Not to mention the lost cost of producing such a useless item. Of course today lots of steel guitarist use picking hand palm muting. My Fender and Gibson D-8 steels from the early 50's both have very useful covers for that purpose. THE BASICS: A Ground (or Earth) connection is a term that relates to a multitude of topics related to electrical engineering.For our intents and purposes, a proper Ground connection is an essential part of your guitar’s wiring. Smaller than a Stratocaster pickup, the stock Tele neck pickup sports a closed metal cover and is usually installed with two wood screws that tap right into the body underneath the pickguard. Tele neck pickups have the metal pickup cover grounded and attached directly to one end of the coil, which provides shielding from 120 cycle noise. On other guitars I do the same thing on the side of the bridge pickup. A Ground Connection connects every piece of metal on your guitar and acts as a return path to the amp. I think that several of the posters have confused the original "ash try" with the current version found on the "Professional" Telecaster. That minimalist bridge cover on the Professional model is a perfect example of wasted engineering time. The standard Tele bridge has a metal plate on the bottom that is grounded and is attached directly to the coil wire. The Infamous Telecaster Neck Pickup Now that we’ve explored Telecaster bridge pickups, we’ve arrived at the final stage of our journey: the neck pickup. Those of us who play the guitar horizontal to the floor tend to mute behind the bar and rest our the palm of our right hands on a pickup cover most of the time. This grounded metal plate provides your string ground – which is kind of important! so there are two things here: the ashtray and the actual bridge, which has a lip around it. I have no problems with the lip on the traditional three saddle bridge, in fact I like to anchor off the side of it whilst finger picking with thumb and index. No-one uses the ashtray.