Welcome to Angeltone
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
One day, I went to a local music store and was given a box of
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
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
nitrocellulose lacquer dip to protect the magnets from
Once they are dry, terminal eyelets are added to the pickup's
for soldering hookup leads onto and the pickups are inspected
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.
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
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,
Buddy Holly, Jimi and SRV, Danny
Gatton, and now John
the name Angeltone. Gina, thank you, wherever you