The tortoise pickguard rabbit hole

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by tele_paul, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. tele_paul

    tele_paul Tele-Meister

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    Full disclosure: I don't think I've ever seen a vintage tort pickguard in person, so I have nothing to compare to. And since they didn't start appealing to me until recently, I can't say I've ever seen what's deemed a "good" newer one in person either...not in my conscious memory anyway.

    I'll admit it, I'm cheap....at least when it comes to pickguards. I recently bought a "FLEOR Celluloid" red tortoise guard from IKNmusic. I kinda like it, but somehow I can't help but think it's not quite right. It does have a thin layer of celluloid, and the pattern looks like it goes all the way through the layer, so I don't think it's a print.

    I would pay more for a genuine Fender one, and while they look a little better, a lot of people say they look horrible. And while I'm sure they're nice, I'll never pay $250+ for a Spitfire guard.

    So, this is like the one I received....although, in person the yellow parts are not as saturated. How does it look? Looks a little off, right? And a little "low res" with too much yellow, no? Looking at this, should I pay $31 for a Fender one?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  2. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

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    That looks great. Much better than samples I got from a lot pricier places. If it's not a print you got a deal.
    It looks good on my monitor.
     
  3. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    some torts are more red than others, but i think they all look good.
     
  4. tele_paul

    tele_paul Tele-Meister

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    Good to know. So, it's probably not a print then? I don't see any printer dots or pixels like people complain about, but it looks fuzzier than some pricier ones. I also don't notice a 3D effect. There's a thin layer of celluloid, but when you move it around under lights there is no effect like on pearloid guards....then again, I'm not sure what a tortoise "3D effect" is supposed to look like.

    On one hand I'm wondering if it's a print with a clear layer of celluloid over it, but then again, when I view the edge, the color permeates the whole celluloid layer. I guess I'm just looking for a particular look that "luck of the draw" didn't give me.

    I'll probably keep it, especially if it's not a print. I paid a grand total of $9.60, so I guess I can't complain too much. I am still curious how this one compares to genuine Fender, so it someone has both, please let me know your opinion.
     
  5. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

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    I recently got a cheap sheet of green pearloid. When I went to cut it I noticed only one very thin layer of "green pearloid" in a sandwich of plastic but it did the job.
    Tortwise I once got a very pixellated guard from Guitar Fetish, you could not only see the lousy pixellation but also the mincemeat pattern . Looked fine from 10' away. The tort samples I got had no depth or light through them, they were just a good photo of tort. That you can see light or pattern on the edge of the pickguard looks better than what I was looking at. I'd guess for 9.60 it is a print though

    You do go down a deep, deep rabbit hole with tort, quit while you're ahead, especially for 9.60. Or just do it up right with a Spitfire;)
    Disclaimer; like you I've never paid much attention to tort and I am far from expert.

    How does it look on the guitar?
     
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  6. tele_paul

    tele_paul Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the feedback. TBH I don't know how it looks on the guitar quite yet. The Tele is Lake Placid Blue and I just installed a cheap black pg that looks good for now. I've collected 4 extra pickguards recently and plan to swap them out every string charge or two, for the sake of variety. I think it's going to look pretty good, especially since the fingerboard is orange/red (Pao Ferro).
     
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  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Is this a country western thread?:twisted:
     
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  8. tele_paul

    tele_paul Tele-Meister

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    It can be lol! As a rock/metal guy, I've recently started getting into Country in my late 30s, just a couple years back. The real stuff is great stuff!
     
  9. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Reference only. This is Fender tort guard from 2021. Not actually made from turtles. It’s more brown than red but has some blonde highlights.
    upload_2021-4-2_22-40-15.png
     
  10. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    So, and your interest in tort pickguards has just started "recently"? Coincidence?;)
     
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  11. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Afflicted

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    I’m happy with mine from the same supplier on my Aztec Gold Squier Strat:
    A4B7392C-49C9-4CDD-B8E6-DBBD72A791CD.jpeg
     
  12. string pull

    string pull Tele-Meister

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    Fender Japan red tort 20210403_000510.jpg
     
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  13. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Afflicted

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    I personally really like "yellow tortoise" guards the most. They're not the easiest to find, but Warmoth offers the material.
     
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  14. tele_paul

    tele_paul Tele-Meister

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    Exactly! The two interests definitely coincide. In fact, I specifically started seeking out tortoise pickguards for that more rustic, Country Western look. I also like the aged pearl guards for the same reason. Some day I'm going to spring for a nice leather pickguard, and if I'm lucky enough, a leather wrapped tele like Waylon.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
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  15. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    If it looks good to you, then go with it. Vintage tort doesn’t mean that much to me, except when it looks good.

    When I was in my teens when I wanted a white Jazzmaster with a tort guard (early 90s). I tried to make my off white ‘82 G&L like what I had imagined, so I had somebody make me a custom guard I actually designed (there’s no guard for a SC-1). It was printed and I wore through the print to the white plastic below within a couple years. Needless to say, I don’t care for printed tort. Looks like s_t, one of those “once seen can’t be unseen” things.

    But I pulled myself out of the tort rabbit hole. Some guys like brown, red, 60s even tone, swirl, striped, on and on. I bought a mid-60s vintage red tort guard, looked great.

    I’m over it. The stuff you have above looks good. Fender stuff looks good. It’s all context. I sold my Spitfire for about the same I paid for it (when it was the lowest price ever). Can you spot the vintage guard? Can you spot the Spitfire?

    38F89964-811C-4062-B9D6-59D6018C0BE0.jpeg
     
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  16. tele_paul

    tele_paul Tele-Meister

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    that looks killer! Is that the brown tort? If mine ends up looking that good on my LPB Tele then I'll have no complaints.

    hmm....despite the rough protective plastic layer, it looks pretty good. Mine looks similar in person, except maybe a little more "low res" for lack of a better term.

    I like those too! Like the one on the Prince guitar. And I just watched Warmoth's video on that today...glad they offer that permanently now. I used to think that was Leopard print lmao.
     
  17. tele_paul

    tele_paul Tele-Meister

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    thanks for the insight! I'll follow your example and accept my pg for what it is. ;)

    I'm going to guess that the Lake Placid blue guitar is vintage tort and the bottom, far right, is Spitfire? How did I do?
     
  18. Telecasters84

    Telecasters84 Tele-Meister

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    I’m also happy with mine. More brown tones than yours, but that’s what I was looking for on this project. Red tones like yours look great too. This one is from The STRATosphere for reference.

    upload_2021-4-2_21-31-34.jpeg
     
  19. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Afflicted

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    What a load of nonsense!

    What does it matter what shade it is, as long as u are happy? U don't seriously think a vintage one started out the colour it is now? U don't seriously think the one u pick won't change colour ova time?

    There are dozens of shades of tortoise shell. Just pick one u like!
    .
     
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  20. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Afflicted

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