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Any use to shield cavities if you are not having issues?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by darylcrisp, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Holic

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    If you're going to shield your guitar please do some reading and learn what that actually means and how to do it properly.

    Seems like many here just put some copper foil or shielding pant in the cavities and call it a day. You have to ground it all properly, otherwise you really did nothing except waste a lot of time paining or putting tape in the cavities.

    Things I've seen people miss:

    allowing a little overlap from the cavity to connect the grounding to the shielding to the control plate and the back of the pickguard (you should put shielding tape on the back of the pickguard as well.

    Yes, you also need to ground the bridge.

    Connecting it all is very easy. All you really need to do is run a wire off of a ground (any ground) on the control plate and connect that somewhere in the cavity to the shielded control cavity. I used these pictures below and just drive it into the cavity with a small screw (a pickguard screw works perfectly, and then paint over the lug and screw with shielding paint (I prefer shielding paint over foil. Way easier to work with, just apply several coats.

    Finish with a multi-meter and make sure there is continuity with everything grounded, tuners, strings, cavities, control plate, bridge, etc. Move the multi-meter around trying different combinations.

    I did this and basically created a Faraday cage with my Classic 50's Precision bass and it is dead quiet now. The anodized pickguard also made things really easy. Instead of putting foil tape on the back of the pickguard I just scratched off some of the gold anodizing on the underside of the pickguard and ran a strip of shielding from one of the screw holes to the cavity. Every screw on the pickguard is part of the ground.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
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  2. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's

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    I put shielding tape all over the cavities and back of the pickguard of my T-type when I replaced the pickups a few weeks back. Didn't use shielded wire though wires from pickups to switches were twisted. Soldered wires between the various cavities and measured 0 ohms. Quieter than my humbucking guitars? Hardly. I figure magnetic fields can still couple into the pickup coils - those aren't shielded from the front. Is it quieter than it would have been had I not done that? I have no idea.
     
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  3. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Holic

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    No need to unless you play with stupid amounts of gain like a kid at GC. And I can't think of many vintage guitars that were shielded in any effective way. The few big mfgs who made half-hearted attempts at this left a lot of the guitar unshielded. And I can't think of many venues that use fluorescent lights and other big RF sources unless you're playing the VFW hall.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
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  4. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    On one hand, I have learned on any number of things, that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. On the other, I have a hard time seeing what harm a properly grounded shielding job would have on your guitar. Flip a coin......
     
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  5. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Holic

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  6. TwangBrain

    TwangBrain Tele-Meister

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    That sorta depends on your situation. If your guitar is fine at home and you only play at home, it seems unnecessary. My guitars, amps, and fx work ok at home, but when I take them into the rehearsal space, or a few particular venues, they've exhibited some rf and electrical interference...I shield all my solid body guitars, the two tube amps I regularly use, and a couple of fuzz boxes I use occasionally. It helps a great deal, but still isn't a final solution.
     
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  7. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    @darylcrisp that's what I'm talking about when I say "eyelet." You have a solder lug on one side and a place for a screw on the other. Set it against the shielding tape and real short (1/4") screw right through it into the side (not the bottom) of the pickup rout and you're sorted.
     
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  8. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Friend of Leo's

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    If you play out (not much going on with covid) record in a studio etc you will eventually run into noisy lousy electric service. So yes shield. However if you go out professionally I also would never use the consumer copper tape. It will come loose and short at the most inopportune time. Use paint or at least speed (400mph) tape not the guitar store stuff.
     
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  9. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    I painted all me cavities with MG nickel conductive paint. 15 minute dry time between coats. Copper foil on the back of the pickguard, with a lick of paint over the cavity edge to connect the two. Running wires from a solder tab to the back of the pot keeps it all continuous. Now I can play with moronic levels of gain with no noise (as long as I'm in Humbucking mode) IMG_2822.JPG IMG_E2928.JPG
     
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  10. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

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  11. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

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    Thank you, for the pic and info, exactly what I need to see.
    d
     
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  12. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

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    Thank you very much!
    Excellent info for me.
    d
     
  13. jamesepowell

    jamesepowell Tele-Holic

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    You say that like it's a bad thing.
     
  14. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    The only shielding I do is to shield the control cavity.

    My AVRI 58 has not a bit of shielding. No problems in any venue I've encountered.

    My Deluxe Nashville came with noiseless pickups and full cavity shielding paint. Maybe a little overkill.

    I changed the pickups in the DN to true single coils. No difference concerning noise.

    I remember watching a live recording of Robben Ford. He was playing his Tele. He stepped up to the mic, took his hands off the guitar and the 60 cycle was almost as loud as his mic.

    If he's not worried I guess I'm not either.
     
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  15. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

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    None of my guitars are shielded. My humbucker guitars don't hum, My single coils hum occasionally (Which doesn't particularly bother me) but that's because it's a single coil. Shielding the control cavity isn't going to fix that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
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  16. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

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    thumbnail_20201024_203311_resized.jpg Adding pics and additional questions because:

    I forgot to mention at the beginning of this thread that its a 60's AO thinline. So a huge cavity all around the control switch and pots, here's an xray of that area(apologize for the weird artifacts on the 2nd xray-have no idea what causes that but it happens sometimes when pics of digital xray is taken)

    questions:
    1) Do thinlines typically have less issues than the trad tele body style because this thinline is just about dead quiet with regards to hum, not even sure i'm hearing any, even when not touching the guitar. its as quiet as my PRS with humbuckers.

    2) i'm guessing nobody tries to shield that area under the switch/pots on thinlines because its a huge cavernous region that goes all around and would be impossible?

    3) would you go ahead and copper tape shield the two pickup areas and wire route, form a good 1/4" lip on top of the body around each cavity so the covered underside of the pickguard(foil it fully-it only has a small over the switch area) would contact that?

    would that pickguard fully foiled/touching the pickup cavities overlap correctly ground everything or would i need other ground lines?

    thumbnail_20200928_192059_resized_1.jpg thumbnail_20200928_192356_resized_1.jpg thumbnail_20201024_203218_resized.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
  17. Weazel

    Weazel Tele-Holic

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    "Any use to shield cavities if you are not having issues?"

    No.
    No use.
    You just answered your own question.


    Edit: sorry about the large font, I tried to edit, but it won't work.
     
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  18. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

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    Lol, thought you were screaming at me, some days a good scream is good to give and receive.

    By 3am I had made access for the heel TR, put a different bridge and saddles on just to see what they would do, since I had them laying around, and put it back together. This tele is dead quiet. So I'm not going to do anything else.

    Thx to everybody for all the info, answers, help!
    d
     
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  19. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I once played a circuit of venues that would put us in the student union of one particular college which, unfortunately, placed us directly next door to an NBC affiliate with very powerful transmitters, playing havoc on unshielded guitars.

    The unknown of where the guitar may be geographically located at gig time is enough reason to shield any guitar. IMO, it is also an indicator of attention to detail during the build process.
     
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  20. Varmonter

    Varmonter TDPRI Member

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    Personally I'd call it cheap insurance.
    For whatever reason your single coils are quiet. But down the road you may encounter the RF talked about above.
    Or you may want to change pups.
    And your new pups may not be as nice.
     
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