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'78 Ibanez PF200: restore the gold hardware or leave it?

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  • '78 Ibanez PF200: restore the gold hardware or leave it?

    I bought a really good (near mint) condition '78 Ibanez PF200 recently. I took it apart, cleaned it up, put it back together again and set her up with some 010's and sounds absolutely amazming. But here's the issue; i visited some friends yesterday and one of the people there works at a company where they make medals and jewellery and he told me he could "redo" all of the gold-plated hardware to make them look like new, including machine heads, pickups, the works. Now, i was excited, as of course i would like to have the guitar look as original as possible, but i was wondering:

    1. Does it harm the value of the guitar (in the unlikely case of me wanting to sell it off)

    2. Would it noticably influence the sound of the guitar? We're talking microns of layers of gold so i would guess not but hey, who am i?

    Any suggestions or experience would be much appreciated!photo 2.JPGphoto 2.JPGphoto 1.JPG

    Attached Files

  • #2

    I would suggest leaving it as it is.

    The gold has worn, as it does on most guitars, in a way that does not look bad and indicates that the guitar has been played. The appearance of rest of the guitar indicates that it had been properly cared for so I think your resale value is still quite good.

    Redoing the gold could result in something unpredictable as it eventually wears.

    I don't think it would affect the sound of the instrument at all.

    "In many ways, most people’s happiness, peace and love are mortgaged to the external situation. So, if the stock market goes up you are happy, if the stock market goes down you are unhappy. But the quality of life is not about what is around you. Our ability to live joyfully here does not depend on the size of the house we live in or the car that we drive. These things make your life comfortable and convenient but the essential quality of your life is how you are within yourself right now."


    • #3
      Leave it, it looks good the way it is.


      • #4
        Looks great for its age! Leave it. An old guitar should look like an old guitar. I mean that in a totally good way, too!
        Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud


        • mschafft
          mschafft commented
          Editing a comment

          Yeah leave it. It looks great as is!


      • #5

        Okay, definetely post pictures of your axe at the Ibanez Collectors World forum.  They'll go bananas because it's so clean.

        If the metal was pitted and terrible condition I'd replate but the items on your guitar look in very good to excellent condition.

        Tell your friend you'll keep it in mind if things go bad.  Some people have replated the parts on vintage Ibanezes to restore the luster of the metal pieces but yours look great.

        Congrats on getting that guitar, that's a beauty!

        music projects are now available online at


        • Marko
          Marko commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, beautiful guitar, and like the others, I

        • lenergens
          lenergens commented
          Editing a comment

          Good one, i will definitely do so!! And thanks for the thumbs up, it's probably the best find i have ever made.

      • #6

        Hey you guys, thank you all for massively responding in this way! And indeed, an old guitar should look like an old guitar. I am planning on getting some more of these babies and i will keep you posted with pics.


        If you happen to run into one for 500 USD, just get it. I was amazed how good it sounds and feels.

        Thanks again! I am leaving it as is! All the best from Holland


        • #7

          OK, dissenting voice.


          I'de have it all redone, as Japanese 70s/80s gold plate is ****************ing awful and doesn't age gracefully, it bubbles like ****************, simply because of the process they used and what metals they put under it.


          New Gotoh stuff does age well, but the old way.


          And it'll take about 6-12 months to age down and if you polish it  it'll age it also.


          I can age brand new gold plater pickup cover so easily with about 15mins work and they look like 70s Gibson pickup covers

          Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato


          • harold heckuba
            harold heckuba commented
            Editing a comment

            I agree with the above post by Ratae.  Re-do the gold, and then you can

            sell it as mint condition on ebay!

          • lenergens
            lenergens commented
            Editing a comment

            Ah, i like the other side of things as well, but i must say that indeed the idea of having an aged guitar suits me pretty well.


            I got another one just yesterday, it is a '78 Les Paul by Ibanez and i must agree with the bubbling of the plated gold in some areas, but i am worried that if the gold looks brand new, it will stand out too much.



            photo 3.JPGphoto 3.JPG

            Attached Files

        • #8

          It's a gorgeous guitar.  Leave it as it is.

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