Do you think pickguard 'thickness' affects tone & sound?

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elkabong
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:54 pm

Do you think pickguard 'thickness' affects tone & sound?

Post: # 1148Post elkabong
Mon May 06, 2019 2:56 pm

I've fitted a few of my Collings acoustic guitars with Greven Tor Tis pickguards. Just because I like the look of them better than the stock Collings guards. However, part of that 'look that I prefer', is the thickness of the Tor Tis guards. They are noticeably thicker than the stock Collings guards.

So I wonder now; do you think this extra thickness; which equals a small amount of extra 'mass', affects the sound & tone of the guitar? Does the extra mass somehow 'deaden' the top to a certain degree?

Frank Saans; please chime in on this.

Thanks;
Rudy

Frank Sanns
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:38 pm
Real Name: Frank Sanns
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: Do you think pickguard 'thickness' affects tone & sound?

Post: # 1149Post Frank Sanns
Mon May 06, 2019 5:36 pm

The three main factors of anything put on as a pick guard are:

1. The thickness of the guard. Changing the thickness of the entire top of a guitar will change its stiffness. It is not a linear relationship. The stiffness of any material goes up with the cube of thickness. That means a top that is twice as thick will not be twice as stiff but in fact will be four times as stiff. A few thousands though over a small area is not going to add up to much.

2. The stiffness, elasticity, hysteresis and the such is similar. Stick a giant goo ball to the top of a vibrating surface and you will dampen out some of the energy. Again, it is nearly negligible for the thickness of a pick guard.

3. The mass of the guard can also act to slow down the resonant frequency of the top but again, it most likely negligible.

One way you can test out a VERY large difference is to strike a note and put your palm on the pickguard to see if you can detect a difference in sustain or tone. Your hand it a monstrously large damper to the sound. It will knock out much sound down around the sides of the bout but not nearly as much in the pickgard area.

In summary, unless you are putting something way out of proportion to the original, I think most people even with acute senses would be challenged to be able to detect any adverse changes with a few thousandths differences in a pickguard.

Frank

elkabong
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:54 pm

Re: Do you think pickguard 'thickness' affects tone & sound?

Post: # 1193Post elkabong
Mon May 13, 2019 5:47 pm

Thanks Frank;
That all makes perfect sense to me.
Rudy

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