Noisy Tele, line p/u cavity with copper foil???

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Clifford-D, Jan 16, 2008.


  1. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    My friend has a Tele that was very noisy.

    He lined the cavities for the P/U with copper foil.

    Less than $10 at a crafts store. Stickback copper foil.

    His guitar was dead quiet.


    Is this a good thing??

    Does it affect tone in any way??

    If this is good, then why don't makers just do this??

    I have a G&L ASAT Special and it can be noisy.
    Should do it?????????????????????????????
     
  2. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    It's a good thing, just don't wrap the shielding around the pickups and the tone should be the same. And make sure each piece is making electrical contact with the next piece, soldering the joints may be needed.
     
  3. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Thank you but could you expand a little

    what do you mean "just don't wrap the shielding around the p/u"
    I was not going to cover the P/U, just the cavity??

    And the next part " make sure each piece is making electrical contact with the next piece"
    I didn't understand that. I wasn't going to do anything with electricity.
    I was just going to cover the cavity with stickyback copper foil. very thin.
    Don't think it would stand up to soldering. Maybe I'll use scissors.

    But you agreeing some shielding helps with noise and that is very important and helpful.

    Thanks
     
  4. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Has anyone tried this copper foil thing??
     
  5. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    Cover the pickup routs and control cavity with the tape overlapping the pieces and unless the adhesive is conductive solder the joints to make a connection. Solder a ground wire from the back of a pot or any good ground to the copper tape. You don't want to put the copper tape down unless it's all grounded.
     
  6. Mrjoelv

    Mrjoelv Member

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  7. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    By lining the pickup cavity and pickguard you are doing something with electricity. You're creating a little Farady Cage that takes unwanted 60hz hum and rf signals and sends them to the ground of your amp via the shield on your cable. Most foil just requirs that you overlap the joints. I used StewMac aluminum foil. works just the same. I just took one copper wire and screwed a little wood screw into the shielding, then wrapped the wire to it and soldered it to the star ground on my pot.
     
  8. bluesrules

    bluesrules Member

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    I use to do the copper foil thing, then I got too many guitars. So now I use Steward-Mac conductive paint, works great just protect your guitar with newspapers and blue painters tape for accidental drips! Takes about 3 coats with 24 hrs of drying time between coats. It's easier than foil but takes longer because of the drying time, but less hours on the guitar in the long run.

    I still use the copper foil for underneath plastic pickguards. I've always have trouble with static sounds when my hand touches the pickguard during playing. I blame the Wisconsin weather!
     
  9. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Member

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    I think I need to do this with my 6 electrics...:FM
    So, with the paint you could technically remove the pickguard/hardware without unsoldering from the jack/bridge ground (ie. just let everything hang out painting around the wires but making sure the entire cavity is covered, right?
    Does the entire underbelly of the pickguard have to be covered? I ask because I don't feel like taking everything off of the pickguard.
    Finally, you just solder a wire from somewhere the cavity to the back of the volume pot where everything else is grounded? (getting crowded on the back of that pot in my strat. I'll check the link as well.
    My main point for not wanting to unsolder is that for me, getting anything to solder to the back of a volume pot seems damn near impossible.
     
  10. bluesrules

    bluesrules Member

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    The tone controls are also connected to ground so you can use them as a solder point.

    I would unsolder everything as is easiler to use the conductive paint without all the stuff in the way.

    When I do Tele's I undo everything but the wires to the input jack. Cuz it's a hassle getting that cup out, so I work around those 2 wires.

    On a strat I'll take everything apart for a better job. I also shield the hole that the input jack has so out it comes. Just paint all cavities, put copper foil on the back of pickguard and put a copper foil strip on the bodies top where the pickguards foil will touch it (@ a pickguard screw point is best) and run it down into the cavity thats already painted so you got continuity.

    You could leave the pickups mounted in the guard if you wanted 2 and foil around them, but I would unsolder the wires at the switch just 2 make it easier. But you can work around them if you want to go crazy!

    Also I usually only foil the bottom half of a pickguard. Seems that I only brush the guard with my fingers on downstrokes.

    I hope I'm answering all your questions here:

    On a strat if you put conductive paint in the input jack hole. Then take another small strip of foil from the screw hole down into the painted surface. And when you screw down the input jack it gets grounded because the whole metal piece is connect to ground, the only part thats positive is the internal isolated + jack. So it gets grounded backwards with the use of the ground wire from the input jack.

    When you screw down the pickguard it grounds out with the body top foil strip. Then a wire from the painted surface in the pickup rout to another ground point in the electronics (control pot). The guy above posted a good idea with a small screw with a wire around it into the bodies wood as long as it's touching conductive paint or foil.

    Double check everything with an ohm meter for continuty, put back together and play. This gets about 95% of the hum out of the single coils, nothings perfect!


    Goodluck and have fun!
     

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