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To Ground or Not To Ground, That is the Question!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Quadzilla, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member


    I bought a body, neck, electronics and am in the process of building my first bass. Just so you know, there is currently no route under my bridge for a ground wire. For now, this bass is going to be a passive P/J config (Dimarzio P/J pups). I've wired everything up with the grounding in series as instructed by the wiring diagram that comes with the pups but do not have it grounding to the bridge.

    I cannot test it yet as I ordered the wrong 1/4" jack (waiting for the correct one to come now) and I also have yet to mount the neck and the body is going out today for refinshing. So currently the pups are just wired to the pots on the pickup guard.

    Anyway, should I made a route to the bridge? I'm just a guy with regular tools. I can drill a long hole from the rear strap button that travels under the bridge and into the rear pup cavity. I can then drill a hole down from under the bridge into that hole and route the ground wire from the pup cavity to the bridge.

    So do I need to do this? Are all basses grounded at the bridge or can they just be grounded thru the input jack and ultimately thru the grounding within the amp?
  2. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    You don't have to ground the bridge. But if you don't, you have to fully shield the bass and star ground all the components. Take a look at my jazz bass shielding pictorial in the pickups FAQ. While I did ground the bridge, I didn't have to.
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    never needed to do it but I can't see where drilling a hole from the bridge to the conrol bay would be a major undertaking. A drillmotor and a long small bit (fairly cheap at any home center/hardware) will get the job done. Should have been done before finishing it but it won't show regardless.

    Just practice on some useless hardwood to get a feel of probability of success. You'll probably know pretty quick whether you feel comfortable with it or not. If you don't, don't drill.

    Also, there's no law that says you can't run the bridge wire in through the J pup cavity which may be a lot easier.

    You could also put it together and see if it hums or not, it may or may not. If it doesn't, you don't have to do anything, if it does, shield it or pull the bridge up and drill.

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