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The Scratch Pad

Reusable Guitar Finish Protector


The Scratch Pad is a removable, non-adhesive pad that puts a thick layer of protection between your guitar and the many abrasive surfaces that can destroy the finish.

The Problem

If you are honest, shortly after purchasing your last new guitar the reality of the first scratch crept into the back of your mind.

Some guitarists describe scratches and dings as "character" or "battle scars", but, in the words of Kurt Wilson, "Scratches aren't character... they're just scratches." They look bad and reduce resale value.

What can you do?

You can try not wearing a belt, but surprisingly most scratches come from pocket rivets, not the belt buckle.

You can try wearing long-tail shirts, which is impracticle for anyone who performs with a group that projects an up-scale image.

You can try wearing leather covered belt-buckles, or using a strap that is so short the guitar rests on your stomach, or one of many other solutions tried over the years. Unfortunately, each of these solutions has it's expenses and problems. Even blue jeans that feel soft, and many shirt fabrics can scratch your guitar.

What can you do to end the common scratch? Put a Scratchpad, a thick fabric removeable non-adhesive pad between the finish of your guitar and all those abrasives.

How It Works

The secret is a thick pad of soft fabric held firmly to your guitar without the use of adhesives. This means it leaves nothing behind, can be easily removed, repositioned, or moved to another guitar, with very little effort.

The secret is the patented copolymer called "Sof-Cling". This plastic-like under-surface appears smooth to the naked eye, but when magnified you can see thousands of mini-suction cups. When placed against a smooth surface, such as your guitar, they grip firmly.

On top of a long-lasting layer of Sof-Cling are layers of fabric that end with a soft and attractive velveteen.

Scratch Pad DimensionsThe Scratch Pad is large enough to accommodate the most vulnerable wear areas of all electric and acoustic guitars. It is nearly a foot long, and varies from nearly seven inches to 9.25 inches at the widest point. The shape mimics the layout of most electric guitars, but the fabric is easy to cut so you can customize the shape. You could even use one on multiple guitars (the key is to cover the area most likely to encounter wear).

Personalization & Peace Of Mind

The Scratch Pad is available with a variety of designs. It's not merely another anonymous accessory, it can say something about who you are and how you feel.

Select Sounds carries three varieties at the time of this review: velveteen black, the Christian fish on velveteen black, and a Christian cross interwoven with a treble clef on velveteen black. Other designs are available for order (see the ScratchPadUSA website).

Guarantee & Other Considerations

The manufacturer guarantees your full satisfaction for 30 days from the date of purchase. If you don't like it, send them your protector and sales receipt for a full refund of the purchase price.

Though tested with many finishes, the manufacturer makes note of a few cautions.

This innovative protector is manufactured specifically to work with the vast majority of guitar finishes, which are polyurethane. A small percentage of guitars are made using a lacquer called nitrocellulose. Nitrocellulose manufacturers advise against exposure to any material that restricts airflow to a nitrocellulose finish which has not cured for at least one year. The manufacturer recommends that owners of nitrocellulose finishes remove their Scratch Pad between uses and never store the guitar with a one installed. In addition, owners of guitars with French Polish should not use one.

In Use

The first installation requires some effort to remove it from the reusable plastic backing. This is a side-effect of manufacturing, and it gives you some idea of how well the micro-suction cups work!

Clean your guitar so that the surface is free of oils, polish, wax and lint. Then, simply place the gel-side of the pad onto your guitar. Save the plastic back in case you ever need to store your Scratch Pad.

I installed one on three guitars; an acoustic, a Stratocaster electric, and an Ibanez electric bass. It fit the strat and the acoustic perfectly, and the size is large enough that I no longer consider scratches and abrasions a possibility. The bass is shaped oddly enough that I had to modify the shape. Luckily, this is as easy as giving it a little thought and pulling out a sharp pair of scissors. Now, my bass is as secure as the other guitars.

My one concern, especially with the modified Scratch Pad on my bass guitar, was that the edges would begin to peel back and become a problem. My fears have not materialized, even after being removed and returned to the guitar several times, clings tightly from edge to edge.

The company claims that you can clean the gel side of the pad with a lint free cloth and rubbing alcohol if it ever becomes coated with lint or dirt. I don't see how this can happen unless you mistakenly set it down without the included plastic backing. But, it's nice to know you could restore it to like-new condition if needed.

Though I use them as originally intended, on the back of my guitar, I have heard that some people cut them for use as pick-guards or to protect the upper front portion of a guitar where their arm rubs while picking or strumming.

I've grown accustomed to the soft feel of the Scratch Pad on each of my guitars, and I can't see ever going without them in the future.

Availability & Price

At the time I write this the suggested retail price for the Scratch Pad's is $26.95, but you can pick up one of the Scratch Pad Guitar Finish Protector's from the Select Sounds Guitar Maintenance page for $19.88. The Scratch Pad is available in several styles for immediate delivery. Other styles may be available by special order.



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