I took off that numerical escutcheon as well. Also removed the white pickguard, considered having a black one made, but it looks so cool sans-pickguard. Something about the Dean Markley Blue Steels, the company was streamlined or something and those strings were reformulated or changed to something else or someone who left took that formulae with them. Anyway, those stock strings are not available anymore from what I read. Correct me if I am wrong.