1979 Les Paul Standard Ground problem.

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by Rasputin, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. Rasputin

    Rasputin Junior Member

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    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?
     
  2. Liam

    Liam V.I.P. Member

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    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.
     
  3. WildeStarr

    WildeStarr V.I.P. Member

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    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.
     
  4. single cut 54

    single cut 54 V.I.P. Member

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    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.
     
  5. Rasputin

    Rasputin Junior Member

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    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.
     
  6. WildeStarr

    WildeStarr V.I.P. Member

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    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.
     
  7. WildeStarr

    WildeStarr V.I.P. Member

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    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.
     
  8. Rasputin

    Rasputin Junior Member

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    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.
     
  9. single cut 54

    single cut 54 V.I.P. Member

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    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.
     
  10. WildeStarr

    WildeStarr V.I.P. Member

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

    :wave:
     
  11. Rasputin

    Rasputin Junior Member

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    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/dd257/visionscrapbook/DSCN0533.jpg
     
  12. WildeStarr

    WildeStarr V.I.P. Member

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    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!

     
  13. Rasputin

    Rasputin Junior Member

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    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.
     
  14. Rasputin

    Rasputin Junior Member

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    Very good point !
     
  15. single cut 54

    single cut 54 V.I.P. Member

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    With Humbucking pickups this shielding works ok but with single coil[P90s]
    the ground wire to the tailpiece is stil needed.
     
  16. Rasputin

    Rasputin Junior Member

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    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!
     
  17. WildeStarr

    WildeStarr V.I.P. Member

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    For the same amount of money, I would just pay someone to properly ground the guitar. And the problem will be fixed.
     
  18. Roman

    Roman Master Luthier V.I.P. V.I.P. Member

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    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.
     
  19. WildeStarr

    WildeStarr V.I.P. Member

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    yeah, that is just what I did to my 77 LP Custom


    :thumb:
     

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