I've started a thread on this on this on TGP but I thought I would inform you over here as well. I have an ESP 400 series strat from around '84. Very nice Japanese strat copy with vintagy specs. By now it's heavily modified and only body, middle pickup and saddles are original. I fitted a gold anodised pickguard pretty soon after I started modding. Purely for cosmetic reasons. I think it looks stunning in combination with that deep blue colour the body has. Others agree. Now I've heard rumours about the gold anodised pickguard being a real tonesucker. I was sceptical because my strat sounded great. So just out of curiosity I decided to fit the original, single ply, plastic pickguard to see if there was a difference. There was. I recorded a before and after D.I. into my computer and there is a significant difference. The plastic pickguard sounded somewhat brighter and more alive. Not that it sounded bad before but it now has more character. The pick attack is more prominent so it sounds a little more dynamic, less compressed. I still have to rehearse so I don't know if there is a real world difference but I suspect there really is. I play pretty heavy alternative/post rock with lots of fuzz (big Muff and germanium) so I don't know if u need the extra treble. The strat is my main guitar but I als have two humbucker loaded guitars for some tracks. Maybe this will upset there interchangeability in my rig. If these are indeed problems I will reinstall the gold anodised pickguard to "warm up" the guitar. And because it looks so f#@*ng cool. But, there you go. Gold anodised pickguards will cut a little treble and give slightly more compression. No Idea how or why though. And ymmv naturally.