#1
I have an acoustic guitar with this pickup
http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/acoustic/seymour/sa3xl_woody_xl/
And I really hated taking the pickup in and out every time I played, so the 14' cable would not get in the way when I wasn't plugged in. So I cut the cable short and soldered the pickup directly to a 1/4" jack. I wasn't really thinking when I did this, and now I have a hum until i touch the guitar cable. So how can I ground this acoustic? Will I just put a screw into the body (from the inside) and solder a ground cable directly to that? I am not planning on ever adding a volume knob or a tone knob, if that helps.

Thanks in advance!
#2
You could solder a wire from the pickup to the strap button screw inside. As long as you dont have to replace those, you should be fine.
#3
None of that will work. You have to connect the strings to ground somehow. The only way afaik to do this is wrap a wire around all the strings (wood is not conductive, so you have to ground each string unless your tuners are connected, or you have a metal nut or bridge).

Post a pic of the headstock.
#4
I don't have my guitar with me and I wont have it for the rest of the weekend, but I know that the bridge and nut are not metal. Could I wrap the bridge in some copper or tin foil and solder from the pickup to that metal?

edit- This picture is the same guitar that I have.
Last edited by pdawson at Aug 22, 2009,
#5
Quote by pdawson
I don't have my guitar with me and I wont have it for the rest of the weekend, but I know that the bridge and nut are not metal. Could I wrap the bridge in some copper or tin foil and solder from the pickup to that metal?


that sounds like a bad idea. a real bad idea. i would look at trying to fix the problem that created the hum in the first place, which was shortening the cable from the pickup.

edit: make sure you wired it right.
#6
Quote by noisefarmer
that sounds like a bad idea. a real bad idea. i would look at trying to fix the problem that created the hum in the first place, which was shortening the cable from the pickup.

edit: make sure you wired it right.

I know I wired it right, I've wired multiple guitars and I've dealt with grounding issues before, just not on acoustic guitars. The only issue is that it's not grounded, that's what I need to fix.
#7
Quote by pdawson
I know I wired it right, I've wired multiple guitars and I've dealt with grounding issues before, just not on acoustic guitars. The only issue is that it's not grounded, that's what I need to fix.


ok, but correct me if i'm wrong here... prior to shortening the cable and connecting it to a jack did it hum? obviously you did something to create the hum while you made the new connection and i really dont think doing anything to the guitar is the solution here since those pickups are specifically designed to operate hum-free in whatever guitar they are put in.
#8
Quote by noisefarmer
ok, but correct me if i'm wrong here... prior to shortening the cable and connecting it to a jack did it hum? obviously you did something to create the hum while you made the new connection and i really dont think doing anything to the guitar is the solution here since those pickups are specifically designed to operate hum-free in whatever guitar they are put in.

The pickup had a 14' wire connected to it, so you could just pop the pickup into any guitar and plug it in and go. I cut the wire so I could put a 1/4" jack on the end, so I could leave it into the guitar without having a 14' cable attached to it at all times. So yes, by connecting it to the wood of the guitar without grounding it, I did create the hum.
#9
Quote by pdawson
The pickup had a 14' wire connected to it, so you could just pop the pickup into any guitar and plug it in and go. I cut the wire so I could put a 1/4" jack on the end, so I could leave it into the guitar without having a 14' cable attached to it at all times. So yes, by connecting it to the wood of the guitar without grounding it, I did create the hum.
If you believe that to be true, this is what I want you to do:


1 - remove the nut holding the jack to the guitar.

2 - feed the pickup cable & jack though the sound hole for testing.

3 - plug in the guitar cord and plug it into your amp.

4 - with the jack not touching any wood, does it still hum?


If the answer is no, the fix is simple.
Use a nylon shoulder washer and and nylon flat washer to keep the sleeve of the jack from touching the wood. OR you could use a jack that has a plastic sleeve and is made to be insulated from whatever it is attached to.

If the answer is yes
, post again.
I have some ideas on a method of grounding all your strings.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#10
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
If you believe that to be true, this is what I want you to do:


1 - remove the nut holding the jack to the guitar.

2 - feed the pickup cable & jack though the sound hole for testing.

3 - plug in the guitar cord and plug it into your amp.

4 - with the jack not touching any wood, does it still hum?


If the answer is no, the fix is simple.
Use a nylon shoulder washer and and nylon flat washer to keep the sleeve of the jack from touching the wood. OR you could use a jack that has a plastic sleeve and is made to be insulated from whatever it is attached to.

If the answer is yes
, post again.
I have some ideas on a method of grounding all your strings.


I am currently 250 miles away from the guitar now haha but from previous testing, no, it does not hum when it is not touching the wood. I will do that when I get home Monday and post how it goes. Thanks for your help.
But just curious, what are your grounding ideas?
#11
Quote by pdawson
I am currently 250 miles away from the guitar now haha but from previous testing, no, it does not hum when it is not touching the wood. I will do that when I get home Monday and post how it goes. Thanks for your help.
But just curious, what are your grounding ideas?
On an acoustic, there usually isn't much room between the bridge and the pins. And making electrical contact to the strings via the pins or the place where the strings go through the body would be clumsy.



A long, soft, tightly-wound small diameter spring could be placed between the bridge and the pins.


Obviously the spring needed would be much longer...

Each string slip between the winding of the spring and make contact.
Only a single connection from the spring to the ground of the jack would be necessary to ground all the strings.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#12
I have another idea that is a bit harder to do but will improve the tone of the guitar and make it look stock (you wont have a big ugly spring sitting on the bridge).

All you'd have to do is get one of those metal reinforcement plates and some brass bridge pins from stewmac. The brass will contact the steel plate (that is installed under the bridge) and thus ground all the strings to the plate.

Just drill a hole for a sheet metal screw or self-tapping screw to attach your ground wire to the steel plate itself.

Pretty simple, but you may or may not be able to instal the plate, depending on your tools and experience.
#13
Quote by Invader Jim
I have another idea that is a bit harder to do but will improve the tone of the guitar and make it look stock (you wont have a big ugly spring sitting on the bridge).

All you'd have to do is get one of those metal reinforcement plates and some brass bridge pins from stewmac. The brass will contact the steel plate (that is installed under the bridge) and thus ground all the strings to the plate.

Just drill a hole for a sheet metal screw or self-tapping screw to attach your ground wire to the steel plate itself.

Pretty simple, but you may or may not be able to instal the plate, depending on your tools and experience.

Hmmmm, I think this would work good. Or I could run a wire through all the ends of the strings, and ground that there. Thanks for the advice guys.
#14
The reason it'd be better to use on ground instead of 6 is those extra wires can pick up noise and ****. Plus it's just a hassle to figure out how to attach 6 wires to the strings themselves. I'd go with SYK's or my idea tbh.
#15
Quote by Invader Jim
The reason it'd be better to use on ground instead of 6 is those extra wires can pick up noise and ****. Plus it's just a hassle to figure out how to attach 6 wires to the strings themselves. I'd go with SYK's or my idea tbh.
I prefer your idea in principle. Some tricky details to work out though.
Unless the holes in the steel plate are a bit smaller than the tapered holes in the bridge assembly, the brass bridge pins won't good contact. This would be rather important to improve contact of the strings to the steel plate. Not sure that the ball ends would always make good contact on their own, but maybe.

A brass saddle might be made to work too. idk.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#16
The problem with a brass saddle is you have to figure out how the get a wire connected to it and have it out of sight.

TBH I like my idea better because it retains the stock apperance. The ground to my peavey's bridge post came loose and now i have to have a short wire between the post and the pot shaft. it drives me nuts.
#17
I'll try all of these ideas. Appearance is the last thing that I'm concerned about.