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EMG Grounding question?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by MaskedJackal, Apr 8, 2006.


  1. There was something in the pickup wiring instructions on that the grounding shouldn't be reconnected- what does this mean?

    Does the electronics cavity still need copper foil?

    Help! :confused::crying:
     
  2. elros

    elros

    Apr 24, 2004
    Norway
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    IIRC it says that you won't have to ground the strings. Usually, in passive basses, there's a grounding wire going to the bridge. It is this one that you won't have to connect.

    And, I don't think you need a shielded cavity either, but it won't hurt.
     
  3. Sadowsky

    Sadowsky Commercial User

    Nov 1, 2000
    New York City
    Owner: Sadowsky Guitars Ltd.
    I have always found it necessary to shield an instrument with EMG's and to continue to use the ground wire.

    Roger
     
  4. OK, so I've used copper to cover the cavity...what do I do from here?
     
  5. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Make sure you connect a ground wire to that copper foil!

    I don't have the bridges grounded on any of my basses with EMG's, but Roger knows his stuff, so see how you make out.
     
  6. OK, a second, short black wire came with my EMGs. I take it this is the ground cable? So I connect what to the foil with that? :confused:

    This is definitely the first bass I've ever built....thanks for your help, Roger and all! :D
     
  7. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    The foil needs to be grounded to the bass's ground... so you have the ground from the pickups, which is usually the shield from the pickup's cable, which gets soldered to the back of one of the potentiometers. Then there is the ground on the output jack, which also gets soldered to the same pot.

    Keep in mind that you use a stereo jack (TRS, or tip-ring-sleeve) to turn on the battery, so the black wire from the battery connector goes to the ring (middle) connection on the jack. The tip connection goes to your volume pot, and the sleeve connection is ground.

    If you choose to ground your strings, then a wire from under the bridge gets soldered to the back of the pot with the other grounds. You should try and have all your ground wires connected to the same point, which is called "star grounding."
     
  8. Thanks, friend...but the questions continue...

    Does the spot on the pot where I solder the pickup shield matter, as long as it's on the side of the pot?

    What's a sleeve ground?

    Actually, according to these instructions, no string grounding is needed as the pickup is "internally shielded, and does not require string grounding," according to the diagram.

    However- the EMG pickup comes with a few things presoldered. The battery's black wire is already connected to the input jack, and per the included diagram, I've soldered the input jack's white wire to the appropriate spot on the pot.

    THANKS!
     
  9. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    No.

    It's the bottom part that the nut screws onto. The long shaft of the plug is called the "sleeve"

    I don't ground my strings on any of my basses. The advantage is you have a much better chance of NOT getting a shock.

    If you don't ground your strings you might pick up some noise when you let go of them, but as I said, I don't ground any of my basses' strings.

    That's right, I forget they prewire those things. Even easier!
     
  10. Thanks so much, David. Really, my heartfelt thanks.

    As I mentioned in my edited previous post, the diagram also specifically says to NOT ground the bridge, as the EMG pickup is "internally shielded."
     
  11. Sadowsky

    Sadowsky Commercial User

    Nov 1, 2000
    New York City
    Owner: Sadowsky Guitars Ltd.
    I still say to use the ground wire.

    Roger
     
  12. For now, it's too late. Maybe after the project is all said and done, I'll do some additional routing. But for now, this is it.... :meh::)
     
  13. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Concur with Roger and David - sort of. I'm guessing their reasons are the same as mine.

    I'm not a fan of being electrocuted or noise. If there's no noise, I don't connect the bridge ground. In general I've found active's and some HB's to be quiet without a ground wire connection - and one less wire is one less thing to attend to, go wrong, diagnose, and clutter things up.


    Didn't see where it was never mentioned whether this was an active or passive EMG. EMG has a comprehensive listing of wiring schemes on their site. Never had an active EMG that needed a ground wire to be dead quiet.

    At any rate, I would definetly run a port for a ground wire if it didn't already exist so I'd have the option.

    Roger, where's this new DI I've been hearing about?
     
  14. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    What about cavity shielding?
     
  15. grendle

    grendle

    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    Active EMG's ground through the output jack not to the bridge like passives. They also use the ground on the jack as an on / off for the battery power. The control cavity does not need to be shielded. Running a bridge ground should not be done either ( your making an antenna if you do) . Been an emg guy since the 80's , their dead silent as well in every bass I've had them in (about 25). Follow the emg directions, don't over think it and don't try and treat them like passives and you'll be fine.
     
  16. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Okay, but does shielding the cavity when you have EMGs do any harm, besides being a waste of time?
     
  17. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    All pickups ground through the output jack. The bridge/strings is not ground. The strings are grounded so when you touch the strings you are also grounded. This is to reduce the amount of noise your body picks up.

    EMGs are fully shielded, and they use a differential system of summing the two coils. So besides the usual hum cancelation, they are able to get rid of more noise that humbuckers normally can't buck. Between that and the shielding, and they are so quiet that you don't need to ground the strings.

    I had fully shielded a Ric bass once that had an old Bartolini H-A pickup and a Gibson mudbucker. The bass was active, and I did not need to ground the bridge. It was dead quiet.
     
  18. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    The pickups do not require it, but if you have onboard electronics, then you should shield the control cavity.
     
  19. Sadowsky

    Sadowsky Commercial User

    Nov 1, 2000
    New York City
    Owner: Sadowsky Guitars Ltd.
    I so totally disagree with this......I have been shielding guitars and basses for 35 years and I have encountered many players who had noise problems from stage or pit lighting with EMGs. Shielding and a ground wire to the bridge makes it all go away. Again, it often will not be a problem but when you are playing in places with old wiring or varialights, you can get plenty of noise. And in these same 35 years I have never met a player who has been seriously shocked while playing, unless they were also singing and touching the microphone.
    I just don't understand the paranoia about getting shocked from having a ground wire.

    Roger
     
  20. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    yeah, that didn't make sense to me either.

    i think EMG says not to ground the bridge because in most cases you can "get away with it", not because it confers any advantage.

    yes you have the rare instances of getting shocked while singing and playing, but if you happen to touch the cable plug or metal knobs while singing you'd still get zapped. far better to fix the actual ground potential problem with the PA than skirt around it with ungrounded strings.

    that said, i've never noticed a problem with leaving EMG instruments ungrounded at the bridge, but i still make sure any shielding is still grounded.
     

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