Welcome to Angeltone Pickups

I started playing in the 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.

I bought all the 'right' guitars, the 'right' amps, and even the 'right' effects,
but could never get the sounds my heroes had no matter what I did.

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.


We are so obsessed with the quality of our pickups that we make as many of our own pickup parts
 as possible inhouse, starting with our Forbon (vulcanized fiber) pickup bobbin plates.

Depending on the model, we may either cut them out by hand or use a diode laser.
This laser was bought from a luthier who used it to make decorative inlays for guitar necks
and burn his logo into his guitars' headstocks.

Once the parts have been cut out, we use this 1940's Delta drill press for
drilling various holes and threading the bobbin's screw holes.

In the photo, the Delta is threading the pickup mounting holes in these bobbins.

After the bobbin parts are finished, we imprint our logo into the top bobbin plate
of every one of our pickups using this 1950's Famco arbor press.

Other arbor presses like this one are used for such jobs as installing terminal eyelets into
pickup baseplates, pressing various parts into guitars or refretting guitar fingerboards.

Once the pickup bobbins have been assembled, they are given a real
nitrocellulose lacquer dip to protect the magnets from corrosion.

Once they are dry, terminal eyelets are added to the pickup's baseplate
for soldering hookup leads onto and the pickups are inspected before winding.
These bobbins are all waiting for their eyelets to be installed.

Angeltone pickups are handwound on this 1950's Geo. Stevens Model 221B radio coil winder,
specially modified for winding pickup coils with a new DC motor and control system and a Red Lion
industrial turns counter. This photo was taken during electrically testing the counter system.

Ken decided to restore this winder but not refinish it. He thought it looked cool just the way it was.
You can find a page on this winder's restoration here

This is a 'winder's eye view' of an actual pickup being wound. The winder's control box is placed
so the winder can easily see how many turns of wire are on a coil while winding the coil
at the same time... without even having to move!

If you look carefully, you can see the 42 gauge heavy Formvar coil wire being wound
onto the coil at lower right center in the photo

After winding, soldering lead wires on the terminal eyelets, testing the coil's electrical integrity
and wax potting the pickup, every Angeltone pickup is inductance and frequency response tested
on this Keithley LCZ tester. The pickup in the photo below has an inductance of 2.539 Henries
and a Q factor of 2.374

The pickup in this photo is a real 1956 Fender Stratocaster pickup that was rewound by Angeltone...
did I mention we also do rewinds too?

After inductance and frequency response testing, every Angeltone pickup recieves its own datasheet
stating its model, DCR, inductance and frequency response values. The pickup is then boxed for
shipping and shipped to its new owner.

If you would like to read about the machines we're restoring now please click here
Otherwise, please click on the Angeltone logo at the top of this page to go to the homepage
or use your browser's Back button to go to your last viewed page.

        PS. Thank you Tony P, Brad R, Harold, Greg B, Steve H, George, and Gina...
     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 Stannard too.
   Hence the name Angeltone. Gina, thank you, wherever you are...