Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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A Medieval Coat of Arms for the Surfcaster, or Let's Shield That Puppy!

Like all users of single-coil pickups, I have heard, and live with, the dreaded single-coil hum. Turn one way, it goes away. Turn another, there she is. But if you want the clarity, sparkle, chime, etc., that only single-coils can deliver, it's something that is a fact of life.

Or is it? I've read a lot about shielding, and
I wanted to try proper shielding on this one, including a common star ground, on this one since I was starting from the ground up. Shielding and proper wiring should decrease the hum.

Here's the first appearance of the Surfcaster body. Got it from the semi-legendary Stratosphere on ebay. Right about 4 lbs. - not too heavy. You can see the origin of the name - this one's Surf Green, which was a Dupont color Chevrolet used in 1956, then Fender picked it up for its Custom Color geetars. Way way cool imho. Next time I'll start with a bare body, but having this one already finished speeds things up.

Putting the shielding in the pickup cavity is pretty straightforward. There are a lot of sites on the web with info - look em up. You can use paint or copper tape; I chose tape. If you are REALLY cheep, you could use aluminum foil and rubber cement to attach it - just the thought of that makes me shudder.

So, ve have ze tape and ve go to town, yes?

Basically you peel it off and stick it in der pick-em-up cavities and kontrol kavities, ja? Ja. After a while, this is what it looks like. You can trim with a hobby (read X-Acto) knife. Some folks suggest soldering the seams, but I had continuity all over so I figured the heck vith zat, choo know?

And after about half an hour, you wind up with something like this below when the whole enchilada is shielded. You'll need to make sure that there is some tape on the top to contact the underside of the pickguard. You can use tape of foil on the backside of the pickguard - I have an aluminum shield I got from Callaham Guitars I'm going to use. The main point here is the pickups and controls should be within a "cave" of shielding. Just shielding the back of the guard or the cavities in the body won't do it.

We're are moving now...starting to look like a geetar!


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