24th February 2021
Why angled pickups?
Multiscale builds have been a feature in the guitar world for quite some time now. For the uninitiated, they use a longer baritone scale length for the lower strings, to bring out the fundamental note and also increase pitch stability and overall tension, then use a more standard scale length for the higher strings, for easier bends and a more full-bodied tone. In most cases, this results in the necessity to have the bridge of the guitar mounted at an angle, which is where angled pickups come in. Because you want the bridge pickup to sit quite close to the saddles, to produce a crisp, clear, bright tone, it's necessary to angle the pickup in order to more closely follow the angle of the bridge. It is possible to simply use a regular pickup, mounted at an angle, but, with humbuckers, this causes a misalignment between the strings and the pickup's pole screws, which doesn't allow for optimum performance. To get the best results, you need to skew the coils in relation to each other, so that you can mount them at an angle, while keeping the strings and poles aligned.
The two most common humbucker formats found in multiscale guitars are active "soapbar" style pickup and slanted open coil pickups. Active soapbars use bars instead of individual poles, so they are normally a completely regular pickup, simply fitted into the guitar at an angle, as the bars remove any string alignmnent issues. However, because those bars have to reach further than normal, to cover the complete width of the strings when fitted at an angle, it's quite common to use an oversized pickup, such as a 7 string pickup in a 6 string guitar etc.
Slanted open coil humbuckers are a more tailored solution, using a customised baseplate to skew the coils to the correct angle to match up with the bridge angle. Being a little more specific, there are of course a lot more variations on this style out there, using many different slant angles to suit the particular setup of a particular model of guitar.
Here at Bare Knuckle, we can provide great fitting solutions for both of those formats, but we base everything around our slanted open coil humbuckers. We can build open coil humbuckers with either our standard slant angle of 10 degrees, or we also offer custom baseplates, which can be produced at any angle up to 16 degrees. In addition to that, we have recently added specific fitments to suit Ormsby guitars, with their more aggressive 16.5 and 21.5 degree angles.
For active soapbar fitments, what we are able to do is to build one of our standard 10 degree humbuckers, with a no-holes soapbar sized cover fitted on top, to give you the corect overall fitment into the stock pickup cavity.
How to order
When ordering multiscale pickups from us, you simply need to spec out the pickups that you require, in their regular, straight format, using our pickup builder. So, for slanted open coil pickups, build a standard straight set of open humbuckers and for an active soapbar style, build a set with soapbar sized, no holes covers.
Once the pickups are in your basket, head over to our accessories department, where you can find listings for our SLANTED BASEPLATE UPCHARGES. Add the correct number of these to your basket, to suit whether you are building a single pickup or a set and whether you need a custom angled baseplate, or our standard 10 degrees.
You can then take this all through to the checkout, where there is a notes box where you can leave details of the guitar that you are upgrading, including required angles and any special notes about the fitment.
As always, if you are unsure about any of the details, or you need help finding the correct angles for your guitar, please drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.