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How Do Metal Pickguards Affect Tone?


I'm sure they do, as everything does. Like in my other thread, I'm going over several possibilities for my next Strat (got the call tonight that my Legacy is in!! :RoCkIn) and I'm trying to think what I can do with the pickguard. Metal pup covers and controls too? It couldn't make it that much heavier, not that I couldn't live with an average weight strat.


According to wikipedia on Neil Young's guitar....

"Old Black is notable for its metal hardware, including an aluminum pickguard, whose rigidity produces additional feedback—a tone characteristic of many of Neil Young's guitar sounds."

His is a Les Paul, hard to say how similar the effect would be on a strat......

Brian D

I'm sure they affect the tone on some level, but I'd hate to guess how significant it truly is for the majority of listeners.


Silver Supporting Member
the metal pickguards weigh nothing, The same as plastic. But they most definately effect the sound. I had one on my 80's MIJ 57 reissue and it did soften the sound of the pickups (CS Fat 50's) a little. They also feel weird under the fingers.


I had a chrome plated pick guard on my LP Custom for a while. I don't remember that it affected the sound that much, but I hated the feel of it, and the clinking sound it made every time my pick hit it. So, I replaced it with a mirrored plastic one, which has the classic feel, but matches my chrome hardware from a distance.

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