Shielding an Ibanez GSR200

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bronsonelliott, Mar 31, 2014.


  1. bronsonelliott

    bronsonelliott

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Hey guys, I own an Ibanez GSR200 and I've been getting a lot of buzz from it. After reading around here it seems I may need to do a shielding job on it.

    I opened up the back panel and saw all of the electronics most of which are attached directly to the cavity of the bass. All of the other videos I've seen seem to use basses that have a guard and the electronics are attached to the guard.

    Has anyone done a shielding job on this type of bass and maybe has some pictures or videos of it? I may just have to take it in to have it done because I'm not real comfortable with doing it especially with electronics. Don't have this little bass to be the death of me. :)

    Also, could perhaps a better, shielded instrument cable help with the buzz? Just weighing my options.

    Thanks!
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    A shielded instrument cable is not going to help, an external fix can only do so much for an internal problem. I do not have any pictures but your job is essentially the same as any others.

    Line the control cavity, pickup cavity and pickup covers (if possible) with copper foil (or whatever you shield with) and ground it. I do not think those have a pickguard, but shield that too. It is extremely easy to do. If you pay somebody to do it you are essentially paying somebody to play with tape and do a couple solder points. It is not cheap considering what you are having done. You will pay almost as much as the bass is worth to remove that noise.

    Just to be clear about the hum you are getting, it goes away when you touch metal/strings/bridge, correct? That indicates a shielding issue.
  3. bronsonelliott

    bronsonelliott

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Thanks DiabolusInMusic. Yes, the hum/buzz goes away when I touch the strings. In fact, I can get most of it to go away if I turn down the bridge pickup and leave the neck pickup on.
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    I am not good with electronics myself, I am just very familiar with shielding issues. Don't be too intimidated, this is a great place to start. You should not have to remove the electronics to put the shielding in, it is a lot easier and leaves a cleaner job but unless you are painting I would not remove the guts. You can source copper foil tape locally from stained glass supply shops or from hardware stores (as slug and snail tape or something similar). Do not waste money on the stew-mac stuff, it is highway robbery. If you want to use conductive paint I sourced some Super Shield by MG Chemicals from my local electronics parts supplier. This product was recommended to me from TB but I have yet to try it. Hope that helps.
  5. bronsonelliott

    bronsonelliott

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Thanks man! I really appreciate the help and advise.
  6. elBandito

    elBandito

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Location:
    Rotten Apple
    Sounds like single coil hum. Your gsr is PJ right? Shielding is not going to get rid of it.

  7. bronsonelliott

    bronsonelliott

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Yes, it's P/J. Why will shielding not help?
  8. Slap_N_Slide

    Slap_N_Slide

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    I completely shielded my jaguar bass which if im correct is also pj pickups, both single coil. I was getting a lot of noise before, which is much improved after shielding.....but

    I still get a small bit of noise when i use the pickups in single mode. Ie. if i switch off either pickup i get a 60hz hum.

    I believe the only way to completely erradicate this is to change for dual/humbucker pickups.

    Please someone correct me if i have 'picked' this up wrong.... :)

    I find if i make sure i am not facing any electrical equiptment when playing in this mode, the noise dissapears. I was facing a 50" plasma and wondering where the noise was coming from...DOH!!
  9. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    He is referring to 60hz hum, which is not affected by shielding. If your buzz was 60hz it would not be affected by you touching metal/strings/bridge. However, your bass is getting RF interference so shielding will resolve the current issue.


    Slapnslide, sounds like 60hz to me. Is the hum affected by you touching anything or only by where you use/point the bass?
  10. elBandito

    elBandito

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Location:
    Rotten Apple
    Since turning down the bridge pickup gets rid of "most" of your noise, single coil hum is a bigger problem than rf noise. Shielding won't hurt, but don't expect miracles.

  11. Turnaround

    Turnaround

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Disclosures:
    Bass Technician, Club Bass - Toronto
    P pickups are hum-cancelling by design. Standard J pickups are single coil - i.e. not noise cancelling. A P/J configuration is a bit of a bastard in that it combines a HC pickup with a single coil. So you are bound to get some single coil noise if either the J pickup is selected or both pups are selected - the single coil is not balanced with another single coil of opposite polarity.

    But the pickups are only part of the noise story. Noise can be induced in the pots and the wiring as well. Some instruments use shielded cable for the internal wiring which protects against introduction of noise in the wires. Others use cavity shielding to accomplish the same thing. The advantage of cavity shielding is that it tends to protect the other components (like the pots and caps) as well. Shielded wiring won't do that.

    So, long story short, it often pays to do full cavity shielding. But even that won't eliminate noise - the pickups themselves, if single coil, will be a gateway for noise. You can shield the pickups as well, but if you totally shield them it will have a significant affect on the tone. Totally shielded would mean that it wouldn't pick up the string vibrations either which are effectively just another form of noise - i.e. disturbance in the magnetic field.
  12. basehed

    basehed

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    Central Coast, CA, USA
    This was my first bass. Used to play sets sideways so my back wasn't facing the amp. All the buzz went away when I turned the bridge pickup down. I lined the control cavity cover with aluminum foil, made a spring to ground the foil to the input jack. Try to isolate the pots by putting tape between them and the cavity shielding. Good luck!
  13. elBandito

    elBandito

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Location:
    Rotten Apple
    Again, it's the rear single coil. If all your noise goes away, when you turn the rear pickup off, it's not a shielding issue.

  14. Slap_N_Slide

    Slap_N_Slide

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Only by where i point/ use the bass. And only when on single pickup, think it appears on either neck or bridge but ill need to double check. It is very quiet at all other times after shielding.

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