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Unread 01-25-2008, 06:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Hello,

I've can't seem to find how the strings are grounded on this guitar. I don't see any ground wire coming from the bridge or tailpiece? or even a hole drilled to the cavity for said ground wire. I checked my multimeter and the pots and switch are good , but no continuity with my bridge or tailpiece or strings? Are these guitars wired differently. How do I ground the bridge/tailpiece?
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Unread 01-25-2008, 06:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Don't know if this helps, but the ground wire on all my Les Pauls is at the top of the control rout, and comes out near the neck volume pot, to which it is soldered. Whether it attaches to the tailpiece or bridge studs I don't know, my guess is the tailpiece.
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Unread 01-25-2008, 07:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Are you sure the ground wire does not go from the bridge stud to the pickup route area right behind the bridge pickup? Sometimes I see them wired that way. If not....
Time to drill a hole. I use a real long flexible drill bit to do this and a hand held low rpm drill. You need to pull the stud out, that in itself can be tricky (I Have a special tool for doing this) and drill the hole from the stud cavity through the wood until you reach the control compartment. Feed the wire through, solder to one of the pots, and make sure you have bare wire exposed inside the stud cavity before you knock the stud back into the guitar. Check with your meter, and you are done.


I have seen Gibson's from time to time with no bridge ground wire. Not sure why, lazy/sloppy workers is my guess.
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Unread 01-25-2008, 07:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

At one stage,I thought it was the early eighties though,Gibson began to totally shield all electrical parts and by doing this were able to dispence
with the earth wire to the tailpiece. This was considered at the time a
great safty feature as any unwanted current from a faulty amp did not
travel direct to the strings. To achieve this effective shielding, pots,switch
and jack socket were all totally encased in metal containers.If your guitar
has no signs at all of an earth wire from the tail studs into the cavity
it could possibly be one of these guitars .Maybe the metal containers have been removed.I've seen a couple of Les Pauls with this shielding from early
eighties but when gibson began the practice I don't know.Are you totally sure the earth wire has not broken off ? There is usually only a very tiny hole drilled fom the treble side stud hole to the control cavity to just above the
neck volume pot.
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Unread 01-25-2008, 07:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post
the ground wire on all my Les Pauls is at the top of the control rout, and comes out near the neck volume pot
Liam, so you can see ground wire going to the bridge/tailpiece. A pic would help. Thanks.

Wildstar,, I really would not like to drill. Is this common on older les pauls. NO string earth? How can I get string earth? without drilling or modifying. I did try a jumper from the metal jack plate and clipped it to a string and I was grounded. Man, I'm stumped.
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Unread 01-25-2008, 07:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by single cut 54 View Post
At one stage,I thought it was the early eighties though,Gibson began to totally shield all electrical parts and by doing this were able to dispence
with the earth wire to the tailpiece. This was considered at the time a
great safty feature as any unwanted current from a faulty amp did not
travel direct to the strings. To achieve this effective shielding, pots,switch
and jack socket were all totally encased in metal containers.If your guitar
has no signs at all of an earth wire from the tail studs into the cavity
it could possibly be one of these guitars .Maybe the metal containers have been removed.I've seen a couple of Les Pauls with this shielding from early
eighties but when gibson began the practice I don't know.Are you totally sure the earth wire has not broken off ? There is usually only a very tiny hole drilled fom the treble side stud hole to the control cavity to just above the
neck volume pot.
I have still seen some guitars that have the grounding metal containers with a ground wire going to the bridge. I have no clue about this situation. I think my 77 Custom did not have the ground wire, and I added it myself.
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Unread 01-25-2008, 07:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post

Wildstar,, I really would not like to drill. Is this common on older les pauls. NO string earth? How can I get string earth? without drilling or modifying. I did try a jumper from the metal jack plate and clipped it to a string and I was grounded. Man, I'm stumped.
I know people hate to drill holes, but if you have a bad ground problem... you are going to have to! If you are not sure about doing this, take it to a repair guy. Better safe then sorry.
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Unread 01-25-2008, 07:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by single cut 54 View Post
At one stage,I thought it was the early eighties though,Gibson began to totally shield all electrical parts and by doing this were able to dispence
with the earth wire to the tailpiece. This was considered at the time a
great safty feature as any unwanted current from a faulty amp did not
travel direct to the strings. To achieve this effective shielding, pots,switch
and jack socket were all totally encased in metal containers.If your guitar
has no signs at all of an earth wire from the tail studs into the cavity
it could possibly be one of these guitars .Maybe the metal containers have been removed.I've seen a couple of Les Pauls with this shielding from early
eighties but when gibson began the practice I don't know.Are you totally sure the earth wire has not broken off ? There is usually only a very tiny hole drilled fom the treble side stud hole to the control cavity to just above the
neck volume pot.
Awesome info single cut ! I do have one of these guitars that has/had a metal control cavity shield. Would this cover help with my noise? I don't see an tiny holes leading to the bridge, or a wire? Is there anyway around this?
Let me try to post a pic.
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Unread 01-25-2008, 08:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
Awesome info single cut ! I do have one of these guitars that has/had a metal control cavity shield. Would this cover help with my noise? I don't see an tiny holes leading to the bridge, or a wire? Is there anyway around this?
Let me try to post a pic.
This only works if pots ,jacksocket and switch are totally encased in metal
''cans''.Other than that Rasputin, you'll need to follow WildeStarrs instruction
or get a guitar tech to do the job.I think Gibson ceased the practice of effective
shielding because of high costs.

Last edited by single cut 54; 01-26-2008 at 09:09 AM.
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Unread 01-25-2008, 08:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

If you are in the SF Bay Area, I can do it for you.

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Unread 01-25-2008, 08:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by single cut 54 View Post
This only work if pots ,jacksocket and switch are totally encased in metal
''cans''.Other than that Rasputin, you'll need to follow WildeStarrs instruction
or get a guitar tech to do the job.
Single Cut, how well does it work? The Jack and Switch have their cases intact. Should I try to find the control cavity shield to solve my grounding issues. Its really bad thru my old Marshalls.

WildStars, I don't have the cahonies/skills to be drilling, Do you know how much a tech would charge for this simple fix?

Would this small mod take away from the vintage value?

Here's a pic of the cavity.
http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/d...k/DSCN0533.jpg
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Unread 01-25-2008, 08:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

http://alexplorer.net/guitar/basics/grounding.html

http://www.harmony-central.com/Guita....grounding.txt
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Unread 01-25-2008, 08:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post

WildStars, I don't have the cahonies/skills to be drilling, Do you know how much a tech would charge for this simple fix?

Would this small mod take away from the vintage value?

Here's a pic of the cavity.
http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/d...k/DSCN0533.jpg
I would charge about $50 for this job. If the repair job is done clean/right, nobody will ever notice it if you sell the guitar. I don't know if this will effect the value of the guitar or not. But if you are having a terrible ground problem, I would say that effects the guitar value!

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Unread 01-25-2008, 08:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildeStarr View Post
If you are in the SF Bay Area, I can do it for you.


A big thank you wildestarrs...but I'm in Texas.


I want to thank you guys for all your help. I know what I need to do now!!! Does anyone know where I can find a Gibson metal cover? I'm really curious to see if this works.
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Unread 01-25-2008, 08:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildeStarr View Post
But if you are having a terrible ground problem, I would say that effects the guitar value!

Very good point !
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Unread 01-26-2008, 03:21 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
Single Cut, how well does it work? The Jack and Switch have their cases intact. Should I try to find the control cavity shield to solve my grounding issues. Its really bad thru my old Marshalls.

WildStars, I don't have the cahonies/skills to be drilling, Do you know how much a tech would charge for this simple fix?

Would this small mod take away from the vintage value?

Here's a pic of the cavity.
http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/d...k/DSCN0533.jpg
With Humbucking pickups this shielding works ok but with single coil[P90s]
the ground wire to the tailpiece is stil needed.
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Unread 01-26-2008, 01:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by single cut 54 View Post
With Humbucking pickups this shielding works ok but with single coil[P90s]
the ground wire to the tailpiece is stil needed.
I just found the can cover for the control cavity. I will post the results when she's installed. If it doesn't work do you think a Hum Eliminator would help?


Ebtech HE2 from zZounds.com!
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Unread 01-26-2008, 03:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
I just found the can cover for the control cavity. I will post the results when she's installed. If it doesn't work do you think a Hum Eliminator would help?


Ebtech HE2 from zZounds.com!
For the same amount of money, I would just pay someone to properly ground the guitar. And the problem will be fixed.
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Unread 01-26-2008, 04:01 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

All those "shielded can" guitars have no ground wire. They need it.

A proper repairman will pull the tailpiece stud closest to the electronics cavity, drill a tiny hole and run a ground wire.

You will never see it and it will be fixed. the way Gibson should have done it in the first place.
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Unread 01-26-2008, 04:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RFR View Post
All those "shielded can" guitars have no ground wire. They need it.

A proper repairman will pull the tailpiece stud closest to the electronics cavity, drill a tiny hole and run a ground wire.

You will never see it and it will be fixed. the way Gibson should have done it in the first place.
yeah, that is just what I did to my 77 LP Custom


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Unread 01-27-2008, 04:24 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
I just found the can cover for the control cavity. I will post the results when she's installed. If it doesn't work do you think a Hum Eliminator would help?


Ebtech HE2 from zZounds.com!
If you've still got problems when all the shieldings in place, I think you need to
add the earth wire as WildeStarr said at the start.
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Unread 04-05-2008, 09:50 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Hode it up!

I just got a beautiful 1979 Les Paul Silverburst, and I have the same problem!

I'd like to know where I can find one of those metal plate cover, or what I'd need to drill that hole Wildestarr was talking about.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Holla!
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Unread 04-06-2008, 01:11 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Does anyone know where to get a ground plate?

Can I just order one from Gibson or what?

I really need some help.
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Unread 01-11-2009, 06:58 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

just a quick question to rasputin, is your guitar noisy because it is not grounded? my 2008 standard is noisy and i think it's because it isn't grounded
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Unread 01-11-2009, 08:46 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
I just found the can cover for the control cavity. I will post the results when she's installed. If it doesn't work do you think a Hum Eliminator would help?


Ebtech HE2 from zZounds.com!
Where in Texas? If your in DFW, let Dan McCarthy fix it. He is reasonable and really knows his stuff.

Dallas Guitar Repair Main Guitar Repair by Dan McCarthy 214-724-3789
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Unread 11-07-2010, 05:28 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Many thanks Widstar and all you guys for your posts.
I have a bad Earth hum on my Gibson Studio 91.
It has had a few mods and I think the toggle has been replaced. Checked all continuity everything OK. After looking at 'alexplorers' site I identified a possible earth loop as the earth wire from the toggle is connected to the last tone contol cover before the jack connection. I'm gonna try moving it to the volume pot.
Also no wire from the tail. There was a piece of heavy duty wire attached to a volume pot but not connected to anything. And there is the hole to the tail where I can just make out the end of a piece of wire showing. So the plan is to screw a brass screw into the hole and hopefully make a decent contact with the broken wire. I'll check continuity and if all is well solder a wire across.
Well thats the theory. I'll let you know if it works. Thanks again.

Lloydjim
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Unread 11-07-2010, 05:53 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

My 80 LPC has the shielding cover and sleeves in both back cavities... Also the output jack has this round metal can looking thing shoved into the output jack cavity.... There is no bridge ground wire



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Unread 11-07-2010, 08:27 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: 1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

the mod is simple can could be done with rudimentary "man" skills. just be smart and use your head. you can do it.
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