Copper shielding and still humming

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by David Spike, Sep 28, 2019.

  1. David Spike

    David Spike TDPRI Member

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    I have a Nashville Telecaster that I changed the pickguard on... it looks way better in my opinion. But it still hums and buzzes. What I mean by "still" is.....

    Since I've owned this guitar it has always hummed. It never really bothered me, because I know its just a common problem with single coil pickups.

    But when I purchased my new pickguard I also bought shielding tape. And planned on doing all that myself... well, I've never been inside that guitar previously until changing the pickguard and to my surprise, it was shielded. The whole pickup cavity, with some over hang on to the body, as well as the whole back of the pickguard. Whether that's factory from fender or from the previous owner, I'm not sure...

    So anyways, I shielded the whole back of the pickguard just like the original one. Put it all back together and to no surprise, it still hums. But, it seems to bother me more now, knowing its shielded inside the pickup routes as well as what I did to the pickguard myself....

    Is there something I or they did wrong? Is it common to have a little bit of hum even with shielding? It is by no means horrible, it just more or less peaked my interest in what's causing it, especially after knowing it is shielded.

    Any help is much appreciated. Thanks.
     
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  2. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Place a small piece of aluminum foil between the pickguard and the control plate. The pickguard needs to be grounded too.

    Place it in the area of a pickguard screw and the front control plate screw so that it will make good contact. You could probably use your shielding tape too.

    The over lapping of the shielding paint on the body under the pickguard might not be making good enough contact.

    Make sure all the areas of paint, bridge, pickguard and controls are all linked together.

    A multimeter might come in handy also. Plenty of instructional threads here. Do a search.

    Remember, they're still single coils.:)
     
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  3. David Spike

    David Spike TDPRI Member

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    Thanks. There was actually a piece of copper shielding tape in that area, under the pickguard and by the control plate... but I'll take it apart and reevaluate it to see if its actually all connected. Thanks again
     
  4. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Holic

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    bond the shield cage to the back of a pot. solder a wire to the cooper foil and route to the controls. I did this with my tele and it quieted things down considerably.
     
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  5. Rufustelestrats

    Rufustelestrats Tele-Holic

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    Yes you are in effect making a cage and it must be a complete circuit to effectively shield.
     
  6. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    You must ground the electronics and the bridge to the cavity shielding. Do this by putting a screw through the shielding with those ground wires attached to the screw. Also, the pickguard shield must contact the cavity shield. I use something like this:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    His Nashville may already have ^this^ connector. Mine did on the bridge pickup to the body then to the back of a pot.

    I changed pickups, but kept the same configuration to complete the ground for the shielding.

    I don't remember shielding on the pickguard. The guitar is still pretty quiet without it, if it isn't.

    I play some pretty suspicious venues with only two prong outlets.
     
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  8. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    My avatar Telecaster started out as a Nashville. I have no noise at all now but I ripped everything out and replaced it with an N4 set. 60 cycle hum and Radio frequency interference are two different beasts. An aluminum Faraday cage works for RF. You can put fine aluminum screen down under the copper tape or you can put aluminum foil tape with a conducive adhesive over the copper. They are somewhat effective st best against 60 cycle. Hum can often be lived with. It sounds very loud at home in a quiet environment. It can barely be heard in a bar over the background noise unless a very high gain is used. In a coffee house you can either turn the head relative to the guitar to quiet it down or use an extension can so one speaker faces the crowd or the two together fill the room. For me, N4 pickups in my Telecaster and VN pickups in my Strat gave me the tone I want and the quiet I sought.
     
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  9. guitarsophist

    guitarsophist Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    A lot depends on the house wiring. My tele and my strat are unshielded. At my previous residence, constructed in 1961, they buzzed a lot. At my current residence, constructed in 2007 or so, they are quiet. Even my Casino with P-90s is quiet.
     
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  10. Irondog

    Irondog Tele-Meister

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    you do have to understand the fundamentals of the problem. 50 to 60 Hz radio frequencies are generated by almost all electrical equipment. it is called mains hum,

    Single coil pickups are very sensitive to that frequency they pick it up and transmitt to the amplifier.,

    my current apartment is wonderful my amplifier and guitar seem to be nicely far away from all the sources, I get a generally quiet background, however if I point the guitar at one wall in particular I can get it to buzz/hum quite badly. so it is also directional.

    so your environment is critical, how many different electrical systems are nearby.
    High-voltage wires in your wall, we all know florescent lighting ballasts are very noisy, refrigerator compressors so on and so forth..................

    Shielding can suppress a certain percentage of the signals. But go into a new environment with a popcorn machine, and the shielding is less effective.

    It's sort of like a light jacket in a rainstorm, the shielding keeps you protected until it starts pouring.
     
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  11. K-Line

    K-Line Tele-Holic Vendor Member

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    Shielding just changes the hum. The pickup faces are like antennas.
     
  12. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    So true. It goes for phasing vs. feedback in a PA system, as well. You have to identify what you are hearing before you can fix it.
     
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  13. Urshurak776

    Urshurak776 Tele-Holic

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    Try a new output jack and shielded cabling from Jack to control cavity. Ensure that “tunnel” is shielded.
     
  14. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Holic

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    Seems like your 90% of the way there with just little more shielding to figure out then make sure all of the shielding is grounded.
     
  15. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    You'll never get rid of it all unless you completely shielded the pickup to the point it doesn't work. The pickup itself picks up the hum.

    These shielding quests are somewhat silly. If you need it to be dead silent you need to use a noise gate, hum suppressor, etc..

    For sure make sure all the grounding & wiring is solid, use a shielded wire to the output jack, make sure there isn't excessive wiring in the switching, etc.. but once you do that no amount of extra shielding is ever going to get rid of 100% of it if you want to be able to turn up the gain/volume/FX. If the guitar has Fender's conductive paint in the cavities and nothing is broken that should get you a long way towards the best it can be.

    Not saying every Fender comes with all this stuff sorted out.. my MIM was not done that well, I was able to reduce the hum a lot by rewiring with care. But the hum is still there. You just have to turn the amp up louder to hear it.
     
  16. Steve223

    Steve223 TDPRI Member

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    I use a noise gate and it gets the hum down at an acceptable level for me but my wife on the other hand can hear it and let's me know a out it lo!
     
  17. 50hz

    50hz TDPRI Member

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    I have 2 guitars with the paint in the cavities and I just taped over them and screwed the ground back in and it helped considerably.
     
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Shielding isn't humbucking.
     
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  19. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Holic

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    I'm SO jealous
     
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  20. Corvus

    Corvus Tele-Meister

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    Yes! a noise gate works well but regarding shielding - as said above it must be grounded and - as I found out when doing it the first time it must be continuous - that is all parts of it must interconnect so if you use tape say - you can't just overlap it, it has to be joined electrically at each junction - say a drop of solder.
     
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