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I've just finished repairing a Gibson Everly Brothers guitar that belongs to me. It's a pretty rare cherry sunburst model from 1994. It needed a truss rod replacement and repair of multiple top cracks. The guitar now sounds and plays excellent. I removed the large double pick guards to facilitate the repairs. My question is; Do I put the pick guards back on to maintain originality, and probably reduce the sound quality, or leave them off, which would look odd, but sound better? The "tan lines" from the pick guards are subtle, but visible. What would you do? Any advice is appreciated!

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My 2c - the totally over-the-top double pickguards are the trademark, the whole raison d’etre of that guitar.  Without them you have Hulk Hogan without the moustache - no magical power.  

You are absolutely right. That's what is so frustrating,that the guitar's trademark look also hurts the tone! It's a tough call.

You could purchase/make the pickguards, but not install them. That way you'll have the guitar the way you like it and can always install pickguards at a later date.

I still have the original imitation tortoiseshell pickguards.I was able to remove them in good shape, so I can reinstall them by adding double stick adhesive film. Thanks!

this one!! you can always add them!

It could be worse, or cooler - depending on how you look at it.

Ha Ha! Yes, it could certainly be worse! I'm sure I'll eventually put the pickguards back on. I want that magical power back. Sound killers or not, it looks naked without them. Thanks!

If the pickguards are the thick, molded plastic style, a thin replacement made with TorTis or similar material will be a great improvement.  I did this on a J-50 with good results.

Thanks Larry, the pickguards are actually thin plastic, so maybe they aren't as detrimental to the tone as they could be, I"ll probably wind up putting them back on. It just goes against my grain to do something that may hurt the sound even a little bit, but I guess in this case originality is more important.

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