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Is shielding really necessary?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Milspec, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

    Feb 15, 2016
    Nebraska
    I am trying to finally assemble my latest pine body tele project and it looks like I may have a problem. This is a body made from 75 year old pine flooring and I drilled the access holes for the wires between cavaties a little small and a little high. Not to small for feeding the wires, but too small to have any hope of installing any copper foil in them. They are also a bit too high that I would be worried about getting too close to the face of the guitar if I tried to drill them larger.

    So, instead of being able to install foil with a pencil like I normally do, I am stuck. I have noticed over the years that Fender isn't applying shielding paint in all cases with their bodies anymore so it begs the question of is it really necessay to shield? Would I be better off using the shielding paint?

    After all the work put into this body with the assembly, sanding, routing, finishing, etc. I hate to end up failing to get it right, so what are my options here?
     
    mstan72 likes this.
  2. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

    Feb 15, 2016
    Nebraska
    access hole 020.jpg
    Pictures would probably help.....
     
  3. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    55
    Feb 16, 2014
    Sacramento, California
    I shield the heck out of all the guitars I work on, but I've never shielded the drill holes unless they were pretty big, like tip of my pinky big. Didn't even know you were supposed to do that. None of my guitars make any noise though.
     
    Milspec likes this.
  4. I think you'll be O.K with just shielding the pickup and control cavities. Worst case scenario, and you do get some objectionable interference, you could always run shielded wire. Most guitars I've seen or worked on have no shielding in the wire channels.

    I like using foil (as opposed to paint) on the cavities too, cheap, fast, and it works :).




    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
  5. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

    Jun 11, 2009
    Minnesota
    I believe that if your pickups themselves are not shielded you are wasting your time shielding the cavities. If there is a mile of coiled wire sitting proud out of the face of your guitar shielding that last foot to the jack won't matter much.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  6. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    68
    Oct 22, 2006
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    No shielding in my guitars, 2 Teles and a Strat. No noise. I think I just live in a place that doesn't have a lot of RF around.

    All you can do is your best, so finish it up and see what you get.
     
  7. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Meister

    Age:
    33
    106
    Oct 17, 2018
    Indianapolis, IN
    Plus there are always noise gates :)
     
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  8. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jan 9, 2010
    virginia
    I'll open up the bees nest- I find shielding steals a bit of the sparkle from a single coil and I avoid it
     
  9. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

    Feb 15, 2016
    Nebraska
    Thanks to all for the advice. I was taught that the shielding had to be connected between cavaties to have the desired effect so I have always done it that way with either a pencil / foil or pipe cleaners and paint. In this case, that clearly isn't going to happen with the foil tape and quite frankly I never liked the RF paint at all. Every guitar that I had opened up from the '80's - '90's with that paint were all so badly flaked off that the stuff was on everything including the magnets.

    I think I will just sheld the cavaties (for looks if nothing else) and push forward.

    As to shielding effecting the single coil sparkle? I guess I have no idea as all of my instruments are shielded except for the hollows. Lord knows the P90's in hollow body have plenty of sparkle.
     
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  10. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    55
    Feb 16, 2014
    Sacramento, California
    Ah, now I see what you're getting at. Yes, I just recently watched a video on how to properly shield and guitar and the two things I got out of it were that you needed to connect all the shielding in some way. On my latest build I did it with thin little wires between the cavities. Haven't finished it to try it out though. Also it said that you need to ground to the bridge in order to ground the strings. I'd been doing it in my builds but I didn't realize it was to ground the strings.
     
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  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    72
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
  12. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

    Feb 15, 2016
    Nebraska
    I thought about connecting the sections with wire, but I don't know if that really works. We are trying to build a faraday cage (crude version anyway) so the wire channel as well as the input socket opening would allow for interference if not shielded as well. Again, I really don't know if it was ever really true or if it was started simply due to an early flaw with vintage pickups? Seeing as how Fender is selling bodies without shielding paint these days, I wonder if it was all snake oil to begin with?

    I do like the look of a good copper foil install and do shield the pick guards, but it might just be for looks in the end.
     
  13. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I’ve never noticed any benefits from shielding.
     
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  14. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    68
    Oct 22, 2006
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    You can connect the sections with wire.

    Gaps in your shielding are all a matter of degree. How big is the gap, and how intense is the radiation you are hoping to exclude?

    At my house, the gaps are big and the intensity is very low, so my results are good.

    Playing in a dive bar with funky neon beer signs all around could be noisy.
     
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  15. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Jun 24, 2004
    Anderson, IN
    Teles are supposed to hum.
     
  16. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    I'm inclined to think shielding is a waste of time. I've done it many times, using paint, and copper tape, and silver actual duct tape, and never noticed a huge improvement. Sometimes it makes it worse.

    My understanding is you are trying to make a faraday cage. To do that yes, you would need to shield the drill holes. Or better yet, use shielded wire like Gibson uses. I've often been tempted to try to build a sheet metal box, solder the seams, and afix it below the control cavity.

    But as mentioned, the pickup itself is a honking big hole in whatever shield you make.
     
  17. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    Use shielded cable runs, especially from the volume pot to the jack. Scavenge old RCA 'VCR' type patch cables as those are shielded.

    .
     
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  18. tubejockey

    tubejockey Tele-Meister

    326
    Nov 25, 2015
    the bozone
    There are enough people out there that do their shielding wrong to completely skew the poll results on effectiveness. If you don't get it properly grounded, it can even INCREASE the noise. If your pickups don't have metal covers or backplates, they will be open to picking up noise. But shielding still helps even in those situations. Anyplace you have a conductor sitting out in the great electromagnetic swamp, they will pick up noise. When that noise is connected to the input of an amp, it gets louder. By shielding my strats, I can stand on the stage at church next to a couple CFL bulbs and the noise is much more manageable. Not gone, but significantly reduced.

    Try running a speaker cable (unshielded) from your guitar to your amp and see how much more noise you get.

    As for stealing your sparkle, the tiny amount of capacitance added by shielding does make an RC filter with your pickups, but the rolloff frequency is WAY above what you get with a shielded guitar cable. There are ways to shield pickup coils directly that will have an audible effect, but even that can be minimized by leaving a gap in the foil. Some pickup manufacturers use this method to shield their products. A gap in the metal cover of a tele neck pickup can minimize the eddies, and thus minimize the high frequency loss as well.

    If you are playing in a relatively quiet environment, you may not notice the benefit. But if you are playing in a noisy environment, you may not know how much noise you are NOT hearing.
     
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  19. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

    Jun 11, 2009
    Minnesota
    Try buying a guitar cable that isn't shielded. There's no sense in trying to see how much noise you can pick up, it there? Since you mentioned it, use shielded wire and there is another reason not to shield the cavity it runs through. Tele pickup leads and output leads could (or already do) use shielded wire leaving literally a few inches of wire behind a (grounded) metal plate. The back of the Strat pick guard already has a shield that could be made more effective if it isn't already. The pickups are the real problem, and like you said, no one is going to do that right because they shielded the cavity instead.
     
  20. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

    I have never installed foil in the passage holes, have never heard of doing it, and have never had an issue. If you are concerned simply twist the wires together before you push them through and the twist will provide the sheilding needed.

    For grounding between cavities, your bridge pickup should have a ground wire running from the back of a pot to under the bridge. If the control cavity sheilding is grounded to the pots as it should be that joins the bridge cavity to the control cavity. The neck pickup cover should have a ground wire going from the cover to the back of a pot so that joins those cavities if the neck pup is grounded to the neck cavity.

    But in short no. It isn't needed.

    Eric

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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