Ibanez Soundgear... Pickguard?

Now that I figured out the problem with my SR500E’s E string (it was the bridge; I swapped the saddles between E and G and the problem went away), it’s really become my main bass. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Carvins (especially my new B4), but when it comes to actually playing on the regular, I’m an Ibanez guy.

My SR500E came to me used and because the poplar burl top is a bit of a softer wood it’s got all sorts of pick-marks on it. I was thinking that a pickguard would be kinda cool, if such a thing existed or could be made for the contoured SoundGear bodies.

So! Does anyone know if a pickguard for the Ibanez SoundGear SR series has been made? Or know of a custom pickguard maker that could take on such a thing?

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Unfortunately even if Ibanez offer pickguard in that model, there’s not enough demand for the aftermarket pickguard. You can order custom from WD or pickguard planet just trace what you need on your bass. They run about $40-55.

On the other hand if you can convince @T_dub to write the CNC code for your design I can setup my CNC machine and cut it for you you just cover the cost and shipping.

That’s why I bought the dang machine because I couldn’t find anyone to do my custom pickguards.

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How much did the CNC machine go for?

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A little less than an Ernie ball stingray, lol. The software to run it cost about the sterling Ray34, lol. Then it’s the pleasure of learning how to use it. Luckily we have an experienced expert in our mist.

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So, I’m an easy-going kinda guy, but I’m really picky about how business treat customers. I want to give someone money to make me a custom pickguard. So I went to the above mentioned site, read through it, noted that the page lists a bunch of instruments for which they have templates, saw that if your instrument isn’t “born” with a pickguard they won’t have a template for it, noticed that they mention you can send a template in if they don’t have it, and finally saw the line about asking them if the model isn’t listed.

So I used their contact form, told them the bass I had, said that I wanted to get a custom pickguard made, and asked if that was something they could do. Their reply?

Hi - copied from our homepage

*If your guitar wasn't "born" with a pickguard, we would not have a template.*

That was it. Nothing else, just that. So I replied with:

Hey, you know, this is also copied from your homepage:

*If you don't see the pickguard you need in this list, please contact us to ask*

At this point, I don’t think that I’d give them my money even if they came back and said they’d be able to do it.

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Or make your own. A little bit of arts and crafts. You’ll need some plastic and a coping saw, oh and patience.

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Have you checked Reverb? Some custom folk over there

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It’s amazing how many youtubers shows in the video like it was their first time doing it and it’s easy. I bought a router table, band saw, scroll saw. It’s a pretty steep learning curve. It’s not easy even for a one off let alone repeatable results. Of course I suck at it.

You can do it roughly but for a decent job it take skills or hours of cleanup work.

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I called them and they were nothing but great. They are in the process of making me something now. Try picking up the phone, they called back quite fast.

Remember, these guys and others are swamped with work. They have a process. If you have questions, folks seem better with talking vs. email in all these parts type places.

Remember, they are all small businesses.
They stopped making custom for a while during covid, still getting on their feet.

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I mean, I’m not trying to be argumentative, but I also work for a small business and I am also… SWAMPED with work. But I expect that if I ever copy/pasted something from our website with a “copied from our homepage” line as a response to a customer question, there’d be issues.

In their reply to my reply, they doubled-down with:

the first statement - which is why its at the top of the page - should have answered this query

So yeah. They’re not going to get my business.

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Although that is a bit wonky, note there are not many games in town for this work.
You may end up right back where you started.

You can try a local luthier, I have a bass with mine awaiting a super customized shape pickguard that I had no idea how to draw for the WD guys. You can try that route.

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I feel you @timsgeekery, like you I hold grudges too, lol. Plus this day and age you don’t really need to put up with lousy products, people or service.

I slowly forgave one company with incompetent staffs but the other one who gave me the cut and paste quote from the manual, for their poor product, that’s a no.

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@timsgeekery That was great response. :joy:

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@timsgeekery ok I’ve just checked my schedule up to Xmas and I could squeeze this job in.
It’s $400 Canadian but I’ll throw in free postage and a sticker. Message me to get the details how you can send the money via Western Union.

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I too am NOT a fan of Pickguard Planet. I had an awful experience with them (pre-covid, pre swamped with work). In a nutshell I chose a pickguard according to their product offerings. My bass specs matched their catalogue perfectly. I’m in AU and waited a considerable amount of time to receive an incorrect part. In the email trails and the disputes with PayPal they insisted time and time again that it was my fault (used those words) and said I ordered the wrong part (used those words) and I did not contact them to check (used those words too).

But … they did offer to trace my existing pickguard and make a copy of it. Thing is, my existing was heat-warped. The entire reason for ordering a new one.

I had ZERO CONFIDENCE in them getting it right. And considering I was already $150AUD out of pocket because of the need for increased freight, and their attitude towards blaming me for everything, I refused to give them a second chance.

I would much rather cut my losses, and try to express my experience so that it may save others similar pain. I know there’s next to no-one else out there but honestly, I’d never encourage doing business with Pickguard Planet. Either go without and fill in the holes with glitter-glue, or pay top dollar for a custom. Just please, Take my word, take @timsgeekery 's word, and go look for a few more similar reviews out there on the intertoobs.

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Do you actually want the aesthetic of a pick guard of do you just want to protect the Burl top?

If it’s just to protect the wood then 3M paint protection film might be an option. You’d need to remove the electrics to fit it as it goes on wet but you should be able to achieve a perfect fit that’s nigh on invisible and should last for years.

I have some on my motorcycle that still looks perfect after over a decade.

Random vendor example

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A few reasons:

  1. To protect the burl top from any further damage,
  2. To cover the existing damage as it’s an eyesore to me,
  3. I think it would be cool to have one of the only (if not THE only) Ibanez SR series bass with a pickguard.

:slight_smile:

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@timsgeekery If you don’t want to take up my very reasonable offer (remember $400 Canadian is like ten bucks US) then there are alternatives.
Previously (for a friend of mine) cut out a template out of thin plastic. So thin that I used tin snips (scissors would work). Once he was happy with the design (we had two or three goes refining it) he sent that template off to a pick guard manufacturer to make it for him.
The advantage of doing it this way is you can physically see the pick guard on your bass before you buy one. You then get a professionally cut pick guard to install to whatever colour, spec you choose.
The only caveat is that once you drill into your bass to install the pick guard; If you ever resell it then it might affect the value. If that’s important to you.

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that’s what I was going to suggest too, clear or coloured paint protection film or 3M also has adhesive pick guard material that’s quite thin and flexible. I got a roll of 3M film last year to protect my mountain bike.

PPM is extremely resilient, the same material is used to protect the leading edges of helicopter rotor blades… the only thing that might be annoying is it’s usually fairly soft and a pick might catch on it.

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WD pick guards are cheaper and crappier then the $9 Chinese pick guards you can get off Ebay and / or Amazon.
I showed a comparison in a thread a long time ago.
Luckily I got my WD pick guard for only $20 off eBay, but I can tell you if they won’t clean up their cut and get rid of the burrs on the edges and in the holes, and not even chamfer some of the holes, leaving break out burrs on the back side in a pick guard that they put in a package with their name and logo on it, I seriously doubt they would do it for you, I mean, they are making it custom for you and that seems to be like it is kind of going out of their way to be of service to you.

I would not buy any pick guard from them for more then $25, and only cuz they have a few patterns I like, and a few colors (Orange Pearl would look right sexy on my white Stingray Slo Special), but they are always out of stock, and they want like $45 to $65, so forget it, not after the thin, rough pc of garb I got from them for $20.

Happily

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