Alternative to grounding to bridge

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by fetishfrog, Feb 17, 2008.


  1. fetishfrog

    fetishfrog Member

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    Hello, in order correct my bad ground to the guitar bridge, I'll have to completely remove it, something I'd rather not do. Is there an alternative to running a ground wire tot the bridge that works? My ground is wired to the volume pot.

    Thx
     
  2. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    er, what kind of guitar is it?
     
  3. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    You could run a ground to the tuners instead. ;)

    Unless you're using EMGs or some active system, the strings need to be grounded. I think what Walter is getting at is that how this is done can vary with different guitars. If it has a tailpiece, the ground can be run to that. If it has a tremolo, the ground can run to the spring claw. If it's a Tele, a ground to the pickup base plate can suffice, as it is electrically connected to the bridge through the adjustment screws. If you've got a hardtail strat or a bass, you pretty much have to run a wire to the bridge, or to the tailpiece or bridge posts on a Les Paul style.

    More details would be helpful.
     
  4. Weldaar

    Weldaar Member

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    What if there is no hole between the control cavity and the TP post? Do they make long enough drill bits to drill it? Can you run the ground from a pot to the jack?
     
  5. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    The pot should be grounded to the jack but you still need to ground the strings one way or the other. Drilling the ground wire hole is is harder on some guitars than others but I've never found a guitar that couldn't be grounded. Do you have any pictures or more information about the brand guitar, bridge type, etc? All the grounds should tie together including the string ground.
     
  6. Weldaar

    Weldaar Member

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    I have access to the TP post hole through the control cavity. I will pickup a long drill bit and drill it to connect the wire to the TP post. They make drill bits 8" long and 1/8" in diameter. This a 1966 Firebird. It's flat so I can get to the cavity and TP easily. Thanx for the input.
     
  7. fetishfrog

    fetishfrog Member

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    Hey guys, thanks for the replies and sorry for the lack of detail. I fired this off late night, not really thinking. The guitar is a Klein with Steinberger hardware. Based on the above responses, a ground to the bridge seems necessary. In order to do this, I have to completely remove the bridge, which is kind of a PITA on Steinberger type guitars. Looks like I'll be doing this tonight.
     
  8. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    What happen to the original ground wire to bridge? It must have had one unless this guitar did come with EMG'S or similar.
     
  9. Weldaar

    Weldaar Member

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    The original TP was the vibrola type. Not sure where they put the ground wire. Someone had removed it and installed the LP stop tail. With no ground.
     
  10. fetishfrog

    fetishfrog Member

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    I replaced the tremolo bridge with a custom made hard tail, aluminium, that is powder coated. I seems the powder coating isn't allowing the ground to make good contact. The wire is simply joined to the bridge by the pressure of the bridge being held to the body. Since the strings need to be grounded, I cannot think of any other way to do this except scrape a little of the coating off where the wire touches the bridge.
     
  11. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Don't Les Pauls lack a string/bridge ground? Don't they use shielded pickups instead? I think I'd go with EMG pickups. They don't utilize string/bridge grounds.
     
  12. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    You may have to do this. Solder wire or a wire there. Hopefully out of sight. That should take care of the problem.
     
  13. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    The powder coat seems to be your only problem, do as you said, scrap the coating to metal and check for continuity.
     
  14. fetishfrog

    fetishfrog Member

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    OK, done. I've checked continuity everywhere. It seems I can get a closed circuit everywhere I check, string to vol pot ground, switch to output jack. So here's my dilemna. I get a horrible buzz whenever I touch a live pick up. In other words, 1. hand off the guitar, no buzz 2. Hands on strings, no buzz 3. hands on pots/switches, no buzz 4. hands on pick up, horrible buzz 5. hand on pick up, other hand on strings/pots/switches, no buzz.

    ????

    I have Joe Barden pickups in all 3 positions, usually they are dead quiet. CSInce i swtiched out the bridge, they buzz when touched. Since I re did the ground to bridge and the continuity seems good, well, i am not really sure where to start checking now?

    Anyone???
     
  15. in a little row

    in a little row Member

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    fetishfrog...know it sounds obvious, but sort of sounds like a loop involving the pickup...you have braided shield on a wire touching some thing it shouldnt?? Is your control cavity shielded somehow, with something hot touching it?


    also not to hijack, but as to the other discussion, i have run a ground to the bridge of my SG with a vibrola type tp and it works great...





    j
     
  16. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    I don't know how much shielding is around a Barden pickup but most pickups are noisey when touched without grounding your hand, especially pickups without metal covers. You may or may not have a problem here. Is it quite when playing normally? That's all that really matters, right?
     
  17. fetishfrog

    fetishfrog Member

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    The control cavity is shielded with shielding paint and has always been quiet. I'll have to open it up to see if something is touching.

    :) To be honest, I've never really touched the pickup and noticed before. Last night is was plently quiet while playing. I'll have to keep checking. I guess I started fiddling with everything when the ground to bridge went off and perhaps I began noticing things I never knew existed. Thanks for all the help guys.
     

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