Grounds in Tele Wiring?

Fender_Player90

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So wiring up a 4 way switch for series switching and also new pickups. I have a MIM Player Series Telecaster. Trying to understand the ground. Most everything instructions wise says ground to the volume pot. So if thats the case, how is the pot grounded? On the MIM Tele...theres at least 3 grounds (one at the bridge, one out the output jack and theres a special scrw and eyelit at a screw in rhe bottom of the control cavity. Im not super familiar with " ground loops" but wouldnt this create one
So just to confirm, the grounds are the bridge, the screw/lug at the bottom of the control cavity and out the output jack?
 

dsutton24

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Ground loops don't happen in guitars. There's just not enough signal or impedance.

As far as your grounds go, they all start at the sleeve connection at your output jack. You need a ground to all your shields (if you have shields), a ground at your volume pot(s), a bridge ground, a ground on one end of your tone capacitor(s), and in the case of a 4-way, a ground for your bridge pickup cover. I also connect a jumper between all the pot backs just so I'm not relying on pot nuts to stay tight.
 

kbold

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Output jack lead to the vol pot is your ground. All ground leads then attach to the pot case.
 

Ed Storer

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The volume pot is just a convenient place to attach the grounds. As long as they all connect to the shank lug of the output jack, you're grounded.
^^^ @dsutton24 just posted as I was about to post this. He's correct about ground loops.
 

Chipss36

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The pot is attached to a plate, that grounds all the other pots, same with a Strat, I think grounding they did in the 50s was cleaner, and worked just as well, with an old les Pual, it had no plate, so you see the ground buss wire running to all pots, buss wire and a plate is not needed. I like to keep things clean. The volume pot has all the pickup grounds, the trem ground runs directly to output jack, it’s how fender did it back in the day, works well, and looks clean.
just use the volume pot as a collection point for all grounds, it will work fine.
 

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old_picker

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Chipss36 - nice wiring there mate. Thats what I like to see when I pull up a guard or control plate. Someone took the time to do a nice job. See it rarely in production guitars and it often looks like a bowl of spaghetti.
 

sjtalon

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>So just to confirm, the grounds are the bridge, the screw/lug at the bottom of the control cavity and out the output jack?<

Yes, and another spot to connect grounds to is the tone pot. Think of it this way. ANYTHING in there that is connected mechanically, that is in this case, metal to metal (bonded)............BOTH pots, mounted on the METAL base plate, are electrically tied to one another.

Sometimes it's good to use the tone pot, as trying to add too much (wires) to one place requires hot solder iron work and you can fry a pot.

So a GROUND point is a GROUND point.

Ref. chips pic there...............Strats (normally) have shielding tape on the pickguard and THAT works just like the control plate on a tele (though not its real purpose, just a BONUS) and gives electrical continuity to everything there, metal that is.

Some don't trust these bonded "connections" from pot to pot(s), so will (as dsutton mentions) place a jumper wire, pot to pot to tie them together.

Although redundant, and I always say "there are a million Strats, and Tele's out there for decades without that, and have no issues," it sure as heck hurts absolutely nothing to do it, for piece of mind.
 
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Steve Holt

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1664560471350.png


Here's a diagram I drew up for a Jaguar that only shows ground wires. Concept is the same for a Telecaster.

Your ground is at the output jack sleeve. All other metal connections need to connect to it. Don't worry about ground loops like Dsutton said. There is only one path in your guitar to ground, through the output jack. So whether you rely on the control plate to connect the two pots to ground, or run a separate wire to connect the two pots, or both, you'll be fine. On a 4 way switch you WILL need a dedicated ground wire from the metal cover of the neck pickup to your shielding/ground network. This is because typically telecaster bridge pickups are wired with the ground wire making contact with the metal cover, both are grounded. On a 4 way, the ground on the tele neck pickup doesn't go to ground when both pickups are in series, leaving your cover ungrounded and it will buzz like crazy (ask me how I know),

Hope this helps!
 

Fender_Player90

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Okay couple questions.

I figured out the "lug and screw" going into the wood in the electronics cavity is a ground for the shielding paint used inside on the wood. Thats not a ground lug for the Pot because I was scatching my head wondering why its trying to ground to the wood body and not something metal. Its actually the shielding paint grounded to the ground connection on the body of the volume part. This part is not drawn in Fenders official wiring diagram for my guitar.

That being said, basically the wooden cavities where theres wood have shielding paint. But theres nothing on the back of the switchplate or pickguard. So the bottom half of the cavities are shielded with a special black paint. But should I add some copper sheeting under the pickguard and/or switch plate? Then ground that somehow? There is no shielding what so ever on the top half. Dont know how two different types of shielding would play together? And if I need to shield the bottom of the metal plate and pickguard to get any benefit from the shielding?

Lastly, theres supposed to be a string ground on Bridge Pickup. The factory accomplished this by soldiering a screw lug midway through the black wire and having it be screwed down with the bridge. What should I do here when I replace my bridge pickup? The new pickup just has a black wire, no lug. Should I soldier a wire to the back of the bridge itself??

Thanks-
 

hd09

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I have only built 2 tele partscasters. I didn't do any shielding paint or tape the cavities. All I did was run a ground wire from one of the bridge plate screws to a pot and jumper wire to other.
One was a 3 way the other was a 4 way. No issues with either one. Maybe I just got lucky.
 

Chipss36

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A tele is naturally very well shielded, and you also have shielding paint, I myself would not add more, you are basically making a faraday cage, just know that a faraday cage can, In some instances cut high end, now if you have a bright guitar, that may be helpful, if an already warm guitar, I would avoid it, I have zero extra shielding in any of my teles, and no noise issues. Other than ya they are single coils so…..another trick to shielding, is shielding the pickup coil itself, Srv’s number one was like that, copper tape around the coil, ran to the ground eyelet on the pickup. Of corse I would insulate the coil first with tape.

the only reason one would burn up a pot, is that they are using an iron with not enough wattage, throw away that 20 watt, $20 iron, it is making this way more harder than it need to be, it not heat settings that burn up pots, it’s dwell time, and to reduce dwell time, you need wattage, a $99 hakko station will last a lifetime, and not burn up pots…I used one for 15 years, it still works fine, but went to the garage for auto, hot rod, and bike duty.
a good iron makes this a joy, a bad one? Not so much. a hakko station will solder pots perfectly, no extra flux or need of sanding the pot down because it has enough wattage.

I now use an expensive metcal station, it does not even have a temperature control. It solders pots and large ground planes as fast as a resistor lead.

most all component white sheets list max dwell time, not heat ranges.
they are very different.

one other thing, is I use rosin core Kessler solder. That contains led, the lead free stuff is junk, takes more heat, is more brittle, and has very narrow flow range. major industries have been forced to use it, you do not have to..leaded solder is more forgiving, more easygoing to work with , and the joint is flat out out better long term.
I say this because if you have issues soldering to pots a perfect storm is a bad iron and lead free solder.

a person told me these exact same things, a good iron, changed everything.
that lead to amp building, mic building, mic preamp building….and on and on…

thanks for the wiring complements, but I am really just copying what the fender girls in the 50s did, monkey see, monkey do….lol
 

Tuxedo Poly

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If the new bridge pickup has a metal base plate with a soldered link to the black wire and is fixed to the bridge using threaded screw holes in the metal plate, that provides the ground for the strings.
The Player bridge pickup has the plate and the soldered link but the fixing screws go into the plastic bobbin molding. That is why there is a lug which fits on one of the bridge pickup fixing screws.

This 4 way diagram includes a cavity ground.
Tele_4_Way_Ctrl_Gnd..jpg
 

Beebe

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If the signal ground in your amp is tied to chassis ground, then guitar ground is the actual ground outside (aka Earth).
 

sjtalon

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Pickguard shield

Try it, if you don't have any bad noise/hum issues, don't worry about it.


Bridge plate grounds:
 

thegaijin

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Sorry to jump in. Sanity check please. Is it ok to ground something to the side of the switch?
 

Steve Holt

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Sorry to jump in. Sanity check please. Is it ok to ground something to the side of the switch?

The switch should also be connected to ground. Most diagrams I see don't call out a special ground for it, but I ground my switches by using copper shielding that makes contact with the switch.

As long as your network of grounds are all connected and the switch is in that network, you're good. If your switch is not grounded and you just throw a wire from a pickup to the switch, you're not good.

What are you trying to do.
 

thegaijin

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The switch should also be connected to ground. Most diagrams I see don't call out a special ground for it, but I ground my switches by using copper shielding that makes contact with the switch.

As long as your network of grounds are all connected and the switch is in that network, you're good. If your switch is not grounded and you just throw a wire from a pickup to the switch, you're not good.

What are you trying to do.
Thanks. I’m wiring a resistor to the switch and need somewhere close by to ground it to.

5 mins later….

It seems to work fine. Thank you.
 

Peegoo

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Im not super familiar with "ground loops"

In a passive guitar circuit there is only one ground potential--which makes a ground loop impossible. Anyone that claims 'star grounding' is necessary in a passive guitar circuit does not completely understand ground potential.

In an amplifier chassis where different voltages are present, ground loops can be a problem. How things get grounded matter greatly in an amp.
 

LowCaster

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Its actually the shielding paint grounded to the ground connection on the body of the volume part. This part is not drawn in Fenders official wiring diagram for my guitar.
If you look at a classic guitar wiring diagram you see the important part: how the pickups are wired to the pots and and switch, and eventually to the output Jack. Then most metal parts, strings, bridge, control plate, pots, and the optional shielding (pickups shield, pickguard shield, cavity shield) are implicitly connected to «ground » one way or another. Here ground means they are connected directly or indirectly to the sleeve of the output Jack.

I made those two simple diagrams, the first is the « straight to the Jack » wiring, »: « ground » from the sleeve of the output jack is connected to anything that needs to be grounded.
Next pic with added controls: ground is shown on the back of the vol pot, meaning everything that need to be grounded will be connected here, but could be connected elsewhere, like in the first pic. And the tone pot back could be connected to the ground via a wire or via the shielding or the control plate… Freedom!
DBD1633C-5FB1-481A-9728-F6C0F5592D74.png
8967A88A-52D8-4243-8631-69538B0CE18E.png
Things become more complicated with switches and five wires pickups, but still strings and shielding are connected to ground the same way (and often left out of the diagram). Hope this helps.
 




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