An angled neck pocket allows for the use of bridges that sit naturally higher off the surface of the body. We cut ours at an angle of 1.1° to the horizontal, as we find this raises the strings enough to bring it within a comfortable range of adjustment in almost all cases, though in some exceptional circumstances minor adjustment might still be required. We recommend you opt for an angled neck pocket if your body features one of the following bridge routing options:
* Offset Thimbles (AVRI)
* TOM (Modern 11.5mm Diameter)
* Wraparound (11.5mm Diameter)
For Offset-style bridges, paired to a behind-the-bridge vibrato (especially with a view to being used alongside modern string gauges), we consider the angled neck pocket to be a necessity.
Insufficient break angle is the main culprit for buzzing and string skipping issues on vintage JMs and Jags – even the much maligned Vintage-style bridges can function quite happily with the correct angle and slightly heavier strings. Moreover, it is beneficial to increase the break angle at the neck-end before the tail-end; the reason being that if all the angle is behind the bridge, due to the way it ‘floats’, this will force the bridge forward and might cause problems returning to pitch.
It is also the case that there are more hazards to the string behind the bridge than in front – for instance, the chance of the string fouling against the back edge of the bridge plate, against intonation adjustment screw heads, or against the mounting screws on the plate. To a large extent, this is why common “solutions” to the break angle problem like retainer bars, or moving the vibrato unit closer to the bridge, can cause more problems than they solve. As such, it is preferable to introduce as much angle as possible at the neck-end before worrying about what’s going on behind.
Our inclusion of the Angled Neck Pocket as a no-cost option for all models is a means by which we can help to address the *cause* of potential issues at a fundamental level and nip them in the bud, instead of leaving you to try and fix symptoms on the hoof as and when they might arise.