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What Is Star Grounding?


Bill-Murray
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I heard star grounding is the best, but what is it?? My guitar feedbacks like a sucker, les paul into a fender 212. I'm gonna rewire and shield it sometime, but I'd like to do it right. So what's that?

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Star grounding simply means that all ground paths terminate at a single point, as opposed to buss grounding, where all grounds terminate to a common buss wire. In theory, there could be a difference in potential (voltage) bnetween two points on a buss, so star grounding is theoretically the quietest possible configuration - in practice, a well designed buss grounding system can be as quiet as a star grounded system in most cases. The only important thing to us is that there is a low impedance path from ground to every point that is grounded, and that these points are all at the same nominal potential.

<edit>Grounding has no effect on feedback, ever - feedback is caused by microphonic pickups or acoustic coupling between the strings and the amp's speakers.

Edited by lovekraft
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I always use buss grounding just because it's easier to solder to a wire than it is to the back of a pot. I will typically solder a bare wire across the back of all the pots first and use that as the buss ground. Anything that needs a ground gets wrapped around it and soldered. Pickups, output jack, ground wire from the bridge, anything. Visually, it also helps me to. It tends to shout, "This is ground".

I've never had a problem with buss grounding causing noise before. As lovekraft says, you shouldn't have a problem if it's done right.

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