THOUGHTS ON SHIELDING?

ViperDoc

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I'm debating whether to copper shield my pickup and control cavities. I did it on a bass I built about 15 years ago and it's insanely quiet. All needs to be buttoned up properly, of course. Anyone done it on your PRS?
 
I used the black shielding paint in mine. It's in the process of being put back together so I can't give a report:(
I'm interested to find how the paint delivers. I've heard it works quite well. It's definitely easier in some respects. When I shielded my bass with copper tape, I soldered all the panels together, and the installation was pretty quick and smooth. And there is absolutely no hum in that bass. I can't say there is much noise in my 594 as it stands, so I wonder the value of it, and why Paul doesn't bother with it himself.
 
The early guitars likewise didn’t have any shielding in the control cavity – just the top of sweet-switch was shielded with copper sheet. Starting around mid-1986 shielding paint was added, probably on the back of the first Guitar Player review where Rick Turner mentioned he felt it was strange the cavity wasn’t shielded.

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They used to paint them back in the day, but they stopped for some reason. It annoys me, because I hate that interference buzz.

Most important is to fully shield the electronics cavity. The pots, switches, etc make up most of the buzz. Some say it attenuates a little bit of high end, but I don't hear it.

I've used the paint and the copper tape. The paint is expensive. The copper tape will slice your fingertips up if you're not careful. I had good results with both.
 
Another early guitar but with shielding added. Probably quieter than the unshielded one above. It had a cover to totally encapsulate the cavity (past tense as now sold). The unshielded one above will hum at certain angles to noise sources - lights, amps etc.

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Factory paint - from an '88 Sig

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Another early guitar but with shielding added. Probably quieter than the unshielded one above. It had a cover to totally encapsulate the cavity (past tense as now sold). The unshielded one above will hum at certain angles to noise sources - lights, amps etc.

IMG2190.jpg


Factory paint - from an '88 Sig

257IMG3466.jpg
Now check out that action! Nice trim work. Those rounded areas sure are fun, AIN'T THEY???!!!
 
I've had my SE Tremonti Custom and my SE EG shielded. It does change the tone. It's your call whether it's better or worse.
 
I was under the impression that it only makes a minuscule difference with shielding in close proximity to the pickups, not so much the control cavity.
 
I forgot I just did this...
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Could be a combination of the paint and the Kinman, but this thing is much more quiet than the original pick up and partially painted pickup cavity.
Do all SE Ones have fingerboard binding? I’m liking that!
 
I shielded the cavity and scratch plate fin my Strat. The copper tape I used in the cavity was rubbish so I removed it after a few years. No difference. I think the bad hum I used to experience was down to dodgy electrics at my previous house.
 
I know this is a contentious issue and I don't want to start a war but just something that is worth considering on this.

The copper tape method always used is overrated no matter how many claims of "coal black silence" it seems to create. It can help with some high frequency sources like fluorescent lighting but it can do absolutely nothing to help with low frequency interference like mains hum. I deliberately said 'help' and not 'solve' as this is all level dependent. If you have only a slight problem it may clean it up to your total satisfaction but if you have anything more severe or even guitar wiring which helps to cause it, (handwired is NOT best for this even though you may love it), it may not make much difference at all. It's another decibel thing.

The killer is that mains hum is a magnetic phenomenon and copper is non-magnetic. It can't contain magnetic fields and bend them around the cavity hence it can have no effect on magnetic hum like transformers. That is why compass binnacles are always copper/brass and the 'Kelvin's/Navigator's balls' on each side for tuning are steel.

This has nothing whatever to do with the "Faraday cage", that applies for electric fields. And the frequencies that can help with are dependent on the thickness too. You can't buck the Physics. It is worth noting that in industry they spend thousands of pounds to try to solve this sort of problem. They have to create multiple nested boxes of different thickness materials and still can't guarantee it will work sufficiently. A wafer thin bit of marketing copper is simply not going to solve it. And you still have to leave your incredibly sensitive pickup poking out of the protection anyway. And that is called a pickup because..... ;)
 
I know this is a contentious issue and I don't want to start a war but just something that is worth considering on this.

The copper tape method always used is overrated no matter how many claims of "coal black silence" it seems to create. It can help with some high frequency sources like fluorescent lighting but it can do absolutely nothing to help with low frequency interference like mains hum. I deliberately said 'help' and not 'solve' as this is all level dependent. If you have only a slight problem it may clean it up to your total satisfaction but if you have anything more severe or even guitar wiring which helps to cause it, (handwired is NOT best for this even though you may love it), it may not make much difference at all. It's another decibel thing.

The killer is that mains hum is a magnetic phenomenon and copper is non-magnetic. It can't contain magnetic fields and bend them around the cavity hence it can have no effect on magnetic hum like transformers. That is why compass binnacles are always copper/brass and the 'Kelvin's/Navigator's balls' on each side for tuning are steel.

This has nothing whatever to do with the "Faraday cage", that applies for electric fields. And the frequencies that can help with are dependent on the thickness too. You can't buck the Physics. It is worth noting that in industry they spend thousands of pounds to try to solve this sort of problem. They have to create multiple nested boxes of different thickness materials and still can't guarantee it will work sufficiently. A wafer thin bit of marketing copper is simply not going to solve it. And you still have to leave your incredibly sensitive pickup poking out of the protection anyway. And that is called a pickup because..... ;)

100% agree. The mains hum from the wiring in my old house made playing a single-coil guitar unbearable. I shielded the heck out my Strat, followed the ground wire best practices, etc., and it didn't do a thing in that house. I pretty much turned off every circuit in my house except the one my amp was plugged into, used an expensive Furman power strip, and it still buzzed like crazy. The only solution in that case was to switch to noiseless pups.

Moral of the story... know where your hum is coming from before you start doing a complete shielding on your guitar's cavities.
 
I had a telecaster, it was just super noisy, I shielded every cavity ran the copper tape to each cavity to connect them all. Grounded the pickups to the cavity grounded the bridge to the cavity.
Confirmed with a continuity tester every point in every cavity was grounded connected shielded it perfectly. I would say it reduced the Hum by about 30%, noticably more quiet. but still annoying, It was a lot of hard work taking the guitar completely apart crafting about 20 individual pieces of tape,~3 hours. I would say most of my guitars are pretty quiet, that was definitely the absolute worst one, telecaster single coils.
And I was almost angry that it didn't get completely quiet. But it definitely helped. eventually I went to single coil humbucker's, which definitely worked. which then of course just seemed to be less dynamic, but got very nice and quiet, oh well. Guitars now sold, but you don't need to solder the tape together the new tape on Amazon is great, the adhesive connects electrically to the adjacent piece of tape. I only had to redo one seam for some lost some conductivity.
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