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Ground? Shielding? Screw it - bought a noise clamp

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by kennesawbob, Mar 4, 2013.


  1. kennesawbob

    kennesawbob

    Feb 19, 2013
    I upgraded my 2010 MIM Fender Precision with new pots, cap and SD pick ups. Got a buzz that would stop when I touched the strings or knobs. So I figured its a ground issue. I went back and replaced the wiring being very careful and making sure the joints were good and clean. Buzz continues.... Covered the entire cavity with copper tape. Buzz continues.

    Finally took my MXR Noise Gate from my guitar pedalboard. Buzz is gone.
     
  2. Jordan S.

    Jordan S.

    Mar 25, 2012
    Blacksheep Effects Pedals
    Did you check the bridge ground?
     
  3. kennesawbob

    kennesawbob

    Feb 19, 2013
    Yes.
     
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    It is a shielding issue, if it was a grounding issue it would get louder when you touch the strings. You shielding just needs to be better, the issue will go away.

    Cover the cavity in foil tape, cover the back of pickguard in foil tape. Ensure the body cavity covering goes up over the screw holes and the pickguard goes over them as well so when you screw it on it pierces both pieces of foil. Also, you need to do the pickup covers, ensure you wrap the pickups in electrical tape so they cannot touch the copper. Also be sure to bring that copper around from the inside of the pickup covers to the outside so you can solder a wire from the pickup covers to the pickup cavity. Don't forget to ground the cavity cover as well.

    The noise gate does not resolve the issue and doesn't work nearly as well as proper shielding.
     
  5. Jaycephas

    Jaycephas Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Waxhaw, NC
    I feel your pain. I spent 3 hours this past weekend shielding my Lakland DJ5 with an Audere JZ3 preamp. Buzz drove me crazy and kept me from playing the bass at church with the in ear system.

    So I shielded every cavity, then: I soldered each piece of copper tape to its neighbor with a spot solder, then I ran a ground wire from each pickup cavity to the control cavity. Then I soldered the jack ground on the JZ3 to the control cavity, and finally, I put a piece of copper foil across the bottom of each pickup and soldered a ground wire to each and then soldered them to the control cavity.

    Result: absolute dead silence. Still get a minimal 60-cycle if I solo either pickup but I am okay with that. Buzz free is good!

    Worth the effort IMO.
     
  6. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    That is a strange one- Ps are usually near dead quiet just because of their nature. My new Squier P is nearly silent with no shielding at all.

    Since the buzz is only when you touch ground - are the hot and ground connections somehow reversed to the jack? Can you check this with a continuity checker or ohmmeter?
     
  7. kennesawbob

    kennesawbob

    Feb 19, 2013
    I was incorrect in my earlier statement. The buzz stops when I touch the strings, bridge or knobs. What is interesting is when I turn the tone pot to more bass it decreases. When I turn it to more treble the buzz increases.
     
  8. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    This. The conductive copper tape is supposed to be conductive. Well, it is conductive, but sometimes not conductive "enough". Use a multimeter to measure the resistance across adjacent strips of tape. You might be surprised. I personally dramatically improved the shielding on my semi-hollow by spot-soldering the strips together.
     
  9. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    Buzz that changes when you touch strings means it's a shielding problem. The fact that copper tape didn't solve the problem means there is something wrong with your shield job. Did you ground all pieces of copper foil? Did you put foil on the back of pickguard? Did you make provision for that foil to be grounded (run cavity foil up to guard screw)? Are you sure the "conductive foil" is really making a good contact between pieces (spot soldering is best). Did you shield EVERYTHING which includes wires to pickups and under pickups?

    A noise gate will kill noise but my experience with them is that after a while the on-off effect really starts to bug you! That's why I don't use mine anymore and just put up with hum is there is some.
     

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