ''relic'd'' them in the typical locations intentionally to get rid of the ''new''.

    I haven't liked ''new'' since I saw my first relic'd guitar 16/17 years ago.

    Mind you...there is relic'd...and there is ''ruined''...there is a big difference between an accurately ''aged'' guitar, and a guitar that has ''belt sander'' rash.

    tom_poynton likes this.
  18. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Country Gent

    May 14, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    You don't. That's part of the reason I hate gold hardware, I've never seen it last.
    Groutsch and wabash slim like this.
  19. AllenK

    AllenK Gretschie

    Whatever it takes to make you happy with the guitar in your hand (always worth more than two going unplayed in the shop!).
  20. dr. love

    dr. love Gretschie

    Jun 2, 2008
    It’s not the having/not having covers that’s risky, it’s the removal process itself. Depending on how the pickup is built you can do a ton of damage with very little effort.
    El Marin and GlenP like this.
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