Grounding the bridge?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Esquier, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. Esquier

    Esquier TDPRI Member

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    I don't ever remember seeing a ground lead soldered to a tele bridge. Should something be there? Where is it? confused
     
  2. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Depends on the setup. Sometimes the ground is via the pickup, and it makes contact with the plate via the screws.

    Other times the ground is a separate wire run from the cavity, and the end is stripped, splayed flat, laid on the body, and smooshed down once the plate is screwed tight.
     
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  3. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Holic

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    That’s the way mine are
     
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  4. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've gone hi tech..... I use a spring on a wire to earth my bridges....:D

    a bit more work and no one will see it.... but I know it's never going to fail...;)

    earth spring2.jpg
     
  5. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire

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    On a Tele bridge pickup with a metal baseplate on the pickup itself you will usually find a short wire running from the ground eyelet of the pickup coil soldered to the baseplate.

    The screws holding the bridge plate to the pickup baseplate thus make the connection to ground.
     
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  6. Esquier

    Esquier TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for these replies! I got an alnico 3 pickup from qpickups in Croatia. There is no metal baseplate, so will it still ground?
     
  7. Gaz_

    Gaz_ Tele-Meister

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    No, you'll need to run another wire from the bridge to the control cavity. Like others have said, it doesn't have to be soldered to the bridge, just squashed under it.

    On another note, I have a Q pickup a3 bridge and it's flipping immense. Great choice, I love mine!
     
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  8. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just remember the wire to the bridge plate is entirely distinct purpose, separate and apart from the pickup's circuit. If the pickup coil wasn't "grounded" then you'd have no signal from it. What we're talking about here is the "string ground" and the purpose of that is to ground your body (big bag of salt water acting like an antenna making noise that your pickups will, er, pick up.). Your fingers touch the strings, the strings touch the saddles, which touch the metal bridge plate on a Tele. You may notice a hum that goes away when you touch the tuners, strings, bridge, control plate, metal knobs, or output jack sleeve/nut. Even guitars with hum buckers have some sort of string ground (Gibsons run a wire internally from the tailpiece stud inserts, or the trapeze tailpiece, to the braided coax on the bridge pickup).

    Traditional tele bridge pickups have a metal base plate. Once of the eyelets connecting the pickup coil wire to the pickup leads will have a small jumper shorting it out to the base plate - that's the one on the ground wire from the pickup leads. When you have such a base plate, the pickup mounting screws provide a connection to the bridge plate, saddles, string, and you. So an additional wire is not needed to "ground" the bridge. A multimeter set on "beep" (continuity) will tell you if your bridge plate has a connection to the nut on your output jack.

    If someone swaps out a new pickup without a metal base plate, and forgets to account for the missing connection for the bridge plate, then the guitar may be noisy (but the pickup will still work).

    Sometimes that bridge plate has a bare end of apiece of wire squished between the bridge and the paint, and the other end runs to the back of a pot or other central grounding spot. But I've never seen a factory wired or professionally modified Tele bridge plate with a string-ground wire "soldered" to the plate. If you really want to be cautious you could use a crimp eye on a pickup mounting screw, relying on the tube or spring tension to keep it in contact with the bridge plate. A bare piece of wire sitting on the paint will work just as well.

    Good luck with the new pickup!
     
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