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Is shielding really necessary?

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

  1. tubejockey

    tubejockey Tele-Meister

    326
    Nov 25, 2015
    the bozone
    Keep in mind, a plate is not a shield. The foil on the back of a strat guard does not shield the switch, wire between pots, etc. Making a continuous shield around those innards makes a significant difference in a noisy environment.

    I don't bother shielding my pickups because I don't like the loss of highs. I do shield my control cavities because it makes things quieter with no loss of highs. I shield my Les Pauls for the same reason.
     
  2. tubejockey

    tubejockey Tele-Meister

    326
    Nov 25, 2015
    the bozone
    Twisting wires does an OK job of preventing radiated noise of AC signals in high current or high voltage circuits. It does NOT prevent AC from being picked up on wires. When used properly, the power and ground return lines will create equal and opposite lines of flux, (remember the right-hand rule from physics class?), and the radiated noise mostly cancels itself out. For example, a twisted pair to the wing-tip strobes on an airplane helps prevent false triggers on the lightning detection equipment.
     
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  3. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2008
    Texas
    If you want to know about hum and shielding, do this: Get a speaker lead and use it to connect your guitar to your amp. Hums, doesn't it? The longer the speaker wire, the worse it hums. Now think about the circuit inside your guitar, just runs of unshielded wire going every which way. The speaker wire is just adding length to the wire in the guitar. The more unshielded wire, the more hum.

    I install shielded wire in all my guitars. It doesn't stop all hum, but it helps. It's like running your instrument cable on into your instrument instead of converting the shielded instrument cable into ubshielded speaker wire as it enters the guitar, which is functionally what is happening in Fender and similar guitars.
     
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  4. zhyla

    zhyla Tele-Meister

    125
    Aug 30, 2013
    Northern Hemisphere
    Shielding is an easy thing to get suckered into. Cables have shielding, it must be a good idea, right?

    The problem is a fully shielded guitar wouldn’t have any output. The pickups are literally there to pick up EM signals. I’ve never seen anyone actually measure noise/interference picked up from a wiring cavity. I doubt anyone ever will.

    I guess you could replace the pickups with a couple 10k resistors and see what kind of noise you pick up if you were really concerned about the cavity.
     
    Milspec likes this.
  5. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    Ditto what Ron Kirn said.
     
  6. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    You can absolutely run small gauge buss wire between the cavities to connect them together. My tele has copper foil shielding in all the cavities, none in the access hole, all are connected with small buss wire, and it’s one of my most quiet single coil guitars. Plenty of high end sparkle as well.
     
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  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    72
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    you know where you play..

    if the largest "gig" ya played recently was showing your Grandkids what Walk Don't Run sounded like.. and the electrical emissions in you home are within your control . that's one thing... but if you regularly play in "joints" where is looks as though the building wiring components should be in a Leviton museum somewhere, that's another...

    Hey, that big round thing ya see when ya look out the window.. that's planet earth... regarded throughout the known universe for it's one anomaly... It's where shi* happens... you can deal with it, or you can be miserable...

    rk
     
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  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    72
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    here's the bottom line... if you wanna lotta Zing, Zip, Air, Ping, articulation... those are all qualities that result from frequencies at the very top end of what an amp can deliver.... they are also the very range of frequencies that are impacted by shielding... remember that bit of basic next time your contemplating your next build...

    So if ya like the resolution,, the definition, the articulation, in your playing... DO NOT SHIELD... note though those qualities are the very things that make any mistake, any poor finger technique, anything you do not want the audience noticing, stick out like a necked stripper at a Garden Club meeting.

    but if you prefer the sounds of, say, BB King, Earl Kluge, George Benson, Grant Geissman etc ...( yeah, there are guitarists other than Beck, Clapton, Vaughn,..) then all shielding will do for ya is quiet the noise a bit... so go for it...

    Now. . the sad truth.... every guitar is different..and any luthier worth his salt can work to negate those qualities ... so it's entirely possible to find guitars that seem contrary to the above... it happens.... it CAN happen... I can make it happen, as can any decent builder... so don't have a conniption fit if ya find something that seems like it proves me wrong...

    but remember, if it's shielded and is airy, resolute, "cut through the mix.." it's probably got Bill Lawrence's pups in it... so ya can dump the shielding, at least in the pup cavities...

    r
     
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  9. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Holic

    750
    May 28, 2008
    netherlands
    i know that's true, i can't remember having troubles after shielding my guitars with the lawrence pickups.
    but you have to invest time in tweaking pickup hight
     
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  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    72
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    keep in mind ... Lawrence's pickups are like the schneider kreuznach photographic lens, while most every thing else is more or less a Kodak Brownie regarding articulation, resolution, airiness ... Just remember though, one can still take world class photos with a Kodak Brownie... and one can screw up royally with a Hasselblad... but interestingly, that's up to the photographer, not the gear.... sound familiar? :p

    It was the then president of Nippon Kogaku that told me that in the 70's... before photography was wounded so seriously by ones and zeros... :D

    rk
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 1:55 PM
    eallen, tubejockey and hopdybob like this.
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