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Shielding


jch4v
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I am building a strat with Fender vintage noiseless pickups.

1. Is it necessary to shield? If so, how about shieding paint... what do you think? Can you paint it on the back of the pickguard and in the cavities.

2. What is the best wire to use... regular or cloth vintage.. ?

Thanks

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Even with noiseless pickups, shielding can't hurt anything! I figure, it's not much work to shield a cavity (and the back of the pickguard) so you might as well. The shielding paint works for the inside of the cavity, and I don't know how it would do on the pickguard, but copper tape certainly works fine for both. You could even paint AND tape the cavity, but with the noiseless pickups that's probably overkill.

As for the wire, either will -work-, but I don't know much about the vintage wire, so I can't help you with this. There's certainly the argument that you have the bragging rights of "cloth vintage wire", but as for actual sonic advantages, you'll have to wait for someone who knows what they're talking about. :D

Good luck!

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Yeah. Here's a tip....trade secret even. First, put a small square of copper tape in each pickup cavity and control cavity and connect all of the squares by soldering a single piece of wire to each square. Then shield over that with shielding paint. And put copper tape on the back of the pickguard. COOL!

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If you've already got the copper tape, why would you bother soldering wires?

Just use another piece of copper tape to connect each piece, that's what I do.

As a matter of fact, I shield the entire compartment, every last square inch, with copper tape. Even all the sides.

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If you've already got the copper tape, why would you bother soldering wires?

Just use another piece of copper tape to connect each piece, that's what I do.

As a matter of fact, I shield the entire compartment, every last square inch, with copper tape. Even all the sides.

I'm doing this too, just make sure that the adhesive on the tape you are using is conductive too. Some aren't, this is when to have to solder a wire from tape to tape.

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Well...wire's cheaper than tape. So I like to conserve it. ALSO! Paint is more reliable and usually nore conductive. I've used copper based shieldng paint with 0.01% resistance! That's 100% flow. Anyhow. My scheme is more effective in connecting pup and control cavities on rear-route guitars (holes have to be drilled between the control cavity and each pup cavity). Also, it's good on teles where the control cavity isn't connected to the pup cavities. I know that some of the most respected botique builders in THE WORLD use this method. And it works. Well.

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The wire is to connect the cavities to the control cavity. Again, more useful in rear-route situations. You just run a wire from each pup cavity to the control cavity on the back. Then paint over it. Or with a tele style where the control cavity is not routed with the pickup cavities. ALSO! I left this out, too. Place a strip of tape that connects the pickguard to the control cavity. It just has to touch the shielding in the cavity and lay flat on the top of the guitar (not sticking out of the pickguard, of course) so that the shielding on the back of the pickguard touches it. I guarantee, opinion or not, this is the best way to do things. I'm not speaking as a person who's stuck in 'his ways' or happens to think that my way is right. Because it's not my way. I did it wrong forever until my eyes were opened by an amazing and well respected Builder and electronics guru. The best players in the world trust him (mike landau, claptscott henderson, eric on, mark knopfler...) to build their axes, amps and electronics. Fact is, it's the best shielding method. Not inferior but superior. It may be overkill, but it works...better than anything I've heard before. I'm no world class builder...but the man I learned from is the best -- hands down.

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Just a couple of quick questions, and no offense is intended, but I'm confused by your statements. How can copper paint be more conductive than solid copper tape? And what does 0.01% resistance mean - did you mean .01 ohms? I see nothing particularly wrong with your approach, it certainly is workable, but I see nothing inherently superior about it, and references to an unnamed guru doesn't carry much weight with me, I'm afraid. Could you explain what audible advantages your system has over the method Drak suggested? Thanks for your time.

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Since I know both you guys will read here I want to ask a question about shielding. I am using a solid copper film that is used for emboidery since I couldn't find the tape in the area I'm at and I wanted to put this guitar together. I covered the whole cavity (made like a box and then soldered a cable from them to the control cavity. Will this be enough to shield it? I plan on ordering the paint since the guitar nuts guy says that a thick paint (several coats) will shield as good as the tape, but it's a bit more expensive (which I don't mind for sakes of easier approach). Is the difference audible? or is one of those that if you have a gifted ear you might notice? Thanks for your time and expertise...

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I don't see how it can make any difference, Maiden69 - copper is copper, and unless there are holes in it, the shielding quality should be the same regardless of whether you grind it up and make conductive paint or roll it out into thin sheets. Particularly at the signal levels in a guitar, I'm unaware of anything that would make an audible difference. I've heard some great-sounding guitars that were dead quiet that had been shielded with (shudder!!) Reynolds Wrap. But I'm open-minded - I'll believe it as soon as somebody can reliably tell the difference in a double-blind test. :D

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I've been thinking about sheilding (now that I've finished the control cavity) and I've decided to go go overboard with copper tape all over the place, sheilded cable duct (McDonalds straw covered with copper tape) and sheilded wire (just because I can) but I have a question.

If I sheild the pickup cavities, will this not dampen the magnetic field slightly. I know that most of the magnetic flux is directly up from the pup (hence the pole pieces) but won't a small amout of the field (the very outside field lines for example) travel through the wood/cavity?

Someone please help because I'm unsure B):D:D

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The audible difference is less noise. Connecting all of the cavities to the control cavities leads to an overall reduction in noise. That's it. About the paint vs. tape -- paint is more reliable as many copper tapes have a not-so-conductive adhesive, and paint won't peel up in the heat (if done right). So truth be told, shielding is shielding is shielding. I prefer to be overshielded than risk it. Also, I'm a stickler for how the shielding operation looks. As I said, this particular method lends itself well to rear route situations where haivng copper behind the pup is less than pleasing to the eye. .01% is .01ohms...just couldn't find the omega key on the kybd B) . Anyhow. I didn't mean to be contrary. Any method of shielding is WAY better than no shielding. Lovecraft, sorry for any offense. I didn't mean to get carried away. Please forgive me. JCH...just shield the thing. your pickups are quiet. You should be more worried about ground-shorts! Oh and which wire to use. Go vintage. There's no tonal difference, vintage is just easier to work with! Peace. Love. And bobby Sherman! :D

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No, I wasn't offended, and didn't intend any offense towards you - you simply made some claims that I wanted you to clarify. Sorry, but I'm like that - the oxygen-free-copper crowd hates me, and don't even get me started on silver wire or directional audio cables. :D We're all friends here, usually, even when we disagree, so no problems from me.

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After years of too loud guitar playing, compensating the lack of skill with high volume, I don't seem to hear any difference on cables :D

And when someone from time to time hear "radio freequencies" from their guitar, I'm really impressed - I can only hear frequencies up to about 18kHz on a good day - and others can hear noise at 27MHz B)

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Directional audio cables??? are you serious...is there a diode in them?

Oh, yes, it would seem that the micro-crystalline structure of certain expensive hi-fi interconnects is such that the manufacturer labels the ends so you don't accidentally hook the preamp end up to the power amp and ruin the sound of their hightech marvels! Or at least that's what the brochures says. :D I know it sounds kinda stoopid, but it's the same kind of misinformation that lets some guitar cable manufacturers get ridiculous prices for speaker cables that won't outperform WalMart zip cord. B)

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