Gilroy guitars of Australia make a very special wooden scratch plate for Fender Stratocaster guitars and others. They are moderately expensive and look awesome but just how good are these things? and is it really worth the effort?
Gilroy Fender Stratocaster Wooden Scratch Plate Review
Don't be surprised if you have never seen this maker of fine wooden scratch plates for Fender Stratocaster's before.. Australia is a long way away for most of us (unless you live there). I came across this maker when I was making by 'Brown' Stratocaster as also reviewed on this website. I wanted a scratch plate or 'pick guard' as some guys call them, that was different and was going to make you say 'wow where DID you get that from'. So when I was looking on their website I saw this fantastic pick guard made by 'Peter' who is the man when it comes down to this sort of exquisite and rare sort of upgrade for your stratocaster.
Gilroy Scratch Plate - click image for a larger view
Above is the one I chose for the guitar I was making, but in reality when I got the scratch plate, I decided it was a little too dark for that particular guitar so I did not fit it. The pick guard is made of Quilted Maple as you can see in this image and is made flawlessly. It was an exact match for the model of guitar for what I wanted (basically a 62 style stratocaster) and looked awesome. The finish is second to none - they take great care over that finish and spend long hours getting the overall final product just right.
But originally I was concerned about buying the plate made of wood. Regular scratch plates are thin, but made of wood? is this thing going to bee too thick for my liking? You might have the same concerns. But thankfully, this pick guard was fine in all respects - here's a shot of it at an angle:
The Business end of the Gilroy Scratch Plate for Fender Stratocasters
The scratch plate is signed by Gilroy Guitars as well as serialized so these things are really a one off and you can bet that no other guitar in the world will have the same top as yours with one of these fitted. Gilroy Guitars hand make these, laboriously, one by one, so they are not your average $30 pick guard, but that's not what you wanted if you buy one of these... is it? These are really well made plates and I have never seen anyone make them as cool as this before - and they even send you a free screening plate to stop all that unwanted hum!
Its obvious to most guys, that the plate will not fit every stratocaster made ever - the variances are by Fender are huge, especially when it comes down to the holes for mounting. But its not too big a deal to solve that - and I guess that if you called 'Peter' then he could even make one to your exact requirements. Mine took about 10 days to arrive (if I remember correctly, I'm getting older by the day) but it was well packed and completely undamaged. It might have come by kangaroo :-)
There's something special about these guys... I think its something to do with that Fosters stuff they drink... they have crocodiles too... so I'm not going to argue... but these guys are not good at cricket... nobody's perfect. But this is one cool supplier you might well have just missed. And they always have lots of time for you too. A nice refreshing change.
Here's what I like:
- Quality is exceptional
- Choice of woods
- Signed and serialized
- Free screening plate
- Other designs for other models
- Friendly company
And here's what is a bit of a pain:
- Far away from the UK (and anywhere else except New Zealand)
But don't hold that against them - these are seriously great guitar pick guards and quite unique. I don't know of another company doing anything like this so I thought I might tell others about this supplier. Overall score is 9 out of 10 and this one can be recommended! And its only 9 because of the distance.
So if you are looking for a custom scratch plate like no other - check these guys out... Tell em Tony sent ya... Here's their website again.
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