#1
The Old Jap strat has some wiring issues. With enough gain on the amp you can play tunes with the pickup selector, and only two of it's positions sound any good with any gain, otherwise you get a sound rather like shorting out a guitar lead.

Anyway, I'm playing it through the MG15 combo (killer tone man ... not), and I notice that a lot of the pickup noise cuts out when I put my hand on the tremelo bar. I pointed this out to Miles and he's like "Yeah, it does that if you touch the strings too, or the bridge, or anything attached to a string"

So that got me thinking. I can't play with my hand on the tremelo the whole time, I wonder what happens if I attach a ground wire to the bridge. So I grabbed a good bit of 10A automotive cable, wrapped the copper around a tuner, and held the other end. Not bad. Then I tried sticking the end of it in my mouth. Halelujiah, no more pickup noise, trouble is I'm now playing guitar with a wire in my mouth.

Can someone actually explain the actual electrical principles at work here, and tell me if there's a better solution than having to run a ground wire from the bridge.

This doesn't do anything about the switching though, I've still only got 2 of five pickup setttings working well on Overdrive.
Quote by The devil at the crossroads
E|-------------------------------------------1--
B|-----------------------------------1--4--
G|-------------------------1-3-4--
D|------------------1-3----
A|--------1-2-3----
E|-1-4-----

Just move it around the fretboard
#2
It's all grounding, electric current needs to get to the ground somehow, if it's got a perfect ground (such as a human) it'll all flow well with very little resistance and no noise. But usually guitars electronics are grounded to the bridge, which in turn goes through you when you touch the strings/trem etc. The problem is that going through the bridge creates a resistance, which causes noise. It's bloody hard to get a guitar that's dead silent, just do the best with what you've got.

By the way, I'm no electrician, so if what I said there is totally wrong (and it might well be) feel free to call me on it.
#4
You say whammy bar, and mention a 5 way switch in there...so...I'll assume it's a Strat type of guitar.
Shielding and properly wiring the electronics in there will help out the hum A LOT.
http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/shielding/shield3.php
Check that out. It's reasonably easy to do.

Running a ground wire from the bottom of the tremolo claw is the best solution, but there are other ones...Shielding still helps alot, too. But check this out:
http://singlecoil.com/shop.html
Go down to Hum Cancelling strip.
Basically it's just a wire clipped onto the bridge, and a ring put on your finger. It's a good solution, as well, if you don't mind wearing a ring.


Also, 2 our of 5 positions are still good cause they cancel the hum in the 2 and 4 positions, cause you're use two pickups at once, and the middle is RWRP (Reverse Wound, Reverse Polarity)
Last edited by forsaknazrael at Jan 17, 2007,
#5
Quote by forsaknazrael

Also, 2 our of 5 positions are still good cause they cancel the hum in the 2 and 4 positions, cause you're use two pickups at once, and the middle is RWRP (Reverse Wound, Reverse Polarity)


If it is indeed an "old jap strat" it will probably not have a RWRP middle pickup.
#7
like said, sometimes a ground wire becomes loose or falls off it's connection in a guitar.

the easiest spots to check; make sure theres a wire connected to to the bar in the trem cavity. (back of guitar)
and check that the input / output jack wires are both secure.

if not, u would need to open the guitar and start looking.

my tele bridge wire fell off. and i dont feel like taking the bridge off again to solder it back on, so for now i just ran a wire from the bridge to me. i tuck the other end in my pants. and no hum.

Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


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#8
Quote by forsaknazrael
Well, he said that 2 of the five positions still are good, meaning they don't have a lot of hum on them....So I would assume those are hum cancelling positons for him. So there would be a RWRP middle pickup.

He said it, I was just explaining it a bit.


Touche.

The ground wire to the trem claw is most probably loose, so reattaching that would solve the problem. Properly shielding the guitar while you're at it helps too.
#9
hmmm, I now understand a lot more about shielding, thanks for posting that. That explains why the only strat I've ever picked up that didn't buzz and hum was the one with the chrome pickguard on it.
Quote by The devil at the crossroads
E|-------------------------------------------1--
B|-----------------------------------1--4--
G|-------------------------1-3-4--
D|------------------1-3----
A|--------1-2-3----
E|-1-4-----

Just move it around the fretboard
#10
Quote by jj1565
my tele bridge wire fell off. and i dont feel like taking the bridge off again to solder it back on, so for now i just ran a wire from the bridge to me. i tuck the other end in my pants. and no hum.


Exactly what I was talkin about.
This could be a good solution to your problem, threadstarter.
In the meantime, I've got to figure how to get jenny to marry me...[sigh]
#11
Quote by Cosimo_Zaretti
hmmm, I now understand a lot more about shielding, thanks for posting that. That explains why the only strat I've ever picked up that didn't buzz and hum was the one with the chrome pickguard on it.


Because it was shielded properly?
#12
Well a slab of metal across the front of the guitar has to help right?
Quote by The devil at the crossroads
E|-------------------------------------------1--
B|-----------------------------------1--4--
G|-------------------------1-3-4--
D|------------------1-3----
A|--------1-2-3----
E|-1-4-----

Just move it around the fretboard
#15
Quote by jj1565
like said, sometimes a ground wire becomes loose or falls off it's connection in a guitar.

the easiest spots to check; make sure theres a wire connected to to the bar in the trem cavity. (back of guitar)
and check that the input / output jack wires are both secure.

if not, u would need to open the guitar and start looking.

my tele bridge wire fell off. and i dont feel like taking the bridge off again to solder it back on, so for now i just ran a wire from the bridge to me. i tuck the other end in my pants. and no hum.


Well I am by no means a guitar expert, but that doesn't look like "an old jap strat". Looks to me like it's a tele, and if you think that a slab of metal across the bridge would help, you could try buying an ashtry bridge cover from Musician's Friend for like 8 bucks.
#16
Quote by drevil814
Well I am by no means a guitar expert, but that doesn't look like "an old jap strat". Looks to me like it's a tele, .



yeah, that's my tele. i was telling the TS what i do wt my guitar. the same technique would work with a strat. but is usually not necessary because the ground wire to the bridge is easily accessed as compared to a tele.

i think u just read something wrong.

Quote by forsaknazrael

In the meantime, I've got to figure how to get jenny to marry me...[sigh]


HAHA, just read this. ur just looking for free set ups.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

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Last edited by jj1565 at Jan 17, 2007,
#17
Quote by jj1565
yeah, that's my tele. i was telling the TS what i do wt my guitar. the same technique would work with a strat. but is usually not necessary because the ground wire to the bridge is easily accessed as compared to a tele.

i think u just read something wrong.

Eh, that's highly likely, and since it is an actual old jap strat, the ashtray bridge cover is no longer an option.
#19
Quote by jj1565
like said, sometimes a ground wire becomes loose or falls off it's connection in a guitar.

the easiest spots to check; make sure theres a wire connected to to the bar in the trem cavity. (back of guitar)
and check that the input / output jack wires are both secure.

if not, u would need to open the guitar and start looking.

my tele bridge wire fell off. and i dont feel like taking the bridge off again to solder it back on, so for now i just ran a wire from the bridge to me. i tuck the other end in my pants. and no hum.



Why is every girls solution for shutting something up shoving it in thier pants? lol


But seriously, shielding your guitar and potting your pickups go a long way.
#21
Quote by ~G{}{}BER~
or you could get a new guitar and burn the jap strat lol


You resurected my month-old thread just to tell me to go and burn my restoration project? Get back on the big yellow bus you've obviously fallen off.

For those that originally responded, I've figured out a bit more about this guitar. The Serial number is for Fender Japan 1985-86. At some point in it's history it's had pickups changed, as the middle pickup seems to be opp-polarity and doesn't match the other two. I don't think it's the original pickguard either, some of the screw holes don't line up. I think someone may have swapped the controls and pickups off another strat as a loaded pickguard. My brother picked it up at a pawn shop about a year ago for not much money.

As suggested, I checked the ground on the tremelo, and it seems firmly soldered. I'll investigate the rest of the grounding and do some shielding next string change. It's also due for a re-fret, new nut and graphite saddles (I've cleaned up the saddles so they don't eat strings, but a couple of the screws are rusted solid and I can't adjust the action).

I'm sort of my brother's live-in guitar tech (and manager, roadie, driver, mechanic) at the moment, since I'm the one who likes fixing things.

Here's a couple of shots of my brother playing with this beat up beast.



Quote by The devil at the crossroads
E|-------------------------------------------1--
B|-----------------------------------1--4--
G|-------------------------1-3-4--
D|------------------1-3----
A|--------1-2-3----
E|-1-4-----

Just move it around the fretboard
#24
It isnt just about running an earth & all is well, the problem usually how the earth is run, i.e. called earth loops. (as well as shielding) , Strats have a solid wire through the body from the trem body to the earthing points on the back of the pots & jack.
As for shielding i used some aliminum foil & glued it to the back (underside) of my pick guard then re install the pots & selector switch. This stopped an annoying hum that would only happen when you put your fingers on the pickguard. You can buy self adhesive anti static stuff for this exact purpose, i just figured aliminum foil is heaps cheaper. & it works fine.

Also the human body is anything BUT a good conductor. Most humans range from 20,000 ohms to 60,000 ohms. It will conduct electricity. but if u are getting less hum when touching the strings, then try the solid earth as direct as possable, not multi strand wire (like auto wire is multi strand) along with the aliminum shielding.
It worked for me. On an Aston (strat) & a Squier (strat) & my Mex (strat)
The quality of your amp can have a bearing on how much hum you get as well.
hope it helps
Richard

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#25
Quote by Cosimo_Zaretti
Sounds better if I ground the bridge to my tongue


but the real question is: does it taste better?
Meadows
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I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#26
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
but the real question is: does it taste better?


LOL cool Put an active pup in it & it might give you a bit of a tingle from the 9v battery lol
Richard

Veni Vidi Vici

Head Drug Tester of Australians FTWclub
PM the_random_hero for entry

Prime Minister of the UG archtop acoustic players club,
PM Keef_is_King
to join!
#27
Quote by jj1565
like said, sometimes a ground wire becomes loose or falls off it's connection in a guitar.

the easiest spots to check; make sure theres a wire connected to to the bar in the trem cavity. (back of guitar)
and check that the input / output jack wires are both secure.

if not, u would need to open the guitar and start looking.

my tele bridge wire fell off. and i dont feel like taking the bridge off again to solder it back on, so for now i just ran a wire from the bridge to me. i tuck the other end in my pants. and no hum.



I'd like to point out a few things here

1: Jenny rocks the telecaster.
2: Jenny has electricity in her pants.
3: May not be a viable option for men :P
#28
Quote by StaggHound

2: Jenny has electricity in her pants.



yes. yes i do! what a great old thread.

i like those pics too TS. nice guitar.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A/GB&C WTLT Lists 2011
#29
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
but the real question is: does it taste better?


If you're going to eat a MIJ strat, resist the temptation to drown it in chilli, it will blow away the subtle flavours infused by Fender Japan. Instead, a little lemon juice, garlic with just a little chopped fresh chilli and a hint of ginger will taste devine. Enjoy with a good South Australian white.

I've started grounding the bridge to the pickup selector instead. When I have more time I'll get it wired and shielded properly.
Quote by The devil at the crossroads
E|-------------------------------------------1--
B|-----------------------------------1--4--
G|-------------------------1-3-4--
D|------------------1-3----
A|--------1-2-3----
E|-1-4-----

Just move it around the fretboard