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Telecaster Shielding, Part One

I did a few small projects recently and need to get them up and posted.  I have a couple of fairly involved ones coming up and I wanted to get these out of the way.  So, here we go.

I believe somewhere back in the mists of time, or the early days of this blog, I wrote about this particular Telecaster I have.  It's pretty much a partscaster.  The body is a candy apple red MIM, and the neck is from a MIJ '62 reissue.  Nothing else on it is stock - the pearl pickguard is from Warmoth, the bridge and saddles are from Glendale, the pickups are Don Mares, and the control knobs are from Callaham.

Lately I've noticed a popping noise when I touch the pickguard (when it's plugged in, that is).  I figured it's static electricity, so I wanted to shield the electronics, and while I was at it I figured I'd add a phase switch.

Took the pickguard off and put aluminum foil on the back of it.  I used a light coat of 3M spray adhesive.  Easy to do and effective.

Then I used copper shielding tape to line the neck pickup cavity and the neck pickup wiring rout.

You can see where I have some excess so it all gets grounded together.  That overlap also ensures the pickguard shield will touch the cavity shielding as well.

Doing this backward today for some reason.  I should have put this picture first.

Here's the unshieded cavities, and most importantly, the Don Mare S-Telly neck pickup.  Don winds this like a Strat pickup - 43 gauge wire I believe.  It sounds a LOT like a Strat.  And darned if it doesn't look like a Strat pickup from underneath.

All the shielding done - see the control cavity and the bridge pickup.  Again I left a 'tab' of tape to contact the bridge itself.

You can see the neck pickup back in place.  I went crazy and decided to wrap some tape over the pickup leads.  I figured the run though the wiring holes wasn't shielded, so I'd put the shielding right on the wiring.

The red arrow shows where I soldered the wires' shield to the control cavity shield.  I did this on the pickup end as well.

Part of the idea with the shielding is to make the shield on the guitar like a chassis in an amp - it's all one piece electronically and all connected together and will serve as a ground.  I'll have just one ground point, but the whole 'chassis' is at the same ground potential.

Or something like that.

The bridge pickup is a Don Mare 2-speed Stingray.  It's a hotter Tele pickup with a coil tap.  I have it wired through a push-pull switch on the tone control.  The tap is about 6.8K and the full pickup is about 7.8K.  Not super hot, but you get a hotter midrange yet still have that Tele twang and clarity.

Don makes a 3 tap version of this pickup also.  I'm planning an Esquire build using the pickup selector switch to choose each of the taps.


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