Shield or not shield...

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Akille68, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Holic

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    best you read this first, a writing off Bill lawrence.
    http://billlawrence.com/Pages/All_About_Tone.htm/TeleLovers.htm

    quote:
    An inch thick copper or brass shield cannot reduce the buzz caused by light dimmers but .003 thick aluminum foil can! This is known some thirty years and the reason why Belden introduced double shielded cable ( Copper braid plus aluminum foil). There is one problem for guitar cords -- the double shielding makes the cable too stiff . It helps quite a bit when you shield your guitar with copper and aluminum foil.

    another writing is this one
    http://billlawrence.com/Pages/Pickupology/External Interference.htm
     
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  2. Razzle

    Razzle Tele-Meister

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    I tried shielding a strat before, great PUs but hummed like heck.

    I didn't notice an effect on the sound, but the shielding didn't seem to do a damn thing for the hum.
     
  3. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Holic

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    sometimes wiring leads are a little broken so i would try and use a multimeter and check if the bridge has contact with the (telecaster) control plate, and the ground of the jackinput.
    but also the fit of the jack in the jackinput.
    have had the problem that when plugged in the jack almost made contact with the solder lead that were to long on the input jack. when the jackplug moved by the downforce of the cable it sometimes made contact and hum
     
  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Mine are shielded. I dont hear any deficit. Of course I havent been able to A/B them back and forth. But I love the way they sound and have almost 0 problem with noise or hum with SC's.
     
  5. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are some specifics to follow.
    Shielding guitar hum
    Here's what I have done for hum AND static pickguards:

    Shielding:
    I have had static issues with Teles a lot. Not sure why that is. Ensure your bridge is grounded.
    1) use a shielded wire from the input jack to the pot. (this is for hum elimination if you need it)

    2) Shield the pickup cavities and the control cavity with metal tape. Aluminum from the hardware store is fine. Just do the easy shielding, it doesn't need to be 100% . Carry the shield out of the cavity and over the top edge a bit... maybe 1/8".

    3)Make sure all the pots are grounded together, take that ground to a small solder tab in or near the bridge pickup cavity. Solder the bridge ground wire to this tab also. This little tab is screwed thru the Aluminum tape into the body for contact. (Fender uses this tab... on their better guitars anyway.)

    4) Put the Aluminum tape on the back of the pickguard if there is none. (doesn't need 100%) The goal is to have this tape contact the cavity tape (where it bends over the top of the cavity edge) when the pickguard is screwed down and thus grounding thru the little solder tab.
     
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  6. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Just make to ground all your shielding....
     
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  7. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

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    I shield nothing. Noise from electronics in a guitar can be minimized by using quieter pickups, and fewer ground points within whichever wiring scheme you use.
     
  8. ksargent

    ksargent TDPRI Member

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    You can deal with that by rubbing the pickguard with a static-reducing dryer sheet (I've never found shielding to make much of a difference with that particular problem). One rubdown will often take care of the problem for days. I have actually gone so far to have my guitar tech lay a dryer sheet under the pickguard and that worked as well.

    With respect to the original question - I always shield. I play a lot of solo guitar stuff and I like the quiet parts to be quiet.

    Ken
     
  9. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Shielding opinion is like the Civil War, pitting brother against brother.

    I detest shielding.
     
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  10. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I tried the drier sheets. The fix for me was very temporary. I have yet to find a guitar that the shielding scheme listed above does not completely stop the static problem.
     
  11. Telecasterless

    Telecasterless Friend of Leo's

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    I have found myself to be very sensitive to hum/noise, whatever you want to call it, recently. Mostly because I have an amp (Vox) that is noisy especially after you plug in, doesn't matter which guitar. It's reasonably quiet at idle with volume up and no jacks plugged in, but once you plug in a guitar (humbuckers, p90s, Tele single coils) the hum is just too loud.

    It would seem the issue is with the guitars, but they don't make near the same noise when plugged into fender amps. So in that case, I assume something can be done to quiet the amp, just not sure yet.

    Furthermore, I've found that a lot of the noise from my tele comes on when the tone knob is full on. Off or low, it is less hum. Is this common? The volume knob contributes to some noise, but not as much as the tone knob.

    Does anyone know what the most minimum amount of shielding, and specifically what shielding, I can do to rectify this.

    Apologies to the OP, don't mean to hijack the thread, I feel this is in the same vein in that he too is looking for least amount of "potential" tone suck but also wants to get rid of the hum.
     
  12. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I think what you're hearing re the tone pot is that a lot of the hum is high frequency, so naturally you hear more of it when not dumping highs to ground.

    Without access to your gear, I'll just guess. Determine your shielding needs based on the Fender amps, which have the least noise plugged in. See if shielding quiets it. Then, any effect will be seen in the Vox as well, but your Vox probably needs something else, too, not related to the guitar. I don't have any of these amps, so guessing, but seems to be an amp issue, not a guitar issue.

    When shielding, if I'm just tackling static, I get by minimally as I think I described further up in this thread. But if I'm addressing RF, then I'll fully shield the cavities with grounded copper foil. Make sure everything in your guitar that should be grounded, is grounded. Clip a meter to the output jack cup, and touch all the supposedly grounded items, checking continuity.

    Another thought, what else changes when you change from Fender to Vox? Environmentally. Different wall power? Different lighting, or position relative to RF noise sources? Etc.

    Finally, test with a humbucker guitar. Gibsons are notoriously QUIET. How does each amp sound.

    Finally realize that with single coils you're always going to have some RF noise in a room with electronics, lighting, power. And most tube amps aren't perfectly silent at idle. But when one has gotten particularly noisy, it's time to look at that amp.
     
  13. Telecasterless

    Telecasterless Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks Moosie. My Les Paul is out on loan currently but should be back soon. My recollection, although it's been awhile, is that even the LP seems quite a bit noisier thru the Vox. But I will have to check it again.

    So even if I am only trying to tackle the tone pot (bear with me in that my logic is likely faulty with wiring), I need to do complete cavity shielding? I was sort of hoping I could just wrap copper foil around the tone pot (a la my 1960s Danelectro which basically has a paper copper sandwich wrapped around all the pots and internal wiring, which I don't even think it is truly grounded, more like simply....a shield) and get away with that. I really don't want to deal with tone suck like others have. But perhaps I need to explore this further.

    Do you think I need to do your hot pickup lead wiring solution to solve the tone pot problem or is that only for the pickups? Again, a novice here, so maybe the tone pot is all one in the same as the pickups.

    Also, if I want to deal with the static only, must the pickguard shielding be grounded too?

    Nothing really changes between amps. I've even placed the Vox where the Fender is and used same outlet....same results. So the noise level is definitely more related to the vox vs. fender. The p90s actually make worse noise than the tele single coils, thru both vox and fender.
     
  14. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    It's not the tone pot that's noisy. The noise is already there, but you don't hear as much of it with the highs rolled off.

    Re shielding, if you haven't personally noticed tone suck with shielding, I wouldn't worry about it. It's extremely, extremely minimal. It's maybe a 20th of the tone suck you might hear in an extra ten feet of unbuffered cable.

    P90s are hotter single coils, so yeah, its expected they'll be noisier than Fender pickups.

    I recommend shielding both pickguard and hot neck lead, if you have a staticky pickguard. Static is different than RF hum or buzz. You'll hear static through the speaker when you brush your fingers along the pickguard. You'll hear the RF noise all the time, and it'll get louder when you stop touching the metal parts of the guitar. This is expected behavior.

    From what you're saying, I'd fully shield the guitar, to address both static and RF, and if the Vox is still way noisier, it may be a problem with the amp. I don't have experience with Voxes, so don't know if they typically are a noisier circuit, for instance.
     
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  15. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I think anyone who’s the least bit interested in discussing shielding ought to read up on Mr Lawrence’s thoughts on the subject. Although most of us arm chair engineers have dedicated some spare time to the subject, he was an expert in the field.

    My humbucker guitars aren’t shielded and they’re pretty noise free. My single coil guitars are shielded and unless I aim the guitar at a light that’s attached to a dimmer or a video screen, they’re pretty quiet and show no signs of loss of dynamics. My latest Strat has zero shielding from the factory and it’s 100% stock. It sounds like a swarm of bees and doesn’t have RWRP middle so tere is no escaping the noise. It will get shielding during the next string change.
     
  16. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Just wanted to add that humbucker leads are factory shielded. The hum-cancelling pickups alone wouldn't result in such quiet guitars, but addressing both goes a long way.

    The unshielded leads on a Fender not only attract RF noise, they do so right underneath a layer of plastic which is already prone to static.
     
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  17. Telecasterless

    Telecasterless Friend of Leo's

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    What's interesting is that Bill Lawrence says shielding will not get rid of 60 cycle hum. So then what IS it getting rid of? Humbuzz......???
     
  18. doolbon

    doolbon TDPRI Member

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    I have a Squier CVC. One day I was adjusting the neck PU to dial in the sweet spot. Had to remove the pick guard to access the screws. Got it sounding real nice. When I put the guard back on and played it a bit it didn't sound the same. Lost some of the chime. Took it back of and it sounded better again. I did this about 3 or 4 times to make sure I wasn't imagining it and realized it had to be the pick guard. Since the pick guard is plastic, I concluded that it must be the shielding tape. So I pealed it off figuring it would be easy enough to replace if that wasn't the problem. Put the guard back on, problem solved. Sounds the same on or off. Got me wondering if shielding or copper would have less of an affect apposed to aluminum tape.
     
  19. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Interesting, I've always used copper foil, and I don't hear a difference. My hearing is pretty good. For instance, in a similar quiet setting, I can easily hear the difference between a 10 ft vs 18 ft instrument cable, unbuffered.

    So maybe it is the aluminum...?
     
  20. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    According to the second article, humbuzz is removed via shielding. He categorizes it as Humbuzz A and Humbuzz B; A is buzz from unshielded circuits, B is buzz from light dimmers.

    My take on that is for Humbuzz A, you need a faraday cage and for Humbuzz B, you need it done with aluminum.

    From my experience, I shielded my Strat and Tele with aluminum tape. It seems to have done a pretty good job. The room I practice in is perhaps the worst room in the house. It has a 250 Amp junction box about 10 feet from my amp, overhead recessed lighting on dimmers, dimmer controls in several walls, one directly behind my amp and there’s also a wired LAN, 16 port network switch + WiFi about 10 feet on the other side. ...And there are computers and LCD monitors. Most of the time my single coil guitars are pretty quiet and well behaved. No Humbuzz but if they are in single coil mode, I can pick up the 60 cycle or 120 cycle noise by aiming my pickups in the right direction. When they’re in the parallel or series positions, they no longer pickup the noise from the room.
     
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