Pickguard? No Pickguard? What does it matter?

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

  1. Aaron


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


    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. 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


    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.