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Old October 4th, 2010, 07:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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why are single coil bridge pickups angled?

OK, so why are the bridge pickups on Teles and strats angled? And why is a bridge humbucker (usually) not angled?

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Old October 4th, 2010, 09:34 PM   #2 (permalink)

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There's a paragraph about this in one of the Tele history books. It was either Leo or one of his right hand men who were quoted as saying it needed to be angled to get the brilliance and clarity that a lap/pedal steel had, and that they didn't like it straight across.

A guy I know locally built an Esquire-ish guitar with a left handed bridge and pickup slant. I'd been thinking about building one for a while and he convinced me to do it. Now I just have to get offa my butt and get it done!
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Old October 4th, 2010, 09:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The further toward the neck the polepieces are, the bassier the sound of that string. So the angled tele bridge pickup gives a darker low E and a brighter high E than a straight pickup would.

As to why humbuckers aren't angled, who knows? The shape of the standard humbucker doesn't allow angling it. Though Rio Grande Makes a humbucker that resembles two angled tele bridge pickups, it's called the "Twangbucker."
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Old October 5th, 2010, 04:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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But then again, there's guitars with pick-up angled just the other way around so it's just a matter of preference.
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Old October 5th, 2010, 04:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Does the fact that a slanted pickup can be longer, and therefore have a larger coil, have anything to do with it?
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Old October 5th, 2010, 05:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Early amplifiers weren't very good with treble. They angled the pickup to get as much as they could...especially as pedal steel type lead sounds were fashionable.
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Old October 5th, 2010, 05:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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But then again, there's guitars with pick-up angled just the other way around so it's just a matter of preference.
Like Jimi
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Old October 5th, 2010, 02:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Why, you ask?

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Old October 5th, 2010, 04:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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the reason for the angle is because having pole pieces at different parts of the neck pick up different harmonic nodes on the string and give a different tone, and like mentioned above this can be used to give more bass or treble to certain strings, this is really if you decide that you would like to have particularly "trebley" highs or extra bass in your lower strings, or vice versa.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 03:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Early amplifiers weren't very good with treble. They angled the pickup to get as much as they could...especially as pedal steel type lead sounds were fashionable.
Of course they could have move the whole thing nearer to the bridge I suppose. And steel guitars have their pups at the straight angle.

Maybe they just thought it looked cool.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 04:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm getting that it's to make the top strings more trebly, but that it's largely down to taste. Which is good, as I'm considering my custom build where I may not be able to angle the pickup and, if I did, wouldn't be sure of the angle. But I'm getting the angle doesn't matter that much.
Anyway, I kinda find the top strings a bit too sharp so it might be nice to mellow them out.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 07:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yes, there are bright and twangy guitars out there with a bridge pup dead straight. Gretsches with dynasonics, for example.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 10:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I know this is a 3 year old thread but I found it doing a search. My two cents, since I just got my first two Teles ever. One is a Squier Affinity with an SD in the bridge and Noiseless on the neck and the other is a 3 pickup version by SX. Whether a Strat or Tele, I don't like a slanted pickup unless the slant is in the opposite direction.

Maybe it was good back then but I don't like it now. Why would you want to thin out the sound of the strings that are already thinner? That's why the bass I had has a split pickup with the split going closer to the neck on the thinner strings. I find the same principle with a guitar. At the very least, keep them straight like on Brian May guitars or Gibson single-coil pickups. It may be just my opinion but it's a bad design, then or now. Bad, bad design. Again, that's MY opinion only and not meant to insult anyone. It's just MY taste and others are free to like the current slant.

I intend to keep the SX and the search I was doing was trying to find a Tely bridge that will let me fit the bridge pickup straight.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 10:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Good luck finding that bridge and we'll let Leo know he screwed up. The actual reason was because someone cut the router template wrong in Leo never liked to waste anything so he just made 'em all that way.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 10:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Good luck finding that bridge and we'll let Leo know he screwed up
Since it's intentional to leave it that way it's not a screw up. For my taste, it's a bad design. To others, you too I imagine, it must be God's gift to the guitar world. Don't worry, I respect that.


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The actual reason was because someone cut the router template wrong in Leo never liked to waste anything so he just made 'em all that way.
I guess that wink means that's the story that goes around but it's not true? Again, I'm new to Tele's.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 10:37 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Good luck finding that bridge and we'll let Leo know he screwed up. The actual reason was because someone cut the router template wrong in Leo never liked to waste anything so he just made 'em all that way.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 11:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Good luck finding that bridge
Funny is that using Google again I now came across yet another thread on this site that is even older. The guy did a complete opposite slant. Click here to see it on post #9:

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/telecaste...tradition.html
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Old August 15th, 2013, 12:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Since it's intentional to leave it that way it's not a screw up. For my taste, it's a bad design. To others, you too I imagine, it must be God's gift to the guitar world. Don't worry, I respect that.




I guess that wink means that's the story that goes around but it's not true? Again, I'm new to Tele's.
Yep manny all of it was just my off beat attempt at humor. Should have been more polite and welcomed you first THEN then comes the attempt at humor. LOL

There are many stories in Fender lore about why certain things were done the way they were and seldom do they ever have just one simple explanation or point of view. Nacho's Blackguard Book tells a lot about those early years though.

The design is a little crazy for this era but I'm sure in 1950 it made some sense to Leo and his country pickin' advisors. Besides it's just another part of what makes that bridge pickup sound like it does and makes Tele kind of unique.

Anyway Welcome!
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Old August 15th, 2013, 12:39 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Funny is that using Google again I now came across yet another thread on this site that is even older. The guy did a complete opposite slant. Click here to see it on post #9:

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/telecaste...tradition.html
Yep, used a left handed bridge and neck and a right handed body and strung it right handed. That I've seen but not a Tele bridge plate that's cut straight. But all you'd need to do is use a separate hard tail bridge and just route the body differently like you would for a humbucker and you could mount it parallel to the neck pickup.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 12:47 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I was at Desperadoville last weekend, and Tony had a couple of custom builds he had put together with left handed bridges - opposite slant from the usual. A little more twang from the low strings and not quite as bright on the high strings.

BTW, Glendale makes a Tele bridge with a straight pickup.

http://www.glendaleguitars.com/glendale21.htm
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