Stratocaster wiring question.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by FiniteSD, May 31, 2015.

  1. FiniteSD

    FiniteSD Member

    May 11, 2015
    Yesterday I painted my strat's cavities with shielding paint. When putting it back together today for some reason I decided to take out the old lead wire and try a shielded lead wire. When I strung her back up and plugged her in I got almost no sound with volume at 10. When I start rolling volume down it cuts off completely at about 8.

    Was I supposed to connect the shield of the lead to ground?

    I used rubber vacuum tubing to cover the entire length of the metal shielding on my new lead. The shielding on the lead isnt in contact with anything but rubber.

    Does anybody think that could be my problem? Or could there be something touching the new shielding paint (thats not supposed to touch ground.

    I wanted to see if anyone could shine some light on this before I open her back up. I'm probably just going to put in a normal unshielded lead since I shielded all cavities last night. (I just wanted to try the shielded lead thing I read about)

    If anyone could help shed some light on this problem it would be much appreciated!!

  2. StratoCraig

    StratoCraig Member

    Dec 14, 2013
    The Fortress of Solitude
    If the shielding truly isn't connected to anything, then it's not doing you any good but also not doing you any harm. Shielding has to be grounded to actually work. By the same token, the shielding paint you put in also has to be grounded to do any good.

    This doesn't explain the problem with your signal, though. I'd suggest doing continuity checks. Before even opening up the guitar, just plug a cord into the jack and test resistance between the tip and shaft of the other end. With one pickup selected and all knobs on 10, resistance should be roughly the same as the DCR of the pickup itself, probably somewhere between 5.5k and 8k depending on what pickups you have installed (and assuming you're using standard single-coil Strat pickups).
  3. cardinal

    cardinal Member

    Feb 26, 2008
    I had a similar issue when I put a larger super switch into a guitar with a grounded/shielded cavity and the switch leads where hitting the cavity because it was slightly too shallow. I would have thought something is grounded or not grounded, but a tiny bit of signal was getting through. I just tossed some tape over the leads to insulate them and it's been fine.
  4. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

    Feb 5, 2011
    Check the rotation on your jack, sometimes they ground out when you push the cord jack in if not rotated properly.
    Also, double check that one end of your shielding wires doesn't have one tiny strand loose and shorting out somewhere.
    Also, watch all your wires don't short out somewhere when pushing them into the cavity and putting the pickguard back down.
    I've had that happen many times.
    hank57 likes this.
  5. hank57

    hank57 Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 4, 2006
    swivetung might have it right for this problem.
    Also the shielded cable should be either a single center wire connected to the tip while the shield is connected to the pot and ground of the plug.

    Or a seious attempt should be made using this whole plan:

    I just finished this up and I'm pretty happy with the reduction. It's not silent but it is a lot better.

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