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 Post subject: Pick guard: yes or no?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:50 am
Posts: 425
Location: Chadds Ford, PA
I have finished my first 3 steel-string guitars in the past several months and have three more on the way. I haven't placed a pick guard on any of these because I am leery of a possible adverse impact on the tone. Does it affect the sound in a noticeable way? I really don't need them for the way I play, but in principle it seems like a prudent thing to do.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:50 pm
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Location: Seattle
Put a Kling on removable clear pick guard on any instrument that is going to strummed with a pick. It will protect them. I have not noticed any change of sound after putting on a pick guard. I usually play my instruments for a couple of weeks before I put on a pick guard as a final step.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:34 pm 
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Location: Hegins, Pa
the area where a pick guard is placed is not critical to tone. I doubt you will notice a change.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:26 pm 
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Location: Chadds Ford, PA
Thanks, guys. I'm going to put 'em on.

-d.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:04 pm
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Location: Slidell, La
My issue with pick guards is not how they may or may not affect the sound (perhaps tone is a better word), but rather how they affect the look of the instrument. Yes I know they serve a function, that is to protect the top from getting scratched from the action of the pick (and even fingers) coming in contact with the top. In my puny brain this is how I analyze it.
Firstly I don't like the looks of pickguards, especially if I have a top that is above average on the beauty scale, I don't want to cover up a significant portion of a beautiful top.
Secondly I'm protecting something that I'm never going to see because it's covered up with a pickguard. Seems to me that the damage sustained while playing without a pickgaurd shouldn't exceed surface scratches mostly limited to the finish unless you are using titanium picks, and yes that's a generalist's viewpoint and of course there will be exceptions. French polish may also be more susceptible to damage (I'm not sure). Since most (if not all of us on this forum) build/repair guitars it doesn't seem like an unreasonable conclusion that when a non-pickguard guitar gets X-amount of scratches that it would be a relatively easy fix. Now I also weigh in that John said that the area where the pickguard is located doesn't have that much affect on the sound since it's in the area of the waist and upper bout.
Now having said all of this, I must confess and be totally honest, I do not play the guitar (or any other musical instrument) and my background is in woodworking (limited as it may be) so I approach this from a biased point of view. I value aesthetics over functionability. Just wanted you to know where I'm coming from.

David L


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:50 am
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Location: Chadds Ford, PA
David L wrote:
My issue with pick guards is not how they may or may not affect the sound (perhaps tone is a better word), but rather how they affect the look of the instrument...... I value aesthetics over functionability. Just wanted you to know where I'm coming from. David L


The last acoustic instrument I owned with a guard was a 1963 Silvertone. I'm with you on aesthetics. The face of this d-18-style (just finished last month) isn't really improved by the tortoise-like stuff that should go on it. I would prefer clear plastic maybe...


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