Yesterday I was wiring up this pickguard for a new JPG F-Line Strutocaster that is nearly ready for polishing. It occurred to me that seeing as all the electronics (except the Jack, which only requires 2 solder joints) are mounted on the pickguard, we could wire these up and sell them so you can just pull off your old pickguard and slam this one in and instantly have a serious and full electronics upgrade for your guitar.
These pickguards will fit any US series strat (excluding vintage re-issue 8-hole pickguards) or any Mexican fender strat. These ones wont fit a Japanese Fender, but i’m currently looking into replacement pickguards for Japanese Fenders, so that we can offer both kinds.
So what do you get on one of these Pickguards, – Bare Knuckle Apache set (RWRP) – Bare Knuckle custom CTS 280K pots x3 – Bare Knuckle custom Jensen Paper/Oil capacitor (15cfd) – CRL 5-way Switch – All Vintage spec cloth wiring – Switchcraft Jack
Now if you’ve got a super keen eye, you might notice that on the pots on the picture above are the high quality WD CTS pots (because we’re out of stock on the BKP pots), the WD pots are made in the same factory and are made to the same tolerance, the only differences are that the WD pots are standard 250K resistance and the BKP pots are custom 280K (meaning they bleed of slightly more bass when rolling off the volume), the other difference is the torque on the shaft, BKP pots are low torque (meaning they move very easily with little effort, allowing super fast adjustments while playing). The WD pots have medium torque, meaning more effort is required to turn the pot, but a smoother, less scratchy feeling to the pot (because you can’t feel as much of the carbon tracks in the pot). The pre-wired pickguards will come as standard with the BKP pots as standard, but if you want one with the WD pots, just let us know and we’ll wire one up for you.
PICKUPS! So for the pre-wired pickguards I’ve decided to make them with an RWRP set of Bare Knuckle Apache pickups. In my opinion these are the finest Strat pickups I’ve ever heard. Bare Knuckle have a series of Vintage authentic Strat pickups called the PAT Pend series, offering vintage correct replicas of late 50’s or early 60’s Strat sets, both of which are fantastic, but have very different characteristics. For the Apache set, Bare knuckle took all of the best characteristics of each era of strat pickups and combined them to give the most balanced and ‘perfect’ strat tones, and they did not disappoint these things sound… well i hate to use this word, but perfect. Of course if you’re wanting a pre-wired pickguard with another BKP pickup set, just let us know and we’ll wire it up for you.
If you haven’t already tried one of these BKP Jensen capacitors, then I strongly suggest that you try one out as soon as possible. I always used to think that expensive caps were a bit of a con and used to tell people ‘what’s the point in spending money on caps, they just make your sound all muddy, if you want more bass or less treble, just use the EQ on your amp’. Well, I have no problem admitting when i am wrong, we tried these things out just to see what they were like, first time i tried them I installed one in one of my T90 guitars (a telecater with a BKP Boss bridge tele pickup and a Nantucket P90 in the Neck position). I was plugged into my Pro Junior, volume turned up to about 5 so that the power tubes were just starting to saturate, getting a wonderfully percussive sound with all those incredible dynamics you get from a good single coil. i turned down the tone pot expecting to get the typical muddy sludge sound of a ceramic cap and to my amazement heard a wonderful, creamy deep but clear and usable tone which brought me into the light of understanding why the hell there’s a tone knob on guitars.
As for the rest, only the best is used, real US made CRL 5-way switch, US Switchcraft Jack, real vintage cloth ‘pushback’ wire and good old fashioned 60/40 solder (none of that horrible lead free rubbish).
So you’re probably expecting some horribly expensive price for this great upgrade, but you know how we like to make things affordable, so here’s what we’re gonna charge you.
Parchment White, Black or White – 37,000Yen
we’re also gonna do Tortoise shell guards as well, I haven’t done the exact price yet but expect about +3,000 for fauxe ITS (this is when an image of tortoise shell is printed and then a clear layer of plastic is laid over the top. it looks pretty real, you have to have super sharp eyes to notice its fake)
about +5-6,000yen for real celluloid Tortoise shell (this is the real vintage spec stuff where different colours of celluloid are swirled together before allowing it to set, its the real deal but comes with the appropriate price tag).
if you want any other colours, check out the WD website, cause that’s where we buy our pickguard material from and let us know what kind and we’ll give you a price for the full pre-wired pickguard.
the only thing you’ll have to do to install these is feed the two wires for the jack through and then solder them onto the jack, also the ground wire coming from the trem claw will need soldering on, but that’s all pretty simple if you’ve got an Iron.
if you don’t and you’re in Kansai, drop your guitar into our shop and we’ll do it for free. if you’re not in kansai, take it to your local tech and as long as the guy’s got a soul, he should only charge you a few hundred yen to solder on three wires.