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Thread: Will copper shielding fix a ground buzz?

  1. #36
    Old Timer Tom Phillips's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjfly17 View Post
    So it could potentially be corrected by desoldering the push back wire used for the long run from switch to cavity and replacing with the braided, shielded wire? What of the short wiring runs connecting ground-to-ground and lug to lug in the cavity? ...
    The wiring runs connecting ground-to-ground in the cavity do not need to be shielded so don't worry about those. They are grounded wires so there is no point, in this application, in putting a grounded shield around them. The same applies to longer ground wires such as the one connected to the bridge

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    Old Timer soundguruman's Avatar
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    There is no end to the amusement...

    Because no matter what you do, single coil PU WILL buzz and hum.

    And there seems to be unlimited number of people who think there is a (magic) way to stop the noise.
    There is not.

    So, if you are serious about getting the HUM out of a guitar,

    Buy a humbucking pick up.
    You don't need to pull your hair out anymore.

    AND there are a number of Humbucking pickups that are engineered so to produce a very similar sound to single coil.
    AND, they fit right into your guitar, without modifications.

    AND as much as people "want" to believe that there is a way to stop single coil from buzzing...
    you are dreaming the impossible dream.
    It don't exist.

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  3. #38
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Hey SGM. Are you suggesting that shielding doesn't matter or that single coils pick up EMF!?! We know why humbuckers were made. But if you think shielding doesn't matter try plugging your guitar into your amp with a speaker cable some time. Stop being a goofball.

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    Quote Originally Posted by soundguruman View Post
    There is no end to the amusement...

    Because no matter what you do, single coil PU WILL buzz and hum.

    And there seems to be unlimited number of people who think there is a (magic) way to stop the noise.
    There is not.

    So, if you are serious about getting the HUM out of a guitar,

    Buy a humbucking pick up.
    You don't need to pull your hair out anymore.

    AND there are a number of Humbucking pickups that are engineered so to produce a very similar sound to single coil.
    AND, they fit right into your guitar, without modifications.

    AND as much as people "want" to believe that there is a way to stop single coil from buzzing...
    you are dreaming the impossible dream.
    It don't exist.
    I reiterate again, I am using humbuckers. Not single coil pickups. Thanks for the input, but I'm trying to get constructive responses from people who have actually read the details of my post.



    Everyone else,
    I am thinking that this obvious fix of using shielded wire on the longer runs will be what I end up trying. Glad I learned this and I appreciate all the help. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know. I will keep you updated.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjfly17 View Post
    I am thinking that this obvious fix of using shielded wire on the longer runs will be what I end up trying. Glad I learned this and I appreciate all the help. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know. I will keep you updated.
    Hang in there, you are well on your way.
    Here are some things I do when I have a noisy guitar that is not easily fixed.
    You can Isolate parts of the guitar.
    Example of tests:
    You can wire either pickup straight to the jack, and control the volume temporarily with the amp volume.
    Or in your case wire from jack to the Vol, to the switch and then to one pickup bypassing the tone and split switch.
    Doing different things and building and isolating as you go.
    Then maybe wiring it up without the split mode.
    These are things We do to isolate components.
    GL,
    T

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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    Hang in there, you are well on your way.
    Here are some things I do when I have a noisy guitar that is not easily fixed.
    You can Isolate parts of the guitar.
    Example of tests:
    You can wire either pickup straight to the jack, and control the volume temporarily with the amp volume.
    Or in your case wire from jack to the Vol, to the switch and then to one pickup bypassing the tone and split switch.
    Doing different things and building and isolating as you go.
    Then maybe wiring it up without the split mode.
    These are things We do to isolate components.
    GL,
    T
    Fingers crossed that I don't have to start troubleshooting in that manner.

    Would it be worth it to drop $30 on conductive shielding paint? I don't know that I really want to buy it, but if it would provide noticeable clarity, I may consider it. I want to do it the best way possible so I don't have to revisit it in the future.

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  7. #42
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjfly17 View Post
    Fingers crossed that I don't have to start troubleshooting in that manner.

    Would it be worth it to drop $30 on conductive shielding paint? I don't know that I really want to buy it, but if it would provide noticeable clarity, I may consider it. I want to do it the best way possible so I don't have to revisit it in the future.
    IMO if you work on guitars a lot, I like the paint.
    It is easy to do, dries fast and it something I keep on the guitar bench.
    Like you say, I just wish it was cheaper.
    I thought about trying to make my own with powdered graphite, and some form of wetting agent.
    I make guitar pickups, and I have several test guitars.
    I have a SG clone I use a lot testing Humbuckers, and a while back it got terribly noisy.
    Ripped out all the wiring and reused only the switch, and jack.
    Painted all the cavities with the shielding paint, installed new Pots, and rewired it all.
    It is now my quietest Guitar, so most of them can be improved.
    T

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    Shielding is effective against EMI/RFI, and there are many sources of both. The idea that it's going to kill your tone is nonsense. While it's impractical to play your guitar inside a Faraday cage, having a small Faraday cage inside your guitar that surrounds the electronics to the greatest degree that can be accomplished reasonably is fine (we would say desirable). We would recommend against shielding Strat single-coils (inside the covers, or a strip of foil surrounding the coil), as there's no question this will affect tone. But the OP isn't using single-coils anyway.

    The Faraday cage - consisting of a box (the shielded control cavity) and a lid (the shielded pickguard) will be more effective if it is more complete. There can be holes in a Faraday cage, but so long as the largest of these are somewhat smaller than the wavelengths of the signals being contained or rejected, the barrier is effective (that's why it's okay to have perforations in the shield that lines the door of your microwave oven). In a Strat, of course, there are big holes in the cage where the pickups poke through the pickguard, so you're not going to have 100% effectiveness. But every little bit helps.

    Your body will happily provide shielding as well - so long as it's grounded - which is why most guitar makers ground the strings, and thereby the human. Experiencing a reduction in hum while you are grounded through the guitar is normal, unless the S/N ratio is already high. That is, if there is already relatively little noise in the circuit, then the shielding your body provides improves the situation relatively little. This is why EMG always recommended that techs remove the string ground: Their pickups were so quiet inherently that they felt the human-shielding thing was of no benefit, so why connect the human to ground where (potentially, but very atypically) they were exposed to a shock hazard?

    Shield the guitar - improve the S/N ratio - and the hum-reduction that your body provides will be diminished.

    All manufacturers of high-end audio gear shield their devices. So did Leo Fender and Seth Lover. Leo put a cover on the Tele neck pickup and connected it to ground. The "connected it to ground" part is your clue that part of its function was shielding. Why did they leave the bridge pickup open? Because it lived in its own little Faraday cage: The bridge - connected to ground via the pickup's baseplate - along with its snap-on metal cover. Imagine Leo thinking "What the hell do you mean you're going to remove the cover? You'll screw up the shielding!"

    Gibson's humbucker was fully shielded, right down to the coaxial wire.

    I agree with the guy who has everyone pissed off: If you want single coils, you're going to have some hum. I live with it, Jimi lived with it, Robben Ford lives with it. But I certainly get that it would be nice not to have it. But EMI/RFI? Shield, baby, shield!

    We use paint too (as opposed to foil) - Super Shield from M.G. Chemicals. Nickel-flake, good coverage on vertical surfaces, great stuff. Aerosol or brush-on. But nasty, you'll want good ventilation.

    TS

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  9. #44
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundguruman View Post
    I could take a strat, and put all the tape, paint, foil, shielding inside it.

    I could take a strat and solder a cap across the output jack...

    And there is NO WAY any of you could tell which one is which. (except looking inside it)
    There is no difference in the sound, or the noise, between the two.

    You have been duped.

    Noise in = Noise out

    You wanted a single coil PU because the high frequencies sounded better...
    Then you put the foil inside, and killed the high frequencies....

    Oh, that makes sense.


    Look at me! I have single coil pickups, with no high frequencies! Look mom, no buzz!
    (except the buzz is still there, minus the high frequencies)
    Foil will not kill the high frequencies unless you put a closed loop around the pickup.

    PLUS HE'S USING HUMBUCKERS!! You constantly post nonsense here... what's wrong with you anyway?

    To the OP, I had this happen once, and running a second ground wire from the pots to the jack fixed it, but don't ask me why.

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    Old Timer soundguruman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    Foil will not kill the high frequencies unless you put a closed loop around the pickup.

    PLUS HE'S USING HUMBUCKERS!! You constantly post nonsense here... what's wrong with you anyway?

    To the OP, I had this happen once, and running a second ground wire from the pots to the jack fixed it, but don't ask me why.
    Nope there is no nonsense.
    It's the reality.
    No matter how much foil, paint, copper it will still buzz.

    What's wrong with me?
    I'm a little tired of the fantasy created by foil, paint, copper shielding.

    I'm so tired of it, it's about time to spill the beans.

    Put all the "shielding" in there you like.

    I don't need to subscribe to the fantasy.
    I don't need to pretend that all this stuff is going to DE-buzz a noisy pickup.

    I don't need to be popular with you, or to acquiesce to your attacks.

    Come up with a better system that really works, and I will say something good about it.
    Until then, I remain unimpressed.

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    Last edited by soundguruman; 04-21-2014 at 02:36 PM.

  11. #46
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    The problem SGM is that you keep blathering about single coil pickups, which is not what the thread is about. Further, you keep telling us that single coil pickups will buzz no matter what. Everyone here is aware of how single coils work. What YOU are ignoring is that there are other sources of noise in a guitar than the pickup itself. We shield our cords. We put the metal covers on our plugs. leaving the controls in a guitar unshielded is exactly the same as using unshielded guitar cords.

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  12. #47
    Old Timer soundguruman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    The problem SGM is that you keep blathering about single coil pickups, which is not what the thread is about. Further, you keep telling us that single coil pickups will buzz no matter what. Everyone here is aware of how single coils work. What YOU are ignoring is that there are other sources of noise in a guitar than the pickup itself. We shield our cords. We put the metal covers on our plugs. leaving the controls in a guitar unshielded is exactly the same as using unshielded guitar cords.
    "leaving the controls in a guitar unshielded is exactly the same as using unshielded guitar cords."

    Maybe you forgot that the controls (pots) have metal cases, which are grounded...
    Maybe you forgot that the pickup wire is already shielded wire, which too is grounded.

    So, it's not the same as using an unshielded guitar cord. It's all shielded, already.

    And that's probably why putting foil inside the guitar does not improve it.

    As far as single coil PU buzzing, you are finally admitting the foil will not stop this noise?
    Maybe you made "some" progress.

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    Just to remind everyone, you are supposed to report posts you find offensive (use the triangle button at the lower left of the post).
    When a person keeps spouting nonsense just to be a jerk, then that is offensive.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Or do Like I do, I have him on my ignore list.

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    Last edited by big_teee; 04-21-2014 at 06:18 PM.
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    And why have I yet to see posted here in concise language that there are two distinctly different types of induced hum/buzz with electric guitars? There is the electrically radiated type which typically is heard as harmonics of 60 Hz...the kind that buzzes. That can be cured pretty much by proper shielding with said shield(s) connected to ground, preferably through "star" grounding. This is the noise that goes away when you physically touch a grounded part of the guitar or a metal cover on a guitar cord connected to the instrument.

    Then there is magnetically induced hum, heard mostly as 60 Hz., and that can only be cured through pickup design...magnetic shielding does a remarkable job with some pickup types...or more commonly hum-bucking or hum-cancelling designs using one coil to negate hum induced in the other. This is the noise that changes depending on the orientation of the guitar, particularly in relation to transformers in any electrical gear.

    Also, you can do a pretty darned good job shielding Strat-type single coil pickups by painting the inside of the pickup covers with shielding paint. That keeps added capacitance to a minimum. Put a piece of conductive copper tape in first as a solder tab, paint inside, enjoy less noise.

    If you are going to wrap a coil with copper tape for a shield, leave a gap to lessen eddy current losses.

    The higher the impedance the pickups are, the more severe electrically induced noise will be.

    There is no excuse for not shielding pickup and electronics cavities, and if you do, you can use a lot less shielded wire within these areas. That will reduce capacitive coupling issues.

    Lay down copper adhesive foil "drains", and then use a couple of coats of conductive paint. I use the Electrodag from Stew Mac. Works great. When it's dry, test point to point so you have no more than about 100 Ohms from any painted spot to the output jack. Less is better, but you don't need zero Ohms to do the job.

    And, yeah, with real single coil pickups, you always will have some residual hum issues. But you can get rid of most of the buzz without killing tone if you do the job correctly.

    And if you think you're killing highs in a Strat or Tele with shielding, just change the pots to 500K Ohm...or even 1 meg. Or put in "no-load" tone pots and switch volumes to push-pull with pot bypass on the pull.

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  16. #51
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundguruman View Post
    As far as single coil PU buzzing, you are finally admitting the foil will not stop this noise?
    Maybe you made "some" progress.
    There is two kinds of noise sensed by pickups; one is electrical field noise. That's the high pitched buzz you hear. Shielding will generally get rid of that problem. The other kind is magnetic field noise; thats the 60Hz hum you hear in single coils. Shielding will not help that. For that you need a hum canceling pickup. However, humbuckers are still susceptible to the first problem.

    You will note that the first problem—that high pitched buzzing which often goes away when you touch the strings—is what the OP was complaining about, and shielding will fix that. He does not have single coils.

    Most guitar pickups are unshielded, so they can buzz even if they don't hum. And not all guitars use shielded coax cable in the control compartment, which is why it's common to shield control cavities with copper foil, or conductive paint. The extremely slight increase in capacitance, if at all, would be less than when using coax cable. The backs of the pots should be grounded, but that won't stop the single conductor wires from picking up buzz. Shielding acts like the ground plane in an amp or other electronic device.

    [EDIT] Sorry, Rick, I didn't see your post when I wrote this! Yes! Two types of noise. I see we pretty much said the same thing. lol

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    don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    Or do Like I do, I have him on my ignore list.
    I'll re-purpose a famous quote here and say: "the only thing necessary for the triumph of dis-information is for good men to stand by and ignore it".
    If everyone put's him on their ignore list and he get's a free pass to post his garbage, this forum will lose what little of it's credibility there is left.
    There is a time to put petty differences aside and play nice, this has gone too far beyond that.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g-one View Post
    I'll re-purpose a famous quote here and say: "the only thing necessary for the triumph of dis-information is for good men to stand by and ignore it".
    If everyone put's him on their ignore list and he get's a free pass to post his garbage, this forum will lose what little of it's credibility there is left.
    There is a time to put petty differences aside and play nice, this has gone too far beyond that.
    I'll leave the policing of that particular issue to you guys, I just choose to ignore it!
    Have Fun!
    T

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    Last edited by big_teee; 04-21-2014 at 07:29 PM.
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    Terry, it's easy to ignore things that you know to be wrong. The problem is that the advice here can be indiscriminately be taken as being from experts. When folks who don't know what they're talking about or who ignore key information in an original post get on here (or all the other screwy luthiers' and electronics and audio forums) and proclaim themselves to be gurus and leading experts and then post utter garbage or half garbage or even smaller fractions of garbage, there are folks who take that advice seriously. So some of us feel the need to edit, correct, dispute, or call out the bad info. In the best of these tiffs, the person giving bad advice sees the error of their ways and stands corrected. In the worst, it gets into a big pissing match and becomes all about ego, and the truth is lost by the way.

    One of the problems with Internet forums is that anyone can proclaim themselves a guru or expert. And they do...

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    I'm no expert on anything.
    Was pretty good at 5ESS Phone Systems, but I'm retired from that.
    The forum here is just entertainment, and informational for me, when It quits being fun, I'm gone.
    Most of us know enough to read and weed through the info thrown out here.
    I prefer it when posters just post their knowledge, or Opinion and lets the reader Sort it out from there.
    Certain ones that are consistently annoying to me get put on the ignore list!
    Right or wrong that is my policy!
    T

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    Hopefully SGM, you might just step back and re-evaluate the way you reply to posts and the so-called tone that is associated with it...I for one don't know anything about you or anybody else here....so I have to go by the way the posts are worded......right or wrong.....giving somebody advice is great...or dis-agreeing with somebody else's post is also fine......but for gods sake you need to do it politely......nobody likes to be talked down to.....nobody likes to be rudely treated.....and most of all, nobody here likes to be insulted......I haven't been on the forum for too long and you have insulted me a few times here....along with alot of other people....this forum is a great place to come to get help from experts........but there is really no need for them to be insulted during the process........

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    The forum here is just entertainment, and informational for me, when It quits being fun, I'm gone.
    Most of us know enough to read and weed through the info thrown out here.

    Well teee, a lot of us here don't. You and I maybe, and certainly the other experienced techs. But to that kid with a post count of three, trying to fix his own practice amp, the only amp he ever owned, this is like an encyclopedia. He doesn't know, and accepts the bullshit as truth.

    I went to college at Michigan State University. It was a very large campus, even larger now 45-50 years later. The main campus is a couple miles wide and a good mile or so deep. Freshmen could come to campus and really not know how to get from one building to another. Older students, I suspect mostly sophomores, thought it hilarious to misdirect the freshmen. They might ask you how to get to the astronomy building, or the natural science building, or the library. And the upperclassman would provide directions to the womens' gym. Har har. Point was, they had no idea they were being lied to. So they'd hike a mile out of their way only to find themselves someplace other than where they needed to be.

    One thing makes my blood boil is people taking advantage of those not ready to defend themselves. Those people who scam old folks our of their retirement with phony roofing or driveway scams, or anything Kevin Trudeau ever published. So it riles me when an innocent is led astray here.

    We may offer good advice, but to many, this is just one big forum. So when some kid comes asking for help, he isn't going to remember how helpful Enzo or big-teee was, he is going to tell his friends how great MEF was. And when someone like SGM comes along and soils it, he soils all of us. And when his BS is discovered to be BS, that is when the kid WILL remember names. Enzo? Oh right, you're from that BS forum.

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    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
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    Perhaps the site should have an SGM type disclaimer on it for newer users?

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    Well teee, a lot of us here don't. You and I maybe, and certainly the other experienced techs. But to that kid with a post count of three, trying to fix his own practice amp, the only amp he ever owned, this is like an encyclopedia. He doesn't know, and accepts the bullshit as truth.

    I went to college at Michigan State University. It was a very large campus, even larger now 45-50 years later. The main campus is a couple miles wide and a good mile or so deep. Freshmen could come to campus and really not know how to get from one building to another. Older students, I suspect mostly sophomores, thought it hilarious to misdirect the freshmen. They might ask you how to get to the astronomy building, or the natural science building, or the library. And the upperclassman would provide directions to the womens' gym. Har har. Point was, they had no idea they were being lied to. So they'd hike a mile out of their way only to find themselves someplace other than where they needed to be.

    One thing makes my blood boil is people taking advantage of those not ready to defend themselves. Those people who scam old folks our of their retirement with phony roofing or driveway scams, or anything Kevin Trudeau ever published. So it riles me when an innocent is led astray here.

    We may offer good advice, but to many, this is just one big forum. So when some kid comes asking for help, he isn't going to remember how helpful Enzo or big-teee was, he is going to tell his friends how great MEF was. And when someone like SGM comes along and soils it, he soils all of us. And when his BS is discovered to be BS, that is when the kid WILL remember names. Enzo? Oh right, you're from that BS forum.
    Enzo, thanks for that, but you're Preaching to the Choir!
    The best you can do, is the best you can do.
    I still contend, that most of the BS gets filtered pretty fast.
    Maybe this thread should be mandatory reading for all New Members.
    When I'm just giving my Opinin on something, I do the leadoff of IMO.
    The main thing with Amps is Safety first, that is Priority One.
    On guitars, and Pickups, there is nothing life threatening.
    Worse comes to worse the new member can take his or her broke amp or guitar, to a Music repair Shop.
    Unless you pay a pro Tech support staff Here, It is still only a volunteer Forum!
    It is what it is, and He's still on My List!
    Peace and Tone to All,
    T

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    Last edited by big_teee; 04-22-2014 at 01:52 AM.
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    Terry

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    Enzo.....I for one do not judge everybody on the forum with the same opinion.....I will always hold a high respect for this forum and the many people who come here to give good sound advice....if somebody is an idiot then it is that person and not the forum in general that I will laugh at........you are doing a great job in helping people like me....and it is very much appreciated.....it is the idiot that tends to upset the apple cart...and thank god there are not very many of them on the forum...

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    Rule #1. Just remember...high voltage AC? Keep one hand in your pocket...

    Tesla...

    And you're better off glistening with sweat...the current will go through that, not your heart when you forget rule #1. Maybe...

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  27. #62
    Senior Member Paleo Pete's Avatar
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    I've mostly stayed out of this thread, I basically had no more to say, and don't know a lot of the technical details of how the shielding idea works, I just know it did make a little improvement on my Squier Strat. I still have the typical single coil noise, but not much, I can stand 3 feet in front of my Super Reverb at max volume and barely hear it. Not bad..and I already knew shielding wouldn't do a thing for that before I started.

    But before I ever posted the first time here (or even joined) I lurked around for a couple of months checking things out. As I did with several other similar forums. I settled on this one because I saw very knowledgeable people, very little nitpicking and name calling, and usually if I did a little research I found out most of the people here knew what they were talking about. So here I am, and I hope you folks have noticed I don't even think about answering electronics questions, I don't know what I'm doing.

    But I can also usually sort out the BS from the knowledge, which a lot of newcomers can't do. So far I haven't used the ignore button although I've considered it. But I do depend on my bullshitometer now and then and it has gone off a few times here...I don't think I have to name any names...but I do think someone needs a good talking to...

    Without any technical stuff, no matter what pickups you have, you occasionally have noise to deal with from outside sources, not the pickups themselves. Shielding does help that, as you can prove for yourself by just plugging your guitar in with a speaker cable. Neon or florescent lights, I've even heard radio stations at times...just to name a couple. That will be reduced. But not the hum from single coil pickups.

    You guys do a good job, I've always had a lot of respect for the people here. But the insults, name calling and nonsense instead of factual information do certainly seem to be an issue worth consideration...

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  28. #63
    Senior Member Paleo Pete's Avatar
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    Double post for some reason...sorry

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    Hi Paleo. I have a question for you...When you shielded your Strat,,,what did you use...I did mine back a few years ago(I have an 80's model), and used self adhesive foil at the time...I never knew anything about shielding paint...until recently....before I did mine the noise was bad but after I shielded the cavity the noise was greatly reduced...it's not 100% by any means but the improvement was amazing.....just curious......
    Cheers,
    Bernie

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    I rewired with shielded wire. Tried to just replace the existing wires without taking everything apart. And now I have no output whatsoever. It's so frustrating...

    Don't know if I did something wrong, the shielded wire is grounding the output somewhere, or what...

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    Time to learn the art of trouble shooting. Start as far "up-stream" as possible and work your way down with an Ohm meter. Yep, you've shorted something out somewhere.

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    I woke up this morning and did a little troubleshooting before work. Checked the switch area first. Turns out that my shielded wire (the grounded braid) from the ground lug side of the switch was making contact with one of the hot lugs on the switch due to the small restrictive switch cavity. Wrapped it in electrical tape and seems to have fixed it. I'm very relieved that it was that easy of a fix - saved a lot of frustration. It appears at this time that the buzz is gone, but I'll have to put everything back together before I can make any guarantees. I'll let everyone know how it turns out.

    Thanks again for the help!

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    Another "gentle art" worth learning is how and where to use what size of heat shrink tubing. It's much, much neater than wrapping electrical tape around solder joints and break-outs. When applied over wires and solder tabs on pots, heat shrink does a great job of strain relieving connections, too. I keep about five sizes on hand for various jobs, and then quite a few colors for color coding. Great stuff.

    BTW, I also follow a fairly strict color code with hook-up wire going back to my Alembic days:

    Red = + Voltage
    Black = - Voltage
    Green = Ground and Shield connections
    Orange = Bridge pickup
    Purple = Neck pickup

    Other colors as needed...

    Obviously this is for unshielded hookup wires.

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  34. #69
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    My favorite colors are White, yellow, and black for control cavities.
    Might use white for the neck volume, and tone side, and yellow for the bridge side.
    I like to heat shrink over several inches of the bare shielded push back wire in the cavity area.
    I use the small white 22 pvc on strat pickguards along with yellow, black and bare.
    It is much easier to work with and neater looking than cloth for the control area.
    I use the cloth wire on SC pickup leads, except for high gain players, I sometimes use 2 wire shielded and ground the shield on the Pot end only.
    On Strats you can use insulated shielded wire from the jack to Vol. Pot.
    My Cloth wire gets dipped in the wax pot when potting pickups. It gives that vintage look and helps seal out moisture.
    On LPs I sometimes use the small guitar coax from the jack to the switch, the small coax cable that comes with cheap import guitars.
    It is small and usually shielded good, You can use these cables in certain places in amp building.
    If vintage is what you want, use the bare braid push back wire, and slide tubing or heat shrink over it in areas where you can have short outs.
    Lots of little anti hum, and noise tricks with guitar, and amp wiring.
    YMMV,
    GL,
    T

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    Last edited by big_teee; 04-23-2014 at 06:11 PM.
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    bjfly17 - I used extra heavy duty aluminum foil and spray glue. Covered the entire pickguard (cavity was already painted from the factory but pickguard was not shielded.) Then cut out pickup holes etc with a hobby knife. Done carefully it works well, it's still there after around 10 years, and I made sure to add a short ground wire to connect it to the existing ground. I didn't have much noise at all, but it did help when plugging in at clubs near those damn beer signs...Pickguard originally just had a couple of strips of aluminum tape on it. Took that off and did the whole thing. If you start at one end and use a flexible plastic spatula it helps work all the air bubbles out.

    Glad you found your problem, I agree with Rick about heat shrink, but never thought about a color code. That sounds good too. I also use it on guitar cables, helps relieve stress at the jacks, which is where 95% of my problems have always been. It sucks to loan out a spare cable then have to solder another one 10 minutes before a gig...

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