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Shielding question and a thanks!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Well, following Lyle Caldwell's thread on shielding my bass went from a buzz saw loud enough to cut thru solid steel (when you took your hands off the strings) to now completely silent. Many thanks!

    I sheilded everything and star grounded all the ground wires to a common point.

    Being a bit of a hack at this kind of thing, I used *many* pieces of copper tape. They all connected and overlapped so I had hoped that would be sufficient as I wouldnt be able to do the tack soldering.

    What is the negative result of not doing the tack soldering?

    My other question...

    I've used mini pots on my bass, but instead of the standard setup, I maxed out both the vol and tone pot (as thats how I always use them anyway) and placed them inside the control cavity. Question: If the wiring or part of the pots touches the copper shielding is that going to cause any noise/ or problems?

    Its dead silent right now, but I could see something touching the sheilded wall... hope that wont cause a problem.
  2. bass_fish


    Oct 26, 2006
    the Netherlands
    if you use them maxed out, why not just bypass them? so solder directly on to the output?
  3. For the shielding, it depends on what tape you used. Some has conductive glue so when you overlap, the shield is continuous. Some doesn't - which is why tack soldering is a good idea. It completes the electrical connection between all the pieces of the shield.

    Having pots floating around inside is not the best idea. If the body touches the shield no problem. But if a pot leg or hot wire touches the ground, you will probably get no sound.

    Double stick tape to keep the pots in place may be the way to go.

    Hope this helps.
  4. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Good suggestions. I will do the double sided tape thing.

    I think I used Dimarzio copper tape... designed for sheilding.

    I tried omitting the pots, but the sound changed significantly. I found there was alot more highs in the tone of the pickups. Keeping the pots in the circuit makes quite a difference and keeps the bass sounding like it should... with both pots maxed out.
  5. XylemBassGuitar

    XylemBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2008
    Durango, CO
    Owner and Operator, Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars
    You could find out what resistance the pots offer to the circuit when they are maxed out and then try to get your hands on some plain resistors of the same value.

    That would eliminate the necessity for the loose pots in the control cavity and would probably give you the sound you're looking for at the same time.
  6. MikeyB


    Aug 16, 2006
    Sykesville, MD
    Ditto about the resistors and the pots.

    Tone pots will cause the bass to be brightest at their MAX resistance (not "zero"). Common values for tone pots are 250k and 500k. Sometimes you'll see the 330k pots.

    If you put a meter across the outermost lugs of the pot you'll get the maximum ("full on") resistance of the pot. If you then substituted a resistor of similar value you'd get the same thing.

    And ditto also on any "hot" lead/leg/wire touching the shielding - you'll ground out that signal instantly. You'll probably get total silence, but depends on exactly which wire grounds out and the circuit design.

    I just went through this with my Ric 4003, and when I installed the push/pull pot I noticed it's pretty close to the bottom of the (now) shielded cavity. I used some electrical tape as an insulator in that area.

    Rics are infamous buzz-saws. It's much quieter now.


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