Copper Screening on a Tele?

Chris of Arabia

Senior member
Given that my latest is going to be fitted with a Kinman "Broadcaster" at the bridge and an SD Mini at the neck, I wondered whether it would make any real difference if I bothered to screen it with coppoer foil. Any views?
Plenty of people say the old copper shielding is a con. As long as your tele is wired up with decent parts, is grounded and is a kinman I'd imagine you would have very little noise.

By all means do it but I wouldn't bother personally.

Good look with the Kinmans, I've never played them but heard some great reports about their quality.
I did wonder whether there was any real point and I can turn my hand to a decent solder joint. I have a couple of Kinman's (middle & neck) on my Lonestar Strat - to my ears, much smoother and quieter than the Texas Specials that were on it.
Gotta say, I'm into my eighth Tele - none were copper shielded and none gave me practical problems.  That is - none were played in a studio setting, but for my own use, at home, jammin' and the occasional gigs thru the years... no issues.
Ditto to CB, although all my builds aren't Teles..... You'd be better served applying the copper foil shielding to other items producing RF radiation in the room than your axe; ALL single coil PUs (and some buckers for that matter...) will produce some modicum of hum, regardless of shielding, that is something you can't do anything about, here's a list of some other typical sources, and ways to try to ameliorate their effects:

1.) Fluorescent lighting - Notorious, turn any source of fluorescent lighting OFF.
2.) Computers/laptops/peripherals - Any thing with a CPU in it can put off a tremendous amount of RF, the FCC sticker on the side/bottom only guarantees that it's not enough to interfere with radio/TV reception. Turn it off, or move it to another room. Computer cases with "cool" plexiglass sides/internal lighting SUCK for RF throwoff... This is one of the items you can try that shielding on - plaster the inside of the case, but the fans and disk drives can be as bad as the CPUs. If you have a computer-based recording setup, you may want to isolate the computer to another room! Don't forget items like your TIVO/satellite or cable decoder box, they're computers, too...
3.) Cabling - Never use cheap ass unshielded cables, they're not worth the money you save and the better shielded ones will last longer anyway. Check all your cabling and make sure that no AC or DC power cords wrap around any of your cables carrying your signal path.
4.) Electric motors of any type - Ceiling/cooling fans are the most usual culprits, but anything with a motor in it can be a problem, turn it off or move as far away from the source as possible.
5.) Stomp boxes - Over the years I seen more than one of these that either produced or inducted more noise than the effect was worth. I had a phaser a LONG time ago (don't remember brand) that was noisy as hell if plugged into a power source, much less so from battery, wound up replacing it. Some boxes aren't shielded very well in the presence of RF sources and are candidates for that shielding foil... Don't be afraid to add a noise gate at the end of your effects chain.
6.) Amplifier - Sometimes your amp itself can be the hum source, be it caps or other internal components, tube bias as applicable, etc.; if this is the issue, send it tp CB and he'll fix it.
7.) Grounding - Always use 3 way plugs with grounds. NEVER use a 3 to 2 prong adapter; if you only have 2 prong outlets upgrade them and the circuit, else eventually your house might burn down anyway.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I'm sure someone else will chime in...

Troubleshooting - Turn EVERYTHING off in the room. Start with just your guitar and amp. Add effects/cables one at a time. If you can't find the source there, starting lighting up other items one at a time, till you find the source.
Ya forgot Drambuie... that always causes a hum

One time I had this nasty warble in an amp.  Super reverb... just warbled on certain notes.  I went nuts for weeks... months even... turned out to be the CEILING FAN!~  Sort of a "room leslie".......

another episode of "THIS OLD LESLIE"

Today we build a Leslie from a circular saw and 2 oatmeal boxes.......

or wait! We have an old washtub here!
I used to get really bad noise using my Fender Twin RI, when I talked to their tech guys they suggested a power conditioner.  It worked and it also solved another problem I had with that amp, where it would suddenly switch the reverb on/off by itself.  I never plug my amps into a wall anymore without that thing in between! 
I recently took an old Squier Tele I had lying around and basically gutted it and changed out all the parts.  The thing was pretty damn noisy, I have to say.  I had Lindy Fralin standard Tele pickups put in and I had copper paint put into the control cavities - now I'm not sure whether the Fralin's are innately free of noise or whether it's the copper paint, but I was floored with how quiet it is and its tone was by no means sapped by the copper paint.  To put it in perspective, the Tele is wired with 500K concentric pots, so logically there should be more high end, meaning a bit more noise right?  Well, against my SG the Tele is easily quite a bit quieter.  So, from my experience I say just shield with copper paint.  It's a lot easier and it seemed to do a damn good job for me.
vic108 said:

another episode of "THIS OLD LESLIE"

Today we build a Leslie from a circular saw and 2 oatmeal boxes.......

or wait! We have an old washtub here!

Bushel Basket... and or beer keg
Wow! All those replies.

Thanks one and all. I think I have more answers on the subject than I'm ever likely to build guitars. Safe bet says I can pass on the copper foil - suppose I'd better get this thing assembled at long last. Photo's soonish...  :glasses10: