To Shield or not to Shield

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by EugeneWeemich, Oct 22, 2021.

  1. EugeneWeemich

    EugeneWeemich Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    353
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2019
    Location:
    Dayton Ohio
    See alot of posts on topic.... so if it is a big thing (or is it?), why does Fender produce products without it?
     
  2. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,007
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    I’m curious too.

    I recently shielded my pinstriped Telecaster’s routing (because…why not?), and then (unrelated) had to have some other work done to it; the tech/luthier asked who’d shielded it…he said, “They did a good job, but it’s completely unnecessary, even with single coils.”

    He didn’t really say why it was unnecessary and I had to get back to work, so I didn’t get the chance to ask.
     
    Greggorios likes this.
  3. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    3,970
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Location:
    Goonieville, OR
    I shield everything I build. I don't have any specific reasons for it against other than my first "real" instrument, a 1983 Carvin bass that I bought new has shielding and it never once experienced RFI, so I simply stuck with it from that point forward. I have never experienced a negative result with it in place. My 335 & SG are not shielded, nor have they experienced RFI to date. So, I guess I have it both ways, with similar results. You be the judge.
     
    brown2bob likes this.
  4. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    6,277
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Location:
    Adirondack Coast, NY
    It is unneccessary if you don't mind noise. It will not eliminate noise, but certainly reduces it. Fender employs shielding paint on many models. It works for me.
     
  5. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,007
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    Well, considering I have a notoriously noisy pickup in the neck position (P-90) and a flat-pole Telecaster bridge pickup in the guitar in question, and no shielding paint, it was pretty dang quiet before I even had it shielded; it didn’t sound appreciably better/quieter with the shielding.

    The only time I’ve had a noise issue is when we played a few venues with tons of neon everywhere and/or “dirty” power…between a properly-wired guitar, good cables on my pedalboard, a great noise gate/reducer (Rocktron HUSH) and an amp in good shape, I don’t get much noise at all.
     
  6. hopdybob

    hopdybob Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,037
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    netherlands
    simply said, because most of the players are conservative.
    they want it to be like the past (the now expensive guitars with a lot of tolerances because of the productions that wasn't as precise as nowadays)
    and don't forget, every thing extra that must be done is raising the amount the players have to pay.

    the same is with noiseless pickups, they were not around in those days, so they can't be any good.
    but hey, that conservatism is not in everything.
    the old hero's often used curly cable that would eat your top high of the sound because of the inductance :twisted:

    some reading stuff
    http://billlawrence.com/Pages/All_About_Tone.htm/TeleLovers.htm
    http://billlawrence.com/Pages/Pickupology/External Interference.htm
     
    natec, MatsEriksson and Oxidao like this.
  7. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    4,882
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Location:
    South Jersey (Atco)
    We regularly play a bar where one side of the (corner) stage makes amps hum like crazy, the other side does not.
    Noise gates, shielded, nothing helps.
    Other bands that play there have stated that they have experienced it too. Same spot.
    Sometimes, if you move your amp around, you can minimize it, a change of just a few inches can make a difference.
    I experienced it with my old Princeton, and my new TM Deluxe. No difference.
    A player I know uses a 100 watt Mustang modeling amp, he has the bad hum too, same spot. Talked to him last week while he was playing there, said the other side of the stage is dead quiet.

    We have all tried to figure out what is causing it with no luck.
     
    MatsEriksson, jays0n and Tele-friend like this.
  8. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,587
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Location:
    Ohio (Nerk)
    Martians?

    I've had issues with outdoor lighting putting out noise into the amp. Also nearby cellphones about to receive a call get picked up on a few of my amps.

    But one area radiating noise and it stopping a few feet away is a new one for me.
     
    OlRedNeckHippy likes this.
  9. CCK1

    CCK1 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    783
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2018
    Location:
    North Of Atlanta, South of Disorder
    Shielding, even on single coil guitars always seemed like a decent amount of effort, for a very modest gain. I have never heard single coil buzz during the course of a song. Between songs, leave the guitar volume up, and take your hands off the strings in a noisy environment, and yes, you'll hear it. I just don't do that. That said, I have absolutely no problem with those that shield, and like it.
     
    Tom-Australia likes this.
  10. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,803
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk
    I think it really depends on the guitar, and probably more importantly, the environment that you are playing it in.

    I began shielding my builds right from the start - Were they quiet? - Yes!



    But, not long ago I built myself a semi-hollow Esquire with a couple of F-holes and just a small control access panel on the guitar's back and no pick guard.

    Shielding would have been a lot more involved than on a "regular" Tele, but I did do a thorough job on the grounding.

    Was this un-shielded guitar quiet? - Yes! - Every bit as quiet as my well-shielded builds :).

    The thing is, I very rarely play out anymore - and I've eliminated most of the sources of extraneous interference or "noise" in my home.



    I'll still continue to shield my regular builds, because I don't know where they'll end up being played.

    There are still plenty of homes and different venues with "noisy" power, and if I can reduce the potential of one of my guitars from being a link in the noise chain by applying a little bit of copper foil, I'll do it.


    .
     
    Fiesta Red and FuncleManson like this.
  11. rstaaf

    rstaaf Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    1,234
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Location:
    Here
    Some find shielding changes the tone, never found that to be the case for me.

    Fender does put shielding paint in a lot of their guitars.

    I typically don't shield factory guitars unless I am doing a pickup swap.
    In other words, I don't go out of my way to shield a guitar.

    I do shield every partscaster I put together though as it doesn't require that much effort.
    I used to use Stewmac conductive paint, these days though I do copper foil.

    Here are some of my most recent...

    20210918_134546965_iOS.jpg 20210717_173933863_iOS.jpg 20210904_200323099_iOS.jpg 20210606_160016586_iOS.jpg 20200727_165044888_iOS.jpg
     
  12. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,867
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    Kansas
    I shield everything. Every guitar I've shielded went from making some noise, a little noise, or a lot of noise to making no noise at all. That's volume up and hand off the strings. I also don't get that annoying scratch on the pickguard I used to get. That static when your hand moves over the wires under the guard. Gone. No one can convince me otherwise because I keep getting the same result.

    If a Luthier or guitar tech told me it wasn't necessary, I'd probably agree that it's not NECESSARY but it certainly helps. Though I'd chuckle to myself and not go back either.

    This jaguar was noisy as all get out for the first 10 years I owned it. I took it in to a tech to have him check the wiring back before I could do that myself. He did something or other I don't remember and probably cut the noise by half. He told me that on a Jag you'll never get rid of all the noise. This winter I had a snow day from work, so I took the guitar apart and shielded it like I should have done years ago. Noise is gone.

    20210216_124217.jpg
     
  13. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,867
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    Kansas
    Besides working great it just looks so cool. Even though it all gets hidden!
     
  14. hopdybob

    hopdybob Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,037
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    netherlands
    Bill Lawrence stated that Alu can alter the sound when it is on some spots around the pickup but has grand quality's for blocking the effect of light dimmer.
    He mention t a cable that had alu and copper shielding.

    so i work with both.
    control cave and everything NOT surrounding the pickups with alu
    surrounding the pickups only copper

    this was a simple, not so neat done test.
    the alu lines on the copper is because the copper was not conductive enough, the alu was
    and it had good results

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  15. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,500
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2019
    Location:
    Lalaland
    Nice work!
     
  16. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,795
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Location:
    Nicoma Park, Oklahoma
    Most Fender guitars that I've seen have shielding under the finish. Use your multi-meter and check it to make sure. If there's a point where a ground is screwed into the body then it has shielding under the finish.

    Also many venues/clubs have been wired by the owners or one of their buddies to cut costs. I carry a checker in my gear bag to check the outlets I use. Not only will a poorly wired outlet make your gear noisy, it could possibly kill you if not grounded properly.
     
    Mowgli and Maguchi like this.
  17. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,500
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2019
    Location:
    Lalaland
    Sure, why not, what could it hurt? I can't even adjust a trrussrod, so if I can do it anyone can. Conductive shielding paint underneath is probly overkill, but thought while I had everything apart, I might as well do as much as I could.

    LPS Cntrl Cvty.jpg Strat Cntrl Cvty.jpg Tele Cntrl Cvty.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
  18. El Marin

    El Marin Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,988
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Spaniard in Pärnu, Estonia, EU
    No

    Never needed it
     
    harleytech and Amby like this.
  19. NorthenLights

    NorthenLights Tele-Meister

    Age:
    36
    Posts:
    347
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Location:
    Sweden
    Spent alot of time shielding my strat this week. Alu foil on the pickguard, conductive paint, rerouted the electronics. No audible difference whatsoever
     
    dukewellington and Boreas like this.
  20. EugeneWeemich

    EugeneWeemich Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    353
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2019
    Location:
    Dayton Ohio
    wow. interesting.

    I have a bassbreaker 15 amp. took it to a jam last weekend and need to push the gain, more than I do at home.

    here came some noise...but while playing those tubes sang.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.