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Will boiling my pickguard improve the tone of my bass?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Nev375, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Since Nobody isn't going to be around for a while to ask the important questions, I figure some of us need to carry on in his spirit.

    So originally, I was only going to ask P-bass users with tort guards for input, because... well, only their opinions matter since anyone who plays anything else is just silly. But that's really not an inclusive attitude and theres probably a rule against that somewhere. So anyone feel free to chime in.

    Seems to me that if boiling strings restores brightness in dead strings, then boiling the pickguard ought to restore ...something... also. Has anyone tried this? What color pickguard did you use and what was the result?
    SunnBass, tilehilder, kobass and 20 others like this.
  2. fendermademygibson


    Jan 28, 2015
    As long as you don't let it come in contact with the Dihydrogen Monoxide that is often associated with the boiling process you should be fine.
  3. Torrente Cro

    Torrente Cro

    Sep 5, 2013
    Only if you boil it with carrots
    SunnBass, Laki, kobass and 12 others like this.
  4. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    Add the dilithium crystals, Scotty.
  5. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Yes, you must boil it with carrots!
    That will turn it into tort.

    p.s.: what happened to Nobody?
  6. I save time by boiling the entire bass in a 55 gal drum out back over an open fire....
  7. Do not overlook the tort!

    Nobody likes this

    Nobody would like this.

    In memory...
  8. jasonrp


    Feb 19, 2015
    Kind of creepy...
    TalHaz likes this.
  9. Save this thread...you are not allowed to ask those questions...

    Nobody would like this.
  10. I think this was Nobody's last post....

    Nobody would like this.
  11. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Yea, what have you done with Nobody?
    Imaginary Pony and Nev375 like this.
  12. Do not discuss this! Rule of TB!
    Sorta like Fight Club.

    Nobody would like this.
    S-Bigbottom, JustForSport and Nev375 like this.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    No - boiling the pickguard for too long will allow the mojo to seek out. You have to steam it, especially with real tort.
  14. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    What a silly question!

    In these parts, all the bass players know how important boiling the pickguard is!
    With the strings and the pickguard attached in a fixed angle, all the vibrations will pass through the pickguard in a fixed pattern. Some of you have seen the microscope images of the wood of 18th century violins:
    This is wood that has been subjected to the vibrations of making sound with a stringed instrument for hundreds of years.

    But what is good for old wooden instruments is bad for pickguards!

    Here you can see the tension build in a tort pickguard over time:
    Figure A shows the fresh, newly installed tort guard. Notice the even alignment of the strands.
    Figure B shows the same guard, after only three months of playing 1 hour per day.
    Figures C through E are taken in three month intervals.
    Figure F shows the same pickguard after 5 years' playing time.

    The created tension will be delivered unevenly through the screws and result in uneven swinging of the whole system. Not only will you lose sustain, also the tone suffers. The process of boiling will cause the fabrics to realign in the original pattern because the boiling water releases tension. Essentially it's like taking a hot bath when your back is killing you.

    I found that adding a teaspoon of salt (i used the pink one from Himalaya) and a good measure of virgin olive oil yields the best results.
  15. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Ya learn something new every day.
    Imaginary Pony likes this.
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I deeply appreciate el murdoque's scientifiwockle contribution!

    ptg, guitarflinger and Nev375 like this.
  17. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
  18. The best method I've found is to boil the Torte P guard with Spinach-Feta Tortellini for 5 - 7 minutes. DON'T OVER COOK! You want the Torte guard to be as al dente as the tortellini itself.

    The following is also CRUCIAL! Do NOT serve the Tortelline on the Torte Guard with GREEN pesto, make sure you use RED pesto sauce, otherwise your lovely Torte Guard will turn a yuck brown colour and the tortellini will taste like "El Toro Poo-Poo".

    prod_93_vignette.png *
    *Edit: Pesty Barillo pesto pic pulled, replaced by potentially palatable Panzani portrait
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
    Imaginary Pony and joeaba like this.
  19. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Not an issue as I usually fire up the tri-nuculear de-antabuelizer just prior to immersion of the pickguard. Be advised that de-lamination of suspended solids made my cat say hello last week.
    Imaginary Pony, PsyDocHill and Nev375 like this.
  20. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    So @Nobody is banned for being funny and Lag is allowed to not only stay but to hide his profile so we cannot see what the scammer is up too...

    Lovely... I know nobody likes this!
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 26, 2021

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