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Tele bridge elevator plate materials - empirical results

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Mahogany, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. Mahogany

    Mahogany Tele-Meister

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    Are there any detailed comparisons of the varied materials used for elevator plates?
     
  2. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    I just checked in here to see what an elevator plate was.
    Sorry, I'm no help
     
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  3. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    You're talking about the bridge plate I s'pose? It doesn't elevate, it just lays there, unless you mean in the spiritual sense of a good-sounding tele elevating the soul.
     
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  4. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Please show us a picture of an elevator plate so we can assist. That's not a known term in the Telecaster world.
     
  5. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Do you mean a shim to raise the bridge?
     
  6. Dano-caster

    Dano-caster Tele-Meister

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    You got a rise out of me...
     
  7. Mahogany

    Mahogany Tele-Meister

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    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. "

    Actually that is a term known in the Telecaster world, ergo my inquiry.



    https://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/...d-on-the-bottom-of-a-telecaster-bridge-pickup

    The plate used on the bottom of a Telecaster bridge pickup is commonly called an elevator plate to support the Telecaster bobbin and is punched out of a cold rolled steel and is copper plated to help keep the plate from rusting and the plating makes it easier to solder the ground wire. The plating reduces the oxidation and the early Broadcaster, Esquire and Telecasters can be found with non-plated elevator plates. They are adjusted by 3 – 6/32 machine screws. The early screws were round head slotted and later used round head Phillips. Only until recently, the ferrous elevator plate was not wax potted to the pickup, and playing at higher volumes caused the pickup to become microphonic.
     
  8. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire

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    You must be kidding :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
  9. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here is Bill Lawrence's analysis.

    Explained by Bill Lawrence.

    Bridge Pickup Base Plates
    There is quite some confusion about the Tele bridge base plate. Everybody tries to explain the reason for this baseplate with only one function, but this baseplate has, in reality, 3 different functions:

    A. Ferromagnetic functions,

    B. Electrodynamic functions

    C. All metal plates provide extra shielding.

    #1 -- Only the steel baseplates corresponds to function A, B, and C.

    #2 -- Brass, copper and aluminum baseplates have no ferromagnetic functions, and therefore, only correspond to function B and C

    #3 -- Alloys of the 300 series stainless steels have neither ferromagnetic nor electrodynamic functions and therefore, only correspond to function C.




    Brass Base Plate - notice that the base plate also serves as the ground for the bridge pickup.

    Function A

    Leo Fender used copper-plated steel baseplates on the Tele bridge pickup to stabilize and to increase the magnetic force of the relatively weaker Alnico 3 slugs. The ferromagnetic steel plate increases the inductance of the coil (like increasing the number of turns on the coil).

    The steel baseplate also transmits from the steel bridge mount via the steel mounting screws some of the body vibrations into the pickup, resulting in that typical Tele twang. As a negative, this is also the cause of microphonic squealing at high volume levels.

    Function B

    Baseplates made of steel, copper, brass or aluminum are the cause of eddy current interference. Eddy currents shift the resonances toward the lows, resulting in a fatter, more pleasant tone, especially in the bridge position. If you don’t want to increase the inductance of the coil and the magnetic force of the magnets, aluminum and brass baseplates are ideal to fine tune the tone of single coil pickups.

    These baseplates can be very effective on traditional single coil pickups with alnico slugs, but on many different designs, the result can be disastrous.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
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  10. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Well you will get more answers if you use the name most common :D people use to describe this plate.
    It's called a BASE plate for us mere mortals ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
  11. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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  12. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire

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    You are correct Nick. I referenced the wrong information and have now edited my post.

    Unfortunately I can no longer find a way to access the "Resources" section of TDPRI which contained that info and lots more. Perhaps it all disappeared when new owner took over.
     
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  13. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire

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    Another explanation from Guitar.com

    "The metal baseplate made it easy to hang the pickup off a conventional Tele bridge using exposed screw heads for easy height adjustment. The black leadout wire was also soldered to the base plate, which grounded the bridge and obviated the need for a separate bridge ground wire


    The original baseplates were made from steel plated in zinc or copper. These days, you can get plates made from other metals, such as brass and stainless steel, but they have differing effects. Bill Lawrence identified three areas of influence: ferromagnetic functions, electrodynamic functions and shielding. Since the shielding effect is fairly inconsequential, we’ll focus on the others.

    The ferromagnetic function stabilised and increased the magnetic force of the relatively weak alnico III slugs that were available to Fender at the time. Often called an induction plate, the Tele’s metal baseplate also increased the inductance of the coils – much like adding extra windings. The only metal that does this is steel, and increased inductance and magnetic strength combine to make a pickup more powerful.

    Steel, copper and brass baseplates all cause eddy current interference. This electrodynamic effect alters the frequency response of a pickup, beefing up the bass and low midrange response to balance out the trebly tone. So copper or brass plates can be used to warm up a Tele bridge pickup without increasing output. If you use steel, you get fatter tone and increased output. Baseplate swapping is a cheap and effective tone tweak, but plates thicker than 1/16 inches can make a pickup sound muddy."
     
  14. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Now that it's identified...

    I haven't seen an analysis from anyone on various materials, but my thought is that it needs to be a ferrous material to have any significant effect. If it's not magnetically attractive, I wouldn't think it would affect the magnetic field very much. Ergo: standard carbon steel instead of stainless steel, brass, or copper. I wouldn't expect plating to do anything but keep the steel from rusting.
     
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