Why can't I like 8-Hole Single Ply Pickguards?


May 29, 2019
With Fender selling the replacement walnut plugs, you could really fit one into any guitar with that type & size of access hole.

@GarrettM For some reason, I don't think it's got to do with preventing fraud, much like the CNC locator holes under the pickguard have nothing to do with where the body was made.(USA vs MIM)

It's relatively simple to remove the black plastic insert, buy an authentic, genuine Fender walnut plug and replace the plastic with walnut.

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Wow I had no idea this was a thing. I'd probably consider it if I ever buy a Player series.


Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
Altered States
Both the number of holes and plies should be part of the overall aesthetic design. Some guitars can deal with the higher level of action (no pun) and look great. Others look much better with fewer screws and single ply plain jane mode. It's an overall thing.


Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 14, 2021
Edmonton, Alberta
It’s either 50’s or 60’s aesthetics for me. You can’t put a 60’s pickguard on a 50’s inspired Strat and same with a 50’s pickguard on a 60’s Strat. You can but it’s just wrong.

Stick to modern gear if thin cheap limited screw hole pickguards are hard on the eyes. It will leave more of the cool 50’s junk on the wall or in the used market for me :D


Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Oct 10, 2009
Unless the single-ply starts to warp bad, I'm not sure I'd get to worried.

Had an early 90's 57 reissue with a single ply that did not always sit perfectly flush, but in never fell off either.

There is a ton of stuff I never even gave a second thought of before the internet and said forums.

Admittedly sent me down a lot of rabbit holes, and got kind of crazy about minutia for a while. And went through an embarrassing amount of perfectly great guitars. Many I miss actually.

I finally escaped The Labyrinth of the Mighty Rabbit, and started playing more.

Don't mean to sound sarcastic, I fully understand.

@rlongnt you got a great guitar, congrats, may it bring you many years of fun!


Senior Stratmaster
Jun 5, 2021
Palm Coast, FL
I also prefer the 3 & 4 ply pickguards myself. But I also appreciate that when you're after a Telecaster that is supposed to be the period correct Blackguard reissue as vintage period correct, a single ply black is that pickguard. The 8 hole is a period correct vintage thing too. I have a Squier Bullet Strat with a unique 10 hole that I can't find anything that fits it. I'm going to have to get a blank & make one from scratch. Thing is the blank material costs just as much or more than one that's pre-cut & finished. And then there's the bakelite vs modern ABS plastic material. Bakelite is a highly toxic plastic so what can you do there ? Uggghhhh, can't win for losing.

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Silver Member
Jul 2, 2018
You know, I just realized that I've never counted those holes. And now, having a dozen Strats, I have no urgent need to start.
Just out of curiosity, I once counted th 23 screws holding down the pickguard of my Peavy T60.
The holes started out meaning a single ply 57 style guard, but now it's just cheaper.


Dr. Stratster
Dec 4, 2013
the single ply guard has always looked cheap to me i don't care how many holes.

but it looks correct on 50's teles for some reason if it is black.


Senior Stratmaster
Sep 3, 2020
For me it’s with Modern Tuners.

I cannot stand how blocky and cheap they look compared to the elegant vintage type, or even the gaudy F tuners…

I don't think I've ever agreed with anything more in my life. When I just had my Japanese Tele, with modern tuners, I didn't think much of it, but when I got my Vintera Road worn Strat, my first thought was " why the hell would you ever change the tuners" I mean vintage tuners are practically beautiful compared to modern tuners. It's purely aesthetic and neurotic on my part, but that along with pale maple necks, I don't get or like.


Silver Member
Dec 10, 2017
Everyone has different tastes or a sense of style. It’s part of life. Imagine everyone looked identical, would be pretty weird.

I’m the opposite. I see that Lincoln Brewster Strat from a distance and I think wow a 50’s Strat. Get up close, 2 point trem, active electronics and modern neck shape and heel, no thanks.

That’s my opinion but to each their own. People just like different things.

Outer Limits had an episode about this. Without ugly there can be no beauty but in the end " The best part, I look just like you "


Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Feb 13, 2014
I don't know why I don't like them. Maybe deep down I think they look like a $99 bullet even when it's on a really nice Reissue/EJ/EC/LB/CS. I guess it's some kind of weird mental block.

I bought a Lincoln Brewster Signature Strat and love love love it. Then the gearhead in me starts asking questions like... Hey it's got a 2 point tremolo, 9V battery and a compound radius neck so why not go ahead and put a mint 11-hole pickguard on it? Then the rational part of me takes over and leaves it alone. I love this guitar and its setup so much I haven't even taken the neck off to get a real date on it for fear I'd mess up the mojo which is usually the first thing I do.

Real first world problems...

When I first got my Classic Player 50 Strat, my first thought was to change the 8-hole single ply pickguard to a 3-ply 11-hole . Well I procrastinated, and months went by, and now several years later I'm oblivious to the differences between the two and it looks "right" on that guitar, as do the 3-ply lam's on me other two Strats. But it does make the pickups look like they are adjusted higher than normal because the 1-ply is thinner than the 3-ply so they protrude further above the 1-ply pickguard when properly adjusted.