Post by ChristoMephisto on May 7, 2011 10:15:26 GMT -5
Got a Tele with a Bigsby B5 F-logo'd and last year I changed out the metal saddles for some TUSQ white plastic like saddles in the rocker bridge. Recently been thinking of returning to the metal saddles, then it occurred to me that my strings are not grounded, along with the Bigsby itself. Usually the strings connect to ground via the saddles. Even busted out a multimeter to confirm... I have no problems with noise or hum, except for the standard 60Hz, no shocks or anything. My guitar is shielded with RF blocking tape in all the cavities and connected to ground, the Bigsby bridge itself is grounded properly but not the actual trem system Did a quick google again, and alot of people have problems when their strings are ungrounded.
So the question is it bad to have the strings ungrounded?
The string ground is generally there to short out the closest significant source of noise to the pickups in standard playing position - you. Theoretically a well shielded guitar -especially one with HBs - shouldn't need this. I have seen guitars where the string ground seemed to make no noticeable difference.
It's certainly safer from a shock standpoint, but I worry that things might change in other environments. Have you played this thing out and about?
If there's some kind of fault with your amp or the house wiring, it could put dangerous voltages on the chassis of the amp, which is connected to the guitar via the sleeve connection on the cable. That sleeve at the guitar jack is what we call "ground" in a guitar. If the strings are connected to that (the usual circumstance) you'll get that voltage flowing through you!
Of course, it sounds like your bridge is grounded. So the strings can't bite you, but the other metal parts might. Yes, you've been lucky and really should do something about the wiring in your house if at all possible. It's not just the guitars either. Everything you plug into the wall will be safer with proper grounding.
Post by ChristoMephisto on May 9, 2011 9:19:08 GMT -5
Pretty sure there's no faulty wiring in the building, a lot of the wall jacks only have the 2 prongs meaning the ground it tied off to the negative old school way. There is a ground wire in the basement strapped to the water pipes, so it's all up to code...
Changed over the barrels on my tele yesterday as well as swap in some Keystones pups and had no problems. thx for all your help
Of course the best answer to the safety issue is to not ever touch anything connected to the mains.
#1 Best solution: wireless
Next best is to remove the bridge/string ground. This can cause noise issues, but sometimes doesn't. The point of this thread.
Third best, I think, is a BAC in series with the cable shield somewhere outside the guitar. This can cause a loss of bass. To have meaningful attenuation at line frequencies, the cap has to be small enough to roll off guitar frequencies.
After that, there's the "safety cap" as detailed in QTB. Again though you need a cap small enough to attenuate 50-60Hz. In this case, it will defeat shielding to the same extent at at the same frequencies where it provides protection.