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buzzy single-coil pick-up in hollow body

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New Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1
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this is not exactly a guitar question ...

I have a Sigma hollow-body mandolin that came with a piezo bridge pick-up but it got on my nerves after a while because the sound was too tinny and it picked up the attack of the pick during hard strumming

i'd noticed that bass pick-ups (fender jazz bass style) have exactly the right magnet spacing for a mandolin and would be perfect to go under the 4 pairs of strings - so i cut a pick-up shaped hole in the instrument and installed the pick-up - it was quite a nice job and sounds good through my amp

BUT the problem is that playing live i get horrible buzzing when the stage lighting is faded up - it's so bad i have to use another instrument.

So i think that i need to put some shielding in (the pick-up wire to the jack socket is already shielded) around the pick-up. The problem with this is that it's not like a solid-body where i could put copper foil under the scratchplate and on the inside of the electronics cut-out - this instrument has f-holes etc. So what i need i some way of encasing the pick-up & wire & jack in screening

does anyone have any ideas on this ??


Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 41

Does the lead coming from the pickup use a screened wire, ie, does it have brading or foil around the wire, or pair of wires?

If it only has 1 wire make sure the screen, which is the second wire, is connected to the earth, or outer terminal on the jack socket to the lead/amp.

If it has 2 wires make sure that 1 wire plus the screen goes to the outer terminal on the jack etc.

If there are just 2 wires and they are not screened make sure that you take an additional connection from the metalwork of the pickup to the wire that goes to the outer terminal on the jack, you can do this by twisting a wire around one of the pickup mounting screws.