WHY USE PLASTIC ? Non-Resonant Material on a Resonant Instrument?
To stop feedback?... No. To stop Microphonics?... No. To stop high volume squealing?... No. To help body vibrations to pickup?... No.
It's cheaper materials. It's cheaper to cut out. It's cheaper to make. It's easier to change colors.
So woods and metals resonate with string and body vibrations. Stainless steel rings like a ninja sword. Plastic has only 10% resonance of steel. But does steel sound bright?... No. The Test Video > Just better note definition, better sustain and better noise shielding...AND LOOKS GREAT !
Players deserve a better guitar, it's that simple !
Some high-end guitar makers are now using full metal bodies, or full top metal face plates. To cover up bad wood hehe, probably not.
Hi it's Johnny here...and guitars are my passion! I have many and modified some into precision art that I never want to sell. Originally I started designing steel guards for my own guitar collection. Then while out playing others would ask about my pickguard. So blame my buddies for this... I came up with some superb smokin' designs for them. There is always someone wanting to add attitude value to a guitar. So now I'm gradually adding new models to the Limited Edition design choices for anybody who wants them. Hope you enjoy.
These guard patterns are designed to enhance the light reflecting qualities of a premium finished metal. That's taking pickguards to another level - top shelf. Stainless steel matching the rest of your guitar metal. As it should do. Enhance resonance. Reduce electromagnetic interference. Look a million bucks. Weight is kept to a minimum while still being rigid. Does NOT mess with guitar tone or electronics.
All Pro-Steels are either 0.8mm or 1.0mm thick. Strat SSS Plates weigh aprox 198grams (6.98 oz). Guard screws are supplied.
In comparison, a 3 ply plastic Strat guard is aprox 110grams.
Single coil moulded slots will fit fatter singles like a SD Hot Rails, JB Jr. Dimarzio Pro Track etc.
Humbucker molded slots will fit a bridge Trembucker eg. Seymour Duncan JB TB-4 or Dimarzio F-Spaced Tone Zone DP155F etc.
IMPORTANT: Please go to our 'Downloads' and print the 'Strat Template PDF' to ensure a close fit on your guitar.
INSTALLING YOUR PRO-STEEL PICKGUARD
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO ON PICKGUARD INSTALLATION 'How to Change a Strat Pickguard, and Replace Pickup' My easy to follow, step by step video. Shows also how to swap bridge single coil to a humbucker. See the 'Totally Good Links' on right of this page.
Those of you that have replaced a pickguard will know this is not a big deal, and we can even keep the same strings.
For those replacing the first time, it's about a 30 minute adventure.
There is no need to take any neck off a guitar when replacing the pickguard. With a 22 fret board overhang, just slide the guard back and out.
Please use a cloth to cover guitar top to avoid any scratching when working with installing pickups to the steel guard. Lastly, remove cloth and secure new guard with supplied screws.
You will be fine with the electronics. The Guard will be grounded through the pots (vol and tone) screwed on.
WHY THE MOULDED HUMBUCKER SLOT?
It's called going the extra mile. A symmetry of aesthetics. Particularly when a humbucker is mixed on the same guitar as single coil pickups, which have a moulded surround. The moulded humbucker slot is designed around the uncovered pickup and looks very tidy indeedy.
This humbucker slot has 2 traditional mounting holes to alter pickup height.
String resonance from the body is distributed more effectively through the steel guard, so also carried to the humbucker more efficiently through it's direct guard mounting screws.
Humbuckers height (most modern coils) will raise to 8 mm (11/32") above the top surface of pickguard. This is more than close enough to the strings.
At 8mm above the guard on my Strat bridge pickup, it leaves 2mm (3/32") between high E string and top of humbucker when string is depressed at 22nd fret. That's too close. Aprox 3mm (1/8") at closest is recommended for a Humbucker.
Too close, and it's mud... loses clarity and sounds messy with magnetic pull on the strings.
You may want to balance the humbucker volume just a little above the single coils volume, so try a bit lower conservative height with humbucker first. I'm happy with my vintage output humbucker about 6 to 7mm (9/32") above this guard and it sounds great.
NEW DESIGNS COMING
Pro-Steel is currently working on some unique and eye-catching stainless steel designs for:
STRAT - H/S/H
TELE - Thinline (S/S)
TELE - '72 Deluxe (H/H)
TELE - P90/P90 (P90 bridge & P90 neck)
TELE - S/P90 (Single bridge & P90 neck)
TELE - S/H (Single bridge & Humbucker neck)
IBANEZ - RG and GR. Also seven string!
Exciting designs in bold custom patterned mirror stainless steel, others in textured patterned lustrous stainless steel.
More guitar models will be announced with sufficient requests for them.
BODY RESONANCE ENHANCED, EMI NOISE REDUCED:
These guards are solid and help carry the resonance through the body mass. Just like stainless steel and aluminium bridges transfer sound vibrations to the body. They don't make plastic bridges. It's a known fact that sheet metal is most effective at shielding & reducing unwanted buzzing and hum from Electro-Magnetic Interference, and Pro-Steel stainless steel guards do just that. See 'Totally Good Links' to the right 'Electromagnetic Shielding'
Does a stainless steel pickguard affect your sound?
Being non-magnetic, Pro-Steel guards will not interfere with pickups tone or clarity nor cause microphonics. Your amp settings will not need taming because they don't cause any more feedback at volume than regular plastic guards. To help resolve any concerns, check out the video above.
It is my opinion that in comparison under these tests, Pro-Steel guards SSS and HSS, there is not an obvious difference between plastic and a Pro-Steel. The steel clean sound could have a little presence or a slight boost. The higher gained overdriven sounds could be a little tighter in the low end, reducing flabbiness, increasing clarity. Some comparisons there was no detectable difference.
Hold a plastic guard and flick it with your fingernail. It will sound 'thunk'. Do the same with a Pro-Steel and it will ring, like a bell. That's resonance.
Anyway, your ears will be the final judge. The sound test is in detail on good equipment.
... play on, with attitude!