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Hardware choice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JP Basses, Dec 5, 2002.


  1. chrome bridge

    26 vote(s)
    63.4%
  2. black bridge

    15 vote(s)
    36.6%
  1. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    I need your help...

    I've recently switched to hipshot ultralite tuners as standard tuners on my basses. I usually like black harware but with those particular tuners, I find the finish to be very fragile and often, some black paint comes off when I mount the tuners first time. Also, the strings are leaving scratches on the posts finish.

    That said, I'm thinking of now fitting the chrome/nickel ultralite but I would like to have you opinions on wether I can live the black bridges or I have to switch to chrome ones??

    Do you thinks the basses would look odd with chrome tuners and black bridges (my standard is ABM single string bridges)?

    Please help me to make a decision :D

    Pics of mixed hardware basses are welcome!

    Peace, JP
     
  2. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I have a nearly L-2000 that has Chrome tuners & a black bridge & control plate & it always bugged my until recently. (I have the bass for about 8 years) I say go chrome. Keep it uniform.
    <img src="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/attachment.php?s=&postid=754269">
     
  3. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    <img src="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/attachment.php?s=&postid=754271">
     
  4. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    What Nino said: go chrome, keep it uniform.
     
  5. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2002
    wichita, ks
    have you used the sperzel machines before? i think they're the best. they avoid the string scratching the post thing by using a chrome post, but everything else is black.
     
  6. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    No, I've never tried the sperzel before because they're quite impossible to find there in France and ordering them is too pricey. Apart from Carl Thomson or Darrin Huff, I'm not aware of bass builders using them...

    I think Darrin as switched to hipshot recently, maybe he'll be aroud soon and tell us why?

    Ultralite are just so light and simple that I love them !

    Peace, JP
     
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    I believe Wal basses have chrome tuners and mostly-black bridges.
     
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    My old (1981ish) Pedulla had Sperzels. They had small keys, almost like a guitar. They worked nicely.
     
  9. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I liked the sperzels on my old Carvin, they worked very well.

    My favorites are the Gotoh GB70s on my hanewinckel fretted. They're soooo smooth. Even the only-slightly-different pearloid ones on my fretless don't compare.

    Anyway. . .I'd say go with chrome too. I just like the looks of it better than black hw in most cases, anyway.
     
  10. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    P.S. As Pete pointed out to me when I got the fretted one, the strings are "chrome" and the frets are "chrome", so having the rest of the hardware chrome makes a lot of sense.
     
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Why not ask Hipshot to make you some tuners with a black body and chrome post? They do mixed-finish bridges for Carvin.
     
  12. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    BTW, I kind of like how a wood (not painted) bass like JP's looks with a black bridge. I guess Lightwave agrees, too, since that's all they offer. I think it looks especially nice when combined with no pickups (as with most Lightwave-equipped basses) or wood-covered pickups (such as JP's).
     
  13. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    True. But how about a wood-bodied, non-ebony fingerboarded fretless with black tapewounds and black hardware. Beautiful!!
     
  14. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Well, this could be a good idea but the post is not the only problem. When I fasten the nut, it produces some scratches on the washer...
    I wonder how this black paint ages? Does it come off with the time?

    I'll go for the chrome tuners/bridges. Like you Pilotjones, I love the way black hardware looks on natural exotic wood finishes but I aslo feel that if black has this classy look, sometimes the contrasting chrome makes the whole instrument more alive.

    As for "non-magnetic pickup" basses, I'm going to build some next year (2-3/8" thick hollowbody with Bi-Band piezo pickup) and they'll sport a wood+bone bridge.

    Thank all for your help.

    Peace, JP.
     
  15. gyancey

    gyancey

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    JP,
    I've noticed this as well. Whatever paint they use doesn't bond to the aluminum so well. I believe it is expensive to electroplate aluminum, but not brass (i.e. ABM bridges, Gotoh tuners are plated and wear resistant). I'm about to order a brass ABM bridge and hopefully that one will be plated.
     
  16. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Hey Greg,

    I use ABM bridges and in fact, that black color is much more resistant. I've had no problem with them. You must be right about saying they're plated rather than painted.

    Will you use individual bridges, the roller bridge or he standard one?

    I love ABM harwdare but it's a pity that the roller doesn't allow for 3" sring spacinf at the bridge for 5 strings.

    Peace, JP
     
  17. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    I'm a little surprised that Hipshot paints the aluminum black, since Black Anodized is a standard finish for aluminum (and not too expensive). Maybe it doesn't work well for tuners - but it does work well for machinery parts. Anodizing is a process that electrically converts the outer surface to aluminum oxide (very hard!), and it can be done in a dye bath to color the oxide black (common), blue, red, or gold.
    Perhaps the dye is removed by finger sweat? We (a machine manufacturer) have had no problems, except once when a part reached 700 degrees F, and the black turned yellow. But even the most "smokin' " player shouldn't be able to do that!
     
  18. gyancey

    gyancey

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    JP,
    Sorry my mistake - I meant to say I'm about to order a brass Hipshot bridge and hopefully that will be plated (unlike the aluminum ones). I've had no problems with the finish on ABM bridges either.
     
  19. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    The black on the Hipshot bridge on my Carvin scraped off, too. I never had any problem with the Wilkinson on the older fretless, but the black on the Hipshot's plate scraped off as soon as I adjusted the intonation.

    I know anodized aluminum is pretty hard, but is it harder than steel?
     
  20. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Hello JP,

    I think black or black and chrome can look very attractive, but I personally prefer all-chrome (or other shade of silver).

    More importantly: chrome is pretty much universally accepted. I wouldn't refuse to play a bass simply because of black hardware, however some people are turned off by black hardware, or a mixture of black and chrome.