Fender Custom Shop : Weird Shielding plate under the pickguard

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Christophe C, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. Christophe C

    Christophe C

    Feb 15, 2019
    I am the happy owner of a Custom Shop Precision Pro Classic Closet from 2011.
    I looked under the pickguard to adjust the Truss Rod and I saw that there was a metal plate (seems to be aluminium) under it, with the exact shape of the pickguard abnd it's sandwiched with the pots.
    There were traces of oxidation on this plate (white powder). I wonder what are the advantages of this design vs. shielding tape (alu or copper) sticked to the pickguard's back...
    Moreover the general shielding is looking poor as there is only a copper plate under the pickups but nothing (bare wood) in the pots cavity and nothing on the sides of the pickup's cavities.
    Time for a shielding job or "don't touch it" because it's a custom shop and it will impact negatively its value ?
  2. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    Does it pick up any noise? My P bass just has black shielding paint and a metal scratch plate and it's dead quiet. P Basses in general don't suffer from noise because the split coil is hum cancelling.

    My advice, if it aint broke, don't fix it.
    bassdude51 likes this.
  3. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    This in normal. I also have an aluminum shield on a 2016 AV ‘63.IMG_0734
  4. Christophe C

    Christophe C

    Feb 15, 2019
    There was a buzz that disappeared when I touched the upper screw of the pickup or the P pickup volume knob. I had to clean the plate in this pot area and to retighten the pot. Now the buzz is gone.
    There is some noise coming from the J pickup but I presume it's "by design". That's a pity because my Squier with EMG GZR PJ is completely quiet...
  5. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    I wouldn't mess with it. The old pre-CBS P Basses (and up to about 1966) had the aluminum plate under the guard in the same shape as the guard.

    If I was gonna mess with a P Bass' shielding, I would put some copper tape on the back side of the pickup, making sure that there is 100% contact with each magnet pole and then ground that copper with some wire to the ground circuit.

    I've had some issues with my fingers touching the magnet poles while plucking and there being some noise.

    I've also seen some high end P pickups with copper shielding on the back side. I think it's a good idea but if there's no problems, don't fix it.
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Your bass is built to vintage specs. Fender only started doing proper shielding around 2010~ and didn't actually get good at it for a few more years. It is your call but I would update the shielding. I did a modern shielding job to my Jaco Relic.

    As far as your noise goes, if the noise is constant when you touch metal/strings/bridge then shielding will not resolve your noise. If your jazz pickup is a single coil, it is expected to get noise when blended in. You need an even number of coils to balance out 60hz hum.