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Old 07-06-2012, 03:45 PM
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Default Shielding Guitar

I've finally decided to start shielding all of my guitars with this 2" wide copper foil tape. Been getting some unwanted hum and get radio interference from time to time. I've got a few questions maybe some of you who have already done this can answer for me.
  • When shielding the control cavity does there have to be a ground wire soldered to the shielding material ? I thought since the pots and switch already made contact with the sheilding and would be grounded with the electronics already grounded to the bridge or tremolo claw in Floyd Rose equipped guitars.

  • Is it necessary to shield the pickup cavities too or just the control cavity ?
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:29 PM
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The way I feel is with humbuckers you don't have to shield anything and I've even switched pretty much to noiseless single coils.
If your problem isn't cheap guitar cables and you do want to shield your guitar I'd run a screw into the shielding with a ground wire and have all the grounds terminate at the same place to eliminate any ground loops and yes if you have single coils wrap them or line their cavity and as always run a ground wire.
Good grounds are your best friend.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:16 AM
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Problem is not guitar cables as I've got some good LiveWire guitar cables with a lifetime warranty on them. And in all my guitars except for one, all of them have either SD or DiMarzio pickups in them do not the cheap stuff. Thanks for the advice Jon. One of my biggest complaints about those 80's Kramer Pacer Customs were the two single coils were very noisy even when they were wired correctly and grounded properly.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:12 PM
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One overlooked point when shielding is to solder all the copper tape to each other in a few small places. The tape has adhesive on the back and even with an overlap the copper doesn't make contact to the piece beside it. Also, when making a Faraday Cage it works best if all grounds lead to, and are grounded in it.

The question about shielding the pickup cavities is up to you. If the hum/interference is still present after doing the electronics cavity, then do the pickups also. A lot of times just painting it with conductive paint and using a ground will do the trick, and is easier than taping such a small area.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:23 PM
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I've heard about the soldering of the copper tape in a few areas even if it is overlapping. But is it necessary when there is continuity ? I hooked up my digital multimeter and put each of the + and - terminals on different spots all around the cavity and I have continuity which shows a connection. I was also told that the adhesive is conductive so I do not see the need for soldering. That is unless I'm missing something here.

As far as the grounding wire goes from what you are saying Q-Ball instead of taking my ground wire to the tremolo claw, I just solder it to the copper tape material within the control cavity.......that makes sense to me.

Yes, conductive paint would be easier and more clean in application but I'm going the cheaper route as I paid much less for this copper tape than StewMac prices.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:03 PM
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I found this site years ago, give him a read, he has answers for you.
http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/shielding/shield3.php
The forum has been closed for a long time since after he was hacked, I was a member before it shut down. There is a lot of good info and links so check it all out.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:35 PM
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Hand over that Maple neck slowly and nobody will get hurt...
 
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Thanks for the link, good read.
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