Turn table crackle issue. Get out your thinking caps!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Guy Gadbois, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Forum Resident Thread Starter

    First, the gear...

    Pro-Ject Xtension 9
    Hana MC low output cart
    Prima Luna Dialogue HP Integrated
    Marantz 6006 CD player
    Manley Chinook phono stage. I am now using a Parasound as a loaner.
    Shunyata power conditioner, power cables and outlets

    I got most of my gear within the last three months.

    I occasionally get a popping sound out of my speakers when my table is engaged. By "engaged" I mean when the AUX 2 (my table input) is selected on my amp. It happens regardless of whether or not I'm playing an album. It does not happen when I play a CD.

    Originally I thought it was the Manley, because it didn't happen when I played CDs. So I spent $80 to send it back to Manley for a checkup, and got a Parasound loaner phono stage. The issue is still happens with the Parasound.

    Here's what I tried to isolate the problem...

    - Switched inputs on the amp. Didn't resolve the issue
    - Took my table, and the cables, to a HiFi shop and tried it out on their gear. The popping did not happen at the shop
    - Tried a different table at my house. The popping did not happen with the different table (it is a low end Rega)
    - Borrowed a set of $300 cables (as opposed to my cheap amazon cables), to go from the out on the Parasound to the in on the Prima Luna. Did not resolve the issue

    I'm at a loss. The popping doesn't happen with the Rega at my house, but it doesn't happen at the HiFi shop with the Pro Ject. Am I missing something?
     
  2. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Could be a difference in ground levels between components. The Prima Luna uses a somewhat unusual switching mechanism for the inputs, a series of relays for better isolation, so maybe when you switch to the phono preamp source, the ground offset causes a momentary pop, almost like there is DC on the signal line (which would be the other possibility). The Rega uses a different ground connection between turntable and phono preamp, it's on one of the signal returns, so I would experiment with the ground connections between the components, maybe even try a connection between phono preamp chassis and amp, and alternate ground connections from turntable to preamp. Maybe try reorienting the power plugs too, are they all on the same power conditioner now?
     
  3. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Forum Resident Thread Starter

    @Davey What is weird is that the Rega doesn't have a ground. Yes they are all on the same power conditioner.

    I had my phone near my speakers and I noticed it made it worse. My wife thought that maybe the WiFi in my house is the cause, because it's near (8 feet) the amp. But it never happened before I had my current set up
     
  4. Tim S

    Tim S Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Could you explain these terms to an idiot like me? I haven't encountered them before, and I have no idea what this is.
     
  5. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    As I mentioned, Rega grounds the turntable parts through one of the signal returns in the phono cable, so you're right, it doesn't have a separate ground wire, which may be a clue to why that one works better in your setup. Grounds can get tricky in some situations.

    Most audio components are not referenced to the incoming AC power supply (safety) ground, they usually just use 2-prong AC connectors, or just connect the chassis to AC ground for safety while maintaining circuit ground isolation (sometimes through resistor/capacitor circuit). There are a few methods in practice, so connecting components together that have different AC voltage potential levels on their signal returns or chassis can sometimes be problematic. Often it is helpful to use a voltmeter to aid in orienting the AC plugs on all the components to minimize voltage differences between components.

    It's a pretty detailed topic to try and capsulize here, there are many articles online that give more information, though some will likely be contradictory, it isn't always easy to pick the best method for interconnecting components from different manufacturers and designers, especially when mixing tube and solid state designs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
    Guy Gadbois likes this.
  6. Something funky with tonearm wiring in the TT or static electricity maybe.
     
  7. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    It is clear from your description that it is the turntable causing this. As you have said - you tried the rega and the crackling didn't follow - so clearly the project.

    Now I would check to hear - does it come from both channels or one channel? Try running with just the right channel? Left Channel?

    Then look at the cart - does it occur with NO cart hooked up (completely removed)?

    It is either in the turntable power section - or in the cartridge itself/wiring to the cart - so remove the cart - and see if the cracking remains - try only once channel at a time.

    I'd wiggle the cart leads (with no cart connected) to see if they are problematic.

    Report back.

    Good luck!
     
    morinix likes this.
  8. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    I also had a - what I call static electricity problem. I live in a very dry electrical area (mile high city in the mountains) where the static shocks actually snap - anyhow - I was running a DV 10x5 on my Technics using the MC section of a Cambridge Audio 640p - what would happen would be - all of a sudden during a song that sounded fine - I'd hear a loud POP followed by a whirling sound - like something popped and deflated (wouldn't recover) - really strange - it would go away once I disconnected the headshell from the turntable arm (like releasing static). Then about an hour later it would come back - pop then terrible sound sustaining. Only fix would be to disconnect the headshell and put back on - fixed (temporarily.)

    In the end I moved to the lower gain MM section of the CA 640P and the issue never came back. I chalked it up to static electricity and a high gain phono pre section - some kind of inbalance occuring. No one could help me- I lucked out by trying different things.

    Thanks,
     
    Rickchick and morinix like this.
  9. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    I just read this after my posts - agreed!
     
    morinix likes this.
  10. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Forum Resident Thread Starter

    @costerdock It happens in both channels.

    The mystery is...when I took the Pro Ject to the HiFi shop, it was fine. Brought it home, and the problem showed up
     
  11. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Forum Resident Thread Starter

    @costerdock Also I'm a bit leery of removing, and remounting, the cart. I've never done it
     
  12. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It does kinda sound like static
     
    PhxJohn likes this.
  13. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    If you unplug your turntable (cart doesn't run on elec from wall outlet- table doesn't need to be plugged in for cart to work) do you hear the crackle? If not then it would be something with the power supply.
     
  14. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Forum Resident Thread Starter

    @costerdock Just unplugged the table...but fired up the amp and phono stage...and it's still happening
     
  15. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    something wrong with the amp- possibly / hopefully a tube issue. can you remove and re-install the tubes? try gently tapping on the tubes to see if you get any response.
     
  16. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    At this point you might want to start thinking about removing that cart and trying a different one (take the one off the rega) - it shouldn't be too difficult. Either that or try moving the turn table to a different location - the cart could be overly sensitive and picking up noise from something near by - or simply not connected properly (loose fitting.) A different cart would be a nice test.
     
  17. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    He tried a Rega turntable using the same setup and there is no crackle - works fine.
     
  18. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Forum Resident Thread Starter

    @costerdock I'm wondering if it's some sort of power static issue associated with my new washer & dryer. They have built in blue tooth/WiFi and I wonder if they're trying to connect with the WiFi in the house, causing interference with the system, specifically with the speakers.

    In the middle of a minute of popping, I switched the input to the CD, and it was silent. If it's still happening with the table unplugged, yet on the AUX 2 (table input), then it's gotta be something else.
     
    Rickchick likes this.
  19. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Forum Resident Thread Starter

  20. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    Yeah dimmers and florescent lights can get picked up -one test would be to hit the circuit breaker box and switch off everything but your stereo outlet circuit and see if that makes any difference. Also move the table around if you can - far from the amp.
     
  21. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    Also with the table unplugged and the crackling happening start un plugging other non essential stereo components and see if it changes - unplug and pull rcas
     
  22. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Forum Resident Thread Starter

    @costerdock What I might do tomorrow is bring my table upstairs and plug it into my home theatre receiver and see what happens
     
    costerdock likes this.
  23. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    but he unplugged the turntable (presumably from the amp inputs) and still the issue.
     
  24. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    or bring your HT receiver down stairs.
     
    Mike from NYC and Guy Gadbois like this.

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