PDA

View Full Version : Pickguards



escee
09-28-2010, 04:19 PM
Hi all,

I'm considering putting a pickguard on my Mainland concert cedar ... anyone ever tried this before? I'm wondering if it will affect the sound, ie. dampening the soundboard? Or would the effect be negligible?

Thanks!

Chris Tarman
09-28-2010, 05:32 PM
Well, there are two ways to look at it. a) Lots of (perhaps even MOST) acoustic guitars have pickguards, and I've never heard people complain about them affecting the sound, or else you'd see lots of guitars that had them removed. Or, b) they don't affect a guitar's sound much because the soundboard is so much larger, but on a smaller soundboard they would have a noticeable effect. I have no idea which of these statements is more correct! What you COULD try: get some of that clear stuff they use to protect the fronts of cellphones and iPods. It's cheap and comes off pretty easily. You could try it with and without to see if it noticeably changes the sound before you got a more permanent guard.

Kanaka916
09-28-2010, 05:42 PM
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?24171-What-pickguard-to-use
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6173
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6167

mm stan
09-28-2010, 11:28 PM
I've had the thin transparent plastic pickguards you see on some accoustic guitars on one of my former baritones....it came with it,
so I can't really tell you if it made a big difference...but it still sounded good..I hope it helps...and thicker and one would think it would
impede and dampen the sound to a certain extent....Hope it helps..MM Stan..

escee
09-29-2010, 05:02 AM
Thanks guys ... yeah, my question is more about what the effect may or may not be on sound, not so much about how to go about fixing a pickguard on the uke. Can't say I like the look of the clear pickguards though :(

mm stan
09-29-2010, 05:43 AM
The soundboard needs to vibrate and any additional thicker the transparent pick guards I feel would impede the volume, tone, and sound of your ukulele...
Its a trade off...you want a better sounding ukulele or a more asthetic pleasing looking one....

Mandarb
09-29-2010, 06:09 AM
A pickguard may or may not affect the sound - I have heard arguments for both schools of thought. Are you using picks? Do you have long fingernails that are scratching the top?

GX9901
09-29-2010, 06:11 AM
I've been using clear pickguards on some of my ukes as I seem to be a hard strummer and tend to put dents on the upper bout. I've noticed no difference in sound quality with pickguard in place. I believe the upper bout doesn't really vibrate that much anyway, and you'll need some seriously sensitive ears to be able to pickup any difference in sound, if any.

Having said that, I've gotten away from using clear pickguards on most of my ukes because I no longer care if there are dents or scratch marks on them. The only uke I still use them on are a Glyph mezzo soprano and a Kanile'a super soprano. On the Glyph I had the builder put it on (adhesive type) because it has a super thin French Polish finish and I thought it's a good idea to protect the upper bout from my hard strumming. The Kanile'a still has a set of cling-on pickguards because I'm too lazy to take them off. The Kanile'a already has a bulletproof UV finish so it really doesn't need the pickguard.

escee
09-29-2010, 07:42 AM
A pickguard may or may not affect the sound - I have heard arguments for both schools of thought. Are you using picks? Do you have long fingernails that are scratching the top?

Nope, no picks ... and no long nails either :)

Actually, I was trying out the fan stroke on the Mainland and found that my index finger would end with a direct strike on the treble side of the upper bout ... giving it a firm percussive sound, kind of like what James Hill does on both sides of the his upper bout.

That's what got me thinking about whether a pickguard would help protect the finish, since it's a direct strike on the body, not an incidental brush with a nail during regular strumming. Does that make sense?

Mandarb
09-29-2010, 07:46 AM
That's what got me thinking about whether a pickguard would help protect the finish, since it's a direct strike on the body, not an incidental brush with a nail during regular strumming. Does that make sense?

Yes. You could try attaching a pickguard with some type of adhesive that will not ruin the finish and see what you think of the tone.

mm stan
09-29-2010, 09:39 AM
Yes. You could try attaching a pickguard with some type of adhesive that will not ruin the finish and see what you think of the tone.

Actually some of my strumming includes in between strums tapping the soundboard for a persussive type beat in between and I only do it on my satin finish uke and
there is not a nick on the soundboard even with my long fingernails for picking...maybe I guess it's down to what type of finish you have too and wood....as for impedence of tone
on the Kamaka Baritone I used to have, I noticed a slight difference only because I heard before and after to make a comparison.....to the average uke player the slight
difference may not be noticable.....

Mandarb
09-29-2010, 09:46 AM
Actually some of my strumming includes in between strums tapping the soundboard for a persussive type beat in between and I only do it on my satin finish uke and
there is not a nick on the soundboard even with my long fingernails for picking...maybe I guess it's down to what type of finish you have too and wood....as for impedence of tone
on the Kamaka Baritone I used to have, I noticed a slight difference only because I heard before and after to make a comparison.....to the average uke player the slight
difference may not be noticable.....

I do not think I would be able to hear a difference with and without a pickguard. BTW - how many ukes do you have?

rock_and_roll_camera
09-29-2010, 10:32 AM
I would say the best way to go would be the approach that Gibson Les Paul and such like more expensive guitars take. have the pickguard held by a bracket above the body. Then you only have a slight contact of the corner of the pickguard where it is attached to the soundboard near the neck joint by a screw. I would guess that being so near the neck and the edge of the body it shouldn't effect the vibration too much. The bracket is then attached to the side of the body, so shouldn't have too much effect. You could cut the scratchplate yourself out of perspex or acrylic or whatever, and the brackets are dirt cheap! Most guitar shops carry them, or you could make your own, as depending what size uke you're using the bracket may be too big? The only downside is it would require you to make two screwholes in your uke! But if the plate is gonna be a permanent fixture I don't see the problem?:

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:Aw7Y5bvpmav4qM:http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p81/dynasonic/Music%20Gear/91%20Classic/GibsonLesPaul91Classic1-5439093800.jpg&t=1

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTglWLKp0u7mjUpR9IW1rQq5wUPx1pP-Z98BixgYechFtw1nOs&t=1&h=169&w=219&usg=__qh1q29s17AfyhijKT-pgU1XQzuM=


I've seen alot of more vintage styled ukes using this approach much like the oldacoustic guitars. You can also buy pre cut scratch plates too, the kind that stick on:

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRwwlfpIURYn-s-pKXp7A_mSfqWJSU--RyXNEvzlA5GVKKNF_A&t=1&h=167&w=167&usg=__5ECE8a79Th2BiMqfoaBLsY8rjTA=

There's lots of options out there but I would go for the Les Paul approach. Check out this uke:

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT4C4B7sOAfFZwCddQcXIFF4UJLMfPBL GMv-JULSByaqzsaHok&t=1&usg=__m19StwyIHAcR2VbtZ8vJBe2dVzI=

France
09-29-2010, 11:38 AM
I seem to remember a uke minutes or something with Aldrine and i'm pretty sure he said that he used clear pickguards. If it's good for the goose.

fromthee2me
10-01-2010, 06:33 PM
There is an easy and cheap . invisible way to protect the area where your nails strike the wood of your ukulele, that you might want to consider?
The product is a clear film that one can buy in small sheets from cellphone shops to protect the touch screens of PDA's etc. You can mark out the shape you need,by cutting it to shape with scissors, peel off the back and stick it on to your uke. They are not glued on, but have something similar to static sticking (if that makes sense?) Mine came in a pack of 5