If the bridge is grounded to the jack, when you touch the strings, the voltage that is picked up by the body is shunted away to local guitar ground and the interference is much reduced. What I’m trying to do is to get a sound, ‘metal-to-metal’ connection for the bushing, stud, tailpiece and strings. It's not that scary. Also, if the pup cavity it shielded (copper or aluminum foil/tape/paint) that needs to be connected to the ground as well. Download Truss Rods Made Easy for free. Because each of the strings touches the bridge or tailpiece, each one gets grounded. That means there’s a clear path with no resistance from strings to ground. Plugging in reveals a much quieter guitar. Have to run a new ground wire to that stud. I was all set to treat myself to a nice cup of tea. Perfect continuity between the output jack’s ground and the pot with the bridge ground wire. Lastly, and most fiddly, I scraped a little coating off the holes where the string ball-ends contact the tailpiece. The pot should be grounded to the jack but you still need to ground the strings one way or the other. You are signing up for my email newsletter so the understanding that you'll receive emails is pretty explicit. There was a nasty hum that didn’t quieten down when I touched the strings. I pulled out my multi meter again and, sure enough there was no ‘continuity’ between the strings and ground (that ‘I’ on the meter indicates there is—for all intents and purposes—Infinite resistance). When you touch the strings (which you would normally do when you’re playing), you ground yourself through the guitar’s wiring and so you cease being a big meat-antenna, picking up interference, which is then picked up by your pickups. Then the trail went dead. From outside, I could just probe the bushing and that was fine too. you can "run the wire to the jack"- but the origin of the wire has to be the bridge, you have to ground that or you will have a horribly noisy guitar N Senior Member I want to see some shiny metal on the threads of the stud and the internal ‘post’ that holds the tailpiece. A Strat is a bit more complicated but here's how not to do it. Removing the stud bushing from the body isn't too much hassle (but be careful if you ever have to do this yourself). If your bridge pickup’s screws thread into the steel plate like ours do, then that should be enough to ground out your strings, since the steel plate connects to ground. Gibson guitars are more resilient to this situation because of the more metalized pick up. The quick test: Touching the metal of the jack on the (plugged in) cable quietened things. Splendid. What’s going on? The possibility of a serious electrical shock exists if the bridge ground is faulty and the player touches a microphone or piece of gear attached to a different signal … Gerry Hayes. This is generally a good indicator that there’s grounding problem. It might take a few minutes to come through so, don't worry if it's not there immediately. Download Truss Rods Made Easy for free. If you use your guitar in an environment that has a lot of electromagnetic interference, it might be worth the effort to switch to shielded wires. Yes. I have a feeling that this coating is preventing a good ‘connection’ between the metal parts. In practice, run a dedicated bridge ground. In theory, the bridge pickup (with metal baseplate and metal screws mounting it to the bridge plate) should do the job. "oops i meant solder to the backplate of the bridge pickup, solder isn't really need on the bridge, it will be plenty secure sandwhiched between the body" Regardless of whether you solder or sandwich it, if you don't dremel/file the finish off, you probably won't get a proper ground, that's been my experience with black/gold/chrome bridge parts This means that somewhere inside the guitar, we’ve got a disconnected ground wire—if everything were working properly, there would be a signal path from the strings to the ground of the output jack. In an electric guitar or bass, it's usually necessary to 'ground' the strings. Check out these other great articles…, Haze Guitars, 54 Rossberry Avenue, Lucan, Ireland, Neck Resets - Beginning to remove the neck, Free Social Distancing for Musicians Sign, Repairing a damaged acoustic guitar bridge plate, Straightening a bowed neck: Correction and Reassembly, Remove Blue Pencil Lines in Affinity Photo, Straightening a bowed neck: Truss Rod Operation, Straightening a bowed neck (with some complications). A gentle tug on this gave no resistance, however, and the wire pulled right out. Guitar Wiring. ;-), An effective, although not the most aesthetically pleasing way, to ground a Strat. It's gotta go. It might take a few minutes to come through so, don't worry if it's not there immediately. Usually that ground point will be the back of a pot or the sleeve of the output jack. Suspicions growing. Working in the parts that won’t show, I remove some of the powder coating. For something a little more discreet, running a wire into the tremolo cavity and soldering it to the trem-spring will also work. Check on the conductivity/resistance article for more on this. And the guitar is picking some of it up from you. You are signing up for my email newsletter so the understanding that you'll receive emails is pretty explicit. String things up again and check with the meter… 0.00Ω. Don't miss By this, I mean that all the strings should have a path to ground — a wire that connects them to a ground point inside the instrument. A quick primer/reminder: The ground wires in a guitar help to ‘shield’ it from unwanted interference from the environment. We need to run a wire from one of the common ground points inside the guitar to the metal bridge or tailpiece. You’re standing there, soaking up electro-magnetic interference without even knowing it. No resistance means a perfect path to ground from the strings. There’s a common misconception that by touching the strings you are grounding the guitar. Bridge grounding. A quick check with my continuity tester showed that all was well—good connection between the bushing and ground—so I strung up and plugged in and…. Yay. Check your inbox for an email for me—you'll need to confirm your subscription there. We send out a weekly newsletter, full of how-to info, product features and more. Because this guitar quietened when I touched the output jack but not the strings, I knew that the path to ground had been interrupted somewhere. I use sandpaper or just scrape if it’s easier. This particular guitar has a black powder-coating finish on the metal hardware. Soldering a wire to the tremolo claw is a more 'traditional' way to ground a Strat's strings, This article written by Gerry Hayes and first published at hazeguitars.com, Tagged: wiring, electronics, ground, strat, tremolo, hum. However, in order to comply with privacy regulations, I also need you to provide consent to store and process the information you've entered. When you touch the strings (or pretty much any exposed metal part on your guitar), it’s you that gets grounded. When it's properly grounded, you can touch the strings of your guitar and you'll usually hear the background hiss reduce. It's the right thing to do. Problem found. Remove the strings again. I'd go for that. Furthermore, double-check to make sure there are no stray ground wires wedged under the Saddle Plate. Thanks a lot. Inside the guitar, there’s usually a wire from the bridge or tailpiece that runs to ground. You can read more in my, Haze Guitars, 54 Rossberry Avenue, Lucan, Ireland. No 'path' between the strings and the ground point. You probably mean the connection to the bridge, which is soldered to the trem sping claw in the rear cavity. Prewired Customizable Telecaster Control Plate By this, I mean that all the strings should have a path to ground — a wire that connects them to a ground point inside the instrument. Well, it's certainly effective. Check your inbox for an email for me—you'll need to confirm your subscription there. Some people use a separate ground wire anyway. The only time you can get away with not running a ground wire to the bridge is using a pickup with a grounded base plate that mounts directly to the bridge. It's not that scary. Jury-rigging like this can certainly get you out of a hole if its needed. A quick look inside revealed what seemed to be the problem (more in a minute). Whenever you're mixing sound, whether in a studio or a live environment, grounding the mixer is among the most fundamental and easy things you must do. 7 February 2017. Ever hear someone say: "I'll do anything else with my guitar but I won't touch the truss rod."? Tagged: electronics, ground, continuity, multimeter, resistance, hum, buzz, noise, powder coating, hardware, guitar, bridge. However, in order to comply with privacy regulations, I also need you to provide consent to store and process the information you've entered. Heck, communism works in theory. Inside the guitar, there’s usually a wire from the bridge or tailpiece that runs to ground. Hence, you need not ground the bridge, if it is going to be an inconvenience. A hand-drawn, illustrated guide to setting up your own Strat.
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