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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This 7vwh has been my main player since I got her from Rich in '03 and while I love her to pieces, there is one thing i was never terribly fond of: That (imho) gaudy gold hardware.

First I thought about equipping her with some nice new chrome or black hardware but I soon realized that this would be way to pricy.

Desperate to find another solution, I stumbled across this post on the usenet:
http://groups.google.com/group/rec....read/thread/cd894f85e08afa30/3af2cb6e61e1cd69

I haven't seen this done here before but as cheap as I am I thought I'd give it a try and take some pictures to share them with you.

I didn't find any Maas or Flitz polish but some generic chrome polish should do the job:

Five bucks? Perfect.

I put the polish on some soft cloth and started to rub that little machine head:

Jackpot! Nice and shiny chrome.
I didn't need to apply a lot of force as the gold plating is very thin (Ibanez seems to be as stingy as I am).

Two more to go:

The machine heads look a bit reddish in this picture but that's just the light. (Talking about light, if you want to try this for yourself, use bright, cold white light. I had three lamps turned on but as they were very warm lights I missed some spots. I didn't discover them until I reassembled the guitar and took her to the bathroom (don't ask); the cold, bright fluorescent light showed a lot of gold spots left and so I had to completely take her apart again.)

After polishing the machine heads, the string three, the nut, the three little screws and macgyvering the g-string:


Now on to the heavy stuff. Polishing the bridge turned out to be a major pain in the ass. The little parts, the rough surfaces under the saddles and all those corners made it one tedious job. You'd be better off if you've got the right tools. Nonetheless, after another six hours and a bathroom-enlightenment the mission was accomplished:

Another phenomenon you can marvel at in this picture are the effects of my magic sweat which ate its way through the (pretty thick) chrome plating and revealed some nasty looking metal. Anybody knows a cure for this?

I also polished all the screws and the pole pieces on the pickups so the only gold left is the Ibanez logo and the brass stuff on the machine heads which look pretty cool like that. Alltogether it took me about ten hours spread over two days to get the job done.

I personally love the new look; the ice cold shiny chrome looks great in person and fits the guitar perfectly.

One final picture:


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Another little thing which isn't really worth an own thread:


It's some kind of feedback-generator/half-assed sustainer which works like the Sustainiac Model C.

The guitar signal is fed into a vibrating unit clamped on the headstock and makes the neck vibrate which in turn vibrates the string and creates a feedback loop. I just used a little speaker which I ripped out of a cheapo PC speaker as the vibrating unit. The whole unit works with very low volume and so you can go nuts with feedback orgies without annoying the neighbours. And playing with a vibrating neck just feels so awesome.

It isn't really usable as a sustainer right now as you can't control which harmonics are fed back to the guitar; you would have to code a program/build a circuit which analyzes the signal and sends back only the fundamental frequency/2nd harmonic/3rd h./etc.
 

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Wow! I don't know if it's just the novelty of it or what but the VWH is really stunning with chrome hardware. Nice job. It looks great.

P.S. That's not your final setup for the saddles, right? :)
 

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Heh, the 7V the way it should be :D

Nice how you even did the polepieces... there are people who would kill for a set of EVOs with gold poles... :lol:
 

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I like that look much better than the gold, nice work...nice to know that the risk paid off. You also probably could've found someone that would like to trade hardware...but this worked out fine. Love the look.
 

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Very nice. I always thought I liked the gold......I am now torn.....I don't know if I like the gold or chrome hardware better:roll:

Life is too tough:)
 

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JJEMMER777 said:
Very nice. I always thought I liked the gold......I am now torn.....I don't know if I like the gold or chrome hardware better:roll:

Life is too tough:)
If the gold starts to wear off, then polish them off and go chrome. But, I wouldn't do that to a perfectly good gold hardware. Personally, I think it is much classier with gold. Unfortunately, they tend to wear off.
 

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i am seriously really mad right now. i would've never sold my jem if i knew of a low-cost way to get rid of all that gold. anyhow, it looks awesome!
 

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jj0389 said:
Unfortunately, they tend to wear off.
I hear that a lot. However....the gold on mine is still pristine. It was my first Jem - a 2000 model. (mmm...ebony:O) It was the ONLY guitar I played for two years. (then I got my vsbl in 02) Lots of gigs...and it went to England and back two years in 01 and 02 for the IGF. Gold is still perfect. I think it's a sweat thing. My hands don't sweat at all (thank god) Please don't suspend me for religious reference:lol: I think the people that suffer from clamy-i-tis are the ones having the acidic problem with the gold wearing. (just a hunch) Or the ones that just rub the gold lots for good luck:) After looking at the chrome vs gold side by side. I still like the gold better. It's one of the things that originally caught me eye with the vwh. I just goes with it. Right Elvis:)



 

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Steve Vai's main guitar Evo is chrome. Flo is gold. I've always liked chrome more, but lately I've started liking the gold, and I think I like that more, but the guitar looks really cool after what you did to it.
 

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Is it just me or does the Chrome, make the Vine pop out at you more?
I almost considered doing this to my VWH, after my sweat had eaten off most of the gold anyhow. Just never quite got the guts to try it though.

Nice work, and I like how you explained each step with pictures!
 
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