As it turns out, pickguards are overlooked by some when it comes to sound output. Well, the truth of the matter is that installing a new set of pickups on your guitar can drastically change the tone of the guitar. Even if you install pickups of the same family, you most certainly are going to have a noticeable change.
Installing new pickups can be a headache especially if you lack experience. Well, not to worry since provided you get the best pre wired pickguards, things should be really easy.
Yet another advantage of getting a pre-wired pickguard is that it is loaded with a switching system, tone pots and the volume among other things. At the same time, you also need to pick one that protects the guitar. Now that you have a rough idea of what this post is all about, let’s dive in.
- Top 7 best pre wired pickguard reviews
- 1. Musiclily 11 Hole Loaded Strat Pickguard
- 2. Fender Modern Pickguard, Stratocaster, 11-Hole – Tortoise Shell
- 3. Seymour Duncan Everything Axe Loaded Pickguard White
- 4. KAISH Vintage Tortoise Loaded Electric Guitar Pickguard
- 5. Surfing Triple Rails Loaded Prewired Pickguard
- 6. EMG KH20 Pro Series Kirk Hammett Active Pickup Prewired Guitar Pickguard
- 7. ammoon 3-ply SSH Loaded Prewired Humbucker Pickguard
- Features to consider when choosing a pre-wired pickguard
- Final verdict
Top 7 best pre wired pickguard reviews
On to the main agenda, do have a look at the pickguards below. Not only are they going to make the installation process easy, but each of them is also a worthy upgrade for you.
1. Musiclily 11 Hole Loaded Strat Pickguard
Starting off our reviews is an amazing 1l-hole pickguard from Musiclily. If you want something that features both amazing aesthetics and holds up equally as well on the performance, this should be a worthy investment. You can have it in 6 different color options.
Starting with the design, this one features the 11-holes standard SSS Strat style. As it turns out, this should be compatible with most modern electric guitars. Considering it’s got 11 holes; you’ll get more tone which means the guitar generally sounds better.
This bad boy also features the standard single-coil pickups. There is also a ceramic magnet, it’s wax potted and the output is 5.7K ohms for the neck and middle while that of the bridge is 6.0K ohms.
To make the set-up process easy, you’ll have the standard style knobs already installed on this.
Additionally, it comes with a switch, the pickups and the circuit are prewired for you. There are also pickguard screws available right out of the box.
You should check the wiring map for this product to avoid any mistakes and compromising its performance.
- Has standard single-coil pickups
- Features a 4ply tortoiseshell design
- Has got 11 holes for a better tone
- You might have to fill the holes for them to line up
2. Fender Modern Pickguard, Stratocaster, 11-Hole – Tortoise Shell
More often than not, the brand does matter when it comes to guitars and guitar parts. Considering this one comes from Fender; you’ll have guaranteed quality and performance. Even so, here’s a look at what it packs under the hood.
To ensure compatibility, it comes in lots of different variants of the 8, 10 and 11 holes. With this 11-hole bad boy, it should be good enough a fit for most modern guitars. To add icing on the cake, the fact that it comes with 11 holes means that you’ll get a better tone out of it.
For the build quality, it features a tortoiseshell design. This is not at all easy to come by on most pickguards and besides its durability, it’s going to stand out in the room. It’s also worth mentioning that this is the same pickguard you’ll get on the production models so yet again; quality is guaranteed with this bad boy.
Something to be keen on:
As much as this pickguard is compatible with dozens of guitars, ensure you check the screw hole pattern fits before purchase.
- Features a real tortoiseshell design
- Comes in the 11-hole variant
- Constructed with premium celluloid
- You might have to realign the screw holes
3. Seymour Duncan Everything Axe Loaded Pickguard White
Though white wouldn’t be my first go-to color for a pickguard upgrade, this one blew most pickguards in its class out of the water.
For starters, to get it to have a wide variety of tones, it features a 3-pickup set. This should be enough to handle lots of different music genres. Included on this bad boy is a JB Jr. Bridge model that will get the bridge position on your strat guitar to a whole new level.
Additionally, it features a high output single-coil sized humbucker for a screaming lead tone and crunchy cords. At the same time, the lead tone is made better with a classic upper midrange cut. Not to forget the low end, this bad boy packs quite a punch on this as well.
When it comes to flexibility, this is unlike any other pickguard, it features the liberator solderless system which makes it quite easy to swap pickups that have 4 conductor lead wires. For squeal free operation, the pickup is wax potted. Last but not least, considering all the pots, selector switch and caps are of high quality, durability will be unmatched.
- Features a solderless system
- Comes with high-quality components
- Features an 11-screw hole design
- Ensure it’s compatible with your guitar before buying
4. KAISH Vintage Tortoise Loaded Electric Guitar Pickguard
Looking for a pickguard with a guaranteed fit on your fender Strat? This should do the trick. Additionally, it has got 7 different color options to choose from for the best aesthetics.
With performance being a priority, it features a classic staggered polepiece and the pickups on it feature a bright, spanky and articulate single-coil sound. The resistance on the pickups is 5.7K, 5.7K, and 6.4K for the neck, middle and bridge respectively.
As for the pole spacing, it has got 50mm, 50mm, and 52mm for the neck, middle and bridge respectively. The pickguard also boasts the vintage-voiced single-coil pickups. This gets you a sweet and round vintage tone that sounds fantastic.
There is also a ceramic magnet on this bad boy with 250k pots and a 5-way switch so this should be the go-to upgrade for a warmer sound.
For a hassle-free installation process, the pickguard screws are included right out of the box. It should, therefore, be easy enough to replace your old pickguard. Speaking of replacement, it’s important to verify compatibility first before buying this.
- Has got a comfortable pole spacing
- It has screws right out of the box
- The ceramic magnet has 250k pots and 5-way switch
- It only fits Mexican/American standard Fender Strats
5. Surfing Triple Rails Loaded Prewired Pickguard
Though it comes in a modest mint-green design, there’s plenty it packs under the hood. For starters, when it comes to tonal versatility, it features the 5-way switch line. This makes it easy for you to use the middle, the neck and the bridge pickups with utmost flexibility.
As far as build quality is concerned, you’ll be getting 3 humbucker pickups with ceramic magnets on this pickguard. With the inclusion of the humbucker pickups, this should get you a louder, darker and heavier tone. So if you want an ideal pre-wired pickguard for metal, classics or pop, this is worth checking out
Also included in the design are 2 tone control knobs and a single volume knob. With all the three workings together, customization to get the preferred sound output shouldn’t be a problem.
The last thing that made this pickguard stand out is the inclusion of a 3-ply design. Despite having 3 layers of laminate on, comfort wasn’t compromised whatsoever.
- Features a 5-way switch line
- Includes 2 volume and 2 tone knobs
- Has got 3 humbucker pickups
- Grounding the unit is a little difficult
6. EMG KH20 Pro Series Kirk Hammett Active Pickup Prewired Guitar Pickguard
Coming up second last is the KH20 from EMG. Besides the pro series Kirk Hammett signature system, there is plenty to look forward to on this guitar.
First off, it is wired on a custom 11-hole design. This way, you get a wider tonal variation hence versatility at its best. Additionally, it features a pair of single-coil pickups. Considering they are of the single-coil design, there ill be an amazing note definition between strings and the tones will be bright and crisp.
What’s even more interesting is that the single-coil puck ups are combined with the EMG 81 humbucker. This, at the end of the day, allows you to meet your needs with this bad boy.
To add icing on the cake…
This guitar pickguard comes with ceramic bar magnets that give you controlled sound and an incredible level of sustain and versatility. Adding on to the fact that it is complete and ready to mount on your guitar, you’ll find this upgrade to be quite amazing.
For the looks, it features a white pearl design with contrasting black knobs that’ll make your guitar stand out.
- Has the EMG humbucker and single-coil pickups
- Wired on a custom 11-hole pickguard
- Features ceramic bar magnets
- Requires an active set up to work
7. ammoon 3-ply SSH Loaded Prewired Humbucker Pickguard
Other than the ravishing black-white-black design on this bad boy, the sound will be amazing. First, it comes with a 5-way switch which makes it easy to fully utilize the bridge, middle and neck pickups.
For the controls, there is a single volume knob and a pair of tone control knobs. The latter makes it easy enough for you to customize the kind of sound output you want. With the volume control knob, clarity won’t be an issue whatsoever regardless of the music genre you major in.
For the build quality, it comes in a compact and sturdy structure. The surface of this bad boy is also polished plus it has a 3-ply design. With 3 layers of laminate, durability will remain uncompromised.
The output for the neck, bridge middle, and bridge pickups are 5.5, 5.5 and 10-11K Ohms respectively. The bridge pickup is also a humbucker for a deeper and louder sound. With the 11-screw hole design, you’ll find this amazing in getting you a variety of tones
- Comes in a 3-ply design
- Has got a plastic and copper construction
- Comes with a 5-way switch
- You might have to fill the holes to line up correctly
Features to consider when choosing a pre-wired pickguard
To complement the reviews above, it’s important to pay attention to the following factors. This way, you’re guaranteed to get the best pickguard upgrade for your guitar.
The last thing you want is to get a pickguard that will not fit in your guitar. In most cases, you will have to choose between one with 9 or 11 holes. The latter is more common for the vintage guitars and the former is common with modern ones.
This is rather obvious when choosing a pre-wired pickguard. You should always go for one that’s as protected as possible. This is normally done with high-quality synthetic plastics such as celluloid. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference.
Everyone wants their guitar to stand out in the room, right? Well, I do. Because of this, I’d go for the best patterns I can get my hands on. Alternatively, one could choose a single color or a specific color gradient. You’ll normally be presented with options when buying a pickguard so things should be relatively easy.
Set up and installation
The main reason for getting a pre-wired pickguard is to avoid cumbersome installation processes, right? Since this is a priority, I’d recommend you go for one that comes with all the essential installation gear. I normally go for a reputed brand. After all, doing this ensures that I get the best value for my money with an all-round pickguard.
Considering compatibility is an issue when choosing the best pre wired pickguards, I can’t emphasize enough on how keen you should be when choosing one. With the buying guide above and 7 of the best just a click away, I believe that it should be easier than before shopping for one. All the best.