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String ground wire on Les Paul


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I know that a bridge or "string" ground wire is important and is included on many electric guitars, but I don't see one in the wiring diagrams for a Les Paul nor is there anything shown on the plans for the one I am building. Do LP's usually have a ground wire to the bridge or tailpiece, if so how is it routed and how is it connected to the insert?

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On some there is a hole that goes to the stud of the stop tailpiece. A wire is returned through a small hole in the control cavity.

 

On others there is a ground wire that runs to the back of each pot.

 

On others they use braided cable and use the shielding on the cable as a ground.

 

So there are three different ways to do it. Good Luck!

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Yeah, pretty much that, with the additional note that ground is ground and everything should eventually connect to the ground lug on the output jack. The string ground is only there to help reduce hum, using your body to do the work. Some builders wire a cap and resistor in parallel to help minimize the risk of getting shocked. Running a wire from the cavity to the stop tailpiece bushing can be an adventure, but it can be done with a 1/8" aircraft bit and some protective shim on the back of the guitar.

 

If you're using active pickups, then it's recommended to not have a string ground. On some guitars I've made, string grounding isn't an option because of the parts. For example, the black version of the Hipshot string through bridge is coated with a non-conductive paint or powder coat, so a string bridge won't work on it. The ferrules are also non-conductive, so the only thing I can do is to shield everything which isn't a bad idea anyway.

 

Another option you have is to use a trapeze tailpiece or a Bigsby, then run the string ground from the tailpiece mount to the control cavity. That's an easy job with an aircraft bit. I usually stuff one end of the wire down the mounting screw holes in the tailblock, then check continuity with a meter.

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OK, thanks guys. The guitar is far enough along that drilling a hole from the cavity or the the channel from the pickups to either the bridge or tailpiece will be doable but a hassle. The problem is that I can't see how to connect a wire to either of the studs for the tailpiece or the bridge - these are the Gotoh 510. However if you think I need a ground here I'll get it in somehow.

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The Gotoh 510 has bushings, so that's where you'd make the connection. It's possible to solder a wire to the bushing prior to installation, but I haven't done that. With my luck it would separate in the process of pressing in the bushing. I've just used a pressure contact between the bushing hole and the bushing, and they've maintained continuity for years.

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I bought a 94 Standard that came without a ground to the strings. Was basically unusable because of static noise and hum. For years I used a piece of string, stuck between the TOM and the bridge pickup as ground. I played her like that until she went into the techs for an unrelated issue, and he installed a proper ground from the electronics cavity to the bridge (or tailpiece) posts.

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On some there is a hole that goes to the stud of the stop tailpiece. A wire is returned through a small hole in the control cavity.


On others there is a ground wire that runs to the back of each pot.


On others they use braided cable and use the shielding on the cable as a ground.


So there are three different ways to do it. Good Luck!

 

im confused by this post

 

your first answer is, in my experience, the correct one

 

your second, ??? from WHERE to the back of each pot? the bridge or tailpiece? all pots need to be grounded, sure, but what does that have to do with bridge grounding?

 

your third has me totally lost, as pertains to bridge grounding

 

pardon my confusion, i just dont get it

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The Gotoh 510 has bushings, so that's where you'd make the connection. It's possible to solder a wire to the bushing prior to installation, but I haven't done that. With my luck it would separate in the process of pressing in the bushing. I've just used a pressure contact between the bushing hole and the bushing, and they've maintained continuity for years.

 

This is how I do it as well.

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I'd definitely ground the tailpiece. The bridge is not so reliable as some saddles or the connection between them and the bushings is not always good (I have a TOM with nylon saddles!).

 

Have you fitted the bushings? If not you can solder the ground wire to the bottom of the bushing.

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There should be a ground wire that connects all of the pots, and then connected to the tailpiece or the bridge stud or bushing, you should have both. On my kit that I'm building, I was actually able to take a long drill bit and drill from the output jack hole through the cavity into the tailpiece bushing hole, it lined up perfectly, but yours may vary

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im confused by this post


your first answer is, in my experience, the correct one


your second, ??? from WHERE to the back of each pot? the bridge or tailpiece? all pots need to be grounded, sure, but what does that have to do with bridge grounding?


your third has me totally lost, as pertains to bridge grounding


pardon my confusion, i just dont get it

 

Ground is ground is ground. They all connect to the sleeve of of the jack.

It doesnt matter if its done via the back of the pot or a grounded cable sleeve.

 

The reason the strings are grounded is so when you touch it with your hands, your body

becomes a ground potential and the body being a fairly good conductor acts as a shield to absorb

AC EMF before it gets to the hot wires which act like antennas.

Your body absorbs the AC and carries it to the ground connection. It then passes through the guitar cable shield, to chassis ground,

and hopefully to the AC outlet ground, through the house wiring, to the service box then to a metal rod pounded into the ground.

 

Ground blocks magnetic radio emmisions. The ones most important to block are in the audiable spectrum from 10 hz to 20K hz.

AC is the strongest because thy are everywhere. You also have the pickup cpils that can act like RF coils in a radio.

Some pickups have just enough winds to make them amplify AM radio stations and CB radios. The fix for those is to add additional

shielding or a choke coil which detunes the pickup from picking up those radio frequencies.

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Ground is ground is ground. They all connect to the sleeve of of the jack.

It doesnt matter if its done via the back of the pot or a grounded cable sleeve.


The reason the strings are grounded is so when you touch it with your hands, your body

becomes a ground potential and the body being a fairly good conductor acts as a shield to absorb

AC EMF before it gets to the hot wires which act like antennas.

Your body absorbs the AC and carries it to the ground connection. It then passes through the guitar cable shield, to chassis ground,

and hopefully to the AC outlet ground, through the house wiring, to the service box then to a metal rod pounded into the ground.


Ground blocks magnetic radio emmisions. The ones most important to block are in the audiable spectrum from 10 hz to 20K hz.

AC is the strongest because thy are everywhere. You also have the pickup cpils that can act like RF coils in a radio.

Some pickups have just enough winds to make them amplify AM radio stations and CB radios. The fix for those is to add additional

shielding or a choke coil which detunes the pickup from picking up those radio frequencies.

yeah, man, i know all that, i have a degree in electronics technology

 

has nothing to do with the questions i asked

 

SPECIFIC to bridge/string grounding: whats this about ground wires running to each pot, or using the shield of a cable as ground?

 

THATS what im asking

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yeah, man, i know all that, i have a degree in electronics technology


has nothing to do with the questions i asked


SPECIFIC to bridge/string grounding
: whats this about ground wires running to each pot, or using the shield of a cable as ground?


THATS what im asking

Ground wire from inside the hole the stop tailpiece goes in. Pressure will maintain contact. THAT wire goes to ground, either to a pot case (which then also goes to ground) or straight to the jack ground terminal.

 

There's really no ther option. The strings have to get grounded or you'll have a noisy mess on your hands.

 

EG

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Ground wire from inside the hole the stop tailpiece goes in. Pressure will maintain contact. THAT wire goes to ground, either to a pot case (which then also goes to ground) or straight to the jack ground terminal.


There's really no ther option. The strings have to get grounded or you'll have a noisy mess on your hands.


EG

 

jesus christ :facepalm:

 

I KNOW THAT! THAT IS NOT WHAT IM ASKING ABOUT!!!

 

are you guys reading comprehension abilities really that bad?

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Something wrong with that. All Pauls should have them.

 

I think we had this discussion before. My 77 standard does not have a ground wire from the tailpiece bushing to anywhere in the control cavity. I believe the consensus was that some years/models had them, some do not.

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jesus christ
:facepalm:

I KNOW THAT! THAT IS
NOT
WHAT IM ASKING ABOUT!!!


are you guys reading comprehension abilities really that bad?

 

A: Don't be rude.

B: my reading comprehension is fine. Grounding pots and shielded wires have nothing to do with the original question. BG is the one who introduced that red herring. Yell at him. Not that he cares. He'll just tell you that's how Ed Roman told him to do it.

 

EG

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A: Don't be rude.

B: my reading comprehension is fine. Grounding pots and shielded wires have nothing to do with the original question. BG is the one who introduced that red herring. Yell at him. Not that he cares. He'll just tell you that's how Ed Roman told him to do it.


EG

 

well shit man...im sorry...but can you see where i was getting frustrated?

 

THANK YOU for your "nothing to do with..." comment! ive wired literally hundreds of guitars (its part of how i make my living) and i couldnt for the life of me figure out what he was on about!

 

i didnt mean to yell at anybody :o

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It's cool. Just messing around.

 

I'm with you, that the pot/shielded wire issue has no relevance here. Grounding a pot doesn't ground the strings.

Shielded wire may carry a ground signal, but has nothing to do with strings.

I have no clue waht BG was talking about, though I'm sure he'll be along soon enough to avoid answering again while he condescendingly explains how we're just too dim to comprehend his amazing intellect.

 

EG

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It's cool. Just messing around.


I'm with you, that the pot/shielded wire issue has no relevance here. Grounding a pot doesn't ground the strings.

Shielded wire may carry a ground signal, but has nothing to do with strings.

I have no clue waht BG was talking about, though I'm sure he'll be along soon enough to avoid answering again while he condescendingly explains how we're just too dim to comprehend his amazing intellect.


EG

 

not familiar with him...or just about anybody around here, anymore

 

been away for a while

 

i busted mazi bees chops when he was a n00b :D

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not familiar with him...or just about anybody around here, anymore


been away for a while


i busted mazi bees chops when he was a n00b
:D

 

BG is our resident Ed Roman fanboi and self appointed Smartest Guy In The Room.

 

I recall your name a bit from when I first joined up. Nice to see you back.

 

EG

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