Pickguard static

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by WarBeer, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. WarBeer

    WarBeer TDPRI Member

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    My #1 tele has bad static...the dry-sheet only last for so long. I've read some suggestions in another post here. Question...if I shield the back...can I just ground the shielding to the neck pickup? Wouldn't the pickup cover be grounded anyway?
     
  2. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yes ground is ground, anyway/anywhere you get connected to a source.

    So, your house, or is it a room you have your guitars in, were you always play..........what's the relative humidity in there ?

    You should do whatever to get it, or do you keep it at around 50%, try to never go below 40.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
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  3. WarBeer

    WarBeer TDPRI Member

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    That's a good point on the humidity. I'll get a meter and see what I have!
     
  4. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I used to have bad static problems with a Squier Series Strat with the factory single-ply pickguard.

    You could drag your finger across the pickguard and it would sound like a zipper.

    The problem was worse in the winter with the wood heat. Dried things out too much.

    I ended up changing that pickguard and the problem ceased, even in the winter.

    I didn't do any other shielding, just the normal shielding around the controls.

    This led me to ponder the makeup of the plastic itself as to it's resistance to static electricity.
     
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  5. jackal

    jackal Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    On all my guitars with a plastic pickguard, I cover most of the bottom of the pickguard with copper tape, put a wire where it will make contact with the pickguard installed, cover it with copper tape, then run the ground wire to the volume pot. Nothing else seems to work for me.
     
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  6. swany

    swany Tele-Meister

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    Bakelite pickguard
     
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  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I guess you've seen the other thread, why not just do the whole thing right? I'm not sure if the cover is grounded or not.
     
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  8. WarBeer

    WarBeer TDPRI Member

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    Looking up Bakelite tele pickguards...the only ones I've found so far (that say Bakelite) are all black. I read the thread that talks about the early black PG being the only ones made from Bakelite. Anyone know if there's a manufacturer that produces Bakelite PGs in other colors? Just curious.
     
  9. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yup, Bakelite doesn't produce the static that the 'other' plastic does. Sorry, don't know if it comes in other colors. I'm thinking not, otherwise we'd have had designer telephone colors much, much earlier. (Remember those black phones? All Bakelite).

    Static is different from RFI, and the issue is that you're rubbing your hand on a static-generating surface, with a hot lead running just on the other side. Prove it by hearing the static noise mostly go away when you switch to the bridge pickup.

    Shielding the back of the PG will help, as will shielding the whole cavity. But those techniques are more to prevent RFI than static, and they might not accomplish as much as you hope.


    If you have new pickups, with full length leads, tightly twisting hot and common together will help a lot. But it needs to be tight, and uniform, to be effective.

    The most effective solution in my experience is to replace the hot neck lead with a shielded lead. On plastic-insulated pickup leads, I have no problem replacing the hot with some modern rubber-covered coax. But on vintage spec pickups with cloth wires, I prefer to replace the hot lead with Gibson vintage spec wire. Cloth covered hot, wrapped in a metal braid.

    In your case, shielding the pack of the PG might be the easiest first step, but if it doesn't do the job, consider the alternatives.
     
  10. physicsteach

    physicsteach TDPRI Member

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    Pricey but conductive. Carbon fiber.
     
  11. JIMMY JAZZMAN

    JIMMY JAZZMAN Tele-Meister

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    Low humidity creates noise. In my area those January-February sunny and 20°F days with a relative humidity of 9-20% brings the noise to a whole different level. But come summer, it's silent. It's all organic and relative.
     
  12. Rumblur

    Rumblur Tele-Meister

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    I've never had that, but I went ahead and grounded mine anyway just to create a cage. I did tie together all the metal in the guitar though, and I'm super tweaky about grounding, so it's as quiet as a humbucker.
     
  13. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    This stuff works great. I apply it with a rag for better control over where it goes and have to re-apply every 3-4 months.

    (Edit: Interestingly, I only have this problem on one guitar that lives in the same room as most of my others.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  14. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    +1 on this advice. I run a humidifier in my studio through the winter, and a dehumidifier through the summer. Humidity range is kept between 40%-50%. I have never had a problem with static electricity with any of my guitars.
     
  15. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    No problem on my tele or strat, but I do get static from my elevated pickguards, such as on a Les Paul or ES-330, at home, the club, anywhere. I've managed to prevent it by either not using it, or anchoring my fingers so they don't move. Another thread suggests "shielding" is not really functioning as a shield, but more of a grounding technique, the partial "shields" that come on strats, and pickguards supports that theory. At anyrate, I'll try some copper tape on the back side of the pickguard on my LP and see if it works. I'll probably run a jumper from the tape over to the cavity tape too, treating it like a ground. Whatever works, has to work everywhere, and without special stuff like humidifiers, standing on an anti-static mat, load stones in a pocket, rabbits foots...;)
     
  16. Guitardvark

    Guitardvark Tele-Holic

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    thin piece of copper sheet from the craft store works too. just stick it on with some 3m and cut to fit the whole pickguard
     
  17. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, be sure ground any added metal, whether you call it a shield, or not.

    In fact, I suspect this is the rationale behind Fender's partial metal plate under Strat controls. It's not meant as a shield, though it can't hurt, but it causes the blade switch to be grounded, and the pots, if there are no explicit ground wires between them.
     
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