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  1. #1

    1982 Les Paul Grounding Wire What is this metal case that surrounds the Pots

    Hi Guys
    I am trying to figure out how to ground my 1982 Les Paul. There appears to be a metal box that surrounds the
    Volume and Tone pots. I am looking for a way to ground the guitar. When I originally got the guitar
    it was Kahlered and the guy who did the mod snaked a ground wire up through the bridge pickup cavity from the
    control cavity and then snuck a wire out from under the pu ring to the actual bridge itself. It looked awful. So now what?
    Do I pull the bridge stud and then drill a hole down to the volume pot and then link all four pots?
    What about this weird metal case that surrounds the pots? Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.
    RAR

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: 1982 Les Paul Grounding Wire What is this metal case that surrounds the Pots

    Gibson did go through a phase in the late 70's / early 80's where they didn't install a string ground wire. The guitars had the metal shielding can round the control pots that you describe and the jack socket will also be enclosed in a metal can if it is the original. This additional shielding was deemed sufficient to prevent RF interference being picked up without the need to ground the strings, I've never encountered one first hand so don't know how effective it was but the theory behind it is sound. If you did want to install a ground wire then the only way to do it neatly would be as you say to remove a tailpiece stud and drill through to the control cavity.

  3. #3

    Re: 1982 Les Paul Grounding Wire What is this metal case that surrounds the Pots

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulD View Post
    Gibson did go through a phase in the late 70's / early 80's where they didn't install a string ground wire. The guitars had the metal shielding can round the control pots that you describe and the jack socket will also be enclosed in a metal can if it is the original. This additional shielding was deemed sufficient to prevent RF interference being picked up without the need to ground the strings, I've never encountered one first hand so don't know how effective it was but the theory behind it is sound. If you did want to install a ground wire then the only way to do it neatly would be as you say to remove a tailpiece stud and drill through to the control cavity.
    That is exactly what I see and its not sufficient in my opinion unless of course there is some grounding that has been disconnected by the Kahler mod. Ok thanks for the information.

  4. #4

    Re: 1982 Les Paul Grounding Wire What is this metal case that surrounds the Pots

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Russell View Post
    That is exactly what I see and its not sufficient in my opinion unless of course there is some grounding that has been disconnected by the Kahler mod. Ok thanks for the information.
    Does anyone here have a video where the ground wire channel is drilled through from the stud hole to the control cavity. I am a little nervous about attempting that.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: 1982 Les Paul Grounding Wire What is this metal case that surrounds the Pots

    There is a simple way to check if grounding the strings will provide any benefit before committing to drill holes in the guitar. With the guitar plugged in and amp turned up touch something metallic that is grounded while holding the guitar (a water pipe or the metal barrel of the jack plug will do). If there is a significant reduction in hiss / noise when you touch the grounded metal then grounding the strings could be worth doing, if not then there is no point.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Yelly's Avatar
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    Re: 1982 Les Paul Grounding Wire What is this metal case that surrounds the Pots

    I had a “can” LP years back. The strings weren’t grounded. However, the normal hole to the tailpiece stud had been drilled. I grounded the strings by running a wood screw up the hole until it struck metal. I attached a ground wire to the screw head via a washer. Sounds peculiar but worked fine and easier than removing/replacing the stud.

  7. #7

    Re: 1982 Les Paul Grounding Wire What is this metal case that surrounds the Pots

    Oh. I don’t know, Those bridge studs remove plenty easy.

    But, a wood screw is a pretty good way to solve that problem! And you didn’t even need to take the strings off !

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Yelly's Avatar
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    Re: 1982 Les Paul Grounding Wire What is this metal case that surrounds the Pots

    Most important thing is to at least check to see if the hole is already there. You lift the stud and do it properly if you are confident.

  9. #9

    Re: 1982 Les Paul Grounding Wire What is this metal case that surrounds the Pots

    Well I did and it was relatively easy. The 53 GT had the ground wire but as mentioned in those
    days they just snaked the ground up the channel so ... I got the proper length and diameter drill bit and carefully
    lined it up and it found the stud hole. Whoopee
    thanks for the help

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: 1982 Les Paul Grounding Wire What is this metal case that surrounds the Pots

    I have a LP deluxe previously routed for humbuckers that I had the same grounding problem. I didn't have the metal can installed.
    For years I had a butt ugly solution where I had a small piece of wire routed from setting under the bridge and on top of the post on one end and running the other end down to the rythem volume pot where I wrapped in between washer and nut for pot. ugly but stopped buzzzzz.
    I eventually pulled the tailpiece stud closest to the control cavity and drilled a small hole from the bushing hole to the control cavity. I ran a wire down the hole leaving enough in the bushing hole to make contact with when I reinserted the busing and ground the other end on a pot. problem solved.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: 1982 Les Paul Grounding Wire What is this metal case that surrounds the Pots

    Quote Originally Posted by dju View Post
    I have a LP deluxe previously routed for humbuckers that I had the same grounding problem. I didn't have the metal can installed.
    For years I had a butt ugly solution where I had a small piece of wire routed from setting under the bridge and on top of the post on one end and running the other end down to the rythem volume pot where I wrapped in between washer and nut for pot. ugly but stopped buzzzzz.
    I eventually pulled the tailpiece stud closest to the control cavity and drilled a small hole from the bushing hole to the control cavity. I ran a wire down the hole leaving enough in the bushing hole to make contact with when I reinserted the busing and ground the other end on a pot. problem solved.
    I appear to be the odd man out, but I still have a 1980 Heritage 80 that was my main stage guitar for years and I never had a problem with buzzing: if the humbucking pickups have their covers on, shielded braided cable connects them to the pots which are mounted on a metal conductive plate which is covered by a metal conductive can, and shielded braided cable then connects to the output jack. Plus I liked not being a path to ground. So before you drill, I second checking to see if a ground wire will help.

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