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Pickguard Opinion


ChrisM

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Took the pickguard off my J-45 TV after contemplating it for the longest time. The process went smoothly, a little heat with a hair dryer and the pickguard came off easily (albeit slowly). A little bit of naphtha after the pickgaurd was removed and almost all the glue residue is gone. You can still see the outline of the pickguard at the right angle but I am sure that will fade with time.

 

Photo11-28-201372352PM.jpg

 

Photo11-28-201372342PM.jpg

the outline seen here

 

So now the question...

I got a J-45 pickguard back in the summer. I wanted to get a new nicer one and position it correctly (as Gibson clearly can't).

Here is the new pickguard and the old stock one for comparison.

 

Photo11-28-201372434PM.jpg

 

Here is the J-45 with the old pickguard

Photo4-3-201390148PM.jpg

 

Photo6-30-201315607PM.jpg

 

 

So what do you think of the new pickguard (it's not on yet, just in place)? I think it looks terrible! [cursing] Will it look better (darker or lighter) when installed?

Photo11-28-201372758PM.jpg

 

 

Thanks for the opinions!

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It's not what we like that matters: it's what makes you happy. I personally like the darker, less busy pickguards like those used in the late 1940's and early 1950', similar to the repro one shown here:

 

topcloseup.jpg

 

But the good thing about a pickguard is that you can change it in the future if your taste changes.

 

At the end of the day, you should go with what you like, and ignore our input. A pickguard is not an irreversible decision, in any case.

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You're pickguard there looks great, keeping in mind your burst is a little different. Where did you get that one?

 

That's a re-shoot of a late-40' or early 50's style burst on my 1948 J-45 with a newer top. Typically more pronounced transitions than on most modern Bozeman bursts. Not as subtle as the ones done today.

 

The pickguard was made by Ross Teigen from old celluloid stock.

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Personally, I like pick guards. However, I can understand why others don't. The only downside for me about removing a pick guard is that there is less protection for the guitar. A fingerpicker and light strummer like me can get along without a guard if we choose, but a heavy strummer might end-up putting scratches on the finish. Either way, it depends on what we each want. [thumbup]

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I love guards with detail in them. I'm particularly fond of fire stripes. But, IMHO, they need to have a lot of transparent/translucent areas in them so the fade to dark with the sunburst beneath them. The problem with your new guard, in my view, is that it's too opaque. If it was transitioning with the burst, I'll bet it would look awesome.

 

P

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Hair dryer? Your crazy.

I'd throw a nice James Burkett firestripe on if it were me.

I've done a few pickguards with just naphtha heat scares me.

Most people use a little heat when removing pickuards.

 

I had the hair dryer on the lowest setting, and used it sparingly. No issues!

 

 

 

So it seems there is next to no after market pickguards unless you know a luither. I think I might try to make the pickguard myself using the Tortoloid material. http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Pickguards/Pickguard_materials/Tortoloid_Pickguard_Material.html?actn=100101&xst=1&xsr=4597&tab=Pictures (dark brown swirl type)

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Most people use a little heat when removing pickuards.

 

I had the hair dryer on the lowest setting, and used it sparingly. No issues!

 

 

 

So it seems there is next to no after market pickguards unless you know a luither. I think I might try to make the pickguard myself using the Tortoloid material. http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Pickguards/Pickguard_materials/Tortoloid_Pickguard_Material.html?actn=100101&xst=1&xsr=4597&tab=Pictures (dark brown swirl type)

 

There are loads of aftermarket pickguards. Someone tell him who they are :)

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There are loads of aftermarket pickguards. Someone tell him who they are :)

 

 

Two of my favorites are:

 

firestripepickguards.com

 

terrapinguitars.com

 

You can download, accurate, full-size PDF templates from Terrapin, even if you don't like their materials. When it comes to celluloid (and other, more stable plastics that mimic celluloid), every sheet can be different, so to some extent it's a matter of luck getting something you really like.

 

The tricky part is that a lot of "tortoise" plastic seems far too red for my taste, and clashes with the standard sunburst Gibson finish.

 

But it really is a matter of personal taste.

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This forum may take the prize for obsession with scratch plates.

 

When I had my '42 J-50 restored the guy doing the work actually used some NOS celluloid he had on hand to fashion a pickguard (the one on the guitar looked like it came off a Yamaha or something). As we were going for looks and not accuracy he decided on a firestripe which he did himself. How he did it I do not have a clue but whatever he did it worked.

 

Point is if it is that important to you why not contact a place like Terrapin, Greven or somebody and have them custom make you one.

 

Speaking of pickguards this one remains one of my favorites - kinda a melted caramel look. Not sure how it would look on a burst though.

 

005_zps26c60999.jpg

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This forum may take the prize for obsession with scratch plates.

 

When I had my '42 J-50 restored the guy doing the work actually used some NOS celluloid he had on hand to fashion a pickguard (the one on the guitar looked like it came off a Yamaha or something). As we were going for looks and not accuracy he decided on a firestripe which he did himself. How he did it I do not have a clue but whatever he did it worked.

 

Point is if it is that important to you why not contact a place like Terrapin, Greven or somebody and have them custom make you one.

 

Speaking of pickguards this one remains one of my favorites - kinda a melted caramel look. Not sure how it would look on a burst though.

 

005_zps26c60999.jpg

 

 

Looks like someone sneezed!

 

:)

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Two of my favorites are:

 

firestripepickguards.com

 

terrapinguitars.com

 

You can download, accurate, full-size PDF templates from Terrapin, even if you don't like their materials. When it comes to celluloid (and other, more stable plastics that mimic celluloid), every sheet can be different, so to some extent it's a matter of luck getting something you really like.

 

The tricky part is that a lot of "tortoise" plastic seems far too red for my taste, and clashes with the standard sunburst Gibson finish.

 

But it really is a matter of personal taste.

Tarrapin is where I got that terrible one. Not crazy about having a firestrip guard so that rules out firestripepickguards unfortunately.

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Does your new pickguard still have the backing paper on it? If so, I bet the paper has a tan color. Since the new guard is most likely semi-transparent, you are not seeing the true color. I bet it will look great once the backing is removed and it blends with the color of the burst.

 

Good luck!

Lars

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Littlejohnny, did your pick guard look like the original poster's? I have the same pick guard you have but am thinking of returning it for the same reason as the op. It has too much light brown in it and clashes with the sunburst on my j45, but man, I really liked yours!!

 

chasAK

 

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The plot thickens...

 

So as per the advice here I peeled off a bit a bit of the brown backing material.

 

857353E0-EFA3-4AC1-B453-51D5AC67B38D.jpg

 

This is with lots of natural light in the background. I think it looks better but I still don't know lol

 

 

That could look good once it is in place over the 'burst. More like the one on Littlejohnny's guitar.

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