|A couple of years ago I bought an old
Yahama 1200 arch top guitar that I fell in love with in a local guitar
store. A pretty sunburst thing with gold trimmings and a Bigsby.
I didn't need the Bigsby as I was looking for a good "chunk
chunk" rhythm sound that I could give my pickin' buddies. (I
really wanted an old DelVechio like Chet used to play, but I ain't
rich.) It had some "wear" on some of the gold trims
especially on the pickups and Bigsby handle, but I figured it was just a
little "wear" on an older guitar.
I didn't play all that often, but after a few months I
noticed that every time I would go to play it - the strings would be
rusty. Because I was using D'Addario Chromes - it was costing me
$10 bucks every time I wanted to use it. So, I pretty much just
stuck it in the basement corner - and, there it sat.
This past weekend I took it over to our Ohio
Fingerstyle Guitar Club Pickin' Party to put it out and maybe somebody
would like to buy it. And, when the first guy picked it up he
noticed the strings were rusty. When I explained my dilemma
another guy (Jerry Hyland - great craftsman) chimed in that he had read
an article in a guitar mag a couple years ago where older plastic pick
guards have a tendency to deteriorate over time and release some sort of
vapors (probably an acid of sorts) - and, not only will it corrode the
strings - it will turn the gold hardware GREEN. WHICH IS EXACTLY
WHAT IT HAD DONE TO THE PICKUPS!!! ARG.... We looked further down onto
the pickups - and, they were all green towards the pick guard...
I have no idea how to tell when plastic starts to
decompose like this, but my advise is that if your strings start to rust
up prematurely like mine did - REPLACE THE PICK GUARD!!