My girlfriend got me a Fender Stainless Steel Pickguard that i had been wanting for quite a while. Excited, I slapped that badboy on my "Heche in Mexico" Standard Strat. Everything seemed fine, and it sounded great through the combo amp I keep at home. It actually gave it a little more saturated tone, and I was digging it.
Things changed radically when i got the gig. I play in a band that performs 3-4 days a week. With my stage set-up, I run the guitar direct to the board, so there isn't an amp. I use a stage monitor with the guitar mixed into my monitor mix. It has worked great for me for over 7 years. So anyway, I show up, proudly showing off my shiny new pick-guard to the gang. My smile fades fast as I step towards the monitor wedge. Feedback. GOBS of it. and not the cool "check out my rad feedback solo" feedback. Microphone feedback. In fact, it sounded so much like standard microphone feedback, I yelled at my guitar to see, and low and behold, my voice came through my guitar as well as it does through my vocal mic. The feedback was so bad that after turning down the guitar level to almost inaudibility, I still couldn't come anywhere near my monitor. And we are talking nowhere within 6 feet was safe. I wondered why it had not done this with my combo, then i realized that the combo volume was really, really, low and the combo was on the ground an i was standing, so I doubt anything would have fed back. After this, i put my reg black plastic pickguard back on and it was back to normal.
So what gives? How does putting a steel pickguard cause my pickups to go all microphonic? Some friends asked about sheilding, but that makes no sense as the pickguard is made of STEEL! Foil on the back of a plastic guard sheilds, but an entire slab of metal won't? I don't get it. All was grounded. Am I missing something here?
I thought it might just be the metal guard interacting with the pickups to for an uber magnetic field....but why would Fender sell a pick-guard that can't possibly work?
Last Edit: Jul 20, 2005 1:22:42 GMT -5 by punkvegan
Sounds to me like the pickguard itself is acting like a diaphragm on a microphone. Maybe you could put some pieces of tape (non-metallic) on the back side of the pickguard to control the resonance (like drummers do when they put tape on the drum heads to control over-ringing).
Do you have rubber tubing or adjustment springs on the pickups for height adjustment. I believe made in mexico strats have springs. Try the rubber tubing instead. It is supposed to help keep the pickups from being microphonic. May help if not, I dunno. Good luck, Peace Damian