I'm curious why single coil pickups on strats are skew but humbukers seem to be level with the bridge?



Single Coils

2 Answers 2


The bridge pickup is angled that way to slightly emphasise treble frequencies on the high strings, and bass frequencies for the low strings (for that pickup). It's not a design decision that use of a single coil pickup leads you to inevitably - for example, dynasonic pickups in a Grestch are straight:

dynasonic pickups in a Grestch

As are the single coils in Fender's own Jazzmaster and Jaguar:

Jazzamster jaguar

One reason to not angle an older-style humbucker is that it would look awkward, due to the greater height - the strat pickup gets away with it aesthetically due to the rounded short edges and slim dimensions. Making a differently-shaped humbucker for angled mounting would mean greater manufacturing cost (The angled pickup on a strat is the same dimensions as the straight ones).

Another reason to mount humbuckers straight is that humbuckers aren't only chosen for hum rejection, but also when a warmer, bassier sound is desired. If that's a choice you've made, you may not want to negate it by having a twangier treble response.

It is possible to have a humbucker that will fit in the angled slot - such as this product by diMarzio:

dimarzio tone zone pickup

They seem to acknowledge that the response that comes from the angled mounting may not be desired, stating:

We took into account the likelihood of installing The Tone Zone® S in the classic slanted Strat® bridge position, warming up the higher frequencies and brightening the low notes a little.


Fender actually recently designed some offset Squier models in the Paranormal series that have skew humbuckers. These are a bit weird-and-wacky, but it is the first time I saw it. I added the video to show you more details.

Here is the breakdown on the one with the skew humbuckers

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