How to copper shield an Epiphone with a metal jackplate

RicardoHead

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Hello any and all,

I hope lockdown and quarantine etc hasn't got you all down.

My apologies if this has been covered elsewhere, though I have been looking for hours and cannot seem to find something that pertains to my needs quite fully on this topic.

So, I have a stock Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro 2019, save for the addition of a gold jack-plate. I am gutting it and replacing the whole kit and kaboodle with new pickups (uncovered), electrics, wiring etc. The wiring in question is going to be the "Jimmy Page" style which enables coil splitting, phase/out of phase and series/parallel. This is all fine and dandy, but having the coil split facility makes me want to fully shield the guitar. This raises questions.

(My reasoning is as follows: I generally use quite a bit of gain, so want background hiss/buzz to be at a minimum when using the coil split. I also don't want to have to move around the room to find a sweet spot without buzz. I also want the guitar to be covered in the event of rehearsal or gigs when there's loads of fluorescent lighting, dimming switches etc. Plus I think part of me wants to just see if I can for the sake of a challenge.)

As far as I understand it (and believe me, I am a TOTAL n00b when it comes to the fine points of electrical stuff), I am to fully cover the inside of the control cavity, pick-up cavities, jack cavity and selector switch cavity with copper tape/conductive paint, and do the same with the inside of the cavity covers of the control and switch cavities, making sure there is overlap with the conductors of both the cavities and the covers so there can be continuity. I will also need a piece of wire or folded tape overlap between the shielding in the jack cavity and the metal jack-plate to ensure a ground for the whole thing. I will then need to either line the bore holes from the pick-ups and the selector switch cavity to the control panel with conductive paint, or run a jumper from these cavities to ensure continuity between the cavities.

This is where my questions start to arise. If I put the pots in as normal, surely they don't then need to be grounded to each other and the shield with lengths of wire as they are already in contact with the shield and thus grounded? Surely the addition of wires would increase the likelihood of a ground loop forming?

Also, in the selector switch cavity, surely if I put that in as normal and wire it with the braided shield wiring as normal to the usual ground (normally a volume pot), then for the same reasoning, a ground loop would form? Moreover, the conductive braided shield of the wire will probably come in to contact with the conductive paint in the boreholes, which would also surely make a ground loop?

Furthermore, what do I do about the uncovered pickups? I know there's nothing to worry about if they're covered, but I really would rather they were uncovered. Do I have to connect the pickup in any way to the shielding within the cavity, or is the fact the ground wire will be soldered to a pot in the control cavity, which will be grounded, adequate?

Thank you for reading this far if you have, I know it's a lot of waffle. My queries (that I hope some of you wonderful folk could help me out with) can be surmised as:

-If I shield the control cavity, do I need to ground the pots to each other and the shield if they're already in physical contact with the shield?
-If I shield the selector switch cavity, do I need to ground the selector switch as normal if the switch is already in contact with the shielding? If I do still have to ground it as normal, should I put shrink wrap over the braided shield cable for the ground to keep it separate from the conductive paint in the borehole?
-If I shield the pickup cavities, is there anything I have to do beyond ensuring continuity with the control cavity shielding (which has continuity with the metal jack plate), as opposed to just plonking the new pickups (uncovered remember) in and wiring as normal? Like, do i have to connect the bottom of the pickup, or make sure there's an overlap somewhere like with the control cavity cover and shielding, or anything?

I hope i've been able to convey everything I wanted, if anyone could get back back to me on this it would be super appreciated.

Many thanks.
 

truckermde

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You will probably get more responses if you remove the word "Chibson" from your thread title.

Especially since you're talking about an Epiphone, not a knock-off....
 

truckermde

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As far as your shielding question goes, you might be over-thinking things a bit.

The use of uncovered pick-ups, or a metal jack plate, does not require any additional shielding. Nor does coil splitting.

If you do the job, and have hum issues, then you can address potential grounding issues.

Good luck with your mods, and welcome to the forum!
 

ARandall

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Shielding only removes RF interference - from lighting, monitors, and poor electrical circuits in houses and venues. The singlecoil hum it does absolutely nothing for.
The good thing about what you are doing is that if there is RF interference, humbucker pickups do nothing to stop this. So you will get noise reduction when you haven't got the splits operational.
 

Freddy G

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And for that matter, you don't need to shield the wiring channels, the wires already have a shield around them. You don't need to have the foil/shielding paint contact the jackplate either, it will already be part of the ground/shield.
 


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