Does shielding really work?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Rob J, May 29, 2019.

  1. Rob J

    Rob J Tele-Meister

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    I shielded a Strat with copper tape, installed "noiseless" pickups, and I STILL get annoying single coil hum. The guitar buzzes pretty loudly until I turn to a position to where the noise goes away. I thought I did a pretty thorough job of applying copper tape but maybe I did something wrong?

    I will add the disclaimer that I notice this most when sitting next to my computer, so am I to deduce that even shielding won't stop single coil hum is all circumstances? I DON'T hear noise when playing this guitar in other environments but I tend to play next to the computer at home. Would one of those hum debugger devices solve this? They are a bit pricey but if it would work I'd give it a go.

    It's a little frustrating after going through the shielding process and not seeing good results. I want to shield a Tele also but won't if I can't expect it to make a significant difference.


    IMG_4612.jpg
     
  2. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's

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    I just put a pickguard shield on my Jazzmaster this evening. HUGE difference. You need good continuity and good grounding but shielding has worked to cut noise massively on at least three of my guitars.

    You’ll never totally get rid of him on single coils though! Just tame it.
     
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  3. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Try soldering the tape pieces together at the joins.
     
  4. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Holic

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    When you say "noiseless" pickups are they true humbuckers, stacked or not? Just curious as you put quotes around "noiseless". At any rate shielding does work but nothing is 100%, especially in close proximity to extreme noise generators like some computers.
     
  5. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity

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    because you used copper tape you can solder right to it ,
    Did you solder the bridge wire to the shielding in side the guitar ? if not the ther bridge is not connected to the shielding also the inside of the jack cavity has to be shielded and tied to the guitar cavity , the whole shield has to be congruent for the faraday box to work , take a multi meter to see if you have any breaks in the cladding
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
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  6. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    everything needs to connect, not just press together. I don't see any connection points done w/ solder.
     
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  7. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    Copper shielding is good for 60hz reduction, aluminum is just as good and much better for RF rejection. Aluminum is more difficult to solder. I have one guitar shielded with copper, another shielded with aluminum. The aluminum is better.
     
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  8. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Those appear to be lace pickups? At any rate, even with normal pickups my Strats are very quiet. They are shielded but not near as good a job as you did. If you have a lot of hum you have other problems somewhere.
     
  9. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree with schmee. A copper tape job like this should be plenty good to get the job done and dramatically reduce hum. The tape is conductive and usually
    makes nice connections without needing additional solder. As mentioned already, make sure the bridge is properly grounded-- in the photo I don't see bare wire
    exposed on the bridge ground wire. If you are still hearing a lot of hum then something else is going on-- house wiring issue, a big source of interference, or something
    going on with the wiring of your rig. Or maybe you have super sensitive ears.

    Also, once you put in noiseleess pickups-- typically some sort of humbucker-- usually you don't need anything beyond that to eliminate almost all 60 Hz hum.
    If I have humbuckers in a guitar, whether stacked or traditional, I don't bother with shielding at all.
     
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  10. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have not found any soldering to be necessary. Mine all press together. In most instances you cant even tell if the volume is on or off. Of course next to an RF generator of sorts it does happen.
    It appears he has tied the bridge ground to a tab screwed into the body through the shielding in the bridge pickup cavity, which is what I do. OP: Do you run a wire to ground at the pots from that little tab? I do.
    I don't even fully shield like he did. I get the easy part of the pickup cavities and the control cavity but just skip the curved parts. My pickguard shield just touches those shields when it is screwed down.
    Obviously if those are noiseless (Lace?) pickups he has something wrong.
     
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  11. ladave

    ladave Tele-Holic

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    I shielded the Strat I just built with copper tape and was disappointed as it seemed pretty noisy compared with other unshielded Strats and Teles I have had. I even turned off all of the lights in the house and my computer and it didn't help.

    Right now I am house sitting and in this house it is surprisingly silent. And in this house in the past I have had a lot of noise on other guitars so I'm a little confused about this subject myself.
     
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  12. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    We all have our ways of doing things, i use the star method for connections. Mine works consistently, I'd never rely on a press fit. Try pressing a pickup lead together, see how well that works.

    Since other folks end up w/ my guitars, I'd much rather know for certain than guess that down the road everything will be how it left here.

    And yes, the OPs guitar is over shielded, if he gets it working it'll drain some highs, but w/ noiseless pickups it may not be an issue.

     
  13. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hah! Point taken. But then... try "press fitting" pickup wire for 1- 1.5 feet of length simi,ar to the pickguard contact by twisting, no solder! or.. spade connectors on speakers.
     
  14. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Try press fitting your finger to a hot wire coming out of a 240V outlet. I guarantee you will have a more than adequate connection. All kidding aside I've never
    had an issue grounding the bridge by press fitting a bare copper wire to it. In the OP's situation I would also make sure that the ground wire to the bridge has a good
    physical connection to the universal ground-- either the copper tape, or a volume pot, or something. It could be that the black anodized screw and washer into the body
    are not necessarily connecting the bridge ground wire to the rest. I do like the star connection approach, although typically the pots are normally going to ground
    just fine to a Tele control plate, anyway. If a Strat pickguard is fully shielded with copper tape then the pots should also ground physically to the tape in that situation,
    too.
     
  15. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Afflicted

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    I just poke around with a multimeter in continuity mode...kind of the opposite of the "Operation" game, I guess.
     
  16. Rob J

    Rob J Tele-Meister

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    To answer some of the questions that have been asked. The pickups are Mojotone Quiet Coil 58s (which have GREAT tone). They are not technically humbuckers though. The "quiet coil" in the name leads me to believe that they are considered to be noiseless pickups which is why I put "noiseless" in quotes.

    I DID connect the bridge wire to the copper surface but I DID NOT run a wire from the pickup cavities through to the input jack cavity but the jack cavity DOES have copper tape applied. I could try adding a connecting wire here and see if that makes a difference.

    As far as "over shielding" and losing highs, I don't perceive any loss in highs. The tone I get from this guitar is better than any other Strat that I've played. I probably did go a little overboard on shielding though.
     
  17. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Afflicted

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    Agreed, noiseless pickups are not truly noise-free. Think water resistant but not waterproof. A little hum is the price of admission.
     
  18. jdiego

    jdiego TDPRI Member

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    Did you already check for continuity between jack sleeve, copper film and strings?

    The copper film needs to be grounded to work as a shield.

    Single coils don't work well for massive distortion. In that case you could try a noise cancelling coil, like the ones from Ilitch or Suhr (back plate or pickguard noise cancelling system)

    Enviado desde mi Redmi Note 7 mediante Tapatalk
     
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  19. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    It does in mine, to a degree. But so used to catching strings & turning vol on guitar down live that a reflex reaction just kills it.
     
  20. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl Tele-Meister

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    I float my pots.
     
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