Adding Plate to SC PU's? Myth?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by wavey63, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. wavey63

    wavey63 Member

    Messages:
    464
    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    My friend and I were discussing tele vs strat pu's and came upon the often discussed idea of adding a metal plate to the bottom of a regular single coil to add more power and twang(?) . Anyone ever do this and if so what does it actually do to the tone? Or is it just :NUTS?
    __________________
     
  2. EBGB

    EBGB Member

    Messages:
    725
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    It's a good question.
    John Suhr told me it takes away more than it adds.
    From 1st hand experience, I disagree.
    I had a baseplate put on the bridge pickup of a 62RI Fender Strat (stock pickups).
    It seems to boost output and mids of the bridge pickup, making it fuller.
    It's great for switching to the bridge pu and having it really cut, punch, and chime.
     
  3. supergenius365

    supergenius365 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,949
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    Clemmons, NC
    I agree. I have one on my '57 RI Strat bridge pick up and it definitely is fuller. Maybe the plate takes away some of the highs, and maybe that is what Suhr was referring to. Not sure. Either way, I am leaving mine on. It works really well.
     
  4. diego

    diego Member

    Messages:
    2,581
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco
    From my experience, I agree with the results above... worth doing on a Strat bridge pup.
     
  5. tacorivers

    tacorivers Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Funny. My Suhr came with a bassplate, and it is the best strat bridge that I've heard.
     
  6. EBGB

    EBGB Member

    Messages:
    725
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    Funny indeed. Is it an early model?


    Here is the exact email from JS:

    On Sun Nov 04 15:26:17 PST 2007, johnsuhr@suhrguitars.com wrote:
    Did they glue the base plate on?
    If not it will squeal, I wouldnt bother personally, baseplate
    detract more than they add
    Thanks
    JS
     
  7. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,357
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ghent, NY
    I got a Suhr with a baseplate too - great sounding bridge pickup for a Strat.
     
  8. EBGB

    EBGB Member

    Messages:
    725
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    Well, people are allowed to change their minds.
    He really only says that personally he doesn't want one.

    I think that- at least for strat personality- it's a better option than putting a hb or p90 in the bridge
    it's less of a major character shift when switching to the br, but still gets some of that "boost" people are looking for
     
  9. David Collins

    David Collins Member

    Messages:
    2,253
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Different certainly doesn't mean better for everyone. ;)

    That said, yes, of course it makes a real difference. Eddy currents in the brass plate will impede or choke off certain frequencies more than others. Hard to describe exactly what it does without just hearing it, but I've called it more of a "throaty" tone, if that makes sense to anyone other than myself. :rolleyes:

    The highs will be choked off more than other frequencies, so technically it does only take away and not add. Perception is all relative though, and this ends up leaving the perceived sum tone as a bit stronger and more powerful in the mids. If you want it to sound like a traditional strat, there's no reason to add one. Still, it's an easy quick mod to play with if you're looking for different tones.
     
  10. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

    Messages:
    2,467
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Hong Kong, China
    It's been wrong since day one that the tele bridge pickup has a base plate.:mob
     
  11. 1moreknob

    1moreknob Supporting Member

    Messages:
    266
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Location:
    Northampton, MA
    Where do I obtain a Base Plate?

    Bob
     
  12. Griz

    Griz Member

    Messages:
    2,837
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
  13. 5er Driver

    5er Driver Member

    Messages:
    181
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    My Fender Custom Classic came with their Modern Classic pups, Fender puts a plate under the bridge pup. It must be there for a reason. The set up sounds good to me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  14. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    33,566
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    years ago i had a tele with a dimarzio pre-b 1 bridge pickup (11-12k, aV magnets, no baseplate.) it was loud, and sounded pretty much like a fender, but didn't sound like a tele. i added the plate (ferrous steel, not brass, by the way) and the guitar finally sounded like a tele, louder than before and with that cutting upper-mid twang.

    suhr strikes me as someone who likes his strats to sound like strats. he doesn't make crazy overwound, steel-pole, 43-wire, alnico II or III, stacked, baseplate-modded anything. his most overwound and his most underwound strat pickups still fall within the window of what might have been found on a real vintage strat.
     
  15. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

    Messages:
    25,269
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Location:
    Canada-GTA
    I tried a steel baseplae on a 6k-ish Strat pup and it may not have done nothing (maybe close to nothing), but it sure didn't make it sound like a Tele.
     
  16. Structo

    Structo Member

    Messages:
    9,573
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon
    I just put together a strat and used the Callaham plate on the bridge pup.
    And to be honest, I didn't listen to this set of pickups before I installed the plate since it was a new build.
    But to me, it doesn't seem thin and ice picky like my other strats did before I yanked the single coil out of the bridge and installed a humbucker.

    I finally have a bridge pickup that will stay single coil.

    So just from this I think it is a good alternative for a bridge pickup if you don't like the thinness of the tone.

    If I recall, these pickups are just a tad hotter than vintage spec at around 6KΩ.

    Very cheap and removable mod to try.

    I used a thin bead of silicone to keep it on the pup per Bill Callaham's instructions.
     
  17. LowWatt

    LowWatt Member

    Messages:
    3,237
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto
    Fralin sells them for like $10. FWIW, I used to have a Tokai strat with stock DiMarzio vintage style pickups and never liked the bridge pickup until I added the baseplate. It changed it from thin and plinky to steely, twangy, and better seated in the mix. Basically adds a little bit of Tele vibe to strat bridge pickup.
     

Share This Page