What is the difference between chrome and regular hardware

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by The Antipop, Oct 18, 2002.

  1. what is the big difference other than pirce

    sorry I am assuming this is a setup question
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Mainly, just cosmetics. It's mainly about personal taste. (My response is mainly about knobs, not tuners)

    Gold or chrome looks cool to many of us. They catch is that there is cheap and there is also good metallic, shiny, hardware.
    The cheaper stuff wears thin relatively quickly and exposes whatever cheaper material is underneath it because your body acids and frequent use wear down that shiny finish.
    Chrome pits and looks dull over time (but that looks cool to some people because it looks like "old skool" vibe).

    The soft rubbery knobs give a nice, firm, grip but look cheap to many of us. Many of the most expensive basses use them.

    The black chrome knobs/tuners look cool to many, (especially younger players it seems), and don't look so dull if they don't get wiped down every once in a while.

    Wooden, turned knobs, (my favorite), are nice because they can match or contrast with the body wood. Plus, they have that "sure grip" feeling.
  3. so it is all cosmetic, no real change in tone?
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Not at all.

    It's all about what the knobs "connect to" and how exact and firm your tuners stay is all that matters, basically.

    The rest is just for suckers such as I to worry about.

    Material compostion doesn't mean squat.
  5. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    chrome is shiny...gold is shiny...i cannot abide shiny.
  6. The "real" old school vibe comes from nickel plated hardware. Take a look at an old original tuner from an early 60's Fender and you'll see a good example of nickel plating. Nickel is a little "whiter" (for lack of a better term) than chrome which tends to be more deeply reflective. Since nickel is softer it tends to scratch easier and this lends to the look. After awhile the surface just has a nice satin look. Nickel also tends to want to grunge up more than chrome but it can be cleaned and polished easily and looks great after.

    Gold plating (if only it were!) is a secondary coating that is put over a chrome base. When it eventually wears off - and it will - it looks pretty nasty.

    What I really like is the newer "satin" chrome finishes that have come out on some of the cheaper components on the market. I wish the biggies like Schaller, Quan, ABM and others would develop their own. This stuff really has the look of tarnished nickel but has a better "all-over" finish. My DeArmond Pilot has all satin hardware and I love it. It even has a Schaller Roller knock-off bridge in satin along with knobs, strap buttons and tuners. All cheaper stuff but it looks good and works as well as any of the chrome.
  7. I know the difference of colours and stuff, I just wanted to know if there was a change in the sound of your bass
  8. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    well, no...only the substance under the coating is what makes the difference
  9. waynobass

    waynobass Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Excellent description, Hambone. See pics for the surprisingly stark difference in appearance between nickel and chrome.

    (Gotoh 203: the best bass bridge ever!)
  10. There probably are people who really do pick the finish on the hardware to get the tone they believe it gives, but as you can see from above most of the responders weren't even thinking about tonal properties of the coating as a possibility. I pick black or chrome or (once) gold hardware to complement the rest of the instrument, not to affect tone.
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    good example! it's often hard to tell nickel from chrome, but when they're next to each other, you'll see that the nickel is "yellow-ish" and the chrome is "blue-ish".

    unless you like your jazz bass strings to line up between the pickup magnets like they're supposed to :atoz:
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Doesn't make any more difference than a black bass vs. a red one.
  13. waynobass

    waynobass Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Not a problem on my Jazz. Your issue is more likely the screw holes in the body, the nut, or the placement of the pickups. Or some combination thereof.
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    for example:
    not a big deal, but .75" spaced bridges will just not line up perfectly with jazz pickups, something that would bug me every time i saw it. there is a subtle tone difference as well, as string attack is slightly compressed when the string's in between the poles like leo designed it to be.
  15. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan. Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    Get a Shaller 463, problem solved.

    Oh, that's right, you'd have to re-drill the screw holes.:oops::meh::oops:

    Well, I like them.
  16. Meatrus


    Apr 5, 2009
    Good point...which is better, its TB I need someone else to decide :p.