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Static problem on pickguard


LPCustom

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Has anyone encountered a problem with noise when moving your fingers over the pickguard on a guitar before? This Oscar Schmidt makes crackling noises when I brush my fingers over the pickguard. It doesn't do it anywhere else on the guitar. It makes a slight popping noise when touch the screw that mounts the guard to the bracket, too.

 

I think this is caused by static electricity and I guess grounding it would stop that, but I've never seen that or heard of that before. On the strings or bridge, yes. But not on the pickguard. It's annoying.

 

I could also take the pickguard off but I prefer to have it on. The pickups are uncovered humbuckers. Pickup covers might also help but I don't want to change the sound.

Born on the Bayou

 

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A friend of mine has this problem. Its not the guitar, its him. We tested it out with several players and guitars in the same room, trying to account for environmental variables such as where he was sitting. His fingers made an electronic scratch through the pickups when he rubbed the pickguard, no one else did.
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Yeah take off the plastic is one tbig issue, another though, is if you take the plastic off fast it may leave a slight charge. I dont think you need to ground it, but you may take it off and try to get rid of any charge, then replace it. How? I have no clue.
hot girls, fast cars, and even louder guitars
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But I have a lot of electric guitars and this is the _only_ one that does that. It's not me. :freak: I got my son to try it and it does it with him, too.

 

I thought it might be low humidity but, since it's been raining all day and I have the back door open, it's about 85% humidity in here right now and it did it just a few minutes ago. (The guitar polish thing didn't work, Zan).

 

I'm wondering if it's the type of material this pickguard is made from. It _looks_ like the other black pickguards I have. But it might not be. The type of plastic it's made from may be prone to static electricity. I'm thinking of trying my ES-335 pickguard on it (it looks about the right size) to see if that stops it.

Born on the Bayou

 

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I have that problem on 2 strats - it's probably me - I've had problems with static all my life. When I was a teenager, watches simply stopped when I put them on my wrist. I get HUGE jolts off cars, which is why I always close a car door by pushing on the window glass. Certain shoes make it worse.

 

I read somewhere that rubbing the scratchplate with one of those antistatic/conditioner cloths/sheets you put in the tumble drier seems to help, but I haven't got round to trying it yet.

 

Geoff.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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A quick fix in a pinch is to put a little water in a glass and add a good tablespoon of hand dish washing liquid. NOT automatic dish washing detergent. Take a sponge or folded up paper towel and wipe the solution over your pick guard. Let it dry, do not wipe it off. Dish washing liquid works because of it contains ionic surfactants. What this does is leaves a soap film on the surface making it conductive so free electrons can bleed off.

 

If you happen to use Bounce Fabric Softener those little dryer sheets things, wiping one of those across a surface will do the same thing.

 

A somewhat less messy solution (no pun intended) is Anti Static Spray or Wipes. These products are available at electronic, computer, and office stores. But like everything else they work by leaving a film on the surface.

 

If treatments to your pick guard dont last very long, some may some may not, Id find a replacement. Like you really need someone to tell you that!

 

When it comes to people, two things most often overlooked are clothes and shoes. If one is wearing synthetic clothes they are in fact a static generator, polyester is real bad. Wearing shoes with rubber soles that are not conductive is another bad one and you cant tell by looking if the rubber is conductive or not.

When i get big i'm gonn'a get an electric guitar...

When i get real big...

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Originally posted by Geoff Byrne:

I read somewhere that rubbing the scratchplate with one of those antistatic/conditioner cloths/sheets you put in the tumble drier seems to help, but I haven't got round to trying it yet.

 

Geoff.

this method works. keep a sheet or two in your bag/case and give it a little rub before your show/rehearsal :thu:
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Steal a "dryer" sheet from your wife's laundry room...you know, the anti-static, softener sheets...usually foam or paper...wipe on the pickguard and keep it in your guitar case. Unless its too perfumey...then go to the dollar store and buy a whole box of the "unscented" variety...give most of them to your better half and keep a couple for yourself.

 

Works great.

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I tried the dryer sheet trick and it works for a while (about an hour) then it comes back.

 

I tried my ES-335 pickguard on this guitar (it doesn't quite fit but it's close) and there's no crackle on that.

 

I also tried running a small (28 gauge) wire from the pickguard bracket over to the output jack ground. That stops it.

 

I guess I could run a black wire through the inside from the pickguard screw on the bracket to the ground on the output jack. It wouldn't be easily visible from the outside and the problem would go away permanently.

Born on the Bayou

 

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Originally posted by Geoff Byrne:

I have that problem on 2 strats - it's probably me - I've had problems with static all my life.

Geoff, you shouldn't be having problems on a Strat pickguard. There should be a shield under the pickguard that effectively grounds the whole thing. It should prevent any possibility of a static buildup.

 

If you look under your pickguard and there isn't a shield under there, you can get one and put it under there. Or you can get some 3M spray glue and glue some aluminium foil on the bottom of it (you'll need to remove the switch, pots and pickups first). I did that to a Frankenstrat of a friend of mine but that was just as a noise shield. Fender pickguards should already have one.

Born on the Bayou

 

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Both my pickguards have the shield, LP, but my problem is, my 3rd & 4th fingers brush up and down the pickguard as I play rhythm, I've tried to change this, but I've been playing like this for 45 years. This builds up the static, I think, faster than the connection can drain it away. I'm going to give the anti-static sheet a go.

 

Also, I've decided to part with the 12 string strat, as I don't use it.

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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hi guys i build my own guitar an im gettin a lot of static come though when i use it on my amp any ideas where its all comin from there is that foil tape stuff and the soild joins on the jack are good i know the volume knob is a bit sh*t it was worse but then i took of the wire going to the tremal but its still static.... :( need help please...
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Ideally, you need to have the *inside* of the cavity lined with foil, with an *overlap* up over a screwhole where the foil is on the underside of the pickguard. Add to this, that both the wire from the bridge/tremelo and the ground should be (somehow) connected to this shield. Theoretically this creates a Faraday cage surrounding the electrics, and serves to both screen them from interference and drain the static.

 

You can read about LOTS of this kind of stuff here.

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Geoff

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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You can get the copper foil to line your guitar's electronics cavities at places like Guitar Electronics . You can get it other places but I've had good luck with this company. They even called me when a part I ordered was back-ordered.

 

You can use aluminum (aluminium to those in the UK) foil as a shield but copper works better. What you are trying to do is block RF signals. And the better the conductor, the better the shield. Gold foil would be the best but that's pretty fragile stuff and rather pricey... :eek:

 

EDIT: Just read some more of the guitarnuts site. Great information there. In fact the PDF that lists places to get the stuff for shielding clued me in a heavy copper pickguard shield. I just ordered three of those. (one each for my American Strats and one for my Squier Strat).

Born on the Bayou

 

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Originally posted by Oakwood Kustoms - bob:

hi guys i build my own guitar an im gettin a lot of static come though when i use it on my amp any ideas where its all comin from there is that foil tape stuff and the soild joins on the jack are good i know the volume knob is a bit sh*t it was worse but then i took of the wire going to the tremal but its still static.... :( need help please...

There are external things to consider. Your amp may just be picking up noise from the power lines. Also, if you are playing in a room with flourescent lights, you can have really bad hum induced by the lights. Even incandescent lights on dimmers can induce hum.

 

As someone else here posted, you might try moving your amp to another outlet. Or, if there's anything else plugged into the same outlet as the amp, unplug that and see if the noise goes away.

 

If you find that the noise is coming from the power lines, you can put a line conditioner inline with your amp that should clear that up. They're not cheap, but they work. I have a couple that I use here at my house.

Born on the Bayou

 

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