While it is true that the chrome is not the same or as durable as real chromed parts (probably not actual chrome either) it's not the bare metal either.i think the chrome that comes with a new chrome edge is different from the 'chrome' you get off stripping the gold off.
when you strip the gold off, whats revealed is actually the bare metal thats used to make the trem, not a chrome plating, which over time, when in contact with corrosive sweat, will start to, well, corrode. not pretty.
i've seen the gold rubbed off on gold hardware then sweat getting to the metal.bad corrosion. i would not go ahead with this myself...
the chrome that comes on a 'chromed' new edge is much more durable.
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:
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:
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.