Ground wire to under the bridge plate

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by robbysturgis, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. robbysturgis

    robbysturgis Tele-Holic

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    I've just un assembled my Squire Affinity.

    I'm switching out the body.

    I have a wire, which follows a drilled tunnel from the switch cavity to just underneath the switchplate, with a bare wire, like it is grounded somehow to the switch plate, and I guess to me, while I'm playing it.

    Is this ground wire typical?
     
  2. aznrambo481

    aznrambo481 Friend of Leo's

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    I'm assuming it's the wire that goes from the ground on one of the pots... to the back of the bridge plate? There's one in my squier '51. It's for grounding the strings, and decreases hum substantially. If you have a strat and take off the cover on the back, you'll notice the same wire soldered onto the spring claw. I don't know how gibson strings are grounded... but the one in your guitar is probably not soldered anywhere. The end is stripped, and the bridge plate wedges the wire down to the guitar, like a tight wire sandwich.
     
  3. robbysturgis

    robbysturgis Tele-Holic

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    Thanks, much.

    Is that typical of a Telecaster. I've got a Mexican Standard, but have never taken the plate off.
     
    hobats likes this.
  4. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's typical of the Squier Teles I've seen. One end is soldered to the pot back. It grounds the bridge plate.

    Not all Teles use this method of grounding the bridgeplate...

    My Classic Series MIM '50s Tele had a ring terminal soldered to one of the pickup leads a couple inches from the pickup end, and that ring terminal was placed between the spring tubing and the bridge plate.

    Another way of grounding the bridge plate that works for pickups with conductive baseplates is that the screws for mounting and adjusting the bridge pickup height thread have their heads touching the bridgeplate, they contact the metal baseplate through the screw threads, and that baseplate has a wire soldered to it that connects it with one of the pickup's leads.

    My layman's non-scientific simple explanation is that grounding the bridgeplate enables the bridgeplate to shield the guitar some from outside electrical interference. Maybe someone else will better explain and correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  5. robbysturgis

    robbysturgis Tele-Holic

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    I'm replacing the body, but I'm reluctant to drill an additional hole from the switch plate cavity, to a spot underneatch the bridge plate.

    Any suggestions, for my project?
     
  6. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

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    You don't need to make an extra hole. You can still ground it at least conceptually the same as one of those three ways I described earlier:

    1. Just run the wire into the bridge pickup cavity, and from there just place the bare end over the edge of the rout so it lays on the body, and use a little care when placing the bridge plate down on the body, so the wire doesn't get displaced while setting the plate down and tightening it.

    ...or...

    2. solder or crimp a ring terminal to that end of the wire, and run one of the pickup mounting screws through it, like the method I described earlier for my '50s Tele. Just make sure the ring terminal is up against the bridge plate, in other words after the screw comes through the bridge plate hole the next thing the screw passes through is the ring terminal. follow that with the spring or spring tubing, then screw the screw into the pickup's screw hole.

    ..or...

    3. If you're using a bridge pickup with a conductive metal baseplate and there's a wire from one of the pickup's leads to the baseplate, it takes care of itself as I described earlier.
     
  7. Twanginator

    Twanginator Tele-Holic

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    Yegbert,

    I have a MIM 50s Esquire that is noisy when I play with any gain. If I touch the control plate, the noise goes away. I pulled it apart and noticed that there is a short wire running from one of the pickup leads that is stripped on the other end and wrapped around one of the rubber tubes. I don't see how this would ground the bridge. Seems like the rubber tubing would prevent the ground from happening.

    Am I missing something? How would you correct the problem?
     
  8. 0le FUZZY

    0le FUZZY Former Member

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    ...That wood insulate that wire from contact with metal. It should be around the screw or at least touching it someplace.

    0.F.
     
  9. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I can't see why you wouldn't want to drill a small hole from under the bridge to the pickup cavity but you could do what I did. I didn't want to drill such a hole in my '66 so I just laid the stripped wire over the edge of the pickup cavity. The other end goes into the control cavity where it is squeezed between the switch and the control plate. Didn't want to disturb the original solder joints.

    ......[​IMG]
     
  10. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    If your bridge pickup has a metal grounding plate underneath, and if the black wire is also connected to this plate, then you don't need the separate string ground wire because the bridge pickup mounting screws make a connection to the bridge plate, and the saddles, and the strings, and you. Cuts down on static hum. Traditional way is just to have the bare wire squashed by the bridge plate, or better yet, jammed into one of the bridge plate screw holes in the body. If you do have to run the wire, you should get it to go from the control cavity to the bridge pickup cavity along with that pickup's wires. I think that hole is drilled with an aircraft bit from the jack tunnel, thru the control cavity, then on throught the wood into the bridge pickup cavity.
     
  11. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    In this situation it doesn't matter how the hole is drill since it's already there. However it's more than likely drilled this way.

    ......[​IMG]
     
  12. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, it needs to make and keep solid contact with the metal of the screw, or the metal of the bridgeplate.

    Fender uses what I believe are called star ring terminals, on pickups like the Classic Series and American Series. Here and here are some examples/sources of ring terminals. Imagine those with the ring looking like a star washer.

    Even one of those smooth ring terminals would be better than just wrapping the wire around the screw. Or you could use one of them plus a star washer. Make sure the ring terminal is crimped good (soldered even better) to the wire, and make sure that the rubber tubing or spring is providing plenty of spring pressure to hold the terminal up against the bridge plate's surface.
     
  13. Twanginator

    Twanginator Tele-Holic

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    Upon further review, my Esquire did have a star ring terminal, but somehow it was installed over the rubber tube which kept it from grounding properly. Looks like someone at the Fender plant just put it together incorrectly, because the guitar is essentially brand new.

    I pulled the terminal off the tube, slid it up to the top of the screw and then made sure the rubber tube held it in place. My Esquire does not have a metal baseplate. Eventually, I will add one (I saw your thread on this) or I will try a different pup. For now it sounds good.

    Thanks for the help Fuzzy and Yegbert.
     
  14. photoweborama

    photoweborama Friend of Leo's

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    The way I ground a Tele bridge is to run a wire from the pot into the bridge pickup cavity. I then solder the wire to a piece of flat sheet copper. Then I just bend it so it goes under the bridge. When you screw it down, you have even better contact, and since it is flat, it does not have a tendency to lift the bridge like it does when you just smash a wire under it.
     
  15. seca400

    seca400 NEW MEMBER!

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    Good point now that i think about it... I'm new here, so Hi!
    I just got an affinity china made off ebay awesome condition and cheap.
    ripped it apart right away (ok played it for like 15 mins) and found a "GFS Bridge" in the bridge spot, neck pup is not marked. Sounds pretty good for what i paid. Planning on changing the pots to 250k and better switch and jack but not too much will be done to this.

    Anyways, i came across this thread because the bridge ground which just kinds sits under the bridge wasn't connected to anything in the control cavity so I wedged it into the other grounds on one of the pots and held it in place with some conductive tape. I'm wondering now if its even needed because the "GFS Bridge" does look grounded, its got a metal plate on the back, so maybe whoever changed it disconnected the ground wire from the pot but left the wire sitting there.

    Has anyone ever heard of an Affinity coming with a GFS bridge pup from the Chinese factory?
     
  16. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Roger that on the ring terminal, if you don't have a metal base plate.
    WELCOME to the forum !
     

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