Jazz Shielding Pictorial (Big Images Warning)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Lyle Caldwell, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    There have been a lot of questions about shielding and star grounding, so maybe this will help someone.

    Here's the schematic I came up with to do this with:


    First, I took everything out of the cavities and cleaned them to get rid of dust and manufacturing residue. Then I applied copper foil with adhesive backing to the control and pickup cavities. I tack soldered the seams and made sure each piece of foil read 0 ohms potential with every other piece. Then I made copper tubes (wrapped the foil around a screwdriver shaft of the right diameter) that run from cavity to cavity, tack soldered on each end. I also screwed a ground lug to the wall of the control cavity through the copper shielding. See photo:


    Here's the shielding inside the pickup cavities:


    Here's a closeup of the ground lug:


    Here's the actual wiring on the pots (reference the schematic above):


    And here is the other side of the wiring:


    Here's the top side of the control plate:


    Now, while there is still single coil hum (reduced, but still there), there is no noise at all when the blend knob is centered, and the bass is quiet even when I'm not touching any grounded metal components (strings, bridge, controls, etc). Soon I will put Sadowsky hum cancelling pickups in and the bass will be dead quiet. I also will be installing a S-1 switch in place of the current volume pot to allow series/parallel switching. I'll post that stuff when I'm done.

    But for now, I'm pleased. The bass is much quieter, and the control layout (blend, master volume, master tone) is much easier to work with than the stock 62 RI stacked volumes and tones.

    The pickups have much more clarity now without being bright (which I can't explain, really, unless it's the cumulative effects of a lot of little changes, like how the pickups are loaded together in the stock configuration and how the absence of RFI and other environmental noise leads to clarity- who knows?).

    The tone control is now also much more musically useful (I changed from the stock cheap ceramic caps to a Sprague 715P .047uf cap- the same value that was on the stock neck tone pot, but this cap, or maybe this schematic, allows for more of the tone to be rolled off if needed, and the "sweep" of the tone pot has a lot more "sweet spots").

    Please note that I didn't do the actual soldering with the bass exposed like that. I had towels and scraps of old T shirt to protect the bass surfaces when the soldering gun was out.
  2. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Nice! They should sticky this. :)
    zapped777 likes this.
  3. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm...

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Good job!

    I´m though not going to add this thread to the clutter here above by stickying it..

    I´m on the other hand going to put it in the mandatory reading material, otherwise known as the Pickup FAQ here at the top of this forum :)

    Now we just have to hope that Lyle doesn´t delete the pics off his server :)
    mikewalker, zapped777 and seang15 like this.
  4. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    I won't. Thanks for the kind comments.
    zapped777 and Ty_Boogie like this.
  5. ironfist


    Feb 5, 2000
    St. Paul, MN
    Awesome. Great work and great pics. Definitely keep this one around as a reference.
  6. Emprov


    Mar 19, 2003
    Nice job! I've actually been thinking of doing this to one of my J's to see if it provided any benefit. Did you do the pickup cavities/pickguard as well or just the control cavity?
  7. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Both pickup cavities and the control cavity. I'll add pictures of everything in a few weeks when I change out the pickups.

    The cavities are grounded together by the copper tubes I put through the pickup wire holes from each pickup cavity to the control cavity. I made each tube longer than necessary then flanged back the excess (like peeling a banana) and pushing the excess flush against the copper on the control cavity walls and on the pickup cavity walls. Then I tack soldered the excess to the walls. On some guitars this isn't feasible, but it is on most Fenders. If there isn't room for a tube, you can use shielding paint in the small channels or just run a wire from cavity to cavity. Either way, it's important that all the cavities are shielded and tied together. At each stage, I measure with a voltometer to make sure there are 0 ohms potential between each area of shielding.
    imabuddha, Ty_Boogie and Oric like this.
  8. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    i wish i could do that to my j

    but i cant because i have no idea of how to do it properly

    maybe someday...
  9. pdxmar


    Feb 13, 2005
    i just got through shielding my jazz bass as per instructions. I used a piece of wire instead of the tube method to connect the cavities...............what was the result???? A huge differerence in the amount of noise. I used to get not only hum but static electricity.... now it is dead silent. This is a great example of why this forum is so usefull. Thanks for the help L ;) yle!!!!
    imabuddha likes this.
  10. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    In all seriousness, I'm going to try this out one of these days.

    is that a DTDP (er whatever its called) switch for the first knob?
  11. An excellent thread. Thanks for taking the trouble to post this. 1 question-does the shielding have to be copper or is aluminium OK?
  12. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Excellent job of wiring. You bring tears to this old electrical engineer's eyes. The only thing more that I would recommend is shielding the pickup cavities. This would reduce the hum further.

    You can use aluminum, but copper is MUCH easier to solder to.
    madjazzbass likes this.
  13. pdxmar


    Feb 13, 2005
    When I shielded I did shield the pickup cavities as well and used a wire to connect the cavities. I used the copper shileding foil I got from guitar electronics com and it worked great. The entire cost was about 10 bucks!!!!!!
  14. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    No, that's a stacked 500K blend pot. You're thinking of a Double Pole Double Throw (DPDT) push/pull pot, often used for series/parallel.

    I'm expecting a Fender S1 switch in the next week or so, and when I install that I'll show the wiring. I'm using it for series/parallel and to take the blend knob out of the circuit when the pickups are in parallel.
  15. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Aw, shucks. I actually did shield the pickup cavities, but didn't take photos (I was in a rush to play my new bass). I'll be changing the pickups out for Sadowskys soon, at which point I'll add photos of the pickup cavity shielding.
  16. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Thanks. The DPDT pot is all I've seen up to now, and I may give that a shot, although I don't know how trustworthy my skills are with messing with stuff.

    I'm just sick of having to turn down both volumes if I want it quieter...
  17. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Lyle, you make me proud. Damn fine work!
  18. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Give it a shot. Pots are inexpensive. Just read up on soldering safety.
  19. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Again, thanks. Sadly, no one will ever see my best work (tucked away inside a 335 - the biggest PITA to work on in the world).
    Sands and doctorrockit like this.
  20. karrot-x

    karrot-x Inactive

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    Hey, where'd you get the copper foil? How hard was it to work with, looks like a pro job in there.

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