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who has the most "authentic" looking tortoise pickguard for p bass?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassingeorge, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. I'm looking to buy a tortoise shell pick guard for my Squier P bass...But I'm looking to buy a good looking tortoise...not like the economical ones that look bad.

    Should I just get the 62 RI Fender pg? Or should I get one custom cut? I do want the holes for guard and thumbrest.

    It's just that those authentic celluloid tort guards look soooo cool!

  2. bstringrandy

    bstringrandy Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Jacksonville, FL

    Here's my MIM standard P-bass with what I believe to be a 62 reissue pickguard.
  3. Yeah that looks good!
    The one thing I'm worried about is having something that'll look cheap...
    I know that those celluloid pickguards were individual pieces, so no one will look exactly the same.
  4. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Get the one made from actual tortoise shell for most authentic looking one. Lol.
  5. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Yeah, the endangered giant sea tortoise makes the best pg. Just don't get caught.

    The devil made me say it.:p
  6. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    But yeah, real quality tort looks fantastic. Especially the stuff from the fifties and sixties.
    el jeffe bass likes this.
  7. Yeah thats what I'm saying...every piece looks so unique...
    Oh well a Fender RI 62 it is! :rolleyes:

    Happy 2012!!!
  8. felixgun


    Dec 20, 2011
    I bought a tortoise pick guard for my Fender Jazz Bass off eBay and I think it looks good :/
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    FWIW, Sadowsky's tortoise guards look the best I have seen in a very long time. Roger won't tell me his source though.
  10. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    The closest I've seen to the '60s Fender P/Gs are from Tony at Pickguardian - pricey but gorgeous, deep and vibrant red tort, made from real nitro-cellulose. The white layer is more transparent than the originals, though. They most closely resemble the mid '60s tort, never seen anything close to the orangey pre-CBS 'guards.

    Chandler sells very nice tort material, too, but not sure if they cut it as well, might only come in sheets (fnar, fnar...).

    The Italian company that made the originals can still manufacture the same design and material, apparently, but their minimum order is so large, and the material quite costly, that no one has endeavoured to buy a batch to use for making replacement P/Gs.
  11. Jinobass


    Oct 30, 2013
    Spitfire does! Kinda expensive but they seem to do it right,better than anybody else in the market.
    No I don't endorse or work there,just a fan of vintage stuff!

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  12. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Go with the Fender '62. Best look for the price, and you know the screw holes will all line up.
  13. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Real tortoise shell (i.e. authentic) actually looks like this:


    Not what most guitarists/bassist envision when they think of tort. What we expect is something with a smaller "pattern" and a lot deeper in colour. But the colour you see on real tortoise shell items is not actually the colour of the shell. The shell which is translucent is laid on a coloured ground, usually reddish brown. That became the standard for tortoise shell items that were popularized by French cabinet makers in the 1700's. They called it "boulle" which was tortoise shell on a red ground inlaid with gold or silver tracery. Here's an example:

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017

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