Strat Hum - Shielding or Noiseless Pickups?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Bodhisattva, Jan 26, 2008.


  1. Bodhisattva

    Bodhisattva Member

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    I have been playing an american standard strat for going on 10 years, love it, but lately the hum is starting to get on my nerves.

    For those of you with experience trying to remedy this problem, which method did you find the most satisfying, shielding the innards of the guitar as mentioned in Guitarnuts site (below) or noiseless pickups like the Kinmans etc?

    http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/shielding/shield3.php

    To me the shielding seems like a PITA, whereas the pickups seem like a pretty quick (but expensive) fix, but do you really lose a lot of the tone that makes a strat so appealing in the first place?

    I don't mind doing work on gear, but i've realized that the more time i spend tweaking the less time i spend actually practicing and moving beyond the same tired Pentatonic loops i've played for years :D

    Thanks
     
  2. jman

    jman Member

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    I have heard a shielding job can do wonders-if you really dig the pickups you have,it's a good way to go. That said,i went noiseless with Dimarzio VV's in one Strat and Kinman's in another...very happy with both.
     
  3. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    Third option would be the Suhr BPSCC.

    Seems like the best solution so far.

    Shielding (I've tried it) can only get you so far, whereas the BPSSC can remove 80-90% of the hum and keeping the real single tone intact.
     
  4. Bodhisattva

    Bodhisattva Member

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    Good info on the Suhr backplate thing.. i've never even heard of that
    not cheap, but i guess if it works it's worth it..

    http://www.fralinpickups.com/bpssc.asp

    yes, i really do like the sounds of the stock pickups, this one is a '99 which i think is the "delta tone" era. But lately i've started playing more Si Fuzz into a Marshall kind of thing and the hum is A lot more noticeable, so i wanted to see what my options are.

    thanks gents
     
  5. LReese

    LReese Member

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    I really like the BPSSC. IIRC, shielding that Strat should be a piece of cake with that bathtub route. Might already be shielded. My Floyd Rose Sig was.

    Remember, you need to look at the whole rig... Bucking the hum at the guitar will help immensely, but does the amp itself hum? How about the effects you are using.

    My example is that I was using a daisy chain adapter to power my effects. Hum was horrible, even with EMG's and Decimator. I got a PPII, which cut the hum drastically. I had a couple of AC powered effects which required a wall wart. Last week, I got a new board along with a AC Pedal power - At my normal volume level-hum is barely noticeable with a single coil guitar (my only test so far) . Goes to show you good clean power/cutting loops is extremely important.

    Hope this helps... I've fought this for years...
     
  6. Bodhisattva

    Bodhisattva Member

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    You know that may be part of it.. lately i've been using an EH Deluxe Memory Man delay that requires a wall wart.

    Seems like hum is worse at certain angles. I can move the front of the guitar to face in a particular direction and it reduces it a good bit.

    Seems like it used to clean up perfectly in the 2 or 4 pickup position but not so much anymore.

    Anyway, thanks for your input , I imagine it's just another stop along the way of finding the tone that inspires you to play.
     
  7. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    If you do get a Suhr BPSSC you'll need to replace your middle pickup with another neck pickup - they all have to be the same wind and polarity. If you have a pool route then shielding will be a breeze - the control cavity is a little work, but it's well worth the effort to keep your single coil tone. Don't forget to shield the back of the pickguard too where it will be over any cavity.
     
  8. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    The BPSSC will not work if you have a RWRP middle pickup, so I haven't tried one.

    Shielding isn't difficult if you use carbon conductive paint. It is expensive. There is a coat of it from the Fender factory but the paint can recommends three coats with 24 hours between, and I doubt they put that much on in the factory. The drawback to copper foil (aside from the PITA it is to install and to get all the pieces connected to each other) it that if the adhesive fails you've got yourself a shorted out guitar.

    Biggest help I've found is to move my rig at home away from the television and the main circuit breaker panel, but that's no help when you get out to play. Moving as little as five feet away from the noisy spots is a big help. Some areas of the house will put hum into a humbucker guitar as well.
     
  9. John Bell

    John Bell Supporting Member

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    I have the Suhr BPSSC on my strat.Nothing and I mean nothing comes close to this unit for getting rid of noise and retaining that wonderful single coil tone.I've tried all the noiseless pickups available.Dimarzios....yes the areas....Kinmans,Bill Lawrence and Duncan.Out of that group I liked the Kinmans the best,but they still didn't give me what I was looking for.I installed a set of Suhr pickups and just delt with the noise until I had enough dough to pickup a BPSSC.I am 100% sold on this thing.At some point I'd like to try it with other brands of pickups.Lindy Fralin says it works well with his pickups and Tom Anderson was impressed with the way it worked with his VA singles.
     
  10. Bodhisattva

    Bodhisattva Member

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    So now other than needing swap the middle pickups out for a neck pickup, what is required to install the BPSSC? Do you just wire the new backplate up to the tremelo claw?
     
  11. John Bell

    John Bell Supporting Member

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    No.You have a series of wires from the small module that goes under the guard.You take all three ground wires from the pickups and solder them to the one black wire on the module.There are three wires that are color coded that you solder to the hot wires from the pickups.The lat two wire are the red and yellow that connect to the red and yellow from the back plate.It litterally took me less than 30 munites to do it.If you get one,Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.I can walk you through it.
     
  12. Bodhisattva

    Bodhisattva Member

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    Doesn't sound too bad.. Thanks John

    I may give that a try next pay day... or next
    "gear aquisition cycle".. haha
     

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