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Removing the pickguard for more tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by joelb79, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    I was talking with the bass play from rare earth the other day after an open mic jam, and he told me that he removes the pick guard from all of his basses now, due to the fact that the pickguard eats some of the tone up.

    has anybody tried this and can confirm? I would love to think that my musicman would sound any better without the pick guard, but i dont think it will look any better.
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I have never noticed a difference at all.
  3. An unshielded plastic pickguard "eats tone?" Are you sure this isn't a guitarist you're talking to? ;)
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    You've got to leave the pickguard on for good tone...that's where the magic pixies hide the 'tone dust' that makes your bass sound good.
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    All my basses haev tons of pixie dust in the finish. I talked them into doing it for me.
  6. We REALLY need an emoticon that expresses "slap one's own forehead" or "holds head in hands whilst groaning."
  7. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
  8. momo


    Oct 22, 2005
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I still don't use straplocks because they eat too much of the 200htz range. However, you won't notice unless you use a cable that cost at least $80.
  9. I only use leather straps, all other synthetics eat away at my sub harmonic tone. This is due to the frequency of a cows moo. >.>

    I *kinda* see where he was coming from though. There's some dispute over whether laquer holds some of the tone in, while oil lets the wood breathe. I don't know about that, but it sounds like he took that one step further.

    Have you seen the Tone Pixie Dust enhanced truoil?

  10. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Which head? :p

    Anyway, I'll call BS on that one. I subscribe to the whole polyester vs. polyurethane vs. laquer idea, but none of this pickguard tone.
  11. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    It's a proven fact that no musician ever makes anything up just to see the look on your face. They are always honest and forthright people, never prone to amusing themselves at another's expense, especially when it comes to discussing tone. Just ask Donald Fagen and Walter Becker.
  12. Stox


    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
    What a load of bollocks
  13. http://www.achewood.com/index.php?date=06112004
  14. Osprey


    Jun 20, 2005
    Quote: "What a load of bollocks"

    Actually, research has shown that old fashioned Y Fronts are an integral part of the classic P bass tone. Loose underwear has been shown to modify the oil-content of sweat, with the outcome of changing the quality of contact between fingers and flat-wound strings.

    There is a related effect for brass players, hence the well known phrase "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing".
  15. Hehe, this is a fantastic thread. I had a conversation the other day with a guitarist friend of mine who said if he got a guitar with a gold plated pickguard, he'd replace it as it would affect the tone. He's quite a sensitive type so I couldn't point and laugh, but the will was there.
  16. Well, there is something to that, in that the presence of a conductor like an anodized gold pickguard alters the magnetic field emitted by the pickups. However, this effect is so subtle that only the ridiculous Eric Johnson-types of the world could notice it.

    It is amazing to see the amounts of time and money guitarists will put into replicating tones that were essentially byproducts of inadequate technology.
  17. GlennStoneOcean


    Nov 25, 2004
    You've got to keep this in mind. In a studio situation you can try all these ideas out, but live are people really going to notice, maybe the one other bass player in the crowd but that's it.

    The kind of difference that it would make is minute and wouldn't be missed, most of all on a stingray!
  18. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    I'm sure it makes a little difference, but once the half deaf engineer has DI'd you and added his favourite mid-scoop to your tone and the drummer is balsting away, the guitarist has repeatedly turned his stack up because he still doesn't understand the purpose of the souncheck and the acoustics of the venue are terrible anyway.... I think you'll get through the set without the punters hearing the difference.

    The important thing is that you don't let it affect your performance, rise above it like the pro that you are ;)

  19. GlennStoneOcean


    Nov 25, 2004
    For me to be a killer player is to be able to nail it on ANY bass, and that's what i do. I don't look for little diffrences that wont heard by anyone live, I keep that for the studio. the thing for me is going to be time and time again killer groove. that will speak more then tiny tone changes.
  20. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Quite right. Not to mention, at least with stuff I can afford, if you take the pickguard off, half of your bass will fall out.

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