So I ordered a loaded pickguard with SD SSL-1s for my Strat copy, got the wiring all hooked up and everything is working properly..only the string spacing of the pickups seems off. The bridge pickup is perfect, each string is directly above its corresponding pole piece, but on the neck and middle pickups, the strings on the bass side (E,A,D) are slightly off, and are not directly above the pole pieces. The middle is just slightly off, but with the neck pickup, the low E especially is pretty far off. Is this going to be a big problem or will the pickup still pick up the string vibrations? I can't adjust the string spacing, so should I shift the pickguard position slightly to compensate?

And a slightly related question, the pickguard as it is now is sitting right against the bottom of the fretboard, which leaves a gap between the pickguard and bridge by a couple mm. Should I try and move it closer to the bridge, or does the mm or two gap between the bridge and the guard not really matter? I know a lot of a Strat's sound comes from the positioning of the pickups, so before I drill holes for the guard I want to figure out the best spot for it.

regarding the polepieces: it doesn't matter as long as you don't mind how it looks. it should still "work" just fine.

regarding the positioning of the pickguard: maybe try some googling to see if you can get dimensions of a strat to see exactly where the pickups go? I'm guessing that should be possible to find. watch you don't get the pickguard too close to the bridge though in case it catches on it when using the trem.
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 31, 2014,
Leave the pickguard pushed up against the neck. It's OK to have a bit of space at the trem end. And I agree with Dave. The string-pole piece alignment shouldn't affect the sound, but having it that far off would bother me just because it doesn't look right.
Looks like your neck is out of alignment - the high e string looks a little closer to the fretboard edge than the low e. Just nudge it over a bit, then your strings should line up better.
Last edited by J-E-M at Aug 31, 2014,