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!  

Ground Screw (And nothing attached)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ComesATime, Nov 11, 2018.


  1. ComesATime

    ComesATime Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    My first Mustang Bass was a Mikey Way Squier. I actually really liked that bass, but I ended up selling it because I had needed money while I was in college. Once they released the PJ Mustangs, I felt like it was my chance at redemption, but the Mikey Way had a different sound and feel that this PJ just lacks. I've found the pickups to be very flat with little character. I know the Mustang will typically have a hollowness to its tone, but this just seems as bland as it could possibly be.

    Playing it at a show last year, the low E saddle had somehow stripped itself and bottomed out mid-song. I haven't trusted it since.

    I decided to open it up to see what I was working with (and also to fix the selector switch). First thing I noticed is that there's very little space to lower the pickups. Stock, they were ridiculously high. Chances are there's some foam under them, but, before I got there, I had to stop to be perplexed at the contents under the hood.

    The cavity itself just looks sloppy to me. My only frame of reference comes from my MIM Fenders, and neither of them looked like that. The (machined) rout looks fine, but why lacquer over a sticker? That's something I just haven't seen before. Is that leftover rubbing compound? Granted, I've only looked into my own guitars and basses, so I'm not the most experienced. I'm usually just going in to resolder any loose joints.

    As for the ground lug, it's not attached to anything. :bored:

    Is this all par for the course, or am I just expecting too much?
    56360432929__E7815227-6431-4EEE-8DB4-55FB141AF570.


    56360444575__C8133B57-C21F-467C-92FF-A94637935160 2.
     
  2. The ground lug is screwed into the shielding paint (at least that’s what that black paint in the control cavity should be) which is conductive. As long as some of it comes over the edge and touches the control plate it’s all grounded. You could use a meter and double check. The paint could be applied a bit more thoroughly and/or neatly but I’m sure it’s a price point thing. Same with any polishing compound or other residue.
     
    ComesATime and 96tbird like this.
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Yep. The black paint is carbon metallic paint which is conductive. Normal. A lot of Fender models have ZERO shielding from the factory so be glad it’s there.

    The body on a ‘tang is quite thin compared to a J or P, so the pup routes can’t be as deep.
     
    ComesATime likes this.
  4. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    That shielding is useless. The back of the pickguard isn't shielded, and there isn't any shielding paint where the switch goes. I fully copper shielded my PJ Mustang:

    MU4AoIk.

    The screw should have a few black wires running to it, as it serves as a sort of star ground.
     
    ComesATime likes this.
  5. Nothing appears to be connected to the “ground” screw. There may be some common ground elsewhere, but if so it’s not visible. OTOH, the screw appears to have a “coating” of some sort, corrosion perhaps?
    Maybe it was painted over with conductive paint? I wouldn’t expect that to happen at the factory though.
    It implies that the screw was attached to bare wood before the paint, which means if it did have wires connected they wouldn’t be very well grounded.

    Was this bass new or used when you got it?
    Seems as if someone may have been in there ahead of you?
    Conductive coating aside, it certainly doesn’t look to me like what I’d expect from a factory job, even a cheap one.
    I purchased a used Squier bass that had a lot better looking innards than this.
     
  6. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    There should be a black wire running to the eyelet that the screw is holding down.

    RE1iK2f.
     
  7. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    I think I see a black wire going to the underside of the lug. It probably comes from the back of one of the control pots. Looks OK to me.
     
    96tbird likes this.
  8. Yes. That is what the solder lug under the screw is supposed to be for.
    But if proper grounding was achieved in another matter, wiring to the lug is not needed.
    I wonder if the bridge is grounded? If not this should be a convenient place to attach a ground wire.
     
  9. I couldn’t see the black wire. But if it is I tend to agree.
    It does look like the solder is different on the solder lug in the two closeup pics.
    As if something was done between taking the two pics.
    Might just be the angle or lighting differences though.
     
  10. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Shielding paint is not useless. It works fine and is used in military equipment. The bad rap it gets is based on zero empirical evidence. If it is applied with good coverage, it’s actually great stuff. Furthermore, the steel control plate is the shield for the pots, grounded by the pot bodies. Having the plastic pickguard shielded does almost nothing since the pickup pokes above it anyway.
     
    mech and Turnaround like this.
  11. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Shielding paint is great if applied right. As you say, if it didn't work then it would never be deployed anywhere. There would be no market for it.

    Fender don't apply it right. They spatter up the cavities on their instruments with it, but it isn't a continuous coverage by any means. I'm tempted to experiment with shielding paint in a lucite bass I should be acquiring soon, simply to get a better visual appearance from the outside of the bass.

    These Mustang basses might as well not be shielded. I noticed a difference only once I used copper foil throughout the two I own/owned. Beyond that, the role of shielding is often confused anyway. Shielding will never remove the electromagnetic interference a pickup will pick up, but it can help minimise the risk electrostatic interference.
     
  12. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    I wholeheartedly agree with 96tbird with respect to shielding paint. I used to be a devotee of copper foil, but after doing a number of experiments with foil and paint I am now convinced that a good application of shielding paint is every bit as good as copper foil, and in some ways better. It is also easier to achieve high-quality results with the paint and takes less effort. I must give a nod to Roger Sadowsky - it's because of the shielding paint in my NYC Jazz that caused me to investigate its use.
     
  13. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    No copper in the jazz pickup rout? How about the wiring channel between the bridge pickup and control cavity?
     
    96tbird likes this.
  14. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Not when the photo was taken. :D

    I also soldered some of the key joins between the tape to ensure continuity. Luckily the copper tape I buy (marketed as 'slug tape' for gardeners) has conductive glue. I still solder stuff if I don't get a nice strong 'bleep' from my meter when I test across to points.
     
  15. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Good idea to not rely on the conductive glue. I found that it loses its conductivity over time.
     
  16. ComesATime

    ComesATime Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    The angle is a bit misleading. There's nothing attached to the lug, and there's no solder on it, either.

    I'm wondering if they go for the conductive paint and then have the lug in there just in case the paint doesn't do it entirely?
     
  17. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    There clearly is solder on the lug. Pretty sure i see a wire back there too AA07DE4D-D620-49AB-82AF-EB91CC80DB9B.
     
  18. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    There clearly IS solder on there. And what is this wire (in red)?

    upload_2018-11-11_16-22-21.
     
  19. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Hah beat you Richard. Lol nice red line though. I see the wire there too.
     
  20. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    I mentioned it in post #6. Red lines are not really something I specialize in though.
     
    96tbird likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.