Hardware Fitting

‘Hardware’ refers to the (primarily) metal parts of a guitar, including the machineheads, string trees, the bridge and its saddles, pickups, the scratchplate and strap pins.

Whether it’s upgrading an existing part, replacing a damaged part, adding something new or just making a change for aesthetic reasons, Selborne Guitars can help.

​Maybe you don’t feel confident replacing a piece of hardware, or you don’t have the tools required. Perhaps the installation will require subsequent wiring work or a setup. Or maybe the installation requires drilling into the instrument and you would rather entrust that task to someone else. Regardless, we are here to help.

Selborne Guitars can install the following parts:

  • Machineheads
  • String trees
  • Saddles
  • Bridge
  • Scratchplate
  • Pickups
  • Pickup covers
  • Neck plate
  • Knobs and switch tips
  • End pins
  • Strap pins

What’s included

Free consultation on hardware choices for your guitar

Fitting hardware

Re-stringing the guitar (when it has been necessary to remove the strings)

What’s not included

The cost of the hardware

The cost of new strings

Typical prices*


from £15

String trees

£5 (each)


from £20


from £30


from £10


from £20

Pickup cover

£7.50 (each)

Neck plate


Knobs and switch tips

£2 (each)

End pins (acoustic)

Free installation with purchase of re-stringing service

Strap pins

from £5

Other items


* Headstock and body modifications (drilling or reaming) charged in addition at hourly rate (£30). Prices do not include the cost of parts.


Upgrading stock hardware on a Gibson Les Paul

This Gibson Les Paul Studio had been a reliable and go-to instrument for over a decade, but was starting to suffer from tuning issues and repeated string breakages at the saddle. The client had already installed a ‘string butler’ to improve the tuning stability of the G string (a notorious issue on Les Pauls) but the guitar still required re-tuning too frequently.

Selborne Guitars assisted by replacing the tuners with Gotoh locking tuners and replacing the saddles on the tune-o-matic bridge with a like-for like ‘string saver’ set by Graph Tech – simple replacements that would make a world of difference to the performance of this otherwise dependable instrument.

​The Gotoh locking tuners came with mounting plates allowing use of the existing screw holes (always preferable to drilling more holes in an expensive guitar) and went on without a problem. I checked that all six tuners were firmly seated in the headstock and that none of the screw holes had become stripped which might allow for unwanted movement that could affect tuning stability. While the strings were off I also checked the nut for wear. The Graph Tech saddles were a straight replacement (we had been sure to measure the bridge post widths of the client’s Les Paul to ensure we bought the correctly sized part).

​A challenge with replacing parts like nuts and bridges is not disrupting the action that the owner is used to. I wanted the guitar to feel better to play after the change than it did before. The key is to measure everything beforehand – string gauge, neck relief, string height, pickup height, saddle positions and bridge height – in order to be able to reproduce them. By doing this, I was able to reproduce the exact same string height once the new saddles were on. I used the old saddle positions to help me set the positions for the new ones, so re-intonating the guitar did not take long. I checked the neck relief and determined that a minor truss rod adjustment was necessary. This and my original measurements allowed me to improve upon the guitar’s original action.

With the included fretboard oiling and body clean, the end result was a Les Paul that felt more comfortable to play and which now had higher quality parts, was easier to re-string and stayed in tune for longer. What more could you want?

Key benefits

Lower action

Improved tuning stability

Fewer string breakages

Quicker and easier to re-string

Better quality parts

Factory tuners no longer holding tuning

Locking tuners installed, improving tuning stability

Repeated string breakages at saddles

New saddles minimise string breakage

Truss rod adjusted to minimise ‘fret buzz’


If you’re thinking about replacing hardware, contact us for a chat.

While some issues can be traced to hardware, the hardware will not always require replacement. For example, tuning instability might be traced to poorly fitted machineheads but can usually be resolved by removing and reinstalling them.

Additionally, if you want to avoid drilling new holes (or routing new cavities) in your guitar it is important to select like-for-like or similarly sized replacement parts.

We provide free guidance on such matters, so do get in touch if you think we can help.