Close to giving up (Buzz/Hum problem)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by dastinger, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Mo0g

    Mo0g Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Yes, my point about the legal stuff is that the dealer itself will know he is perfectly entitled to return it and I can only imagine a dealer being reluctant to be helpful if you weren't intending to buy a different TT instead, AND this wasn't a "known" issue with them (so Rega would get funny about them returning it).
     
  2. Al402

    Al402 New Member

    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    If you have exhausted the dealer side but still have the problem you really have a sunk cost and an unsatisfactory sound quality. The decision is yours but personally I would correct the incorrect Rega arm/cartridge grounding connection. Yes there is a risk IF you get a further issue that requires a warranty return and then IF someone checks if the wiring has been altered.

    It should not be connected to either of the RCA connectors. There should be a separate ground wire running back to the Phono Preamp ground screw. With a 5 pin DIN cable this is achieved by connecting the ground to the 5th pin of the plug and socket. With a separate wire that runs parallel to the RCA's back to the ground screw. Here is a quote from one engineer dealing with a similar issue:

    "The idea is that there will be current between the chassis of the preamp and the turntable. This is usually due to capacitance between the power line (connects to the turntable motor and wiring, and to the preamp power transformer primary) and the chassis. You want to keep this current out of the signal grounds from the cartridge, so you connect the chassis to each other with a heavier wire, and you run the signal grounds to a single point, usually right at the input of the preamp.

    If this current ran through the "ground" of the interconnect, its non-zero resistance would create a hum voltage that the preamp would see as part of the signal - it can't tell the difference. We call this a "ground loop" but it's not usually due to magnetic fields as the textbooks say, it's usually the capacitive coupling to the power line."


    I believe that the Rega solution is a money saving exercise that works for the majority who may not have local issues like you are encountering. It is called Value Engineering. But it is not recommended.
     
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  3. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    Sorry for the late reply. My toddler hurt his hand on Sunday and we spent close to 24 hours in the hospital. I'm back at it now and just saw all your replies. Thanks a lot for the continued help!

    Trying a different phono stage is on my list and it's one of the things I'll ask the store to bring to my place when they visit.

    I isolated the room by turning everything else off on the circuit breaker. There was still a buzz.

    The issue with buying from outside Europe is that I'll always have to pay the extra customs taxes. We're talking about an increase of the original cost of about 30%. I bought the Rega for €270 (~$330, it's a lot cheaper in Europe), so we're talking about a $200 increase over what I paid for it if I went to the 1200. I know I'd have a great turntable for life, but I don't know if I can spend as much as that atm.

    Also, I'm 100% sure that money back is not an option right now. They wouldn't accept such thing.

    Yes, I'll definitely try working with them on this. I still haven't called because I wanted to finish renovations on the room where everything is going to be set up. But, if I realise renovations will take more time than I expect to finish, I'll call them in nevertheless and let them work where the turntable is atm.

    I definitely thought about that. Could you please explain the 5 pin DIN cable? I found a link with instructions on how to mod the Rega tonearm, would this be enough, is this what you're talking about?
     
  4. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Hope your kids doing better.

    Yeah shipping can be a problem for sure. The only reason I mentioned the SL1200 is because thats what Ive been looking to find as an upgrade for my Rega. After being an owner for a year or so the shortcomings get highlighted more, grounding issues being one of them. If I could coach my older self with a purchase for the same budget I would still go with a Rega though.
     
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  5. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    @Al402

    I read my post again and noticed I forgot the link I mentioned. Here you go: REGA 250 300 Tonearm modification humm-free remove signal ground
     
  6. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    The new arms may be slightly different. I have had long experience of the RB300 and the grounding was not an issue. Your problem lies with the class II amps grounding. Using an RB300 on Gyrodec with Rega Fono MC (which has no earth to mains) and no issues. I have used this stage with grounded arms attached to it's earth post again without issue. You obviously have no path to earth through your other equipment so suggest try earth wire to a 3 pin plug from the amps grounding post or a chassis screw. Taking Rega arms apart and modifying in practice can be tricky and the inexperienced are likely to do some damage. If you are still unhappy and want to keep the Rega TT I would suggest sending the arm to Audio Origami in the UK for a complete rewire though may not be worth the cost. Audio Origami Rewires | Audio Origami
     
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  7. Mo0g

    Mo0g Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Because you do not live in close enough proximity to a troublesome source of interference? Dastinger has done all the troubleshooting and the problem is with his Rega TT, because it picks up interference in HIS house. I have no doubt if he took it to your house there would be no problem!
     
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  8. enfield

    enfield Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex UK
    Changing subject slightly if i may..I listen to my bedroom system at low levels and have always found the hum from my amplifier and the whiring of a cd being played quite intrusive.
    I recently changed that system to a lossless file media player and a small class D mini-Amp..Silence at last and with no loss of sound quality.
     
  9. meanoldman

    meanoldman Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Park, CO
    If you know how to use an Ohm meter to check for continuity, make sure the wires that connect to the cartridge have continuity to the output jacks. As a former tech I can tell you that I've seen this problem when one of the conductors to the cartridge is faulty, although the signal (with buzz) still appears as the chassis still serves as a signal ground (and antenna).
     
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  10. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Congrats ;^)
     
  11. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    You have little understanding of earth problems my friend. If there was a general mains issue other turntables would be affected irrespective of earth arrangement. He describes this as more of a hum which is typical of either no earth or an earth loop. The OP doesn't appear to have tried my suggestions and is going round in circles due to daft advice on this forum. Last resort would be an arm rewire but no guarantee this would work without addressing other issues. In the end I think there is much responsibility of the dealer to sort the problem either by visiting the OP's house or lending him alternative TT and amplification to try at home (not in the showroom).
     
  12. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    What is your suggestion?
     
  13. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Is this supposed to be helpful apart from another pro streaming / anti vinyl /CD post?
     
  14. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Read my previous posts.
     
  15. Mo0g

    Mo0g Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I don't think you have read his posts and what he has done. He has tried various amps with the same result. He has tried different TTs and had no problem. The problem is the Rega TT, nothing else. The TT had the same problem at his friends house, but not at the dealer. There are numerous reports of the same issue with Rega TTs. The logical conclusion is that the Rega TTs have a grounding issue which only manifests itself if you are unlucky enough to live close to a source of interference. Most people will not, so do not have the problem. If you do live close enough then you either have to get a different TT, or try and fix the TT grounding problem, which appears to be at the tonearm.

    We agree that now it is down to the dealer to sort it out, but if he is fixed on having a Rega TT then that leaves modding the tonearm doesnt it?!
     
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  16. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    I didnt get it.
     
  17. enfield

    enfield Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex UK
    The thread is about trouble with hum.I posted about my trouble with hum.Albeit with different equipment.My post was not intended to be anti anything.

    There seems to be quite a lot of unwarranted passive aggression on this forum lately.
     
  18. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    Let me try clarifying what I've done and why I think the issue is not the amp. First of all, I'm not sure if you're familiar with European plugs and how they work. All plugs have two pins. What makes the difference between plug types is earthing. Earthing is not done by a third pin that goes in the plug like in the UK or in the US. Earthing is done by two plates on the plug that touch two prongs on the mains. Check pictures:

    [​IMG]
    This is the outlet. Those metal plates you see on top and bottom are the earthing. Now, not all plugs in Europe are big enough to touch those. Both my turntable's and receiver's plugs don't touch the plates. They use these: https://i.imgur.com/54ftBhY.jpg instead of these: https://i.imgur.com/rstlXNj.jpg

    Now, if the issue was the grounding of the receiver, all turntables would buzz, right? And that's not the case. My old Reloop didn't buzz and my friend's Pioneer PL-100 didn't buzz. Also, if the receiver was the problem, it would buzz at the store, correct? They used the exact same plug, it's non-removeable.

    Now, looking at the pictures of the plugs I showed you, what do you mean by grounding to a three pin plug? What I can do I think I already done. I ran speaker wire from the receiver ground screw to one of those plates you see on the picture. That, indeed, reduced the buzz quite significantly but it's still there.

    I'm inclined to believe that this is correct. Rega's grounding method is not ideal and, even though it might work with most users, it doesn't work for a lot as well (a quick Google search will show how many have issues with Regas because of buzz/hum). Also, the U Turn Orbit uses the same method and lots have buzz issues as well. I don't believe it to be a coincidence.

    I used one to check for continuity on the ground wire, but didn't check for continuity on the cartridge wires. I definitely will check, thank you for the suggestion!

    I describe the sound I hear as more of a buzz, not a hum. But I'm not a native english speaker and I could be wrong. I'll try recording it today and post here, but it's a high pitched buzz that I'd say is above 5000hz.
     
  19. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Thanks - I do understand the european plugs. It's likely that the Reloop and other DJ decks don't need grounding due to their design even though they have a ground cable supplied. I suggest trying a Project or other European audiophile deck or an amp that has an earthed power cord (3 pin). You still should try grounding the amps if they use a two pin plug as I believe the Rega requires a ground path via the amps casing via the shield in one channel of the tonearm cable. Worth eliminating all possibilities here. I don't know why things sound OK at the store to be honest but the buzz/hum you describe is typical of incorrect grounding. Does the Rega come with a two or three pin plug? In UK they would be supplied with 3 pin, so earth to motor. Perhaps a UK Rega owner could confirm this. Also do the Reloop and Pioneer have two or three pin plugs? I will add I have had a combination of amp and CD player that hummed no matter what due to poor internal grounding (likely the amp).
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  20. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Apologies. In your case different strokes with the two set ups. Best solution is everything class II double insulated. Then no ground issues. Check out NVA amps.
     
  21. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    The Reloop is a DJ table but the Pioneer isn't. The PL-100 is a late 70s turntable. Also, both hum if I disconnect the ground wire so they definitely need grounding.

    The only way I found to ground the receiver is by doing what I've already done. The power cord is non-removeable so I can't exchange it by another.

    The Rega comes with a two pin plug. This is obviously not 100% accurate, but by searching Google images and Planar 1 unboxing videos, it seems that the ground pin on UK original Rega plugs is made out of plastic which means no grounding to mains, correct?

    Also, don't forget that I tried three different receivers. They all buzzed with the Rega and none buzzed with the Reloop and Pioneer. Everything points to the Rega.
     
  22. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Borrow a Rega Brio amp from your dealer (built in phono). These should have an earth connection on the plug. If it doesn't work without buzz then something daft going on. Looks like the earth for the Rega is just through the cable screen so it is compromised in some way with the receivers used. Likely sockets are not connected to case earth. I'm not saying Rega earthing arrangement is desirable but it usually works, otherwise every TT they make would be unusable. Only other thing that might cause the problem is if you are using multiple wall sockets. Best to use one socket with a distribution block.
     
  23. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    I'll ask them to bring a Brio or another amp with grounding to mains when they visit. Earthing on the Rega is through the left RCA cable glove.

    I agree with @Mo0g, pretty sure Rega grounding method works with people who don't have any kind of interference or "dirt" on their electrical installation. For the ones who have, it simply doesn't work.

    I have everything connected to the same power strip that is connected to one wall outlet.
     
  24. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    They do it on their expensive tone arms. It's a Roy Gandy design quirk like not providing adjustable VTA.
     
  25. Al402

    Al402 New Member

    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Yes, that is what I meant. Unfortunately this operation is made a little more delicate because of the poor quality of the Rega components. They don't use a standard DIN plug as shown below with socketed pins. If you are unsure, any good local electronics repair shop could do it for you.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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