Tarnished nickel on a brand new guitar?

Seanph25

Member
Messages
28
So I got a new SG and it has nickel hardware, I know nickel will tarnish faster than chrome, but how quick does that actually happen? The tailpiece (and pickup covers and bridge to a lesser degree) on the SG is already dirty and worn looking but it’s brand new, I’ve literally had it for a day and a half and only played it once and didn’t touch the tailpiece. Is this normal? Does nickel do this on brand new guitars? I’ve tried wiping it with a damp cloth but it doesn’t do anything. Don’t have any metal polish on hand so I can’t try that yet. Any thoughts?

UPDATE: Called Gibson and showed them the picture, they said it shouldn’t look like that and are going to send me another tailpiece. But not the bridge pickup cover or the bridge, which I explained and showed pictures of, but oh well.
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Don A

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,828
This is the second time I've seen this discussed today. I think the other was on FB. The person complained to Gibson and received a new tailpiece!

There may be an issue, but nickel tarnishes really fast (though a day is too fast).
 

Seanph25

Member
Messages
28
This is the second time I've seen this discussed today. I think the other was on FB. The person complained to Gibson and received a new tailpiece!

There may be an issue, but nickel tarnishes really fast (though a day is too fast).
Hmm, so maybe there was something wrong with a batch of them from the factory? I’ll have to look into that.
 

Capstan Philips

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,785
It's perfectly normal for nickel hardware to tarnish after contact with skin.

As to how fast, depends very much on the particular finish. Gibson USA nickel hardware I find to be quite resistant. PRS Core and Gibson Custom Shop nickel hardware on the other hand I've found tarnishes more quickly (starts to become noticeable within 3-4 hours of use).

In most cases, if it bothers you, it can be fairly easily polished out if not left too long (Maas is a good polish).

Admirers of vintage guitars and vintage reproductions tend to prefer nickel hardware to be tarnished to some degree.
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,331
Interesting to see two of these so close to each other. Could it be a reaction to case fabric, possibly?

Should be easy enough to fix. Start gently, with just a microfibre cloth and elbow grease. If that doesn't move it buy a silver cloth (any music shop that sells brass and woodwind will have them) and try that.
 

fitz

Member
Messages
2,922
As a couple of others say, bad plating. I have a bunch of tarnished nickel bridges and pickup covers. That looks like its about to flake off. On a new guitar - no way.
 

Ron Kirn

Vendor
Messages
8,545
For thise that doi not know...

If you want a guitar wiith the least "bright work" tarnish.. get chrome.. Gold is the worst... with Nickel being a close second... Chrome will break down too after a while.. but the way most of you guys talk, that will be after the guitar has been cycled through Reverb and/or Crag's List a few times... :eek:
 




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