Ask Bob: Do Pickguards Affect Tone?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
By: Bob Taylor

Question: Given the importance of the soundboard, is there any indication that pickguards on acoustic steel-strings adversely affect tone? I ask because I really love the look of your models without pickguards, and my style is almost exclusively fingerpicking.
William Mays

Answer: William, the pickguard is part of the package of the sound. A guitar that has a pickguard sounds like itself, and a guitar without a pickguard sounds like itself. We make a lot of guitars without pickguards, not so much for sound, but for looks. Either way, the guitars sound good. One could argue that a pickguard inhibits sound, and I won't argue that point. You won't have any problems with your guitar if it has no pickguard, so you should feel good about getting one.