I recently changed the pickguard on my Squier Classic Vibe 50s Strat. I just restrung it and played it through my amp and it sounds like absolute crap, nothing like it used to. I played it through several amps and I'm still getting the muffled, low output tone. I tried adjusting the height of the pickups multiple times and it didn't do any good. It also sounds much worse when played through my pedals. The only difference between the new pickguard and the old one is that the old one has metallic tape near the area where the pickups are whereas the new one only has the metallic tape near the pots. Could this be an issue or did I somehow mess up the internal wiring?
The only effect that removing the shielding around the pickups would be for outside noise interference ( Florescent bulbs, Neon signs etc.).
You could go all out, and overboard, like I did and do this (Jack cavity is shielded as well):

Check all wiring. 3 times at least.
And the heights of ALL pickups.
Also check the pots.
If you have a multimeter, remove pots and check them throughout their range.
Check ALL solder connections, even ones you did not make yourself.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Sep 20, 2011,