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Wiring upgrade problem.

posted Oct 09, 2014 13:16:26 by RonKelly
Hi all. As per some recommendations on another thread I've upgrade pickups, tone/volume pots and installed a 4 way selector to my Tele. I've wired everything using the attached image. I'm 100% correct with my wiring but I have an earth problem as in, noise when I'm not touching the guitar and no noise when I touch metal parts. The problem stops when I turn the tone to off.
The diagram does not show an earth going from anywhere to the tone pot so I soldered an extra earth from the volume pot to the tone pot but the problem still exists.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.

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14 replies
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MichaelWamback said Oct 09, 2014 14:43:54
Just happen to have mine out of the guitar at the moment:



As you can see, I wired the ground to the tone pot from the jack, and then a jumper to the volume pot.

I'm assuming you modified the neck pickup by attaching the dedicated ground wire to the cover?

Your ground circuit is a common ground, so as long as everything connects. You might want to test everything with a multi meter, just to make sure you don't have a cold solder.

I also found that on this guitar, I wasn't getting a good ground to the switch - so I soldered a jumper wire from the volume pot to the side of the switch. I think it's the black they used on the plate that wasn't conductive enough. You could also cover the underside of the plate with some copper foil if you aren't getting a good ground to the switch. But testing with a meter is the only way to know for sure.
[Last edited Oct 09, 2014 15:07:24]
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RonKelly said Oct 09, 2014 14:55:17
There is already a dedicated ground from the case of the neck pickup. I'll have a go at a direct ground from the jack to the tone pot and then a jumper to the volume pot.

I don't have a multi meter but I'll try this first and then get a multi meter.

Thanks.
[Last edited Oct 09, 2014 15:08:42]
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MichaelWamback said Oct 09, 2014 15:09:01
Sorry - picture there now.

Almost mandatory to have a meter when doing guitar wiring. Just so difficult to trouble shoot things without one. You don't need an expensive meter - all of them can check continuity. You should be able to get one for no more than $20 or so.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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MichaelWamback said Oct 09, 2014 15:10:13
The Tele plate should technically ground everything - but I like to install a jumper just to make sure. No need to if everything beeps when you check continuity with the meter though.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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RonKelly said Oct 09, 2014 15:15:41
I'll get myself one then, cheers again.
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drew said Oct 09, 2014 17:46:32
I have an earth problem as in, noise when I'm not touching the guitar and no noise when I touch metal parts. The problem stops when I turn the tone to off.


Sounds pretty normal for a guitar with single coil pickups.
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RonKelly said Oct 09, 2014 21:16:30
Surely if everything metal is earthed from the jack plug then there shouldn't be this problem? I've had to give up after starting over three times today!

I have a spare pot so I think I'll try that tomorrow.
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JamesZhejiang said Oct 10, 2014 05:46:25
Hi Ron,

IIRC you have to physically cut the wire on the bridge pickup which goes from the pickup to the metal case. You then solder a wire from where that wire used to be and take it to the back of a pot. Then you take what was the old ground wire, and move that from the pot to the switch. The hot wire also has to run from the switch. That way you will have 3 wires coming from the neck pickup.

Apologies if you already did this, it wasn't clear from your message above.
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[Last edited Oct 24, 2014 14:30:59]
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James
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MichaelWamback said Oct 10, 2014 06:32:12
James is correct - you have to disconnect the jumper that goes from the ground wire to the bridge cover. You can do this by cutting it, or by simply unsoldering it from the cover and bending it back out of the way. You then solder a dedicated ground wire from the tab of the bridge cover to the back of the volume pot. This means that your cover is permanently grounded.

Single coil guitars can be a bit noisy by nature. You can sometimes reduce that a bit by shielding the guitar properly. But you will always get some electrical hum in a single coil guitar - unless you are using noiseless pickups or have wired it with a dummy coil to cancel the hum.

I think the first step is to procure a meter so you can properly see what is happening with your ground. If everything is grounded properly, then any hum you get should be the natural hum from the pickups.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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MichaelWamback said Oct 12, 2014 18:10:17
Checking in to see how you are making out with your noise issue?

I happen to notice that GFS is now making noiseless pickups for Strats and Teles. The Tele set comes in 3 different windings, and are +/- $60 plus shipping for the pair. Unbelievably good deal for noiseless pups. Really tempted to order a set for my own Tele and try them out.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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HtesJoseph said Oct 12, 2014 20:06:16
I don't know I have Usa PBass deluxe with the jazz pick up in the bridge position is a noiseless pick up and there's still a little bit of noise in there it seems when I'll ever on playing in a place with that kind of lighting that admits the electro magnetic what have you ?,but some splaces that I play it's dead quiet I do not know much about how D's noiseless pickups are wound or whatever but there are mixed reviews out there I heard something about a dummy coil?if anybody does end up ordering that noiseless pick up I would love to hear your review as I've been thinking about changing out both pick ups in my PBass deluxe,not that there are necessarily bad, it's just I'm looking for something different perhaps I have been playing with the same pick ups for a very very long time, well two years anyways ha ha
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MichaelWamback said Oct 13, 2014 15:03:53
If you ask any pro guitar player, they will tell you that playing anywhere with fluorescent lighting is horrible. And some building with older wiring is also a problem. You can help it a bit with good shielding and a good power conditioner to plug into, but still only so much you can do sometimes.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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RonKelly said Oct 14, 2014 21:49:40
Sorry for not getting back to you but I haven't looked at it since. I've been preparing for a gig tomorrow night (acoustic) and setting my loop pedal up so I've been busy. I really think the way forward is to post some photos and get some advice from there. I'll strip her down tomorrow night and post a few pics.

I know that there will be a bit of noise but this is totally different.

I have a bass with the same problem but the good thing about the bass is I never take my hands off it when I'm playing so it's never an issue.

Thanks again everyone for their advice. Hopefully I'll get this sorted soon.
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RonKelly said Oct 21, 2014 15:30:47
Hi guys, eventually getting round to this. I'm unsure about James instructions, cutting wires. Can I just be honest and say I'm out of my depth. One of the difficulties I have is that I don't know which wire is which. Despite internet hunts!

Here are my 2 pickups.

One the Leosounds bridge pickup am I correct in saying that live and black earth?

On the Fender N3 I think I'm correct in saying green is earth (as it goes to the cover), red is live but what about the black wire.

Thanks in advance.

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