How to ground shield your guitar (removing the buzz with a Faraday Cage)

Picture of How to ground shield your guitar (removing the buzz with a Faraday Cage)
Like many guitar players, I've experienced the very annoying buzz you get, especially with a distorted sound, when your guitar is not properly shielded.
Actually, most guitar aren't shielded at all !
So how to make your guitar absolutely noiseless, you ask ? Simple.
Thanks to Mr Faraday, we know how to stop interferences from getting caught in your pickup signal.
A FARADAY CAGE !! w00t, go science !

You will need basic tools and supply:

          - A guitar (duh)
          - Hands (duh)
          - Adhesive Aluminum/Copper Tape (I went with the copper tape, it's classier ;p ).
          - Soldering iron
          - Multimeter - This is crucial. Without it, we don't know if we did a good job.
          - Phillips Screwdriver to remove the screws from the pickguard)
          - Scissors
          - Ruler
          - A laminated card (to flatten the tape)

Please forgive me for any translation mistake, but feel free to correct me !

Step 1: Removing the electronics

Picture of Removing the electronics
First, we have to remove the strings, and then the electronics, to be able to work properly. If we get messy, things could end up worse than before (MORE BUZZING). We don't want that, do we ?

Once the strings are removed, unscrew your axe's back plate, in order to desolder the ground wire connected to your stop-tail/vibrato. Note: This is not necessary, but things get waaaay easier if we do this.
If you don't have a back plate, like me, you might want to unscrew the front plate (pickguard).

If your jack is not in the same cavity as your pickups, etc... Desolder and remove it. Same thing, not necessary, but it helps.

WARNING: Write down the position of all wires you desolder, as well as the position and direction of the pickups, if removed from the guitar/pickguard/whatever-they-were-attaches-to.  If not, you might not put it all back together properly, and your guitar won't sound like it used to.
biggy boy5 months ago

Hi nice job.

It does appear that you have created a ground loop. By having the pots touching the foil and wire grounds on the backs of the pots it makes a loop.

You can look up ground loops on the internet

theledguy5 months ago
Great tutorial! If you want to take it one step further, try replacing the output jack wires with shielded audio cable. It's about $8 a spool at Radio Shack, and it does wonders for quieting hum and other noise that regular shielding may not fully eliminate
jmacfarlane8 months ago

Knobs can be more safely removed by wrapping a towel or t-shirt around the pot stem beneath the knob and pulling up. This way it applies pressure around the whole knob, and also no sharp things to scratch the instrument or you.

MrBillG592 years ago
Where did you get the copper tape?
T4GG (author)  MrBillG592 years ago
I got it from StewMac.com, but I know some hardware stores sell that stuff.