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Nordstrand / J-Retro wiring help

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BassyBill, May 6, 2005.


  1. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I’m putting together a Jazz bass with Nordstrand NJ4SE pickups (each of which has the usual black and white wires) and J-Retro preamp. Question is, will I need to shield the control and/or pickup cavities, do you think? And will I need to connect the ground on the J-Retro underneath the bridge, or will this wire be redundant? It will be the only ground wire on the bass, I suspect, as the black/white leads from the Nordstrands will just connect direct to the pins on the pre-amp (I have some header pin connectors for this). When I've put EMG Js in two of my basses, there was no need either for shielding or for a ground wire to the bridge.

    Very interested in your opinions on this. I do want to keep hum to a minimum as much as I can (that's why I chose these pickups rather than the single coil Nordstrands). But I don't want to waste time on a superfluous shielding job or have unnecessary ground wires connected to the bridge and strings. My basses with EMGs are almost perfectly quiet with no shielding or grounding (different sort of pickups altogether, I know, being active "in themselves" rather than passive). What do you think?

    EDIT John East, the J-Retro designer and manufacturer has answered this query for me and said I would need to connect the bridge to the ground wire (John is a great guy to deal with and always extremely helpful - thanks a lot for your assistance on this, John). He also told me the Retro itself should be fairly quiet without shielding. But I was still wondering about the need for this, as John hasn’t used his preamp with the Nordstrand pickups.

    Think I’ll take John’s advice and put a link to this thread in Carey’s forum… another really good guy to deal with who seems to find time to help you out. I’m going to start a thread in Miscellaneous about guys like this… John, Carey, Rob Green at Status…. hoorah!
     
  2. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    I'd shield and ground. You won't hurt anything by taking the extra steps.
     
  3. Carey

    Carey

    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    Shielding is not entirely necessary, but it's a very good idea. Even hum cancelling pickups can hum in the right conditions, and every bit of shielding will help reduce this occurrance. Also, the bridge should definitely be grounded.
     
  4. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Thank you both for the replies - shield and ground it is. Have you decided not to continue your sponsored forum Carey?
     
  5. Carey

    Carey

    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    Yeah, the forum was a lot of work and I wasn't paying enough attention to it. At this time I just can't justify it. I'm too busy and actually don't need the extra advertising. Maybe after I get caught up and have more time or can hire someone to help me with my internet and email duties I can get it back. It's a very cool thing and I'm glad Paul is doing it, it's just not for me right now.
     
  6. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Yes, I know you can deal with most queries thorugh the regular forums (fora?) anyway. I can understand why you're busy when you build such desirable basses. At some stage in the future when I have more money I'm going to be joining the list for one of those.....
     
  7. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    How does one go about shielding? I just got a J-retro, and Dimarzio Ultra Jazz's to go in my SX Jazz and I want to make sure I cancel as much hum as I can.

    EDIT: Looks like I need to read more, anyway where should I get the copper foil to shield this with?