1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Another grounding/bridge/hum/tapewound query

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by eddododo, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. eddododo


    Apr 7, 2010
    Like it says in the title; I have a bass with no bridge ground route, wearing tapewounds. It hums like crazy.

    So here is the definitive question. IS IT POSSIBLE to knock the hum out with painstaking shielding alone? Or is it just one of those things...

    I am not very experienced with any type of woodworking and more to the point I do not have great tools, but I suppose I could get a long enough bit and just ... do it.

    I have read many threads on this, but I do not feel as though I have a definitive answer on this.
  2. subdude67


    Jan 18, 2010
    I had the same problem with my 5 string . no bridge ground and tape wounds.
    after shielding and properly grounding the problem was solved. not a difficult task, yet satisfying to accomplish.._
  3. ChristoMephisto


    Sep 4, 2011
    Is there a way to ground the tail peice? That way the metal part of the string ends make contact with the tail piece. This should ground your strings and get rid of the hum.
    Jaco used a strip of brass/copper tape to under the pickguard.
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured

    Absolutely. I built a semi-hollow bass with a wooden bridge and Nordstrand Big Singles a few years back. No way to ground the bridge obviously. Hummed like crazy. I spent a good amount of effort with copper shielding tape, making sure to tack-solder the strips of tape together, and checking for good continuity with an ohmmeter. Much, much better now. Almost zero hum. And that's on a semi-hollow, with no way to completely enclose the electronics.

    It is true that the Nordstrands already incorporate a copper strip on the underside of the pickup, so that definitely helps.

    I choose to not incorporate bridge grounds in nearly all of my builds. Shielding is enough.
  5. mark286

    mark286 Proud to be a Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Central New Jersey
  6. The old Fenders had a copper strip running on the surface of the bass, connecting the bridge to the bridge pup cavity and to the electronics ground. Those things are rare to find nowadays but you can achieve the same end by running copper foil tape (the one used for shielding) from under the bridge to the pup cavity. Just make sure that the bridge does get grounded to the rest of the electronics.