Posted in the other thread that I am building a Les Paul copy from a kit, and I am wondering.

I have seen on various web sites that people will "line" the recess where the magnetic pickups go with some type of shielding material that supposedly reduces interference and/or unwanted noise from the pickups.

Is it necessary?

Does it depend on the pickups? I am guessing cheaper pup may be more susceptible to interference?

What type of material is it?

Thanks

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Single coil pickups are more prone to hum than humbuckers simply because of their construction. The big home improvement stores carry a roll of aluminum tape in the duct work section. You will have to screw your ground wire to the tape as you can't solder to aluminum after lining the cavity with the tape. In the garden dept. you might be able to find copper tape used for stopping snails in planters. More expensive but copper can be easily soldered to. Make sure your bridge, the pickup, the shielding, backs of tone and volume controls are connected to the ground lug of the output jack. A simple multitester is good to check for continuity in your wiring.
Look at my Texas Electric Guitar... metal electrical box and a Hum out of an Epiphone SG, I wrapped the pickup in electric tape do to it touching the box... No problems....

Basically what Don said, but the whole lining the guitar cavity thing may not be as necessary with a humbucker pickup. (Assuming your Les Paul is using humbuckers.). If you take the cover off like Hip Bone did, it makes for a hotter pickup, but reduces the shielding.

You're also supposed to be able to use heavy duty aluminum foil. You can spray the back with spray glue like Super 77 to help it stick. I've tried this, but have better luck with copper foil.
Humbuckers aren't supposed to need it, but good wiring practice is good insurance with or without shielding in general...follow any guitar wiring site's plan for star-grounding (multiple items being grounded do so at a single point, usually the jack ground) as much as possible...

Single coil pups are the notorious ones for picking up interference.

Some people use a shielding paint for pup cavities in solid body electric guitars...pricey, but easy to apply. Copper tape is an alternative. Can also be hard to find except for mail order. StewMac has less costly short rolls than 3M which has conductive adhesive (tiny copper balls in it) to assure seams don't interrupt conductivity.

CBG's have larger less well defined wiring space which could be a waste to try and shield the entire box!

I haven't tried this, but I wondered if an Altoids tin used as a shield would be usable. I talked to a 'boutique' pup winder once about shielding single coil pups themselves, and with magnetically permeable material (ferrous) vs.
simply conductive. He said magnetic material near the pickup will alter it's pickup properties & not recommended. It may work if you're not trying to reproduce vintage pickup properties as he was

A conductive, non-magnetic shield is usually pretty good for 'electrostatic' shielding in guitars, and together with attention to 'best practice' wiring should solve most problems. 'Electromagnetic' shielding is harder to do, and even harder to make sense out of! I should probably not have even mentioned it....

Instead of copper roll tape or shielding paint, I used York Manufacturing (Yorke, Maine) TS-106 termite shield copper foil...cheap but hard to force into small curves. Has HDPE layer on back which will accept many adhesives. I found I could cut it into tape widths and peel off the backer which leaves adhesive pretty well intact.

Home repair places have it in 6-10" wide rolls too long for small CBG needs, and pretty costly due to how large a roll it ends up. I ordered some directly from Yorke Mfg. & told them what length and width I wanted and they gave me price with shipping...a large piece, wider than I could buy in a local store, and a fraction of the cost of a huge skinny roll.
Thanks for all the suggestions. What I may do is just try it without and see how it sounds. I can always pull the pups and shield it afterward if it becomes an issue.
I missed the part about Les Paul kit...so it probably has two humbuckers and the switching options are probably 1, the other, or both in parallel. Probably not a noisy guitar to begin with...

I'm working on my first multi-pup build: a mini-humbucker, and a tele-style single coil. Both pups are covered, and the electronics will be grounded to the bridge. Does the inside of the build need to be shielded?

I bought thin copper foil sheets at an art store and used the spray glue then soldered all the seams on a build I did that had single coils and was picking up the fan noise in my work area and it did the trick. It also gave me a great grounding area for everything.

I would put it together and see if there's any problem first. If you've bought commercial pickups (sounds like it?), and you're grounding to the bridge, your guitar will be shielded as well as any commercial guitar - which is not perfect but probably good enough. Putting foil all over the inside of the box takes awhile, and it makes the box noticeably heavier.

 

Scotty C. said:

I'm working on my first multi-pup build: a mini-humbucker, and a tele-style single coil. Both pups are covered, and the electronics will be grounded to the bridge. Does the inside of the build need to be shielded?

That's good information, Skeesix, however I must elaborate on one part. I bought individual saddle bridges -- the kind that go on bass guitars and get screwed-down one at a time. While my wiring harness has a bridge ground wire, I'm not sure how to get each of the individual bridge components connected, since they're going to be between 10-15 mm apart. I suppose I could try and lay the ground underneath all of them, but the wire would show.

My other thought is to use a small sheet of thin brass I bought at Blick Arts; I could have the ground wire underneath the sheet and sit bridges upon it.

Skeesix said:

I would put it together and see if there's any problem first. If you've bought commercial pickups (sounds like it?), and you're grounding to the bridge, your guitar will be shielded as well as any commercial guitar - which is not perfect but probably good enough. Putting foil all over the inside of the box takes awhile, and it makes the box noticeably heavier.

Dan Sleep

 

The high end custom guitar builders use copper foil and stick that to the bottom of the pickguard.  On a three single coil pickguard the copper foil will cover all three pickup routed holes(the foil will surround the routed holes by an inch or so on the edges) and be placed under the volume/tone pot and five way switch controls too.  Then the copper foil will be cut out where it is covering the pickup route holes and the holes for the volume pots and five way switch.  Grosh guitars would also place solder on a seam of the copper foil.  All of the copper foil is soldered to ground.  

 

I would do it on a single coil pickups, but on humbuckers I would not worry about it.  You can use cheap aluminum foil out of the grocery store, but it is not as good of a conductor as copper.  Just a cheap alternative and you would have to use and adhesive to stick it down.  I have some old pickguards off of Kramer guitars and they used aluminum.  

 

 

Sorry about responding to an old thread like this I was wondering if anyone have some photos of box cavity shielding like this?

I'm pretty close to installing my pickup and I'm pretty sure it's a single coil and not a humbucker.  Only two leads coming out of it. The two being what I assume to be hot and a braided ground around it. The whole deal is in a single sleeve shield.

 

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