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Useful Links & Helpful Tech Info

(Note: NOT all views expressed here are our own-just a bunch of helpful info cobbled together we have used in the past)

Lets start with some custom build guitars:

Gorgeous handmade masterbuilt customshop guitars– made in Oklahoma  USA by Augustas Guitars- meet Mr Michael Schlenker, Luthier extraordinaire, hes even built guitars for Slash

He is an expert on shooting Nitro paint finishes & catalysed nitro selant with all  finishes & stains..

Kevin  at Augustas Guitars builds some of our own RED Herring guitars-heres a few pics of  a few works in progress

  1. A MASTERBUILT mahog bodied , cream bound, thin-line custom Tele-routed for a RED herring ’60s bridge tone bone & at the neck a rout for a Charlie Christian blade tone-bone (not our own)

we used water based tints/dyes  on the tiger striped maple cap..takes alot of sanding on the raised grain before shooting catalysed nitro sealers etc

Note the beautiful custom cut pickguard-done completely differently & visually better I believe than a thinline trad pickguard

  1. Kevin is also building us a super light resonant  Jazzmaster body that will be used with a Warmoth vintage neck & later we will add RED herrings Teisco Ry Cooder tone-bones, maybe offered for sale, its a one-off…watch these pages
  2. Currently on order from Augustas Guitars is also super light swamp ash/alder ..trad routed  customshop ’50s Tele , clear nitro lacquer; nitro red tort pickguard & ALL the right goodies & components & maple neck that will be offered on the RED Herring website for sale shortly-will have either a Warmoth/Allparts jumbo maple neck & RED Herring 60s tele pups
  3. Soon we will also offer EXCLUSIVELY on the RED Herring website a custom shop MASTERbuilt ’62 Strat by Augustas Guitars –it will be a fiesta red   Signature “Gypie Mayo”  62 Strat ; completely handbuilt NOT relic’d; these will be built to order, flame maple neck, brazillian cherrywood slab fingerboard, nitro finish,Poplar body in Fiesta Red lacquer, cream parchment 3 ply pickguard & fittings original fender vintage thin block Trem/Bridge unit etc etc  pricing will come out around £1750-with shipping & case extra

  4. RED Herring will also offer a CUSTOM Deluxe version also at a slightly lower price point around GBP £1000  -with  shipping & case extra

  5. We will post pics & demo these first RED herring custom & masterbuilt series Augustas Guitars & RED Herring ’62 strat pick-ups… as soon as the build is finished 


Pickup configurations, Installations & Wiring schematics:

Most pickup wiring schematics & wiring configs can be found here on the Seymour Duncans website 


This link below takes you to  the most comprehensive site on the web I believe take a look and be blown away..


2.  Solving Jag/Jazzmaster bridge issues: thn the ultimate solution the MASTERY bridges


Standard Jag/Jazzmaster bridge can be set up OK as below..

First, you need at least stringing with 11s. Due to the short scale and the long distance from the bridge to the tailpiece, the tension is lower on a Jag than other Fenders, and they just don’t set up well with anything less. Don’t worry, they don’t feel any heavier than 10s on a Strat, possibly slightly less.

Second, lower the bridge baseplate as far as it will go – even easier if there’s no mute – and raise the saddles to compensate. This will put a lot more pressure on the height screws. It may also raise the tip of the low E intonation screw in particular into contact with the string. If so, cut & shorten it.

Third, deepen the saddle grooves with a file once you’ve settled on the right ones, for the low E and probably A strings – this will stop them skipping off if you play hard. OR use USA made Mustang saddles

Fourth, once you’re certain that the guitar is set up really well, threadlock (strong type) or superglue the saddle height screws into place. This will stop them working loose. Should you ever need to adjust them again, heat the screws with a soldering iron (but be careful not to get the fumes in your eyes!).

Finally, lubricate all moving points, including the saddle tops and the tips of the height posts. The tailpiece and bridge is a mechanical system and like any other, you need to lock the parts you don’t want to move and lubricate the ones you do.

Do NOT wrap the posts with tape – the whole point of the design is that it’s supposed to rock!

To move with the strings and prevent sticking and tuning issues.

If all this sounds too much like hard work and you really want to replace something, go for the Mustang saddles.

A Tune-o-matic doesn’t fit the radius of the fingerboard properly and causes tuning issues of its own – I have no idea why they have become popular on these *Fender* guitars… they belong on a Gibson

Can use USA Mustang saddles BUT they must touch /be tight..locking  side by side

BUT …As Sonic Youths guitar tech will tell you.. the ultimate solution & answer is a MASTERY BRIDGE-expensive but it really works

JAG/Jazzmaster  Bridge set-up:


Ok, the bridge can suck. IF it isn’t set up properly. Part of the problem with the bridge is not that it simply “sucks”, but that it can be so complicated and difficult if you don’t know the intricacies of it. The reason why it is so difficult to set up is because it incorporates two, if not three, different bridges. This gives the bridge many variables (ie the height of the assey, the height of the saddles, the play/free movement of the swaying bridge and the bearing they all have on one another). For instance, the saddles themselves are in essence not really any different from the way that Telecaster or Stratocaster saddles work. The only difference is that Strat or Tele saddles don’t sit on a raisable assey. They simply sit on a steel plate that is fixed to the body and never moves. Another point to make is that the bridge assey isn’t that far removed from a tune-o-matic bridge. The only difference there is that the saddles on a tune-o-matic are fixed in place, in terms of sideways/up and down movement, to the assey. So what we actually have is a kind of hyrbid bridge, which is one of the most adjustable out there. This also makes it the most difficult to set up.

Some people claim to knock the strings off Jaguar saddle grooves. An easy solution, for those that need slightly wider grooves on the saddles, is to put Fender Mustang saddles on the bridge. The Jaguar and the Mustang share the same bridge assey. But the Mustang saddles have a single groove that is slightly wider. They also don’t have grub screws. Instead, there are 3 different sizes of saddle, placed in different places along the assey according to their height. This gives a fixed radius to the Mustang saddles. However, one problem with the Japanese/aftermarket Mustang saddles, is that they are not as wide as the American Mustang saddles were. This means there is a gap in between each one. Allowing them to slide from side to side on the assey somewhat. This shouldn’t present a major problem, but it is also a design flaw that has been passed down to the Graph-Tech “Stringsaver” and “TUSQ” saddles, which are intended for Jazzmaster and Jaguar bridge asseys.

Graph-Tech obviously/allegedly designed their saddles for “after market” Japanese Mustang saddles. They have been contacted and told, but no change seems likely, now that the current specification stands in place. The same is true with Fender Japan’s Mustang saddles, except the ’65 reissue specials.

We like to do a little “pre-setup” on the bridge as I assemble it. A major source of the dreaded buzz on this bridge is from the saddles and hardware rattling. Much of the rattle, if not all, can be eliminated by raising the saddles almost to the max. I go ahead and do this before I ever install the bridge. First, I preset the intonation by memory. The low e saddle gets cranked back as far as it can go by turning the saddle screw until the spring is completely compressed. The a saddle goes back until the trailing edge is centered on the low e saddle. Likewise the d saddle gets cranked until it is even with the center of the a. The g saddle gets cranked all the way back as did the low e. Next, the b goes back even with the a, that is, the trailing edge stops at the center of the g. This leaves the high e, it gets the same treatment and should end up near the end of the intonation screw.

Next, I raise the saddles using the curvature of the bridge plate as a guide. I raise them until (by sight) the angle of the g intonation screw appears that it may contact the string when installed. I apologize for this tedious explanation and hope I haven’t insulted anyone’s intelligence. This was explained to me years ago and has been an excellent rule of thumb. Your mileage may vary, but I’ve found the intonation to be very close and the absence of rattle with very little effort upon setup.

3. >To make up high quality pick-guards,  wiring looms and configurations-use best quality parts-Pots, shielded wire , caps & resistors

Note-Japanese guitars are different config & metric size pots, (USA are 3/8”) usually thin looms wire & sometimes hardware is different

Eg: Japanese made pickguards etc are different alignment spacings for screws & pots

>use good quality shielded wire-Allparts or Stewmac..may darken the tone a little (shielded wire has some capacitance)

CTS USA  pots-now NOT made in USA but good pots can still be bought

Matched sets are expensive but sets can be purchased on E Bay  like the CTS 450G sets that are +/- 7-10% tolerance

(Alpha pots aren’t great for guitars in our experience..)


Anyway, as for the volume pot values,

>>>the lower the value of the pot , the DARKER  the sound from the pickup

Eg:  250k pots are darker than 500k pots

Humbuckers are a little less bright, so to brighten them up, so 500k pots are used.

Single coil pickups are much brighter than humbuckers, so to cut a little of the edge off, 250k pots are used.

 If you have a “super-strat” (HSS or HSH) you can use a 300k pot for the volume control for a compromise. For the most part, and for most guitarists, these are subtle differences.

Tone Pots & Tone Caps

The electric guitar’s tone circuit is a simple low-pass filter that allows frequencies below a cut-off point while attenuating higher frequencies.

Two basic electronic components make this capability possible: a resistor and a capacitor, wired in series.

A guitar’s tone potentiometer (pot) acts as a variable resistor, while the capacitor (cap) determines the cut-off frequency.

Because of this, changing the capacitor in your tone circuit can create new and distinct sounds.

In standard situations, Fender guitars SINGLE coil-brighter will use a 0.02 mfd cap, and Gibson guitars Double coil/Darker will use a combination of 0.02 mfd and 0.047 md caps. (You do not have to choose these values.) The install is simple, requiring only basic soldering knowledge.

Essentially, your tone control is like a volume control for a certain range of frequencies. It is the tone capacitor that selects the frequency.

I won’t go into the physics of how this works, but the larger the value, the greater the range of frequencies are effected (starting from the highest frequency working its way down).

So a larger tone capacitor means you’ll roll off more highs when you turn the tone knob down. However, it also effects your tone while the knob is all the way up, because the tone circuit is always leaking some highs. So even if you don’t use that tone knob a lot, choosing a different cap can change your instrument’s basic tone. Here’s a simple guide to choosing the right cap.

.01 uf: This is the cap found in vintage 62 P basses. It will roll off a LOT of highs and give you a very boomy tone. I would NOT use any value above this.

.05: This is the standard cap found on just about all modern fender instruments. Chances are, this is what you have in your axe.

.03: This is the cap found on the bridge pickup for 62 jazz basses. With the tone all the way up it will have SLIGHTLY more treble, and with the tone down it won’t roll off quite as much.

.022: This is the cap used in most 70’s era jazz basses. It has more of a drastic effect than the .03 cap, and you’ll fine a lot more treble in your tone. I would not recommend using a cap value less than this.

Fender uses ceramic disk capacitors.

These are VERY cheap and VERY inconsistent. Because of inconsistencies in the materials and manufacturing different ceramic caps with the same value can often have differing values of up to 10 percent. Ever wondered why you pick up 2 of the same instruments and they sound different? Most people cite differences in the body wood as the cause, but chances are it’s inconsistencies in cap values.

Drop Orange has very solid caps for very cheap. I recommend choosing those if you want to swap out your cap. I have never seen a cap for more than 2 -3 bucks, so we’re talking a VERY cheap mod.

You can find some nice Oil in Paper resistors Russian made for not a lot of money on E bay

Its not worth spending fortunes on old Sprauge caps or Bumblebees in my opinion unless doing a part perfect restoration on an old very expensive vintage instrument

Stratocaster wiring, with component values, can be found on the Fender web site, or Seymour Duncan  or guitarelectronicsunder the support area. It includes classic/vintage/modern Strats, Teles, Mustangs, Jagstangs, etc.

In a nutshell,

50’s strats were wired with 250K pots (darker tone pots used for single coils) and .1mf tone caps and a 3-way switch and no tone connection to the bridge pickup,

60’s strats wired with 250k pots and .02-.05mf tone cap with a 5-way switch and also no tone control on the bridge pickup,

70’s strats and later are done with 250k, .02mf, and a 5-way with the bottom tone control (sometimes) wired to the bridge pickup (as well as the middle).

Now, this wiring is not set in stone, there are exceptions, but for the most part, these are standard (SSS) Strats.

The primary changes for Fat-Strats (HSS) is the volume pot is replaced with a 500k and the bridge pickup has a ground connection to coil-spit the pickup for getting that in-between, quack, sound in position “2” (bridge-middle).

As I said before, there are exceptions to this, but you can look at all the wirings for (I suspect) every guitar (strat, tele, jag, mustang, etc.) and every year, that fender makes.

Les Pauls are kinda tricky, but simpler at the same time… I believe that some vintage Les Pauls and ES335s are equiped with 300k pots, and some have two different values on the tone caps (a darker one for the neck pickup?) around .022mf on the bridge and a .047mf on the neck.

These are not set in stone, but common values are 500k pots and .047mf tone caps. Some put in 300k tone pots or 300k volume pots with the others being 500k…

Plus, there are two basic wiring schemes, one puts the grounded side of the volume pot (when the volume is at zero) to the switch, that makes both pickups not provide any sound to the output when in the middle position. This is the “50’s style” wiring.

The “Improved style” of wiring puts the ground on the pickup, just turning off the pickup itself, this allows you to mix the output volumes of the two pickup when the switch is in the middle position (full on bridge with a touch of neck to add fullness or full on neck with a bit of bridge pickup bite). Now, I add, again, these are not set in stone…

Anyway, as for the volume pot values,  a recap/summary:

the lower the pot value, the darker the sound from the pickup.

Humbuckers are a little less bright, so to brighten them up, 500k pots are used.

Single coil pickups are much brighter than humbuckers, so to cut a little of the edge off, 250k pots are used.

If you have a “super-strat” (HSS or HSH) you can use a 300k pot for the volume control for a compromise. For the most part, and for most guitarists, these are subtle differences.

As for the tone caps…SUMMARY

Most guitars and basses with passive pickups use between .01 and .1MFD (Microfarad) tone capacitors with .02 (or .022) and .05 (or .047) being the most common choices. The capacitor and tone pot are wired together to provide a variable low pass filter. This means when the filter is engaged (tone pot is turned) only the low frequencies pass to the output jack and the high frequencies are grounded out (cut) In this application, the capacitor value determines the “cutoff frequency” of the filter and the position of the tone pot determines how much the highs (everything above the cutoff frequency) will be reduced.

So the rule is: Larger capacitors will have lower cutoff frequency and sound darker in the bass setting because a wider range of frequencies is being reduced. Smaller capacitors will have a higher cutoff frequency and sound brighter in the bass setting because only the ultra high frequencies are cut.

For this reason, dark sounding guitars like Les Pauls with humbuckers typically use .02MFD (or .022MFD) capacitors to cut off less of the highs and guitars like Strats and Teles with single coils typically use .05MFD capacitors to allow more treble to be rolled off. Keep in mind that the capacitor value only affects the sound when the tone control is being used (pot in the bass setting) The tone capacitor value will have little to no effect on the sound when the tone pot is in the treble setting. 

soooooooo…..a recap!

The larger the cap, the more treble that is taken out of the sound. Fender originally used a .1mf tone cap, but most people feel that this takes away too much of the highs, the common part is a .022mf cap. A .047mf cap can be used if that does not roll off enough highs, and a .01mf can be used if a .022mf rolls off too much treble. As for the bridge pickup tone control, it only takes one wire to add the tone control to it, a jumper on the switch is all it takes (some of the fender wiring diagrams show this). I have put .01mf caps in a few of the strats that I have owned in the past, and I like it, takes a bit of the edge off, without dulling up the sound. I also (usually) add the tone control connection to the bridge pickup (on SSS) on my strats.

Swapping out capacitors is one of the easiest & lowest cost modifications you can make to an instrument, yet one that makes almost any bass or guitar instantly sound smoother. Unfortunately PIO caps are no longer in production in the USA due environmental considerations. You can however still get Sprague USA “Vitamin Q” type PIO caps from some sources and they occasionally popup on eBay

. I bought two genuine Vitamin Q Sprague 0.047 caps two weeks ago for $16 on eBay. That was a steal!

However once the existing USA made PIO caps are gone there will be no more. As you might expect prices have been escalating lately on USA made PIO caps. So I pick up one or two when I run across them. I keep them for future needs BUT Russian made are good and cheaper too

AND…What does a volume “treble bleed” capacitor do?

A volume “treble bleed” capacitor is used on a volume control pot to prevent treble frequency loss as the volume pot is turned down. This is done by placing a small capacitor (usually .001 MFD) between the input and output terminals of the volume control pot. As the volume is reduced, the capacitor allows high frequencies to bleed through to the output and keeps the tone from getting muddy at lower volume settings.Guitar pot size/type: is potentially a very confusing issue, because we have many overseas customers as well as the huge number of non-USA manufactured guitars out there, we’ll try to present the basics.

Why do I need to know this information?

At this point, we won’t go into quality, tone or other properties of the different pots, just size. If you are going to change the volume and/or tone control knobs without changing the electronics, you need to know which pots are in the guitar. Holes in metal control plates found on bass, Tele and other guitars may be a smaller size for metric pots. Some pickguards may also have smaller holes where the pot shaft goes through the plastic.


Strat knob for metric pot, left- and for USA pot, shown on the right

How to identify which type pot is in my guitar:

If your guitar was manufactured in Japan, Mexico, Korea, China or most other non-USA countries and the electronics have not been replaced, you probably have metric electronics and control knobs sized to fit them. Carefully remove a knob and look at the splines on the pot shaft.  Strat knobs for metric pots have serrated edges on the inside center.

What is a spline?

The splines are the knurling around the shaft of a pot. The example below shows 250k split shaft pots, commonly used on Strat style or other guitars with single coil pickups.  Both pots have the same bottom circumference and are the same overall height. Unless examined closely, you may think they are the same or a least similar enough to be interchangeable. The metric pot, on the left, has a smaller diameter shaft.  The splines are coarser, numbering 18. The nut, washer, and dress washer are smaller on the metric pot.  The 250k CTS pot on the right in the photo has a better quality brass shaft, the threaded area is thicker and the splines are a finer 24 count.


Please Note:

All guitars manufactured in Korea, Japan, China, Indonesia and Mexico use metric pots (6mm), and have metric sized holes drilled for the pots.

All “USA built” pots use standard pots and hole diameters (3/8″). Therefore, holes in the guitar, plates and/or pickguards will need to be enlarged to 3/8″ to fit properly. Also, metric knobs will not fit the RS pot shafts

>>what Tone Capacitors & what are good Resistors :

As for the tone Capacitors… orange drops cheap good & get ya vitamin tone…

The lower the value the brighter the sound =opposite of POTS!

So, larger uf the cap, the darker the tone..the more treble that is taken out of the sound.

Fender originally used a .1mf tone cap, but most people feel that this takes away too much of the highs, the common capacitor used  is a .022mf cap.

A .047mf cap can be used if that does not roll off enough highs, and a .01mf can be used if a .022mf rolls off too much treble.

As for the bridge pickup tone control, it only takes one wire to add the tone control to it, a jumper on the switch is all it takes (some of the fender /SD wiring diagrams show this).

I have put .01mf caps in a few of the strats that I have owned in the past, and I like it, takes a bit of the edge off, without dulling up the sound. I also (usually) add the tone control connection to the bridge pickup (on SSS) on my strats.

I hope that I have not made this too complex, I know that I have not made this as complex as I could

Shielding & Hum Issues

Shielding allows you to substantially reduce all unwanted interference and hum. You can purchase kits that are  even beneficial for most production instruments as it lets you completely encase all of the pickups and controls with a grounded foil. Also included is a special grounding wire for shielding non-shielded pickup leads. This allows you to eliminate unnecessary interference, as well as being able to switch the phase of a shielded pickup independently from its grounded shield.

Basic skills required

Unless you feel completely competent in soldering, desoldering, and a basic understanding of guitar wiring, you should take your instrument to a qualified luthier or repairperson. There is no warranty extended to cover damage caused during the installation of this product. If you wish to learn more about guitar wiring and electronics, we recommend #0548 “Guitar Electronics For Musicians” by Donald Brosnac and #0570 “The Guitar Player Repair Guide” by Dan Erlewine. Any shop doing guitar wiring and setup should have these books in its reference library.

Tools required

Notepad and pencils

Permanent marker

Heat-shrink tubing and/or black tape

Masking tape

Sharp scissors

Hobby knife and/or wire stripers

Soldering Pencil (25-40 watt)

60/40 Flux core solder (thin)

Window cleaner

Lint free rag

Adjustable jaw wrench, socket set, or nut drivers

Pliers (needle nose and regular)

Volt/Ohm meter


In order to completely shield your guitar you will have to dismantle and de-solder a majority of the guitar’s components. It is highly recommended that you make detailed notes on how every component was wired, as well as marking specific wires and solder points with tape labels to help in rewiring the instrument. Be very thorough. One mis-labelled or un-labelled wire could cause a great deal of confusion when you are re-wiring the system.


All of the shielding must be in contact with ground. There are several ways to apply a ground to a shielding network; when dealing with copper shielding foils, the ground wire can be soldered directly to it. If your volume pot housing is in contact with the foil, a ground jumper is not necessary.

Shielding paint from Stewmac or ALLparts  is also very good for shielding control cavities, pickup routs, and drilled holes. The paint is very easy to apply in small, tight areas. A shortcoming of the self-adhesive foils. I PERSONALLY FAVOUR THIS…over copper tape (ensure it uses conductive adhesive too)


Applying ground to a Strat type guitar is very simple. Bring the foil over the top of the body in the area that would be under the pickguard and around the pickguard screw below the bottom tone pot. The foil on the pickguard should surround this screw hole so, when the pickguard is screwed into place, the grounded foil on the pickguard will come in contact with the cavity shielding.

Another method is using a solder lug screwed into the cavity’s side wall. Make the solder lug out of a scrap of brass and use a small wood screw to affix it to a cavity’s side wall. Just solder a wire from the volume pot’s casing to this lug for a good ground.

Single coils –I don’t recommend you do this-some hardy DIY nerds may wish to…

This is not recommended on vintage or rare pickups. This is a delicate job that may be better left up to a professional. This may also reduce some high end frequency from the pickup.

A great deal of the hum and buzz associated with single coil pickups can be eliminated by using a shielding kit as you will shield the coil as well as the output wire. The shielding of the output wire also allows you to switch the phase of the pickup (swap hot for ground) while still maintaining your shielding network.

Remove the pickups from the pickguard assembly and make note of which lug is hot and which is connected to ground. Be sure not to damage the two fine copper wires that exit the windings and are soldered to the wire lugs on the base of the bobbin. Carefully remove the pickup cover to expose the windings and/or protective tape. If the cover appears to be glued to the lower bobbin plate, stop and consult with an expert.

Wrap the coil with a strip of the black electrician’s tape. Starting in the area of the two lugs on the lower bobbin plate and be sure to overlap the tape at least 1/2″. Prepare to wrap the coil with the 1/2″ copper foil tape by trimming it down to 7/16″ then cutting a piece long enough to wrap once around the windings and overlap itself by 1/4″. Remove all but 1/2″ of the protective backing and start to wrap the foil around the bobbin. Start with the end of the foil that still has 1/2″ of backing on it in the area of the solder lugs. Wrap the tape around the bobbin and overlap it over the part that still has the paper backing. From outside to inside in the area of the wire lugs you have the following layers: foil, foil, paper backing, black tape, black tape, windings. The paper is left in the area of the overlap because it reduces the risk of getting the area too hot when soldering and shorting out the windings. Before soldering you will want to check to be sure the cover can still be installed.

Cut a piece of the two conductor plus shield wire (included) the same length as the pickup’s lead wires. Strip back 3/4″ of the outer gray insulation on both ends and separate the outer braided shield from the brown and white wires. Twist the outer braid into a stranded wire and strip back 1/8″ of the insulation off the brown and white wires. Carefully tin these wires. Using your VOM (Volt/Ohm Meter), check for shorts that may have occurred due to overheating one of the wires.

Very carefully desolder the two pickup lead wires from their lugs. Be sure that you made notes as to which lug was attached to ground and which was hot. Now solder the brown wire to the ground lug and the white wire to the hot lug. The outer braid is soldered to the copper foil where you overlapped the paper backing to protect the windings. It is also recommended to solder the point were the foil overlaps itself. This will insure that the foil will not loosen with age and makes for a better shield. To hook up the pickup: solder the white wire to the selector switch; the brown and outer braid to the back of the volume pot (unless you are using a phase switch). Check your shielding for continuity with your VOM and make sure that the hot wires are not shorted to ground.


Depending upon the type of humbucker(s) in the instrument, you may not need to do any additional shielding. For example, Gibson-type humbuckers with their metal covers in place do not require any extra shielding. A Precision bass which uses a split humbucker and plastic covers could benefit from additional shielding.

P-bass pickups generally do not have a shielded output wire, so you will want to replace it the same as outlined in the single coil instructions. Most other humbuckers have a shielded output wire, so the only additional shielding will be around the coils and/or in the covers.
Control cavities

Before shielding the instrument’s cavities, remove all of the electrical components, pickups, pots, switches, jacks, etc. Be sure to make notes on how these parts were oriented and hooked up. Start by applying shielding paint or for some of you will wish to use the copper foil –apply first to the bottom of the cavity. To size the piece, lay the foil on top of the cavity and drag your finger around the edge of the rout. This will crease the foil and give you a guideline for cutting a properly sized piece. Cut the foil 1/4″ outside your crease mark. This will give you some foil that will extend up the sides of the cavity and will be overlapped by the foil applied to the sidewalls. Make several cuts from the outside edge of the foil to the crease mark in the areas that will be in corners or curved portions of the rout. They will allow the foil to go down smoothly on both the bottom and the sidewalls. Before you stick the foil down, remove any excess dust or debris from the rout with compressed air and/or a clean rag and window cleaner.

After you apply the bottom foil, you are ready to affix foil to the sidewalls. Use the 1/2″ wide copper foil on the walls of the rout. Three strips is usually enough to cover the sidewalls and be sure to slightly overlap the strips so that the shield is complete. Lightly solder the overlapped areas at a few points to insure a total shield. Make sure the copper foil overlaps the 1/4″ of copper on the sidewalls. Check for continuity between the copper and the copper when you have finished. If you do not get a good reading, press the copper down against the copper again to make the contact complete. Bring some 1/4″ wide tabs of copper foil over the top edge of the rout in control cavity areas to come into contact with the cover plate or pickguard. If the shielding is in a pickup rout, be sure to connect it with ground.

Cover plates & pickguards

Use the self-adhesive copper foil on the back of control cavity covers and pickguards. Be sure the foil on your cover plate or pickguard will come in contact with the shielding applied in the cavity it covers. When shielding pickguards, the foil only needs to be applied in the area of the control cavity.


Check your notes frequently so that everything gets wired correctly and use caution when soldering to pots and switches. It is easy to get them too hot which would cause a malfunction. Be sure that no hot connections come in contact with your shielding as this would cause a short circuit and there would be no output. Heat-shrink tubing or black tape will protect hot connections from touching the shielding.

Rout and solder the hookup wires neatly as this will aid in replacing pickguards or tracing faults. Do not make the wires too short. A little slack aids in making other connections and troubleshooting. Run a string ground unless you are using active pickups.

Notes on pickup adjustments

Pickups shouldn’t be adjusted too close to the strings. For single-coils, there should be about a 1/8″ gap between the top of the low E pole piece and the bottom of the low E string fretted at the highest (21st or 22nd) fret, and 3/32″ for the high E.

Humbuckers can be adjusted closer (3/32″-1/16″), since they don’t have as much focused magnetic pull as single-coils.

Adjusting pickups any closer (especially with single-coils) can cause false notes or “wolf-tones.” If you’ve ever played a Strat that sounded like you were getting two notes from one string (usually the wound strings) in the upper registers, you have witnessed this anomaly. It is most often referred to as “Strat-itis” and can cause a lot of head scratching unless you know what is happening. To cure the problem, simply back the bass-side of the neck and middle pickups further away from the strings.

CUSTOM GUITARS bodies, necks and hardware:

Great quality well priced custom built guitar bodies & necks:



 – made in Calif USA by Augustas Guitars-Mr Michael Schlenker

He is an expert on Nitro paint & catalysed nitro selant finishes..all  finishes & stains..

Contact  Michael via email to arrange  for a quote & chat;


>also in the USA

www.  for bodies & custom necks and for custom necks

Cabinet & Amp Speaker  repair:  Boultons in the UK

Boultons in the UK- owner Mr Paul Seago, the best there is … he has re-coned alot of my vintage 12 & 15” Celestions from my Selmer & WEM vintage amps

but they are very busy, check-out their website as they also manufacture the amazing range of Tayden speakers

Registered office: 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JQ
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