Shielding Strat...

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by slh2536, May 4, 2021 at 8:02 AM.

  1. slh2536

    slh2536 New Member!

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    I'm in the process of changing my loaded pick guard. Thought I'd go ahead and shield the inside before changing it. I bought some shielding tape. Any thoughts and tips to get the best results before I attempt this tasks?
     
  2. Strummin Spencer

    Strummin Spencer New Member!

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    Measure twice (or more) cut once
     
  3. macoshark

    macoshark Senior Stratmaster

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    I just did my 2nd shielding. This time I started with doing all the sides in the pickup routes. Of course brought those up onto the body being aware of where the PG edges were so I wouldn't have it sticking out. So not very much of an overlap. I was in the mood so took my time. I have 2 in. wide tape so cut that in half length ways for a lot of the route sides and bottoms. I've seen pics of some of the members jobs that came out really nice but not sure how they did it. Mine works fine so I'm happy. I was tempted to neglect some of the area after I did the sides but decided to cover all the cavity.
     
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  4. StratUp

    StratUp Strat-O-Master

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    Check with a multimeter to make sure the various pieces are all conductive. I used aluminum tape on mine and the glue prevented a good connection between the different pieces. I ended up taping a bare wire across the surface of all the pieces to make sure they all had conductivity.
     
  5. ptb1

    ptb1 Strat-Talker

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    ^ Or, just solder "jumpers" between them
     
  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    Use a meter to verify conductivity and then wrinkle or bridge an additional strip of tape to make the connections. 'iron' the tape down with your finger for a tighter look. Leave top-side tags where a screw hole is so you can make positive contact with the pickguard shielding.

    Make sure to use shielded cable from the volume pot to the jack. Twisting the bare wire pair does nothing (or we'd all use twisted pair from the guitar to the amp too). I've found in many guitars this run of wires can be half the noise reduction you can achieve.

    Advanced shielding: wrap a tape ring around pickup bobbins or tape the inside of pickup covers. Run a jumper tape lead from the pickup shielding to the pickguard shielding. Only do this if you are handy and can protect the delicate pickup bobbin wires plus avoid grounding out the pickup leads.

    .
     
  7. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Strat-O-Master

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    Just make sure to roll up a little over the top-not a lot; there's not much space between the rout and the edge of the pickguard.

    Make sure the pickguard is shielded.bi use copper even if there is already a shield.

    Shield the jack hole or use shielded cable for the jack.

    Don't worry about getting it exactly right. I tough cut and add pieces to cover any gaps. Be sure to use copper with conductive adhesive, and don't pay too much.

    I buy this, but I do a lot of guitars. A penny and a half per square inch aint bad.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C6YLNYL/?tag=strattalk05-20
     
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  8. Jimbo_Jones

    Jimbo_Jones Strat-Talker

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    Back when I worked for a living, I did a lot of shielding on high-end laboratory equipment. We had special copper foil tape for such work that came with an electrically conductive adhesive so conductivity between pieces was not an issue. I'm not sure if such a product is commercially available to mere guitar players, or how expensive it might be.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 11:48 AM
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  9. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    This is the best shielding job I've personally ever seen. (Which ain't sayin' all that much, really.)
    20210406_123639.jpg 20210406_123821.jpg

    Was done by our own @Ronkirn. I know he has detailed documentation of several of his builds on his website, as well as .pdf file dealing with various aspects of building and setting up guitars, although I don't know if there are any that specifically deal with shielding.

    Time well spent looking at them in any event.

    Or you could just ask him about it. He's been exceedingly generous with his time and expertise with myself and others here. I'm pretty sure he'd have some tips.
     
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  10. Jimbo_Jones

    Jimbo_Jones Strat-Talker

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    Is that thin copper sheets, not foil, with soldered connections between them? Wow, that is meticulous work!
     
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  11. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yeah..right? If you check out his builds section you'll see that he's that detailed with every aspect of his builds. Really impressive and I learned a ton. Probably never do half the stuff involved but if I was going to build a guitar from scratch I'd those as my guide.
     
  12. lbpesq

    lbpesq Strat-O-Master

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    After you have applied the copper tape, go over it with a pencil eraser to really seat the adhesive.

    Bill, tgo
     
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  13. fretlessart

    fretlessart Strat-Talk Member

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    The copper tape with conducting adhesive is available from Amazon and StewMac.
     
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  14. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Silver Member

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    Aluminum does not solder together well, so you will have to overlap and check for continuity with a multimeter to make sure all the pieces are grounded together. Copper is your better bet...



    '
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021 at 7:03 AM
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  15. summer69

    summer69 Strat-Talker

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    Which color are the cavities? If they are black they might be shielded already by conductive paint. Try with an ohmmeter.
     
  16. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    I may be in the minority here, but IME I don't think that shielding really does that much to reduce noise. Noiseless pickups, or Humbuckers are 10 times more effective.
     
  17. of this world

    of this world Strat-Talker

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    it depends on the guitar... i tore the shielding out of my tele, with no ill-effects, but shielding makes my Jazzmaster playable... i also live in an apt with a very noisy electrical system... the neighbor's table saw down the block comes through my headphones like an outboard motor when your swimming underwater.
     
  18. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    Yeah, it can be helpful to a certain point, but really if you are using single coil pickups you always have what is basically an antenna on your guitar. It is outside of the shielding, therefore pretty much negates the effect of the shielding.

    I'm not saying that it is not worth doing, just that if anyone expects their single coil equipped guitar to suddenly be completely noiseless after they shield it, they will be disappointed.
     
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  19. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    Correct it does not , I've tried it 2 times and well near null efficiency, Might be ok for some mild RF or EMI Interference like cell phones but for anything like a strong Electromagnetic force does squat, recommend move to another room or if you cant position yourself in the spot that has the deflection of the EM in an opposite direction (sort of a sweetspot with the least amount of interference), in the end its what i did after trying nearly everything under the sun short of selling the house :)
     
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  20. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    I've only found it really useful for curing static prone scratchplates immediately and forever, but I haven't had one of those for many years.
     
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