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Control Cavity Shielding

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by count_funkula, Nov 20, 2002.


  1. What kind of glue is best for installing copper foil shielding in the control cavity? I'm building a Warmoth Gecko and will be installing the shielding tomorrow.
     
  2. No glue required. The copper foil shielding has an adhesive back. At least all the stuff I've ever used does.
     
  3. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I'm pretty sure there are two kinds of shielding tape--one with conductive adhesive, and one without.

    If you have the kind that doesn't have conductive adhesive, you'll need to connect the different pieces of shielding with solder. Not a whole lot--just enough to form a good connection.

    I could be wrong about this, and I hope someone corrects me if I am.
     
  4. Funkster

    Funkster

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Hambone I use the self adhesive stuff also,
    Quik question for ya, I just did My Sting RI when I changed out the pup for a Qpounder, I did the pup cavity and the control cavity and I still get some hum, Should I have put some on the underside of the control plate? Is there some kind of trick to get it quiet like grounding? By the way Happy B-Day to you.
    Thanks for your help.
     
  5. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I find the copper foil too much of a hassle, especially with J routes. Instead, I use StewMac shielding paint - 3-4 coats applied liberally in routes, cavities, under the pickguard (if there is one) and under the control cavity cover (if there is one). Then I screw in ground wires in each section and bring them all to comon ground.

    My '75 Jazz with single coils is dead quiet, no hum with either pup soloed and J-Retro boosted to the max standing right next to a cheapo fluorescent light. I have applied the same shielding paint to my two Strats, and will be doing it to all other single-coil equipped basses/guitars that I have.

    Shielding paint is very easy to apply, can even be done without removing all the electronics, and it's also cheaper than copper foil.
     
  6. You might want to use a method called "star" grounding. Attached to each grounded component is an equal length of ground wire that is finally connected to a central point in the control cavity. This may be the method described by Brooks above. If your routing is the full channel style with a cavity all the way from the pup to the control cavity, by all means put some foil on the underside of your pickguard and make sure that it mates up with the foil in the channel making a completely shielded "tube". On Spankbass's P, I left a neat little 1/8" flange of foil around the inlet on the face of the body that sealed off with the foil on the back of the pickguard. He reports that it worked well.

    BassMonkee is right as usual about the conductive adhesive used on copper foils. If you can't solder it, make sure that you overlap the various pieces and then, using an awl or other sharp, metal pointy thing, pierce a hole through the 2 layers into the body and you'll have enough foil to foil contact to make a connection. You can do this more than once in different areas to make sure you've got it.

    By the way, aluminum foil (from the HVAC industry) works just as well as the copper stuff. I prefer the type with the removable backing paper rather than the stuff that just pulls off the roll. The only thing is that it can't be soldered so other methods of grounding attachment need to be employed.

    If you really want to test your shielding job, just plug your bass in and put it next to your running monitor! I haven't found a shielding yet that can eliminate ALL of the noise from these things but if it's relatively quiet, you've done a good job.
     
  7. Funkster

    Funkster

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Excellent!! I will try all the above. The single coil P pup Hums like a 50htz generater:D
     
  8. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    A week back I finished shielding a '92 Precision Plus. I installed Fender's '62P reissue single coil pup, but before I did, I shielded everything with shielding paint and 'star' ground wiring as Hambone called it. Results are excellent - no hum at all.

    Re. star grounding, what I find the easiest way to do it is to bring all wires to one place, screw them into the body, then take one wire to the ground from there. Easier to do, and not messy.
     
  9. Funkster

    Funkster

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Thank you Hambone and Brooks! I took the bass apart last night and used your shielding technique.
    Worked pisser!
    I still get a very little noise when (I stand right in front of my amp but nothing annoying. I turn around and it goes away and it's mouse quiet.
    Thanks guy's,
    Just to let you guy's know I never did any of my own work on my basses until I joined this forum a few years back. Now I do my own set-ups heck I just built a basket case Jazz and it came out awesome. I have't paid a luthier in two years:D
     
  10. meltsakana

    meltsakana

    Sep 3, 2002
    Could you explain what you mean about ground wires? Where do you screw them in?
     
  11. Equal lengths of wire are attached to each component (pot, jack, switch) and then joined in a central location by one screw. You would put the screw into the body somewhere in the control cavity.