Shielding pickups not just the cavity

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by guitarzan13, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

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    I have used the guitarnuts method and it is some quieter....I have heard that sheilding the pups themselves results in major loss of highs.

    The pickups in my 50th Anny Strat have more than enough high end for me. So....have any of you put foil tape either around the pickup windings or inside the pup covers and what was your results???
     
  2. chickenpicker

    chickenpicker Friend of Leo's

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    I recall reading that tape can be put around the windings, but it shouldn't form a complete loop - you should leave a gap. No idea if this is correct or not though. Maybe someone else could chip in?
     
  3. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

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    Very interested to find out.... I love the pickups, I just hate the hum!!!!!!! Holy Grails or SCN will prolly be my next move if I can't make this work
     
  4. GTO

    GTO Tele-Holic

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    If the hum is that bad after shielding the guitar in the traditional style, then perhaps you should look at the quality of your leads as being the main culprit?
     
  5. lightice

    lightice Tele-Holic

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    Have you potted the pickups?

    You might wanna try that before shielding the pups itself.
     
  6. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

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    These are the stock in my 50th Anniversary Standard American Strat. My cacbles are George, Ls.....It only bothers me in the bridge position with my overdrives.....I am just used to humbuckers, I guess.....Thinking of trying a Duncan JBjr in the bridge and wire it to split in position 2.
     
  7. reverbbb

    reverbbb Friend of Leo's

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    I copper shielded my MIA Strat per Guitar Nut's instruction. It only reduced the noise by 20~30% by my estimations. I don't have a reference of what they would have sounded like without shielding, so I cannot say if it knocks out the highs. However, this guitar has a darker and fuller sound than most other Strats that I have played it against. I attribute a lot of that from the high quality wood components.

    I am in the process of building up a '57/EJ right now. I'm using unpotted CS '54 pups. I started shielding the cavity last night. I am undecided if I want to finish the sheilding. I know that I can do a quality job. But I fear that I might loose the precise tone that I am after with this particular guitar. After all, none of the early 50s or 60s guitar were sheilded properly. Neither are the Master Built Strats. You just have to tolerate the noise if you want that particular tone, I guess.

    I am not convinced that George Ls are as good as their marketing claims. I have used them and I get annoyed at the fact that I loose the caps (on the right angle versions). An electrical engineer told me that lower level signals SHOULD NOT use knife edge connections because they tend to have low contact area for such a small voltage (meaning that when the copper begins to oxidize, there is not much contact area to over come the oxidation). Higher voltages would do better on knife connections. I told him that this was an ironic assessment since Cat 5 cables are very reliable with knife connections. But he insisted that his assessment was correct.

    But I would definately consider two important factors to noise - the cord, and high gain signals. Since you are a fan of Humbuckers, it is likely that you are pushing the gain too hard for what single coils like for lower noise levels.

    Let me add, that it seems that shielding the cavity seemed to 'polarize' the noise interference more. When I was recording with this guitar, it was easier to angle the guitar perpandicular to the amp to eliminate the noise.

    One last thing to consider. The top of the pickups are always going to be a gateway for noise to enter. There is no way around that since that is where the pickup is getting it's signal from the strings. Even the chome cap of the Telecaster neck pup does not get rid of the noise completely.
     
  8. Robert M.

    Robert M. Tele-Meister

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    I have a Holy Grail at the bridge, Tex-Mex in middle and a Virtual Vintage Blues at the bridge. Since 2 of the 3 are "noise cancelling" it would seem to me that there shouldn't be any hum. WRONG! I don't know what I did when installing the pups, but it's really bad, any suggestions on what the problem might be?
     
  9. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

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    Is it noisy in all positions?? Possibly a cold solder or a bad ground would cause an enormous hum. As for me, I just bought a used Duncan JB jr for the bridge. I got a diagram from a friend to wire it in so that position 2 will split the JB and cancel the hum with the reverse middle pup. I can't wait to load her up!
     
  10. Robert M.

    Robert M. Tele-Meister

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    Yeah it's noisy in all positions. What is a cold solder? I'll check the ground tonight.
     
  11. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

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    It is when your solder connection looks dull and did not "flow" to the metal contacts or pots. This usually happens when soldering the ground wires to the back of the pots.
     
  12. ShortBuSX

    ShortBuSX Tele-Holic

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    One of your pickups isnt wired to the switch properlly...wrong polarity. Youll have to compair to your previous wiring(if you rewired). Or Better yet...if it hums in all possitions Id think all you would need to do is swap the leads on your middle pup.
     
  13. ShortBuSX

    ShortBuSX Tele-Holic

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    I LOVE this topic!!! So much so that Ive started several threads just like it in other forums...searching for more info. AND there is very little info out there!

    What Ive gathered from searching is that almost no one has done it, but yet they will say things to discourage you, "robs tone" or "Try shielding the guitar first" or "Its a Strat, deal with it!" or my personal fav "I dont hear any hum"....all instead of just saying "I dont know".:rolleyes:

    These are the responses Ive recieved in my search:
    Dont even bother to read this Guitarnuts2

    BUT excellent/informative replys at the Pickup Winders forum! (except for the guy that scolded me for not citing photo sources):rolleyes:

    Hope this helps some...I found it frustrating and have since decided to meditate on it a little more....I think Id go the route of grounding the pole pieces like pictured in the last link, but I wouldnt wire it with the ground on the pup but instead to the body shielding.

    [edit]Oh yeah...this was very informative too! http://freespace.virgin.net/vyse.co/info/Perfectguitar.htm
     
  14. ShortBuSX

    ShortBuSX Tele-Holic

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    So any other ideas, suggestions, pics or links?
     
  15. doveman

    doveman Tele-Meister

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    Something I saw in a music store last week ... metal replacement covers for a Strat pickups. I'm not sure if they'd fit my G&L correctly. Now they would be "butt ugly" on a white pickup Strat but I thought that might be an easy way to test your theory. I think they were Fender packaging. :?:

    As a side, I just finished shielding my new G&L Legacy with the Stewmac paint and put in the star ground (even though I don't think star gounding is that big a deal). I also took the trouble to replace the input jack wires & pickup wires with shielded cable. It was pretty effective. I made a recording of the guitar before the mod and intend to record the after sounds with the exacy same settings on my amp. I made before pix and will make after pictures, as well. It's not totally noiseless but all 5 switch settings are now usable ... pretty good in fact. :D
     
  16. reverbbb

    reverbbb Friend of Leo's

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    Something everyone should consider when shielding. I was told about this from a seasoned EE. Aluminum shielding works to block RF noise (like CB radio and AM band bleed). But you should use copper if you want to block electromagnetic noise, which is we are all hearing when we hear the hum.

    I am not sure why pickguards have an aluminum foil on the back beyond simple grounding. According to this information, the aluminum foil will not help the hum problems when used as a shield.
     
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