Shielding a tele??

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Telefunked, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. Telefunked

    Telefunked TDPRI Member

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    Hey all, just wondering about your thoughts on shielding your tele? I've done some research on the subject, I think I'm gonna do it!!

    For those of you that do this, do you like aluminum or copper better and why?

    I know manufacturers usually use aluminum and I've read that copper can darken your tone?? Not too sure how much I buy that but who knows?

    Also, when you do this you you have to ground every cavity seperatly with a wire and screw?? Can I just ground one cavity if the shield in the separate cavities makes contact with a pickgaurd a that is fully covered with aluminum/copper?
     
  2. Formerblonde

    Formerblonde Tele-Meister

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    What was supposed to be my equipment area has the internet/cable connections for the whole building located on the other side of the wall. Had to swap rooms with the missus due to the hideous amount of noise. There is no problem in the new room and since I don't gig [and unlikely to start] I don't feel the need to shield all the beasts.

    I can't see where the shielding could possibly affect the tone. Aluminum and copper are non magnetic so can't interfere with the strings or pickups.

    If you go ahead with the shielding then you have to shield the whole thing. Otherwise it's a complete waste of time. Be careful with connecting the different shielded sections together, you don't want to introduce any ground loops.

    Best of luck
     
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  3. trouserpress

    trouserpress Tele-Holic

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    Please check out the "guitarnuts" website.

    I always shield all three cavities with copper foil. And I also shield all three tunnels (leading from the control cavity to different directions). Simply roll two pre-cut foils around the shaft of a screw driver thus shaping them and shove'em into their small tunnels. Then solder both ends to the copper of the cavities. Soldering anything onto aluminium is no fun.

    As long as you don't use thick metall plates or don't apply the copper foil right next to the windings of the pickup - any "experience of darkening tone" should be due to the lack of enviromental hissing because of perfect shielding. Calling that a loss of treble would be 'alternative facts'.

    You might consider two different ways of how to handle the minus signal going from the volume pot to the switchcraft jack: Keep it right next to the hot lead (twisted) to slightly (probably unremarkable) improve high fidelity (brilliance, attack, ..) or send it the long way through all the copper of the shielding for better noise riddance (probably just as vague as an effect).

    Good luck
     
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  4. whiteop

    whiteop Tele-Afflicted

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    I have shielded some teles but have found grounding the baseplate and the neck pickup are better at getting rid of hum. Just run the ground wires to the volume control. On the baseplate I use a 2 pieces of copper tape and place one onto the surface of the guitar then put the ground wire on it and take the second piece of copper tape and sandwich it, then screw the baseplate back on. Works like a charm and no hum at all if you'really using stacked humbuckers. If you're using real single coils you may have just a little hum.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
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  5. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I have not thought about guitarnuts in a long time, @trouserpress. I once printed out the star grounding process for my Strat, bought the copper tape, but never started the process. Thanks for the memory!
     
  6. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

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    Get an Ilitch Noise Reduction Guard, and never look back. Gets rid of Way More Hum than anything else, but its not cheap, and changes the tone 000000.
     
  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Here is a picture of the shielding I do. This was for a local guy that was getting ready to do studio recording and his Strat made all kinds of noise. Same process applies to Teles. I will do this over top of 'shielding paint' because that can be spotty and I know this works.

    Get an old RCA hookup cable like used on VCRs and so on that you can cut the ends off and use the shielded wire between the control cavity and the output jack to replace that standard twisted pair of wires. This is the biggest source of noise in Fender guitars (inexpensive Epiphone Specials get this treatment, but Fender is stuck with the wire pair just like Gibson can't change their headstock to avoid neck breaks). The black wire in the cavity pictured here is one of these.

    Roll of "Nashua" aluminum flashing tape. Sometimes available for roof flashing, sometimes in the heating and cooling furnace section of a hardware store. Thick aluminum metal tape with adhesive backing. The adhesive is non-conducting so you need to wrinkle the tape fold over corners and edges here and there to ensure continuity and use an ohm meter to show conduction. Around here a roll of tape like this is $8 and I've done a couple dozen guitars with it.

    I have over wrapped Tele bridge pickup bobbins with a strip of foil, protecting any wires and solder with electrical tape. Then run a strip of the tape to ground, check continuity, and over wrap black tape or string to hide the foil. I didn't do any A/B testing of this but I have seen other pickups with conductive tape wraps and I have tested with/without pickup covers on humbuckers to know how effective this can be. Plus I already have the guitar apart to shield the cavities.

    Problems with copper is the excessive cost and the 'kit' is often short of material, especially if an accident happens during installation. It is much more difficult to bend and shape which leads to people slicing themselves up pretty easy on the copper. Because of this it is a much slower installation, even before soldering.

    The only change in tone is the lack of airy noise and buzzing... But that's a feature for some players.
    I like guitars as quiet as possible so my playing is the only crazy noise issuing forth from the amp.

    .

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
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  8. Larry Mal

    Larry Mal Tele-Meister

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    Absolutely shield.
     
  9. trouserpress

    trouserpress Tele-Holic

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    Problems with copper is the excessive cost
    and the 'kit' is often short of material, especially if an accident happens during installation.

    That might put some tears ....

    It is much more difficult to bend and shape

    .... some sweat

    which leads to people slicing themselves up pretty easy on the copper.

    ... and some blood into your guitar.

    Because of this it is a much slower installation, even before soldering.

    .. But if nicely done it looks classy - just like bathtubs from Versailles when Louis XV was in charge - just saying copper adds up to an incredible mojo boost!
     
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  10. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The telecasters that I built are all shielded with copper foil soldered together, but I have factory ones without any shielding as well. If you are using good quality of wire and twist them, I don't see a need for the foil shielding. None of mine give me any hum issues with or without.

    The one issue with the copper shielding though is to make sure that the cavity is deep enough for your controls first. On those with fancy controls like S1 knobs, they can be as long as 3 inches. Fill that cavity with too much shielding and you might have a problem with wires getting bunched up and that will cause more hum issues than anything.
     
  11. Telefunked

    Telefunked TDPRI Member

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    Well I took out the control panel today just to check it out, the s1 switch pot is huge!!!

    Anyway, I noticed the wires coming from the input jack were not twisted, so I twisted them up nice and put everything back...plugged into my Vox ac15c1 and bam, I'm pretty much noiseless, I'm actually in shock !!!

    So turns out I'm good, I guess I don't need to do anything eles! Thanks for all the information everybody
     
  12. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    That is a common problem and as you found out, a very easy fix.

    It seems that you can count on 2 things these days: Poor wiring jobs; and badly cut nuts. I had an Epiphone amplifier that hummed louder than a mute in church until I changed to thicker grade wires....hum gone. They used such thin wire that the tube heaters were picking up the voltage.

    Just too much cost cutting these days.
     
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  13. Misty Mountain

    Misty Mountain Tele-Meister

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    I never shield. Twisted wires, proper grounds, no issues.
     
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  14. Speedfish

    Speedfish Tele-Meister

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    I apply metal flashing tape on the back of the pickguard and paint all the cavities with the shielding paint that Stew Mac sells.
     
  15. Lupo

    Lupo Tele-Holic

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    3M spray glue, kitchen aluminum foil... cheap and nasty. works great!
     
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