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Cutting the ground connection of a Tele neck PU cover to enhance treble?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Antoon, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    I read here:

    https://guitar.com/guides/diy-workshop/25-fender-telecaster-tips/

    that cutting the ground connection of the metal neck pickup cover of a Tele could enhance the treble content of the neck pickup, at the cost of a little more noise. This was new to me. Can anyone confirm this before I would have to try it myself? I would rather not do that before being sure this is indeed effective.

    I have already done a few effective mods to enhance the treble response, such as cutting the cover and removing the tone control. But the more treble the better.
     
  2. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Not sure I'm on board with that one.

    Remove the cover completely. Tape up the windings.

    What pickup do you currently have?
     
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  3. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    No.
     
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  4. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    :eek: If it's metal and you can touch it earth (ground) it! :)
     
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  5. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Meister

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    you can get a Tele neck pickup with a "tone transparent" metal cover. These aren't too expensive, really. Bootstrap makes them, as well as others.

    My Fender Tex Mex neck pickup is much clearer than the average tele neck pickup, as well.
     
  6. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Any metal (grounded or not) in proximity to a coil can capacitively couple with the coil and affect the frequencies the coil produces. In practice, they have to be really close to each other (less than 1/16" or so for guitar pickups) to make an audible difference.

    I experimented with this stuff in the 80s when I was wrapping coils with copper tape to shield them from RFI. The capacitance was eliminated by adding a few wraps of thin cloth tape over the coil before applying the copper.

    However, give it a try and see if it matters to you--because that is all that matters.
     
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  7. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah I had my doubts too when I read it. But I also had my doubts when I read about cutting the cover practically in half. But that worked like charm. I think that eventually I cannot keep myself from trying a switch between the cover ground wire and the guitar ground and listen if there is a difference. I will report back if it turns out to work (probably not)
     
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  8. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Okay
     
  9. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Hmm, cutting that neck pickup cover ground will add appreciable noise -- not a good tradeoff IMHO... OTOH, if you have a coverless neck pickup, you run the risk of snagging that high E string under the bobbin while playing and depending on the tape wrap, it could go though and mess with the windings (ask me how I know this!)
    My solution was an 'open top' cover (see https://www.philadelphialuthiertool...d-metal-open-style-tele-neck-pickup-cover/)-- not sure if that is same as the 'tone transparent' cover noted above...
     
  10. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    I removed the copper tape from my Squier CV Mustang's pickups 'cause it was killing the highs, and I had a CV 50s Strat with a gold anodized PG that had the same effect, and it sounded much better too when I replaced it with a regular 50s style 8 hole single ply plastic one.
     
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  11. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    This is what the pickup looks like now:

    [​IMG]

    It was already worked open. Later I also cut it in half on one side in the middle (see pic). That gave a lot of treble boost as well. More than just the open top. It is a thick brass cover that I would like to keep using. I also disconnected the tone control from the neck pickup (another good mod).
    I do not really care for noise. In practice the noise is determined by where I stand in relation to the amp, not really the shielding. But I think that an ungrounded cover over the pickup may actually induce extra noise. But I going to try it anyway.
     
  12. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    double post..
     
  13. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I am of the opinion that disabling the ground on anything for any reason is a bad idea. This has served me well for 57 years and prevented my personal electrocution on at least 3 separate occasions.
     
  14. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    I just had to try it (the more skepticism, the more I want to check). My setup:

    [​IMG]

    I tried it on the big amp with the treble way up, going back and forth between a grounded and an ungrounded cover.

    And what do you think, is this myth busted or confirmed?

    Confirmed! I get quite a lot more upper highs when I disconnect the ground wire. It gets a bit more hifi-ish and marginally louder.
    So yes definitely.

    I also got a little bit more noise (hiss). The increase in treble is worth it so far. Maybe I will change my mind when I play under a fluorescent light..

    I did notice though that my neck pickup is reverse wound (but no reverse magnet polarity). Maybe this makes a difference.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
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