Shielding + tone-control ?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by AllodoX, Apr 19, 2002.

  1. I was wondering..

    I'm going to put new pickups in my p-bass next week.

    While i was looking for shielding tape, i stumbled upon the choice of Aluminium tape VS Copper tape...Is there any difference between these two ?
    ( apart from the different metal + price )

    Also.. does fully shielding ( side, top + bottom ) the controlls cavity have any effect ?
    the p-bass currently only has a small piece of aluminium tape on the backside of the pickguard..

    Then there's my second question..
    will using different types of capacitors like Keramic (sp?), WIMA, Styroflex, Polycarbon, foil and dry-aluminium change the sound, if the value of the capacitor remains the same ?


    - Tim -
  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Also, don't forget shielding paint. This is effective, as long as the coating is thick enough. You can even shield the tunnels between pickup and control cavities, if you like.
  3. I noticed most cheap basses use aluminium, where the more expensive basses use copper, and some even have the copper-tape soldered together at the joints..

    i think i'll go with the copper.. :)
  4. Doug


    Apr 5, 2000
    Buffalo, N.Y.
    I just got through shielding my P-bass. I used the aluminum foil tape found at auto parts stores, which is used for mufflers and tail pipes. Basically, it's the same stuff on the back of your pickguard. About $2.00 a roll. Talked with several local luthiers regarding this and was told this is what they use and works. Must be true, since I have found my bass to be very quiet. I sheilded the entire control cavity, and continued to the pickup cavity. Overlap the tape slightly onto the the face of the bass. This will allow it to come into contact with the shielding on your pickguard. Also, add additional tape to the bottom of the pickguard from the existing shielding tape to the cutout for the pickup. This will give you complete coverage. Be careful working with this tape, it can cut like a razor..OUCH!
  5. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I just finished shielding my '74 Fender Jazz. Tried with copper tape, and it was a pain in the rear. Tough to work with in confined spaces. Instead, I applied 3 coats of StewMac's shielding paint, and now I have no hum at all. It was easy and quick to do.
  6. i shielded my mim jazz a couple of months ago with copper tape. i got almost a whole sheet from a local guitar repair shop. that stuff is hard to work with, but i eventually got the hang of it. after doing the control cavity and the entire channel to the neck pickup, i decided to try the bridge pickup hole. it was a lot harder, but i got it done. i don't know how much difference it will make, but i decided to do it anyway. then i soldered all the bits of tape to each other, and a wire from the bridge pickup hole to the control cavity. it helped a fair bit, i think. i recommend doing it, for sure. the tape wasn't as easy as the paint, i'm sure, but it's not impossible.