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  #1  
Old 01-19-2019, 02:18 PM
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Default Pick guard or no pick guard

Jayson Bowerman is ready to ship my custom OM 28 style adi top BRW back and sides.

He emailed me: ready to go but I don’t have it on my build sheet. Pick guard or no pick guard.

Obviously its up to me and my playing style but I’m interested in your opinion.

I have guitars with and without.

Leaning towards without as I can always add it.

Hmmm. IMG_3791.jpg
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:26 PM
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Ask him not to fit the pickguard, but to put it in the accessory compartment in the case? That way you can make a fully informed choice when you have the guitar in hand.

The usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:32 PM
Dino Silone Dino Silone is offline
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I don’t know if this would be the deciding factor for you, but I’m not a fan of loading the top of an acoustic guitar with anything that doesn’t have to be there. A quick Google search showed me that this has been a religious discussion, and the subject of many other threads here on the AGF, as well as YouTube videos and probably countless blog posts.

My reasoning for not putting one on, particularly on an expensive, custom made guitar, is that you probably paid for a very high quality top set, mostly because of the better sound that you’d get out of it. To then essentially nullify part of the benefit provided by that high-end top by gluing a piece of plastic to it seems counter-productive.

Placement is another consideration. The upper bout is much less important for tone and volume than the lower, so if there has to be a pickguard, that’s probably the best place for it.

That said, if you need it, you need it. I don’t use metal fingerpicks a lot, but when I do, I like to use them either with my resonator (over the cone cover), or with one of my guitars that has a pickguard. I sometimes get sloppy, and those metal picks can do some damage...
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:39 PM
ataylor ataylor is offline
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On a traditional Martin-style guitar like that, I’d be inclined to add a traditional Martin-style pickguard, which I’m guessing is exactly what Jayson uses.

I think the 12-fret Martin designs look fine with or without, but to my eye, the 14-fret equivalents just feel “right” with the pickguard.

Either way, you’re getting a spectacular guitar, which is exciting.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:46 PM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
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I don't know, it looks terribly good right now. Do you miss the strings a lot with a pick? It sounds like a stupid question, but I've seen a few guitars lately where people not only missed the strings, but the pick guard as well.

I'm pretty accurate and usually play finger style, so I would skip the pick guard.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:50 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman1951 View Post
I don't know, it looks terribly good right now. Do you miss the strings a lot with a pick? It sounds like a stupid question, but I've seen a few guitars lately where people not only missed the strings, but the pick guard as well.

I'm pretty accurate and usually play finger style, so I would skip the pick guard.
+1 - It's a great question.

It looks great and I'm guessing you want it without the pickguard. As already mentioned, ask for a pickguard to be included but not installed.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:54 PM
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Why not stick a big 'ol SJ-200 guard on there and bling it up a little like this one on my Huss & Dalton MJ Custom?



Only kidding , it's just sitting there for the picture.... but strange how it follows the waist line quite nicely!
Your custom does look nice without the guard but ultimately it's up to you.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ataylor View Post
On a traditional Martin-style guitar like that, I’d be inclined to add a traditional Martin-style pickguard, which I’m guessing is exactly what Jayson uses.



I think the 12-fret Martin designs look fine with or without, but to my eye, the 14-fret equivalents just feel “right” with the pickguard.



Either way, you’re getting a spectacular guitar, which is exciting.


In my minds eye as I was thinking about what to have Jayson build it had a pickguard like a Martin OM.
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yamaha fg 152 spruce hog mij
yamaha fg 110 spruce agathis (tan) mit
yamaha fg 75 spruce agathis (red) mij
yamaha ls 11 spruce hog (solid) mit
breedlove oregon OM SMYe miusa
breedlove atlas revival OM/SMe top burst mik
breedlove mc revival OM/AR deluxe miusa
framus parlor mig
Bowerman custom OM 28 style
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2019, 02:57 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayBee1404 View Post
Ask him not to fit the pickguard, but to put it in the accessory compartment in the case? That way you can make a fully informed choice when you have the guitar in hand.
This is what I would suggest, as well. Ask your luthier to include the pickguard but not affix it, then once the guitar arrives take your time deciding whether you want to put it on there.

As for Dino’s position, I both understand and respect that point of view. But the pickguards being used these days are made from very thin, lightweight plastic. The chances are that there won’t be an audible impact on the tone, or much of one if there is.

One aspect you should consider is whether other people might occasionally pick up and play this instrument. Most of the scratches put on my guitars were put there by other people, not me, with the idiots who pick up and start strumming other people’s guitars without asking permission first being the worst offenders so far as pick damage goes.

If the guitar will only be played by you at your home, then that isn’t an issue. But if you’re like me and play out in performance or at church, putting a pickguard on the guitar is probably safest. It’s a form of insurance, you might say, but without the hefty premiums.

Anyway, if you ask that a pickguard be included but not affixed to the guitar, you’ll have all the time you want before you make a decision.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:09 PM
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Here are a few more pictures. IMG_1130.jpgIMG_1131.jpg
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yamaha fg 152 spruce hog mij
yamaha fg 110 spruce agathis (tan) mit
yamaha fg 75 spruce agathis (red) mij
yamaha ls 11 spruce hog (solid) mit
breedlove oregon OM SMYe miusa
breedlove atlas revival OM/SMe top burst mik
breedlove mc revival OM/AR deluxe miusa
framus parlor mig
Bowerman custom OM 28 style
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2019, 03:13 PM
SausagesBeGone SausagesBeGone is offline
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If you’re worried about scratches but would like a “clean” look you could opt for a clear pick guard.
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2019, 03:18 PM
Jacob Reinhart Jacob Reinhart is offline
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No pick guard. I'd take scratched wood over plastic. I think it's strange that we don't want to scratch the wood but feel feel the need to cover it so we never get to see it.
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:20 PM
The Growler The Growler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayBee1404 View Post
Ask him not to fit the pickguard, but to put it in the accessory compartment in the case? That way you can make a fully informed choice when you have the guitar in hand.

The usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.
I agree with this. You can use it or not or something different if you want.
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  #14  
Old 01-19-2019, 03:23 PM
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I bought my LG2 without a pickguard but installed one soon thereafter, since I play that guitar with a pick. I'll take the protection of a little plastic over a chewed-up top any day. It didn't alter the tone in any remotely audible way.
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:24 PM
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Beautifully aligned tuner bushings = attention to detail and pride in their work.
A good sign.
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