Pickguard? No Pickguard? What does it matter?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Aaron, Aug 30, 2001.

  1. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I just wondered my some people take off the pickguard. Is there a difference in sound? Or is it just looks?
  2. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck Guest

    Sep 26, 2000
    Looks, I would assume. I can't figure how the lack of a pickguard would make any noticeable difference in the sound of a bass. It's just a matter of personal preference.
  3. agyeman

    agyeman Member

    Mar 6, 2001
    Pickguards don't make a differance, unless you put one on thats an anodized aluminum pickguard, which produces a brighter metallic tone. This info is from the Fender custom shop section in the Frontline 2001 booklet.
  4. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I don't think in most cases it affects the sound, but I dug a big hole in the front of my Carvin fretless when slapping. My bass is oil-finished koa, and has no pickguard, and I dug a grave in the front with my fingernails when I played in a funk band. A hard finish probably wouldn't have been affected, though.
  5. Herm

    Herm Guest

    Me thinks it's mostly for looks. I know a lot of people who are very picky about the color of thier pickguard.

    My thought is that if you play with a pick - maybe you should have a PG to protect the finish of your instrument. If you don't - (as in my case) - don't use a PG. Simple as that.
  6. My Fender has one and frankly it bugs me. If it wasnt there I could have more space between the bass and the strings. However if you take it off, you still have the screws there, and it is routed out so there is a big channel leading from the pickups to the controls. So it would be pretty ugly.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I don't want no stinking plastic on my bass! ;)
    I'm kinda stuck, though with the original tortoise shell on my '64 P-bass, the black oval on my '78 MM, & the black anodized on my '78 Schecter P-J.
    Every bass I've owned since then...NO PG! ;)
  8. I like pickguards. If for nothing more, it breaks up all the area of one color on an instrument. Ive seen Squier Jazz basses w/o pickguards. They dont look as good as Fenders with the pickguards. I think without the pickguard, theres just too much wood and paint shown.
  9. purple_haze

    purple_haze Guest

    Jun 29, 2001
    London Town
    Pickguards are residue from guitar history, blame Leo Fender. The exist on guitars to protect the wood from the player's strumming action. The first P-Bass was designed with the Telecaster in mind, so the pickguard was carried over from electric guitar to bass guitar. Then Leo designed teh J-Bass, and kept the pickguard, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    It makes no difference to the sound unless you happen to customize a very heavy one in which case it may increase your sustain. (And if that's what you're after, get a fat finger.)
  10. I like pickguards. I agree with Nomadic Herder about them looking better.

    and on my Hohner B2A (no pickguard) the paint's wearing through where I rest my thumb to play fingerstyle, so pickguards can serve a purpose even for fingerstyle playing.