New Area T's hum badly

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by fr8_trane, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Supporting Member

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    I've lost patience with my failed installation of the dimarzio areat T's. They hum... Badly and I can't figure out what's wrong. I've installed lots of pickups before and never had a problem until now. Anyway, I ran into my first problem when the instructions said you need to ground the bridge plate. They suggested running some bare wire between the bridge plate and the body with the other end going to ground. Ummm... no. Even the small amount of thin wire between the bridge and body caused the entire bridge to pivot raising the front edge off the body. No go. Ok so I'll solder the ground wire to the bottom of the bridge plate. Nope. Whatever the bridge is made of, solder won't stick to it. I even tried my 65 watt iron that I use to solder grounds on amp chassis'. Now I'm getting pissed. So i screw a funky wing nut thingy to one of the pickup adjustment screws and solder the wire to that. Great. I put everything back together and plug the unstrung guitar in to make sure the pickups work and it s HUM city. I've got continuty from the neck and bridge pickups to the volume pot and output jacks so I have no Idea where the hum could be coming from. The pickups work but I've got a ground issue I can't seem to trace. Anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. Hargrett

    Hargrett Member

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    Since you've had no replies, I'll take a shot at it. Sounds like you've done a lot of this, so maybe you know all this already. First, if the bridge was already grounded separately, running another bare ground wire under it will cause a ground-loop, potentially causing a hum. Second, did you try scraping a spot on the pickup bridgeplate with a knife before trying to tin it and solder to it? Solder sticks much quicker and easier to a clean, shiny and slightly roughened surface. If scraping the baseplate allowed me solder to it, I'd solder one end of a piece of insulated wire to the pickup baseplate and the other end to the back of the volume pot and try that. Having strings on it could help too... they act as an antenna to pick up stray hum and get rid of it through the bridge ground. Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  3. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Assuming, on my part, that the pup has a baseplate, you need continuity from baseplate to bridge plate to ground. Redundant grounds are far preferred to no ground, so jumper freely to troubleshoot.
     
  4. Hargrett

    Hargrett Member

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    Assuming that the bridge pickup does have a bridgeplate, does it make any difference if the pickup and bridge have separate grounds, or is it best for some reason to daisy chain them, pickup to bridge to ground? Thanks!
     
  5. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Supporting Member

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    Yup I've been doing my own electronics for some time but I'm still a hack.:D

    I did solder the bridge ground to the volume pot and it was insulated. I didn't think of scratching the bridge plate though. Good one.

    Also I did install 1 string to see if that completed the ground circuit but no luck.

    Hargrett, I guess my terminology is a bit confusing. The area T pickups actually dont have a metal plate attached to them like traditional tele pickups. When I said bridge plate I actually meant just the underside of the bridge itself. Dimarzio says you have to ground the whole BRIDGE by attaching a wire, in the same way you ground the strat trem claw.
     
  6. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Meter from the bridge to the vol pot ground and/or the jack plate.
    No continuity? Clip a jumper to the bridge or string and to the jack ground. Still hums? Check the pup wiring and grounding, again and again. Meter for continuity at each step.
    Tedious and you "know" you wired it right but.....
     

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