Grounding

Mugician

Active member
Messages
82
I'd rather not solder to the back of my pots. What about gluing a washer or something on the inside of the control cavity somewhere and soldering all my ground wires to that, and from there to the output jack.

What kind of material would work? Is this not ideal? Is there something magical about soldering to the backs of pots?
 

Mugician

Active member
Messages
82
I drew this up a couple minutes ago, to give people a visual of what I'm talking about. Will it work if I wire exactly like this? I don't see why it wouldn't...

3286762797_6e1f10ca11_o.jpg
 
C

callaway

Guest
I have 2 of my guitars wired like that. Works just fine. Soldering to the back of pots is common because of convenience. There are a few potential problems with soldering to the back of pots though. First, you can create nasty ground loops, which can result in hum (even if you have humbucker pickups). Take a look at a standard Fender pickguard and you will see the ground is chained along the backs of the pots. Definitely not ideal. The solution is to star-ground all grounds to the back of the same pot, which could lead to the second problem---damaging the pots because of too much heat. Yes, you can destroy pots if you get them too hot with the soldering iron.

So your solution is a good one... you should have no ground loops and you don't have to worry about damaging the pots.
 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,168
Hi There,

Your solution will work fine.  BTW, although it's technically possible to have a ground loop created from wiring inside your guitar, in practice you'll never notice the effects of any loop caused by "traditional" back-of-the-pot guitar wiring.  Here's why:

1 - the loop is really tight, with good conductors between each path.  The difference in impedance from the different loops will be very very small.

2 - there are no large current pulses inside your guitar.  At least I hope there are not.  It's these large current pulses that interact with the round impedance that would create an audible hum in a ground loop.  BTW, typical sources of these current pulses are re-charging of large decoupling capacitors in tube amp power supplies.
 

Mugician

Active member
Messages
82
Cool. Thanks everyone. That's exactly why I don't want to solder to the back of my pots. The heat, and I'm shooting for a SUPER clean looking wiring job. I'll post pics when parts arrive. PS - what's a star ground?

And, about ground loops, I'm still taking all these wires (9 of them to be exact) and soldering them ALL to one washer. Isn't that going to have the same effect?

Thanks again!
 

blue313

Senior member
Messages
2,824
A star ground is a central ground spot that isn't the back of the volume pot, usually a washer or ring terminal. 
 
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