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Skipping several of the things you're "supposed" to do on a guitar build.

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by _MementoMori_, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm trying to build a bit of an untamed rock and roll machine, and as such, I have decided to NOT do the following on the Tele that I'm building:

    - Shield the cavities
    - Ground the bridge

    My logic is that, if not doing these things creates an unusable mess of a guitar, it's easy enough to go back in and make corrections. My bridge pickup has a soldered copper base plate and doesn't technically need the extra bridge ground, and I'm skipping the cavity shielding just as an experiment, really.

    Anybody else have a guitar that doesn't include these "must-have" features? How do you like it? How does it compare to your guitars that do have these features?
     
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  2. peterg

    peterg Tele-Meister

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    A separate bridge ground is not needed for a tele bridge/metal plated pickup. Lots of guitars don’t have shielded cavities and sound just fine. Like you said you can always go back and add shielding easily enough.
     
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  3. tarheelbob

    tarheelbob Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I have never shielded the cavities on my guitars, but I do ground the bridge on each of them. So, there's my 50/50 $0.02's worth....
     
  4. Mark617

    Mark617 Tele-Meister

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    Not shielding shouldn’t be an issue. But neglecting the ground may be. It takes just a few minutes as opposed to pulling strings, p/u and switch plate afterwards
     
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  5. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have tried what you're doing before. Sometimes it works fine and other times it doesn't. Most guitars need a string ground for quiet operation. Others work just fine without it.

    I even went a step farther (nearer?) and didn't apply a finish on the wood. It was alder, cut into a Strat shape. All the talk of "thinner finishes sound better," "worn-off paint allows the guitar to breathe" (whatever that means...) got me to thinking the ultimate way to achieve what these so-called experts were spewing was to not apply a finish at all.

    Did it work? I think you know the answer.

    There are no absolutes when it comes to making guitars.
     
  6. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sometimes I’ll drink milk without checking the date on the carton... I’m still here! :)

    Yep, not a problem. I always end up using the ground wire eventually.
     
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  7. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Put in the bridge ground wire and don't hook it up. Much easier than running it later. Pretty sure you will be hooking it up at some point.
     
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  8. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have never shielded a guitar. No vintage guitars on all the recordings that are classic and famous were shielded.
    I always ground the bridge, Don't skip grounding the bridge / strings or you as the player become the ground.
    If you don't want 60 cycle hum use humbuckers and ground the bridge.
     
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  9. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Shielding is certainly not required but you will regret not grounding the bridge... Some things a must haves for a reason...
     
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  10. Oxidao

    Oxidao Tele-Meister

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    No shielded guitars here, what for?. I don't need that, mostly if changes her tone.

    Bridge gnd, could be.
    - I saw that little hole in the bridgeplate on my '13 Tele (am.dlx), but it's alright with the B.P-up itself I guess.
    - Wondering if grounding- contact to me would work. Arm, xxx, neck...
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
  11. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Afflicted

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    I hear this all the time, but I hear the argument against it almost as frequently. The argument being: if your bridge pickup has a solid copper baseplate with a blob of solder connecting to the pickup, you're already grounded and running the bride wire is redundant.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
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  12. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Same
     
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  13. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Shielding and string ground do not work well to attenuate 60Hz hum. Shielding does help to block stray RF that can be picked up by the circuit, which acts as an antenna.

    Adding that string ground connection to the bridge and strings seems counterintuitive (it makes a larger antenna), but what it does is create electrical continuity with the player, through the hands. The human body adds capacitance to the circuit and serves as a high-frequency noise filter. That's why a properly-working string ground is noisy when the guitar is on a stand, but gets quiet when it's picked up and played.
     
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  14. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just set it up with a single coil pickup with a volume and tone pot going to the amp. Bridge not grounded and then grounded. With or without touching the strings there is a few dB more high frequency noise without them grounded. It has no effect on hum.
     
  15. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Since I've never built a guitar where I didn't do those things I have no way of telling if they are necessary or not. All I can say is that mine are hum and noise free - why would I want something different?

    Edit - when brother Moodivarius built his acousto-tele he found that he had to add a string ground which was kind of tricky with the style bridge he used. Looking at Fender's version of that guitar they also embedded a ground in the wood bridge.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
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  16. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

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    I don't shield cavities unless I have too. Only done it a couple times and I've probably had 100 guitars in my lifetime. I have about 25 right now.I ground the neck pickup to the bridge because it's easy while I'm soldering everything else. It takes seconds and can't hurt. I;d rather just ground it then have to remove the bridge and ground it later. I do agree it's not always required though.
     
  17. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    You can ground to one of the bridge pickup mounting screws. Just crimp or solder a small lug connector on the ground and slip it over the screw between the bridge plate and the rubber spacer/spring. It works just fine.
     
  18. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Building guitars is no trouble really..... I make fancy earth points under my hardtail bridges with a spring on a wire....

    never going to lose contact or pull out... electricity is a baitch, don't get bitten. :)

    earth spring2.jpg bridge earth spring1.jpg
     
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  19. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    I'm confused. Your bridge pickup has a copper/brass plate that's grounded? Sounds like your bridge is grounded then. The plate makes contact with screws that hold it in, they make contact with the bridge, bridge makes contact with the strings. Sounds like your bridge is grounded, bud. Unless I'm missing something.

    As far as shielding the cavities, if you don't... You've made a perfect reproduction of every fender guitar ever made (well almost). I think I've owned one fender guitar that has the crappy shielding paint in it, though that one also came with about a pound of sawdust from the factory in the cavities as well, so maybe that's part of the shielding secret recipe they're going for. It also had a piece of copper tape about a half inch wide that effectively did nothing. I can keep ragging on this guitar all day :lol:

    Point is, in my opinion, sounds like you've made a normal guitar. I like shielding. I shield every guitar I make and ground everything I can possibly ground, because black wire is cheap and plentiful and because I do not like buzzing when I'm not touching the strings.

    To all you never-shielders, I probably won't change your mind, but I can't recommend it enough. On this jag every single bit of metal on the body, minus the strap posts is grounded together without the strings on, and it doesn't buzz a bit. 20210228_200231.jpg 20210301_194223.jpg

    But we all have to do what works for us and what makes us happy. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You're then counting on the screws through bridge plate and base plate making an electrical connection.
    If you sweat, are in any humid areas, or bring the guitar in from a cold car, those loose connections will corrode and the connection will degrade.

    Also if the pickup was potted as most are, the screw threads connecting the bridge plate to base plate are contacting wax insulation in the base plate screw holes.
     
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