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Base Plate Materials for S.C. Pups

5/16/2006 10:04 AM
DMW Base Plate Materials for S.C. Pups
If the books concerning Fender manufacturing history are correct, then Fender has used tin, zinc and steel (copper clad) at various times for Tele pickup base plates. I've thought about trying brass. I'm thinking that many non-ferrous metals might be OK. Copper-clad steel, or plain steel, seems to be the most popular choice, however. Is there a specific reason for the use of steel, or do you think a brass plate would be OK? I would appreciate any input on this.  
5/16/2006 2:10 PM
David Schwab

Steel is magnetic, so it sticks to the magnets and alters the magnetic circuit, and usually seems to give a boost (I'm just going by what I've read... I haven't had a Tele to experiment on).  
Brass is not magnetic, so you will loose highs due to eddy currents.  
GFS Pickups have Strat pickups with a brass base plate, which they say warms up the top end.
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5/17/2006 3:55 AM
Duck Soup
Man, I have heard from several customers that GFS pickups are made so bad they die after a couple weeks. If you want to support total greed mentality buy some of that stuff, they don't care about guitar players at all....
5/17/2006 7:21 AM
David Schwab

I don't know much about them, but they certainly are cheap. I just found it strange they they were putting a brass plate under a pickup. I have a feeling they are just importing pickups from Asia.  
I was thinking of buying some of their dual blade strat size humbuckers, just to use for parts! They are about as cheap as a StewMac HB kit.
5/17/2006 9:21 AM
The pickups in my DiPinto Galaxie have a brass baseplate. It is very thick and looks more like a a structural part of the pickup. The height adjustment screws go through the baseplate and support the entire structure of the pickup:  
The DiPinto pickups don't sound exactly like Fender pickups, but they aren't supposed to, which is why I bought the guitar in the first place. They do have a well-balanced single-coil sound and a good amount of output, so I'm happy with them. I spoke to Chris DiPinto about the pickups and he said that he was going for a Jazzmaster sound for the Galaxie. The Jazzmaster uses wide pickups that are supposed to have less highs, so the brass plate helps to kill some highs from the narrow pickups. The pickups aren't as bright at Fender pickups but this might also be caused by the pickup inductance, which should be larger since they have steel poles. I never did get around to measuring the inductance of those DiPinto pickups, though, so I can't say for sure.
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