Post by michaelcbell on Jun 19, 2007 6:12:52 GMT -5
Star grounding is a process by which all grounds are run sigularly to a single point (one wire from each item to a washer or other hunk of metal). It's called a star ground because your central location looks like a star with all the wires radiating from it in a, well, radial pattern. While shielding is definitely the holy grail of hum control, star grounding has it's place too. Here's the issue: depending on your current setup, star grounding may not change anything or it could make a difference (how much depends on many factors). Do a simple look-see and try to discover if there are any ground loops. The more and bigger the ground loops, the more star grounding will help. Def: Ground loop: 1. a complete and connected circle or wire that is at some poiint connected to ground 2. grounding the same component twice. Ex: your pickguard has a foil back to it, electrically connecting the cases of the tone and volume pots. There is also a wire that runs from the back of the volume pot, connects to the back of the tone pot, and runs to ground. This is a ground loop. The more loops and the larger (in size) that they are, the worse your ground loop hum, and the more help star grounding will give you.
I found John A's (link goes to grounding/QTB mod) site looking to remedy my Tele copy's hum issues back in mid 2005 and found it a tremendous resource. I then lurked here for a bit before finally posting. You won't find a more helpful or educated bunch on other guitar sites. I went from star grounding the Tele to replacing all the hardware and electronics (except the 3-way switch) under the influence of Guitarnutz2. I can tell you from personal experience that star grounding and the Quite the beast mods work as advertised. My Tele has the QTB mod, but my previous HSS Squire strat I converted to star grounding which took care of most of its noise problem.