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Old April 19th, 2012, 06:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bridge ground wire?

Not sure if this is really the place for this question, since it's kinda related to pickups, and kinda ain't at the same time I was just wondering what kind of wire (size, type, etc) to use as a bridge ground wire? I replaced a set of pups in a Tele about a month ago and was surprised to find the ground wire was part of the bridge pup wire. I had no intention of doing anything else with those pups, so I just snipped it off the pup at the base and kept it there. I'm about to replace another set of pups though, and I want to keep them intact, just in case (assuming they're wired the same way).

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Old April 19th, 2012, 07:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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22 AWG stranded copper would be a good choice

and I would say you're in the right place.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 03:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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f you have a standard metal plate on the bottom of your bridge pup, is a separate ground wire really necessary? I always use one anyway, but have heard that it should not be necessary, since the screws, which go into the pickup elevation plate, also touch the bridge, which is usually steel, and provides a ground to the bridge and strings.

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Old April 19th, 2012, 04:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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f you have a standard metal plate on the bottom of your bridge pup, is a separate ground wire really necessary?

No.

But ya, some do add one anyway to be sure, and feel that in time crud under the screws can cause a poor electrical contact.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 06:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The set I switched out in my other Tele didn't have the metal baseplate, not sure why. I don't know if the one I'm planning on modding has it or not.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 02:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I just had a thought...I'm contemplating putting a single-coil-sized humbucker in the bridge of this guitar...so is the bridge ground wire still necessary at all?
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Old April 20th, 2012, 03:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The bridge ground wire also grounds the strings. Sandwich the stripped end between the bridge plate and the body at the edge of the pickup cavity. Run it on through with the pickup leads and solder it to the back of a pot. You won't regret it.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 05:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I know there's debate, but I now use one standard. If you get 22-ga (like the wire on most pickups) that'll work. I actually had some heavier stuff (18-ga ... because Home Depot didn't have anything smaller) and it works ... just takes up more space in the passage between the bridge and the control areas, and also can be a little trouble to work around the baseplate on the pickup (i.e., it futzes up your ability to get a pickup really moved way-low if you need to). So stick with the 22-ga if you can find it.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 07:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah I'm gonna do it just to be on the safe side, but I was just curious.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 07:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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As far as a humbucker, they usually have a wire on the cover that runs to ground so like SOME Tele bridge pups with a metal base plate that would ground the bridge/strings via the mount screws.

But like you are thinking, if you just install a dedicated bridge plate ground wire, you will never will have to think about it again.

Good luck on the project.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 09:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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with a "standard" tele, both pups have inline grounds - that is, the bridge pup black lead is bridged from the pup base to the metal base plate ... and with the neck pup, the black lead is bridged to a case foot. all is well and good as long as you don't change either pup and run into a phasing issue that requires reversing one pup's leads. or, both of your pups are the same phase AND poloarity and you wish to have one reconfigured RWRP to allow for parallel humbucking mode when both are selected. this is the prime reason i recommend running separate ground leads for all tele pups.

the bridge pup is easiest to fix. snip the ground bridge wire to the metal base plate and run a separate ground wire under the bridge itself. just sandwich a thin, flared out braid wire under the bridge before screwing down. solder the other end to the back of pot.

having done this, you can swap the leads on the bridge pup to cure any phasing issues. the neck pup doesn't need to be altered in any way.

oh yes, how to flip the polarity on a single coil pup? too easy! you'll need a "C" clamp and at least one neodymium ("rare earth") magnet (two are better, one for each "anvil" of the "C" clamp), and then make a few passes of the pup over the neo mag, thusly ....

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Old April 20th, 2012, 08:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm still fairly new to Teles, after having been wanting one ever since I watched "Crossroads" (the Ralph Macchio movie, NOT the Britney Spears one) way back when I was a kid So I had a bit to learn when it came to how the pups are set up, and when I first saw the bridge ground wire I was like "What the...???" Very cool info, thanks!
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Old April 21st, 2012, 05:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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the bridge pup is easiest to fix. snip the ground bridge wire to the metal base plate and run a separate ground wire under the bridge itself. just sandwich a thin, flared out braid wire under the bridge before screwing down. solder the other end to the back of pot.
Okay, I'm being dense ... let me make sure I've got you right here Rob ... you're saying to:

1. Cut the little wire that grounds to the bridgeplate (metal base). I.e., this is like when you're grounding the neck pickup cover for a 4-way, you cut that little 'shunt' wire?

2. Then add the flared-wire-under-bridge wire (through to the control routing) and then solder the other end to the VOL pot (with the other grounds).

I've not done Step-1 ... is this only a problem if it is a problem (i.e., the other stuff you mentioned that kinda zoomed past my pea-brain, but that's okay)?
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Old April 21st, 2012, 05:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TeleKato View Post
Okay, I'm being dense ... let me make sure I've got you right here Rob ... you're saying to:

1. Cut the little wire that grounds to the bridgeplate (metal base). I.e., this is like when you're grounding the neck pickup cover for a 4-way, you cut that little 'shunt' wire?

correct

2. Then add the flared-wire-under-bridge wire (through to the control routing) and then solder the other end to the VOL pot (with the other grounds).

correct

I've not done Step-1 ... is this only a problem if it is a problem (i.e., the other stuff you mentioned that kinda zoomed past my pea-brain, but that's okay)?

that's ok.
........................
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Old April 21st, 2012, 09:17 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Okay, I'm being dense ... let me make sure I've got you right here Rob ... you're saying to:

1. Cut the little wire that grounds to the bridgeplate (metal base). I.e., this is like when you're grounding the neck pickup cover for a 4-way, you cut that little 'shunt' wire?

2. Then add the flared-wire-under-bridge wire (through to the control routing) and then solder the other end to the VOL pot (with the other grounds).

I've not done Step-1 ... is this only a problem if it is a problem (i.e., the other stuff you mentioned that kinda zoomed past my pea-brain, but that's okay)?
Why are you doing this ??
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Old April 21st, 2012, 04:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Why are you doing this ??
Grounding the bridge helps eliminate superfluous humm/buzz that is caused by some electromagnetic stuff that I forgot from EE201. If you can make that humm/buzz disappear/decrease when you touch the bridge (grounding it through you) then this grounding of the bridge is for you. Maybe Rob or someone smart will explain the physics of it.

I just know my Master (Tony Mellichampe) taught me to do this on every one of my Teles. He also taught me the 5-point-palm exploding heart technique.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 05:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TeleKato View Post
Grounding the bridge helps eliminate superfluous humm/buzz that is caused by some electromagnetic stuff that I forgot from EE201. If you can make that humm/buzz disappear/decrease when you touch the bridge (grounding it through you) then this grounding of the bridge is for you. Maybe Rob or someone smart will explain the physics of it.

I just know my Master (Tony Mellichampe) taught me to do this on every one of my Teles. He also taught me the 5-point-palm exploding heart technique.
both the tele bridge pup ground strap and the under-bridge ground wire do the same thing - string grounding. the thing about taking that job away from the pickup is strictly if there's a phasing issue when both pups are selected.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 06:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I know why it's done, I just was curious why you were going through with all of that. I was re-reading though the thread and didn't see where you had an issue.

I just didn't want you to think ( or lead others) that it is one of those "gotta do that things".

There are some silly things that people do for no reason other than "the work on the street" claims they need to. No need to be redundant about some things, and I'm not implying you are in that boat, just curious what the deal was.


Rob's got the answer there.

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the thing about taking that job away from the pickup is strictly if there's a phasing issue when both pups are selected.
and one were to need to reverse the leads.

Happy pickin !
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 06:55 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I just didn't want you to think ( or lead others) that it is one of those "gotta do that things".
I usually caveat my posts by pointing out that I'm a newbie (I usually say 'moron') ... so it definitely is don't do as I do!

But I'm curious ... maybe you, Rob, or others can ed-ye-cate me (and others) on this: Why is that Seymour Duncan shows "ground-wire to bridge" on all his Tele wiring diagrams? {BTW ... SD also has a nice diagram of the phasing mod that Rob and I worked through.}

I hear you about not just doing stuff to do it, or to feel you must because "that's how it's done." I choose to do it because I've had some issues in the past (don't know why always) with what appears to be bridge/string grounding and buzz and this solved it. Caveat: I also have had lots of fun in my house with interference from dimmers, LV lights, etc.; and solved all THAT with a Hum-Debugger pedal.

So more on (moron?) why I do this ... when I do a build or have the guts opened to swap a pick-up or whatever, running this wire is no big thing, and a guy I know does this as a pro does it SOP and suggested it to me too. I agree that's NOT the same as understanding the exact reason why -- and I get that in many cases it may be redundant or not-of-value. When you used to have abdominal surgery for something, if you still had your appendix, they removed it for similar "while we're here" logic; and that is/was debated medically. But ... it still is done I suspect ... by some.

Anyway ... I want you (and everyone) to know that I value you sharing what you know, because that's how I'll become less a moron. And I also know that spreading mis-information with lightning speed is a hazard of the 21st century and the internet forum universe; and all it takes is one moron (and here I am)!
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 07:05 AM   #20 (permalink)
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to string ground via the bridge or pup base plate is just a matter of choice - a ground is a ground is a ground (as long as it doesn't lead to ground loops).

string grounding via the bridge just allows more options. i NEVER run a ground strap in the cavalier lion pups i wind, and give instructions with each one on how to do the bridge ground thingy.

guys who like to play musical pups benefit from bridge string grounding, particularly when mating together two different pups of unknown coil wire wind direction. in that case, having the near instant ability to flip the phasing is a very good thing.

the only other consideration is pup polarity, for those who wish to have the 3-way middle parallel humbucking position, or those wishing to wire up a 4-way (RWRP is mandatory!) ... and i already covered how to easily flip pup polarity, as described above.
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