Shielding - what a PIA

nickmsmith

Dr. Stratster
Jul 28, 2011
14,194
USA
And IME doesn't really make a lot of difference when using single coil pickups.
It made a huge difference in my Tele that came unshielded. I use compression and gain, so a badly shielded guitar is a problem. Noticeable hum reduction when I added the shielding tape. If it’s already got shielding paint, probably much less effect.

Teles are so much easier to shield. Strats really are a pain.
 

Guy Incognito

Senior Stratmaster
May 14, 2019
3,888
Here and now
And IME doesn't really make a lot of difference when using single coil pickups.
I don't think I've ever actually shielded a guitar for myself. I've only ever done it for friends while putting in pickups for them (at their request).

I've never owned a guitar I couldn't deal with. Or rather I've never owned one where shielding tape was the difference between keeping vs selling.

I can still appreciate a good job of it though.
 
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Ebidis

Providing the world with flat bends since 1985
Nov 14, 2013
28,313
Alabama
It made a huge difference in my Tele that came unshielded. I use compression and gain, so a badly shielded guitar is a problem. Noticeable hum reduction when I added the shielding tape. If it’s already got shielding paint, probably much less effect.
I've done it on a couple of Strats, and found it was not worth the effort.
 

dilver

Strat-Talker
Jan 22, 2009
178
nj
I’m just so used to doing it that I don’t know if it really makes that much of a difference. This 2” copper I found on Amazon is easier than using the flat sheets I was buying, but it still takes a while. I’m going to add a couple layers to see if it makes a difference.
 

joebtone

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Jan 26, 2022
1,571
Northwest US

Nice
I call it over shielding.
I over-shield mine too.
I like quiet as I can get...not wondering if it could be quieter....bzzzzzz
Takes me 5 minutes.
I solder the claw ground wire and the ground wire meant for the claw to the copper right under the volume pot and I use the aluminum shielding plates under the pickguards too.
On this one the middle reverse wound pickup was a bit staticky and this trick fixed it up right up.
Other strats are buzzing around me and mine is quiet.
 

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revtime

Senior Stratmaster
Jun 17, 2014
1,235
kansas
I use stew mac shielding paint. Made a huge difference on my ugly orange partcaster. Easier than shielding tape but messier (messyer?) I use the tape on mostly flat surfaces like the back of pickguards.
 

Hal Nico

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 28, 2012
3,713
JAMOADR
None of my three main Stratocasters ( SSS/HSS) have cavity shielding just the Scratch-plate and are very quiet. If the grounding in the location is working as it should there's no need for over-shielding.

I did this demo to show quiet my single coils are ,


If anyone wants to reduce the noise in their guitars/systems then have a read here,



 
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wooders

Strat-O-Master
Nov 19, 2021
813
Kent
I don't know if it's worth doing or not, but done both my builds.
I do agree, it's definitely not an enjoyable nor rewarding task.
Do not undertake without a beer at hand. That's the most useful advice I have on the subject.
 

HazyPurple

You've gotta get up!, to get down!
Silver Member
May 5, 2020
1,899
UK
I've done it on two guitars...

Really is a slight improvement imo

IMG_20220108_153718569_HDR.jpg IMG_20220108_111932344~2.jpg IMG_20220108_145642213_HDR.jpg IMG_20220108_131114032.jpg

This guitar has neck and middle SD Quarter Pound pups though... with a JB humbucker in the bridge position
 

Bowmap

I nose a thang or two.
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 23, 2017
11,203
3rd door down.
Does gold leaf offer shielding? If so, much easier to work with, have some experience with both copper and gold.

I believe gold is more conductive or the same as copper and does not tarnish like copper or silver. I would think gold leaf is a lot more expensive and while much more flexible, it has it's own troubles while applying. Never sneeze. It'll cost ya a fortune. If you are practiced at laying gold leaf, you probably can get it on a little quicker. I have my own technique for applying copper foil tape.

GXT004-084 sm.jpg

I add shielding on my builds as it is easier during construction than to retrofit it. My Brand made guitars I leave alone.
 

ThreeChordWonder

Senior Stratmaster
Dec 2, 2020
3,406
Cypress TX
Word to the wise: shielding only works if it's properly grounded. Several ways of grounding exist, including:

- relying on your pots' crinkly washers (not good. IMHO)
- forming a loop in the end of a wire using solder, then using a pickguard screw to clamp that to the shielding by screwing it into the body, remembering, of course to ground the other end of the wire to a pot casing
- as above but soldering the wire to the shielding.

Remember to overlap the shielding in an unseen area or to so that the pickguardcshielding makes contact.

On my recently purchased Epi LP and my recently built P90 thinline, I've gone as far as using copper braided sheathing the shield the "long" wires between the selector switch and the control cavity. It can be bought on Amazon, 22 bucks for 12 feet:

12ft Tinned Copper Braid...
 

Torvald

Senior Stratmaster
May 3, 2019
1,218
Northwest
I've found it to make quite a difference, especially on one noisy strat I bought that had minimal shielding. Also, I always make sure that the shielding on the back of the pickguard is grounded. I connect the bridge ground and a ground wire from the pots both to a small screw in the cavity.
 

Ronkirn

Most Honored Senior Member
May 26, 2006
7,020
Jacksonville, FL
Sure, as long as there's continuity between ALL the shielded areas... the problem is.. on copper foil the adhesive is usually conductive... and/or the foil itself is thick ehough to witstand the shock of being soldered... Gold and other such foils are considerably less thick, and will not tolerate soldering.. thus the chance of winding up with a fully shielded, and/or problem free shield job is somewhat questionable...

and yes.. if it's not PROPERLY grounded all it is is eye candy...

r
 


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