Baseplates - What's the Deal?
Baseplates - What's the deal?
Here's a copper plated steel baseplate fitted to a Strat bridge pickup. We recommend fitting baseplates only to the bridge position.
How it works -
We've all seen a picture of planet earth with magnetic flux patterns around it. Your pickups also have this magnetic field pattern traveling from North to South pole and completing a circuit right through the magnet itself. Adding a baseplate changes things up a bit.
Telecaster players have known about the benefits of baseplates for many years, but folks have been adding baseplates to their Strat bridge pickups as well. Technically it's complicated but in terms of tone, adding a copper-plated steel baseplate adds inductance, which shifts the pickup's resonant peak (Mid & Bass boost) and changes the return path of the magnetic field around the pickup.
Guitarists are telling us that adding a baseplate to their Bridge pickup has made it "warmer", "less shrill" and it can allow more Bass and Mids to be clearly heard. Overall, a richer sound from your pickup.
Some makers will sell the baseplate and leave you to install it. Often the instructions are to just let the magnets hold the baseplate on, but there are a few problems with this approach. First, the baseplate should be wax-potted onto the pickup to help prevent microphonics, secondly the baseplate should be grounded via your guitar wiring.
Whoa! How am I gonna do all that?
We can add a Copper Plated Steel baseplate to any Strat pickup you purchase. I use a large soldering iron to add a ground wire to the baseplate and wax pot the baseplate onto your pickup for you. A piece of paper tape is used to isolate the magnets in your pickup from the baseplate. A baseplate can be difficult to correctly install and requires specialist tools and techniques, but it is easy to remove if you decide to. All the hard work is done for you, all you need to do is install the pickup as per normal, there's no tricky installation.
JJ's copper plated steel baseplates, where appropriate, or requested, are fitted to your pickup at time of purchase. Then you can get on with the business of Rocking!
Cheers, Ben and JJ.