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how much does the plastic pickguard affect pickups sound and tone?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by wrong_note_rod, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    72
    May 26, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    I have this nasty habit of remembering "stuff" like that which I have toyed with over the past 50+ years.... AND I typically weigh such supposedly Nouveau Chic concepts against the tapestry of experience I have bounced against in those ensuing decades...


    Sometimes "been there, done that"... actually does produce useable knowledge that can be interjected into future probabilities... If ya can remember what ya did.. and don't do it again if it didn't work...

    a Pickguard or the lack thereof doesn't mean schidt... in fact, guys, if you can play, nothing really means much... and if you cannot play, most certainly nothing means anything, assuming the guitar functions correctly... and if you're waisting time thinking about it, you're allowing it to become a "speed bump" in your advancement as a musician.

    rk
     
  2. space

    space Strat-Talker

    196
    May 17, 2018
    midwest
    Not sure I agree with the prevailing sentiment
    I would think the vibration would be dampened somewhat
    just my .02c
     
  3. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 10, 2012
    stamford, CT
    Although my post came right after yours, my question was directed at the OP.
    ...but I always appreciate the vividness, sarcasm, and knowledge base you share with us so I don't mind none too much.
     
  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    72
    May 26, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    here's is the reality....

    assuming one could create two identical guitars so one could be used as a test bed, and the other remains the constant.... an absolute impossibility....

    and assuming there is a baseline constant established by precision analytical equipment, one would find ANYTHING you do/change/add/remove, etc,. etc, anything.... alters the voice of the guitar....

    the only real question would then be, does the minuscule "blip" on the readout represent a change that you are willing to invest time and money in the pursuit of? Remember, adding something that "reads" as good here.. can well change if you add something else that reads "good" at a later date... .. the both together may well = caca...

    thus... a scientifically accurate answer is, Of course the plastic, or the lack thereof, impacts the voice.... however, in a room full of half drunk revelers. . . while you're cranking out "Lyin' Eyes" at 100 db .. through an amp that hasn't had the bias adjusted in 6 years and through some cheep Chinese speaker... there isn't anyone gonna notice . . there isn't any one that COULD notice...

    so yeah ... it's a silly question... as is any other question that discusses a subtle, at best, change that exists only in the subterranean strata of completely lost contributors...

    It's like ... does a ringing cell phone disrupt the prevalent discourse when a group is present? Well No, if the group is the 109,000 fans at the Super Bowl and someone just scored... or in the minds of theoretical sonic Doctorate laureates..


    There is always present.. that threshold of noticeability.... If whatever you are thinking of cannot ascend beyond it, then the discussion is silly, unless it's for a Ph. D. Dissertation.....

    rk
     
    BuddyHollywood likes this.
  5. tstone2

    tstone2 Strat-Talk Member

    96
    Feb 28, 2018
    Southern Michigan, USA
    This PG sounds rather "Minty"

    BPearl Strat-.jpg
     
  6. archetype

    archetype Strat-O-Master

    846
    Nov 26, 2016
    Williamsville NY
    Those 'copper socks' provide some shielding, though.
     
    El_Pistolero and simoncroft like this.
  7. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Well, I might be doing a comedy gig tonight (open mic), so if I want to be sure of getting a laugh...
     
    The Strat Dude likes this.
  8. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    57
    Jun 28, 2011
    ok
    Ah, but without the "discussion," I have no vehicle for my smart-ass remarks. Hence, almost everything is discussion-worthy to me !!
     
  9. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 25, 2016
    USA
    I have both plastic and metal (steel and brass that has been chrome plated) pickguards on my Strats.

    Unplugged, you can hear a difference for sure.

    But plugged in, there is no difference at all.

    My niece has a solid stainless steel pickguard on her Strat that I made for her - no difference either.

    Here is a Steel pickguard with Chrome plating:

    zzz_20180403_144259342.jpg
     
  10. Uncle Fiesta

    Uncle Fiesta Senior Stratmaster

    I'll give you a clue. Pickups are magnetic devices. They can only hear metal. Not plastic.

    So they won't hear whatever is attached to the plastic either.

    I myself am about to do a denim pickguard, and will report back afterwards, telling you how it has changed the sound.

    But I'm sure you already know the answer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  11. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 4, 2015
    New Jersey
    I stopped advancing as a musician a decade ago. The speedbumps are all I have
     
    The Strat Dude likes this.
  12. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    72
    May 26, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    yeah, I'm with ya on that one..

    r
     
  13. space

    space Strat-Talker

    196
    May 17, 2018
    midwest
    Deleted
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  14. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Ad space available Strat-Talk Supporter

    My breath feels fresher just looking at it
     
  15. Chont

    Chont Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 25, 2012
    Pennsylvania
    11 Hole Pick guards allow the wood to breathe more than 8 Hole.
     
    CephasG and RobZ69 like this.
  16. archetype

    archetype Strat-O-Master

    846
    Nov 26, 2016
    Williamsville NY
    Didn't the Red Hot Chili Peppers do this, long before they were red hot?
     
  17. RobZ69

    RobZ69 Strat-O-Master

    777
    Apr 22, 2017
    The Netherlands
    Pot metal use should be strictly restricted to pots. (with the possible exception of pans)
     
    CyFan4036 likes this.
  18. nutball73

    nutball73 Strat-O-Master

    869
    Nov 12, 2013
    Southern UK
    So from the remarks above, the suggestion is that the bridge plate of a Tele is not significant?

    BTW I'm ignoring the usual 'magnetic' argument because I have directly observed knowledge that an electric guitar is a system, where everything has some effect, including wood types, shape, thickness etc. It's just unpredictable, and different things have a more or less significant effect on the sound it makes (and I don't mean 'tone', whatever that is).
     
    ChukkerNation likes this.
  19. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    72
    May 26, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    So very true, but what many do not realize is that not every factor that contributes to the sonic calculus, does so to an equal extent.... many simply cannot rise above the threshold of noticeability.

    r
     
    dogletnoir and ChukkerNation like this.
  20. ChukkerNation

    ChukkerNation Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    49
    Apr 9, 2015
    Magrathea
    The two posts above me combined nails it. It’s theorem and corollary. Everything on the guitar affects the sound but only some of those things are noticeable. This could be posted as a response to every thread about “tone factors.”