The right hardware can make the guitar greater than the sum of its parts

Hardware - every little detail matters

Greater than the sum of its parts

When everything falls into place

I have witnessed countless times the wisdom of the famous phrase: “When everything falls into place, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts”. When every part and detail of your guitar works together in a harmonious way, it’s like a miracle. Such an instrument makes you play better, feeds your creativity and brings you joy!

One bad part can spoil the fun

This phenomenon works unfortunately also in reverse – one bad part in an otherwise well functioning guitar can spoil the fun. For instance, think of tuning stability. What makes the guitar stay in tune? Or, not stay in tune?

There are a number of factors contributing to this. There may be friction in the nut slots – the strings may be old – the strings might be mounted badly to the tuners – the guitar bridge might cause the problem – or the tuning machines slip.

There are other possible reasons too – also those that have to do with the player rather than the guitar – but these would anyways be the most common causes.

Knowledge… or “knowledge”

We’ve repaired thousands and thousands of guitars at my shop over the last decades. All this experience has been slowly “distilled” into a profound databank of guitar knowledge. This is important to address, as there is a distinct difference between knowledge learned through one’s own experience, and the kind one hears from others, reads from books – or as it often is these days, picks up from online forums or social media.

Ruokangas hardware choices

Critical eye on quality

My guitars are kind of like my kids. I’m a proud daddy, and I do all I can to make each one of them do well out there in the big world. Therefore, when choosing the hardware to my guitars, I am super critical regarding the build quality, durability, and serviceability of the parts I use.

Over the years I may have changed using from one brand hardware to another, cause I’ve found the quality of the earlier option go down, or another brand improving or offering something better than what was available before.

Custom made parts

If we don’t find the perfect part for a specific purpose, we make it by ourselves – such as the twang ring – the special steel pickup ring we designed to enhance the twang of the Mojo King, or the lock-thru-bushings we invented to anchor our wraparound bridges better to the body. You can read more about some of our custom hardware solutions from the Bridge Talk article. 

Sometimes… I might turn down a custom wish

I’ve also taken the liberty to curate the choice of hardware strictly and respectively for each guitar model. It is because I want to offer only options that make sense, based on the strict criteria we’ve set to our guitars. Occasionally this might result in a situation where a customer has a wish to have a certain part installed, but I refuse. If this happens, I have always good reasons for my refusal, and I always share my view openly in these situations.

I strive to remain aware and alert regarding the fact that things can change, and therefore no opinions or evaluations done by myself or others should ever be “carved in stone”.

The Guitar Creator will assist you as you go

You’ll find the best up-to-date information about which exact hardware options we offer to each guitar model by hopping into the Guitar Creator application on your desktop computer or mobile device.

Always more to learn

Read also these articles I’ve written: Playability and Tone Talk, as they have valuable information related to guitar hardware as well. And while you’re at it – you might want to have a look at the Maintenance Guide article too. On second thought – it may be beneficial for you to browse through all the articles in the ‘specifications‘ and ‘support‘ sections of this website..!