Why do we make more than one 'vintage styled' pickup model?





My favorite guitar... a 1987 USA Fender '57 reissue with a 1953
5C3? Fender Deluxe amp with 6 volt octal preamp tubes.
Before you ask... amp's not mine

        
It all depends on what you consider 'great vintage sound'.

        For example, if you love Stratocasters do you consider Buddy Holly's first 1954? Strat sound on his first records 'great vintage tone?
How about Eric Clapton's 1957 'Blackie' or Stevie Ray Vaughan's 1962 'Number
One'?
Those are just the 'preCBS' era... how about George Harrison's 1965 Strat or maybe Jimi Hendrix's
1969 tone
from his 'brand new off the rack' guitars?


        If you're a Tele fanatic (like me) you have another set of great sounds to choose from, ranging from the 'takeoff' lead tone
of the original 1950 Broadcaster to Luther Perkins' Esquire on all those great Johnny Cash
Sun records... or how about
Steve Cropper's 1960s Tele or even Tommy Tedesco's 1962 Tele (aka 'the most
recorded guitar in history')?
Or how about my own personal favorite... Keith Richard's 'Micawber'?


        You see, all of these are great sounds, but there is one problem nobody talks about...
 no one 'vintage' styled pickup can give your guitar all of these tones!

Why? Because the original pickups' basic designs have changed many times over the years!

        For example, the original 1954 Strat pickups used Alnico III magnets and Formvar insulated (honey colored) 42 gauge coil wire.
 The 1957 Strat pickups used Alnico 5 magnets with a different magnet 'stagger' with both the D and G magnets the same height,
which was changed to a 'new' G string magnet lower than the D staggering system by 1962.
    In 1965, the coil wire was changed to 42 gauge plain enamel (dark reddish brown) wire wound with a much lower amount of turns
than the 'preCBS' models, and the bottom bobbin plate's material was changed from black Forbon (vulcanized fiber) to gray colored.
 In 1969, the cloth covered 'pushback' hookup wire we know and love was changed to vinyl covered wire,
and in 1975 new Strat pickups had 'flush pole' bobbins with all six magnets the same height.

        The Telecaster pickups were also changed over time...
 the original 1950 Broadcaster lead pickup used Alnico III magnets and 43 gauge plain enamel coil wire.
In 1952, the pickup was changed to Alnico 5 magnets and 42 gauge plain enamel coil wire. Somewhere around 1955,
 the D and G string magnets were made longer to try to even the pickup's string response,
and even later
the magnet heights were changed yet again, as well as the amount of coil windings used for each pickup among other things.


    Big deal, you say. So Leo couldn't make up his mind. So what.

        Actually, it is a very big deal indeed. You see, each time the pickup's design specifications changed, the entire instrument's basic
    sound changed too. While each different version of these pickup models does have their players, the 'preCBS' guitars in general
    were so sought after in part because their pickups were much more powerful and toneful than later models.

             Angeltone could have been like other pickup makers who make only one or two 'vintage' style pickups
 for each guitar model... and spend lots of time trying to tell you how wonderful you will sound.

    Instead, I am so tonally obsessive that I couldn't settle for just one model like many other makers did.

Why?

Because it's impossible to get all the different sounds listed above from just one 'vintage' pickup model. That's why.

 Angeltone believes that if you have a certain guitarist's tone in mind, it is easier to achieve it if you use a pickup
that closely resembles what was originally used by that player, in actual construction details as well as in 'looks'.

I'm not saying we have 'real vintage tone' here, after all, tone is in the ear of the beholder.

I do say that is easier to get the tone you're seeking if you use pickups that are built more like the
 impossible-to-find original pickups your own personal hero used. I learned this the hard way...