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Copper tape &/or Conductive paint - sources and suggestions

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I've got some recording coming up where I could really do without the buzz that comes from my bass when I'm not touching the strings.

 

I presume this is a shielding issue.

For those that have done DIY shielding would you rate copper tape as better than conductive paint?

 

What's a good UK based source for tape with conductive glue? I don't need a huge amount as I'm only doing the one bass.

Cheers

Thomas

 

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Amazon copper tape is what I used on my buzzing Les Paul, does the job nicely and its got a conductive adhesive so no need to bridge the faces of overlapping strips. Got a massive amount left over, but it'll find uses in other jobs. Apparently it's also good for keeping snails out of planters, so my dad might find some use for that in his allotment.

From what I read, paint is easier to get into all the awkward bits but tape is far faster and more convenient for most of the job.

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Put a little sliver out of the control cavity to sit under the bell plate to get easy earthing for the cavity 

Tape over paint every time

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1 hour ago, invertigo said:

Amazon copper tape is what I used on my buzzing Les Paul, does the job nicely and its got a conductive adhesive so no need to bridge the faces of overlapping strips. Got a massive amount left over, but it'll find uses in other jobs. Apparently it's also good for keeping snails out of planters, so my dad might find some use for that in his allotment.

From what I read, paint is easier to get into all the awkward bits but tape is far faster and more convenient for most of the job.

 

26 minutes ago, Geek99 said:

Put a little sliver out of the control cavity to sit under the bell plate to get easy earthing for the cavity 

Tape over paint every time

Great thank you both!

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You can join the back pup to front by a thin strip (62 style and visible ) and the front to main cavity in same way - hidden by scratch plate . This then earths through the bell plate 

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34 minutes ago, Geek99 said:

You can join the back pup to front by a thin strip (62 style and visible ) and the front to main cavity in same way - hidden by scratch plate . This then earths through the bell plate 

This is for a stingray, but that's a great tip and I might do something similar joing the ray pickup to the control plate

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Posted (edited)

A stingray has a humbucker so unsure why you have buzz. Suggest it’s another issue like bridge earthing 

Edited by Geek99
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18 hours ago, Geek99 said:

A stingray has a humbucker so unsure why you have buzz. Suggest it’s another issue like bridge earthing 

The buzz goes away when I touch any metal part, which implies the bridge earth is working, but googling around on this and it is not an uncommon buzz issue is on rays.

I'll check the bridge earth first and then look at shielding 😎

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Got a multimeter ? 

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For recording I've taken a wire, wound it around a part of the bridge so it stays fixed. I've then taped it to my upper arm with electrical tape. 
Not the most elegant solution but it worked! 

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10 hours ago, Geek99 said:

Got a multimeter ? 

Alas no, ok atleast not something I can beg/steal/borrow before when required

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9 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

For recording I've taken a wire, wound it around a part of the bridge so it stays fixed. I've then taped it to my upper arm with electrical tape. 
Not the most elegant solution but it worked! 

Yes thank you for the reminder, I had forgotten about this trick.

If All else fails before the critical day, this is a great idea

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Woodwind said:

Alas no, ok atleast not something I can beg/steal/borrow before when required

Just check continuity from various points  to the jack socket outer ring.

Then use ohms / resistance to check resistance (is it a good contact rather than merely connected) - if almost none from various points to the jack outer then that contact point was earthed well
 

 

Edited by Geek99
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I mean, to be fair my Gibson Les Paul with 2x humbuckers buzzed like hell when it was cranked up before shielding, albeit probably not helped by Gibson claiming its not needed and not shielding anything in their guitars these days. Remember that humbuckers cancel out the 60-cycle hum but they can still pick up electromagnetic interference (which shielding then minimises).

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'Slug tape' is self adhesive copper tape and available at most hardware outlets.

 

Paint is expensive but can do a great job too. Unless i was building it from scratch (building up layers on a clean surface from the start) , I would get some copper tape in there to see if it's doing what you need. Quick, cheap and effective. 

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My home build MM stingray benefited from shielding - I assumed there was an element where the electronics (though passive) could be a source of hum - perhaps it just helped with the grounding!

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On 09/03/2020 at 08:31, invertigo said:

I mean, to be fair my Gibson Les Paul with 2x humbuckers buzzed like hell when it was cranked up before shielding, albeit probably not helped by Gibson claiming its not needed and not shielding anything in their guitars these days. Remember that humbuckers cancel out the 60-cycle hum but they can still pick up electromagnetic interference (which shielding then minimises).

Humbuckers reduce the i nduced mains hum. It is 60Hz in the USA, Canada, Japan but 50Hz in Europe. However you are correct ijn that most of the interference is EMI/RFI.

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It takes more work but aluminium tape is the best shielding. Th issue is that you cannot solder it ans there is none that I know of that has conductive adhesive.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, fingerz said:

'Slug tape' is self adhesive copper tape and available at most hardware outlets.

 

Paint is expensive but can do a great job too. Unless i was building it from scratch (building up layers on a clean surface from the start) , I would get some copper tape in there to see if it's doing what you need. Quick, cheap and effective. 

Slug tape doesn’t have conductive adhesive so you need to fold an edge over to touch the next piece or solder the pieces together. That’s the price difference between slug tape and copper shielding foil tape 

Edited by Geek99
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On 20/03/2020 at 13:35, Chienmortbb said:

It takes more work but aluminium tape is the best shielding. Th issue is that you cannot solder it ans there is none that I know of that has conductive adhesive.

All things being equal Copper is a more effective shielding material.

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On 20/03/2020 at 13:59, Geek99 said:

Slug tape doesn’t have conductive adhesive so you need to fold an edge over to touch the next piece or solder the pieces together. That’s the price difference between slug tape and copper shielding foil tape 

We're talking about shielding as opposed to conductivity?  There shouldn't be any need to solder or overlap when you're shielding the cavity.

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5 hours ago, NancyJohnson said:

We're talking about shielding as opposed to conductivity?  There shouldn't be any need to solder or overlap when you're shielding the cavity.

Shielding only works with conductivity to Earth, I had thought ? 

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On 20/03/2020 at 13:59, Geek99 said:

Slug tape doesn’t have conductive adhesive so you need to fold an edge over to touch the next piece or solder the pieces together. That’s the price difference between slug tape and copper shielding foil tape 

The adhesive strip is narrower than the copper strip, so there's plenty of space for overlap and solid connection. I found it really easy to make a very clean job of it. 

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2 hours ago, Geek99 said:

Shielding only works with conductivity to Earth, I had thought ? 

As I understand it, shielding just serves to reduce interference from both inside and outside of the cavity.  If you're in a room where you have florescent lights or (in the case I had at one particular rehearsal room) my set up picking up audio from the next room AND mini-cab radio, shielding will lessen that stuff coming out of your amp.  The OP is more about a grounding/earthing issue, which suggests something is a bit off with the bass maybe?

I suppose this is how these threads meander!

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Surely the take-in of the emf causes a current in the shielding, you need to take that away. The energy doesn’t die if you leave it there, although it equally doesn’t die if you ship it to ground, but al least it’s not bothering you any more 

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