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How quiet is your setup with the II?


Apart from all the obvious suggestions here (environment, cabling, power supply etc.) - as far as the guitar itself is concerned, I've had great results by using adhesive copper foil - on SCs, HBs and even P-90s (to a certain extend).

IMHO it is important to shield all the cavities, starting with the P/U cavities, the electronics bay obviously and not forgetting (on a LP style type) the selector switch cavity. In each cavity, one should solder the pieces of copper used together - few drops of solder should be sufficient for each foil connection - to achieve consistent grounding.

Most importantly, all shielded cavities must be connected and ultimately soldered to (preferrably a central) ground - typically the backside of a pot. I am using insulated wires that runs from cavity to cavity to grounding pot.

In the electronics compartment, I shield the bottom and the walls as well as the backside of the cover.

Make sure that your bridge grounding is still intact (lose or broken wire etc.)

Some people say shielding influences your tone but not only can I not detect that but more so the advantages (e.g. no additional hum when not touching the strings) by far outweigh any potential minor tone degradations.
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What dabert said.

And if you want to do it right, shield the cavity covers too, and bring a piece of copper foil far enough over the edge of the cavity that it contacts the foil on the cavity cover when the cover is screwed down.


Interesting! So.. why aren't guitars sold shielded like that? :shock
Because it adds cost. Mostly labor cost, which manufacturers try to avoid.

It's tedious detail work, and many guitarists aren't aware of its benefits, so they're not likely to pay extra for it.


And if you want to do it right, shield the cavity covers too, and bring a piece of copper foil far enough over the edge of the cavity that it contacts the foil on the cavity cover when the cover is screwed down.
Right on - forgot to mention that explicitely. And some manufacturers do in fact shield right from the factory. E.g. recent American Standard Fenders (and up, I would assume) are shielded with shielding paint. A good test is always to see if the hum increases when the strings are not touched when plugged in. Touching the strings grounds the guitar via your body - a noticable difference in noise levels when when the guitar is not already properly grounded / shielded.

BTW: Les Pauls are not shielded at all and the industrial paint process that Gibson is employing since the early 2000s (positive charge) is conductive to introduce additional static noise when rubbing the body or sliding your hands up and down the neck (why would one do that in the first place, right? 8) ) - shielding helps here as well, in my experience.

Copper foil is to be preferred as it has much more desirable conductive properties compared to tin foil.

A word of caution from own experience: While adhesive (copper) foil works great, is fairly easy to apply and can be removed without a trace if need be, stay away from copper spray (like EWS 35) at all cost! I tried that once with a recent LP Junior Special and the spray crept through the masking tape at the edges, eating into the nitro paint almost to the wood. Very ugly and I kicked myself in the butt for self-inflicting this damage.

On the upside, this way I got to know Dragan from Fine Art Guitar Workshop in Germany, an authorized Gibson repair center, who is not only a very nice guy but also a true master of his craft who got my LP back to factory condition at minimal cost.


Hi, my guitar tech (for my Les Pauls), Paul Nieto, does this for other guitars. All of his own model guitars, are all completely silent AND headstock balanced. He also uses a new piezo pick up that DOES NOT require a battery. He has a Les Paul Access that he worked on that was amazing. here is his info. 212.675.3260 .. Paul Nieto's Guitar Repair Shop - Guitartech NYC - The Best Guitar Repair Shop in New York, Factory Authorized. Electric, Bass, Acoustic, Classical Guitar Repairs, Restoration, Warranty. Guitar Lessons. 8)


The Decimator is a noise gate plus a variable filter that trims off more highs as the guitar signal decays. You can replicate the same behavior in the Axe with a filter tied to the envelope follower.
the axe-fx II has had a dynamic filter since 5.0


Fractal Fanatic
Even on high gain presets I really don't get much noise. Maybe a little hiss but definitely no hum. I rarely use a noise gate. If I do it's in 99 just to dampen the signal slight if the guitar is just hanging and not being played. But even with the gate off no real hum here.
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