What is this metal plate below the bridge pu?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Meister

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    Guys,

    What is this metal plate below the bridge pu I keep hearing about?


    Which current Tele has this metal plate?
     
  2. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Meister

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    Wow, serious?
    Pretty much every Tele...

    untitled.png
     
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  3. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Meister

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    My bad Ess Eff :)

    I thought that depending upon which pu's a certain Tele has (Tex Mex pu's for example), that metal base plate is not always there.
     
  4. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Correct. Standard plastic bobbin pickup usually don't have it, MIM some Japanese although some do. It's a particular of vintage style pickups that have Forbon (compressed fibrous tarred paper).

    Most aftermarket and OV, PV, AO pickups plus Custom Shop pickups like Nocasters, Broadcasters have it.

    Some people assert that it makes no tonal difference and it's purpose along with the original 'ashtray' was a shield and ground for the bridge pickup.
     
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  5. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    The absolute essence of the Tele sound
     
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  6. kbold

    kbold Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    The following taken from Bare Knucke Pickups website

    • What are zinc-plated steel baseplates?
      Zinc-plated steel baseplates for Strat coils add more bottom end definition, clarity and power to the coil. They work on the same principle as a Tele bridge baseplate, with tapped mounting holes so height adjustment screws thread directly into the baseplate, ensuring it will never fall off. The baseplates are wax potted with the coil to prevent microphonic feedback. Whilst it is most common to fit one to the bridge coil only, the zinc-plated steel baseplates work well on middle and neck coils too.
     
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  7. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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  8. Tuxedo Poly

    Tuxedo Poly Tele-Afflicted

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  9. hellopike

    hellopike Tele-Afflicted

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    This picture doesn’t really show or explain the metal plate sometimes found on the underside of a telecaster bridge pickup.
     
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  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Some of the plates are designed more as anti-hum shielding when an ashtray cover is combined with it.
    A steel plate will reflect the magnetic field normally 'lost' to the back of the guitar and give you more output.
    I have found the best performance is 1/8th inch thick steel, convenient source is a $1 house electrical octagon box cover, cut with a hack saw then file and drill. You can try many different bits of steel from your kitchen or garage junk drawer and see what works the best. Even on a Strat bridge pickup.



    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  11. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    A lot of telecasters don't have this, and they still sound like telecasters.
     
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  12. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Meister

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    I retract my "My bad" I made to Ess Eff :) :) :)
     
  13. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Meister

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    Haha.... guess I don't buy Teles that are cheap enuf.
    All my 6 Teles (2 MIA, 2 MIJ, 2 MIM) and all the after market Tele pups I have bought, have the metal base plate.
    .
    IMG_20190306_091304.jpg
     
  14. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Meister

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    I was just making a joke :) :) :) :) :) :)

    Regardless:
    1) I never brought up whether a Tele was cheap or expensive, just the plate.
    2) Please define cheap.
     
  15. Kylote

    Kylote TDPRI Member

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    Yea, the stock bridge pickup in my 2009 Fender American Standard tele didn't have a baseplate. I replaced it with a Cavalier Fat Lion which does have one. I can't personally state what difference the plate makes because they are completely different pickups, so I can't quantify what differences are because of the wind, components or baseplate.

    Either way, I wouldn't say an American Standard is "cheap" and at least in 2009 the bridge pickup didn't have a baseplate.

    I've since sold it, but the listing still exists that shows it without a baseplate
    https://reverb.com/item/22620556-fender-american-standard-telecaster-pickups
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
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  16. Mur

    Mur Tele-Afflicted

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    As I recall, Red Velvet Hammer pups had that metal plate.
     
  17. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are both expensive and inexpensive telecaster bridge pickups with and without the metal plate. Some American telecasters do not have the plate. I've owned both and have not observed any differences in tone.

    CONCLUSION: It matters if you want it to.
     
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  18. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    People put metal bass plates under bridge pickups on strats etc. Maybe the op is talking about the after market brass or metal bass plates people fit to their bridge pickups?

    I haven't tried one but I wouldn't write them off without having tested the difference first.
    I thought I read a post that said the 50's classic vibes might have them on the bridge pickup? I own one but didn't bother to look when replacing it with a lil 59.
    Lollar was offering them as an option years ago and you could find them on ebay mostly for strats..
    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  19. teletimetx

    teletimetx Poster Extraordinaire

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    I got some "Texas Special" pickups in my MIM; the bridge has a "copper-plated" steel plate.

    does it sound any different? Beats me - the TX Specials are supposed to be more rock than country (sales propaganda = "increased output, presence and midrange"). I like them a lot, but can't say anybody else will or won't.

    Like everything else, you just got to play as many as you can and see what you like.

    Here's a picture! Copper plated! I guarantee that no one that ever listens to it goes, "hey, was that the sound of copper plated steel?"

    IMG_8097.JPG
     
  20. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I guess training wheels on a bicycle is a clumsy analogy, but I found that beginning/intermediate guitar players get the gist of the Telecaster sound better and faster, when they use a Tele with a base plate. Coming over from a Gibson or Ibanez.

    Of course a skilled player can make a T style without a base plate sound like a Telecaster. But, a lot of these guys can also make a Stratocaster sound like a Telecaster, and etc. How many examples can we think of where Roy Nichols or Reggie Young used a Gibson or whatever and many of us thought we were hearing a Telecaster?
     
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