Prototype Angeltone Telecaster with
'locally grown pine' body I made myself
and hot 50B lead pickup. The amp it's leaning on isn't
mine... but hey, I can dream
I started playing in the early 1980's, and Mark Knopfler, Buddy
Holly, George Harrison and SRV
were my heroes. I remember playing for hours in front of my amp,
trying to learn to play Cold Shot or
Brothers In Arms, and wishing I could play like they did.They
made it all look so easy too. There was
only one problem... I could play their songs, but no matter what
I did I just couldn't sound like them.
I spent years trying to figure out what made them sound so
good... and why I didn't. For an OCD
like me, this was maddening. I bought the 'right'
guitars, the 'right' amps, and even the 'right' effects,
but could never get the sounds my heroes had no matter what I
One day, I went to a local music store and was given a box of
dead pickups to experiment with, and I was
told that if I could get them working I could keep them. I
started experimenting with them, studying them...
and Angeltone was born.
Angeltone is a one man operation. I do everything from answering
the phone to making Tele and
Strat bobbin plates and humbucker metal parts to winding the
pickups to printing the box labels
and packing the pickups for shipping myself. In fact, I have been doing things this way
Why do I do it?
This way I can give each customer
the individual attention you deserve. You see, I
believe that your pickup
is actually your guitar's voice, so much so that I
actually do make my pickups one at a time for each customer
according to each customer's specific order.
When you call Angeltone, you aren't going to have someone hand
you a premade pickup that's been
sitting in a dusty box way up on a shelf somewhere, or even
worse, one made in Hostilistan,
and then have them try to convince you how wonderful you will
sound. Talk is cheap.
The person here who answers the phone is also the person who
will be making your pickup,
so if you have any special needs or questions about them they
will be answered immediately.
Every Angeltone single coil pickup is made 'the way they used
to', with real Forbon (vulcanized fiber)
bobbin parts I make myself, Alnico magnets, 1950's style Formvar
insulated coil wire or plain enamel wire
(depending on the model), and period correct hookup wire. I am
so obsessive about my pickups that I not only
make as many of my own pickup parts as possible, but I also try
to use as many restored 'old school' machines
and tools as I possibly can in the shop...
like this early 1950's Geo. Stevens handguided radio coil winder
I bought and restored myself.
see, I believe that not only are older tools much better
quality than modern ones, but for me it's also sort of
an artistic statement too... using them to make pickups
seems to put one in a 'vintage state of mind'.
Why do I do it? It's simple. I believe
that the only way to achieve that great sound heard on so
many old recordings
is to make these
accurately to the original specifications as possible. I'm so
obsessive about it
hand machine all of
the bobbin parts for my single coil pickups, still use nitrocellulose instead of
modern waterbased lacquers, and even hand wind the pickups
one by one myself.
In fact, I don't
use 'modern' cast plastic bobbins or ceramic magnets if the original pickups weren't made that way,
believe that changing the way a pickup is constructed in any way can drastically change the
Anyone can build a great looking guitar with all the right parts, but putting 'modern' pickups in a
doesn't quite make it sound or play like a fifty year
old original would.
After all, isn't your instrument's tone just as important to
you as the way it looks?
By the way,
Angeltone pickups are all available either as singles
or as in sets - either
'vintage correct' (all pickups with same coil winding
direction and magnetic polarity)
or 'RW/RP' (one pickup is reverse wound/reverse
magnetic polarity) for hum suppression
at no extra cost. Please specify when ordering.
Each Angeltone musical instrument pickup is
covered under a limited lifetime warranty
covering materials and workmanship to the original purchaser
Please click on the Legal Stuff link in the menu at the
top of this page for details
'lefty friendly'. I know that for those of us
who happen to be lefties
finding good vintage styled guitar pickups can be
I make 'left handed' versions of
all of my pickup models with staggered
magnets at no extra cost!
Thank you Tony P,
Brad R, Harold, Greg B, Steve H, George, and
she who talked a lot about angels
and dreams, came up with the name Angeltone and the logo,
and left me with this whole idea in homage to the
greats who came before - like Leo Fender,
Jimmy Bryant, Buddy Holly, Jimi and SRV, Danny
Gatton, and now John
the name Angeltone. Gina, thank you, wherever you