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Sheilding new pickguard for Duck Dunn P-bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by atticpenny, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. atticpenny


    Jan 5, 2011
    There are some old threads out there, but I'm curious about my specific problem. I have a Skyline Duck Dunn P-Bass. Some time ago, I replaced the mint/white pickguard with a custom black one from Jeannie's. The old guard had a small amount of adhesive foil underneath it, just around the volume and tone control holes. The new guard does not. Ever since I put the new guard on, it buzzes. It never used to buzz, at all. I'm making the assumption that the missing foil / shielding around the holes is why it buzzes now. I'm guessing that foil grounded it by touching the volume and tone knobs, as there is no other shielding in the bass at all. Anyone else encounter this? Did you put copper shielding or something else around the holes or did you shield everything (all cavities, etc)? The old guard's shield isn't copper. It looks more like coated aluminum or tin. Experience? Thanks!
  2. Charley Umbria

    Charley Umbria I'm Really a Drummer Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Rock City, TN
    Assuming that you didn't accidentally do anything to the wiring when swapping pick guards, it'd be worth shielding the new guard just to see if it fixes the problem.

    When I was redoing my ESP P/J, I shielded the pickguard using strips of copper tape. I'm horrible at making anything with my hands, so using overlapping strips of tape was the safest and easiest way to do it. Works great!

  3. atticpenny


    Jan 5, 2011
    Nice job and thanks for the example! I was pretty careful when swapping out the guard, and the controls work normally. The buzz disappears when I touch the strings or controls, so I'm pretty confident it is just the missing tape. Like you, I'm not very handy when it comes to smaller projects like that, so I'm a bit hesitant to do it. I was surprised at how little foil was on the old guard (especially compared to yours). I'm guessing you cut all the holes in it before you stuck it on the guard? Why do you have to overlap though? would a small gap cause problems? Curious, what width tape did you use? Would you have done anything differently? Thanks!
  4. Charley Umbria

    Charley Umbria I'm Really a Drummer Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Rock City, TN

    Sorry, I just saw your question! The tape was from Stew Mac and is about 3/4" wide. I actually probably made the job much harder than in needed to be. I traced an outline of the pickguard onto a piece of cardboard and then cut it out so it was just a little bit smaller than the original guard (the cardboard template was the same size as my foil). I then laid out strips of copper tape long enough to cover the areas I needed. By cutting off a very thin strip of the tape's backing (maybe 1/16" inch), I was able to overlap the strips of tape into a solid sheet. I then used the cardboard template to mark the shield shape, which I then cut out, and stuck to the back of the pickguard.

    I cut out the holes with an X-acto knife once the tape was on the pickguard. Any extra tape around the holes was covered by the potentiometer washers and made for a good electrical connection. The tape around the pickup cutouts was stuck in place and trimmed freehand.

    Any time you shield, you want the most uninterrupted coverage possible. Ideally, you'd "box in" the electronic cavity. It's not always totally practical, though...
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  6. Garagiste


    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    I dunno Charley Umbria, seems like you are pretty good at making things with your hands. Pretty nifty solution and description. Nice work.

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