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  1. #1
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    I just got this 2012 Traditional:


    It was just too shiny and "modern looking" so I dressed it up with a nickel ABR-1 and Tailpiece. Amber switch tip, amber tophat knobs, nickel pickup covers and Kluson single-ring tuners with conversion bushings, and Creamtone rings.

    Now it looks "right"




  2. #2

    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    It was just too shiny and "modern looking" so I dressed it up with a nickel ABR-1 and Tailpiece. Amber switch tip, amber tophat knobs, nickel pickup covers and Kluson single-ring tuners with conversion bushings, and Creamtone rings.
    I'm assuming you went with a light weight tail, and with that, and with the ABR-1, did you notice any change in tone?

  3. #3
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    I always use the light-weight tail and prefer them as they are much "brighter" and livelier in feel and tone. I'm one who really prefers more resonance and chime when unplugged. Yes, it hopped up this guitar quite a bit.

    This guitar is actually the best overall sounding Les Paul I've ever owned--that includes several '68s and the '56 that I sold recently. The '56 had a noticeable stiffer neck which extended the low end response and feel, and the PAFs were magical. Maybe this guitar can capture some of that with age.

  4. #4
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    oh, and I'll probably do a tinted clearcoat on it as well.

    Last edited by Wilko; 06-05-15 at 06:42 PM.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Tokyo Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Looks nicer with the nickel.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member CDTGuitar's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Looks good! Very similar burst to my '13. In the light of the "after" pics, the binding and plastics appear white...I wish that's how they really were. Did you change the switch chip as well?

    Full Disclosure: Part-time tech and photographer at Glaser Instruments, Nashville, TN
    Experience with repair, modifications, guitar history, Telecasters, and of course Les Pauls!

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member DanD's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Very nice Trad!

    That's a nicer looking top than many a R.

    I'm getting ready to do the same to my '13 Std. With Gibsons' 'new' solder-less wiring it will be real easy to change back if I decide to sell/trade down the road.

    Parts are covered except for the ABR I nickel conversion bridge.

    Enjoy the Trad! it's 100% nicer than before!
    "In Heaven all the interesting people are missing."

  8. #8
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Alright, the pickup covers were just too square so I plunked down the cash for DMC!

    After playing PAFs for the last 15 years, these look just right:


  9. #9

    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    It looks the part - a great improvement.

    I have "aged" the existing parts on my Traditional by rubbing them down with an abrasive pad. I used the foam-backed, super-fine variety. They now look like old nickel parts.

    Obviously you can still swap out the parts if you're unhappy with the results. However, I can't tell the difference - neither can the audience!

    Regards,

    Charlie.

  10. #10

    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    I've been looking for a "gullwing" flamed Les Paul. Didn't see any Historics that fit the bill, so I expanded my search to the USA line. Surprisingly, I noticed that Gibson put a lot of gullwing flamed tops on the 2014 Traditionals. Then I read that these were non-weight relieved and had special 59 pickups and traditional electroincs. I located one on ebay that was in Japan. The price was reasonable, the shipping was free, the seller had good reviews and the flame was perfect. It arrived a week ago via very fast shipping. Since I like Historic style appointments, I have added the following: from Creme Tone - control plate covers, switch ring, truss rod cover, ABR-1 no wire bridge and lightweight stop bar; from Gibson - historic tuners and from my own parts stock some top hat knobs. I will probably add OX/4 pickups and send it to Historic Makeovers to make it look a little more Hot 'Lana in appearance. Yes, I've (or will) end up spending about the same as a Historic, but not as much as a Custom Shop Hot 'Lana. And it's been a fun project.












  11. #11

    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Nickel always looks better. Well done! Beauty of a Trad too!

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1all's Pub View Post
    Nickel always looks better. Well done! Beauty of a Trad too!
    Maybe for vintage vibe or tarnished dullness, but I like the extreme durability and glossy shine of chrome.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  13. #13

    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Maybe for vintage vibe or tarnished dullness, but I like the extreme durability and glossy shine of chrome.
    There's no accounting for taste.

  14. #14

    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Beautiful Trad - killer top! Much prefer the nickel of the chrome as well

    Got a shot of the headstock with the new parts?
    Last edited by vibroluxe; 03-14-17 at 03:20 PM.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1all's Pub View Post
    There's no accounting for taste.
    I've never been accused as having any.

    Like the nickle for vintage vibe, which is what I think Wilko was going for. Not all of mine are retro types and I keep the perfectly fine chrome original hardware. I find nothing objectionable about it at all.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  16. #16

    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    I've never been accused as having any.

    Like the nickle for vintage vibe, which is what I think Wilko was going for. Not all of mine are retro types and I keep the perfectly fine chrome original hardware. I find nothing objectionable about it at all.
    I've kept the chrome on many of mine as well (just because I don't want the hassle/expense of swapping hardware out)... but I do wish they'd have all come in nickel.

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1all's Pub View Post
    I've kept the chrome on many of mine as well (just because I don't want the hassle/expense of swapping hardware out)... but I do wish they'd have all come in nickel.
    Lots of folks would agree with that.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Funny how chrome has been standard for 52 years, but only nickel is "correct"
     photo norlin_logo.jpg

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Nah, chrome RUINED Les Pauls, and I've got the list of the other abominations that ruined them:


    Titebond, stronger metal alloys, more durable modern plastics, weight variation, reliable tuning machines, missing 3/4 cubic inch of a 20+ inch slab of mahogany, thicker/stable peghead, LP Custom binding width, laser consistent angles/inlays/dots/dimensions, PCB boards with built in wiring mods & quick connect jacks, and a GLOSS coat of lacquer, go figure!!


    It's almost like those idiots at Gibson are using the most proven materials & ideas of the day to build slightly better guitars They would've never done that in the 50's.


    I'll go crawl back into my cave where I belong

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    I did the same thing to my 2010 Traditional (minus the aging)! I didn't do the tuners yet though - are the conversion bushings the Stew Mac ones that go from 10mm down to vintage size? Were there "dents" from the stock screwed in bushings?
    '10 Les Paul Traditional
    '85 Jackson Soloist
    '08 Charvel USA San Dimas
    '98 PRS CU22

  21. #21
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    I don't remember what size these conversion bushings were. I had them laying around. Since this thread, I've stripped, re-carved and refinished the top!

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Holy crap that's a killer update!! Wow! That top rivals most historics!
    '10 Les Paul Traditional
    '85 Jackson Soloist
    '08 Charvel USA San Dimas
    '98 PRS CU22

  23. #23
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!


  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Cool!

    Still no headstock shots after the new tuners? I measured mine and it would need the 10.5mm conversion bushings. But there is a dull area under the stock washer that would probably show up if I installed the conversion bushings. Not sure it's worth it - but, the stock tuners really do suck!
    '10 Les Paul Traditional
    '85 Jackson Soloist
    '08 Charvel USA San Dimas
    '98 PRS CU22

  25. #25
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    There was this thread: http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/sh...ditional+tuner

    Headstock now sports an amber tint. Pic to follow where I'll try to highlight the impressions from the old bushings.

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    There was this thread: http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/sh...ditional+tuner

    Headstock now sports an amber tint. Pic to follow where I'll try to highlight the impressions from the old bushings.
    Looks great! I have a set of Kluson single row tuners, but want to see how it looks with the imprints from the old tuners first.
    '10 Les Paul Traditional
    '85 Jackson Soloist
    '08 Charvel USA San Dimas
    '98 PRS CU22

  27. #27
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!


  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member RayTorvalds's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Holy smokes. That is some upgrade, wow !
    She looks amazing. I prefer nickel too and it looks great, but damn.... that top !! That is just perfection for me
    Now can you recarve and refinish my guitar too, please ? Pretty please ?

    Thank you for sharing. Long may you enjoy her in good health

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    Thanks for the pic. I can see the imprints, but overall it looks kinda vintage. And, I bet the tuning pegs work better than the junk that came with the guitar!?
    '10 Les Paul Traditional
    '85 Jackson Soloist
    '08 Charvel USA San Dimas
    '98 PRS CU22

  30. #30

    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Earlier I posted some photos of my 2014 Traditional in which I also exchanged the chrome parts for nickel, as Wilko, has done. I mentioned that I was going to send it to Historic Makeovers. I did and they: replaced the fretboard to get rid of the 120 Anniversary inlay, refinished the guitar in a darker shade and changed the serial # stamp to an inked on version, the SN remained the same. Here are a few photos of the finished guitar.


    My goal was to have a Les Paul similar in appearance to the Hot Lanta guitar of Duane Allman.
    LPTrad1.jpgLPTrad2.jpgLPTrad3.jpgLPTrad4.jpgLPTrad5.jpg
    Last edited by dcdefend; 07-12-18 at 08:36 PM.

  31. #31
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    Fun stuff!!

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Nickel Hardware added to my Traditional!

    I love it

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