Grounding Jack and Bridge

robobart

New member
Messages
6
Hi All,

I'm still a bit confused about grounding. Thought I had it under control, but then I took apart my current Fender and got confused.

I thought I was supposed to ground to the bridge and the to jack (avoiding ground loops).  However, if there was a short in the venue or amp - this could be dangerous as you could become the best ground - so one might not want to ground the bridge.

Then I took apart my current fender. It is just grounded to the bridge - only one wire goes to the jack - no grounds go to the amp!

What's the deal? My Fender is quiet - is it grounded incorrectly?

Thanks!


 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
if you dont send both a hot and a ground wire to the output jack, you have an incomplete circuit where the current has no place to return to... thats why your guitar is silent.

you need to have your bridge grounded properly unless you like alot of noise in your tone.
the grounding allows you to be grounded to your guitar and thus reduce the noise from the guitar.

the ground is normally your friend, and will not hurt you, however, if you are connected to grounds on different phases, you can get shocked.
make sure that all the equipment is connected to the same phase, and you will be just fine.
 

robobart

New member
Messages
6
Sorry I wasn't clear -

My Fender plays fine - it doesn't hum much (that's what I meant when I said it was quiet).

I have no idea how the circut is being completed.
 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
i am confused...
so what you are saying is that you thought that the bridge ground was supposed to go to the output jack, but on your fender, it is connected elsewhere?

in my experiance, the bridge ground is usually connected to the back of volume pot, along with all of the other grounds on the guitar.
i dont think it matters much where the bridge ground is connected, but i would just have it on the back of the volume pot like everything else.

 

robobart

New member
Messages
6
Ok -

There is a bridge ground - but there is no ground wire going to the jack. There is a hot wire going to the jack, but that's all I see.

?
 
Messages
8,318
line6man said:
the ground is normally your friend, and will not hurt you, however, if you are connected to grounds on different phases, you can get shocked.
make sure that all the equipment is connected to the same phase, and you will be just fine.

If I could add my $.02, it's not a phase issue.  Whether you are playing in a venue that is single or three phase, the ground is common for all phases.  Where the shock issue comes into play is with older 2-prong amps that don't have a dedicated, non-current carrying ground (or a premature ground by bonding the neutral to the chasis - there is a difference between the grounded conductor and grounding conductor, the two should never meet outside of a panel or transformer), or an older building that is two-wire non-grounded, or a hot/neutral reverse due to improperly wired receptacle.  These two prong devices can be plugged in either way and create a polarity reversal when introduced to another device plugged in a different way (even from the same phase), such as a mic from a PA or another electrical device.

If you are dead set against being shocked, ensure that your equipment is properly grounded by a chord with a third prong (dedicated ground), this is usually enough.  Or, you could play through a wireless, active pickups that don't require string grounding, or through a GFCI receptacle.
 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
robobart said:
Ok -

There is a bridge ground - but there is no ground wire going to the jack. There is a hot wire going to the jack, but that's all I see.

?

??? what kind of fender guitar is it?

on a jazz bass, the output jack does not need to be grounded, because it is already connected thru the metal control panel, but on something like a strat, you would need to connect the ground to the output jack.

i have absolutly no idea how teles work, because i have never owned one, but i dont think that the metal "cup" thing is connected to anything other than the wood around it.


 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
There should be two wires to the jack.  The shielding of the guitar cable is connected to the sleeve of the jack.  Ground.  The hot signal is the middle wire of the cord and the doohickey on the jack.  Sorry about that term but it seems to fit.  The hot wire goes to the tab that connects to the doohickey, and the ground goes to the tab that connects to the ring/sleeve.  If it is a normal strat or tele, they have to be grounded to work or you don't complete the circuit.  If you have a multimeter with a setting that has a diode symbol on it, it is a continuity tester with a speaker.  The thing will make a noise when you make a connection between the two probes.  Use that to probe the insides of the circuit on your strat.  Well, if you have a multimeter.  If not, consider picking one up.
Patrick

 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
Patrick from Davis said:
There should be two wires to the jack.  The shielding of the guitar cable is connected to the sleeve of the jack.  Ground.  The hot signal is the middle wire of the cord and the doohickey on the jack.  Sorry about that term but it seems to fit.  The hot wire goes to the tab that connects to the doohickey, and the ground goes to the tab that connects to the ring/sleeve.  If it is a normal strat or tele, they have to be grounded to work or you don't complete the circuit.  If you have a multimeter with a setting that has a diode symbol on it, it is a continuity tester with a speaker.  The thing will make a noise when you make a connection between the two probes.  Use that to probe the insides of the circuit on your strat.  Well, if you have a multimeter.  If not, consider picking one up.
Patrick

?
my strats are always with 2 seperate wires, rather than a single shielded wire.

the black one is ground, and the white one is hot.
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
That will work as well.  I use shielded wire cause I have a bunch of it around.  It keeps the thing quiet as well.  Either way works.
Patrick

 

robobart

New member
Messages
6
Ah Confusion cleared up!

It is a mustang - the ground is connected to the control plate!

Thanks!
 
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