Close to giving up (Buzz/Hum problem)

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

  1. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    Hello everyone. I'm sorry for the delayed reply, but I didn't get any email about new replies. Anyway, I've got some news that I'll add after @Drewan77 post because I think it might be related.

    I want to thank everyone for the continued support. You have all been amazing.

    Thanks a lot for this suggestion. I even reached out to the official dealer here in Europe not knowing Thomann sold it. Still, I'd prefer spending this amount on a tonearm rewire that I think would also solve the issue (although it'd void the warranty).

    This has crossed my mind before and you might be right. Or at least it is something that was common across the 3 receivers I tested it with. I tested it with a 70s Pioneer, a 90s Marantz (mine) and a Denon AVR from 2003 (also mine). All three are receivers, so maybe the arm is picking up something and the poor grounding is not good enough to deal with it. Now I need to find a stereo amp with a phono stage to test.

    About the news now. First of all, I'm finishing up on the renovations, so I think I'll have it all setup in 2 weeks. Then I'll call the store technician in.

    In the mean time, I decided to try the Denon out again. I was using it when I first noticed the buzz because the Marantz was acting up (right channel failed a couple times) and I decided to swap to the Marantz again when I began testing. Anyway, I ran speaker wire from the Denon's ground screw to the mains, just like I did with the Marantz, and the buzz is a lot less noticeable than it was with the Marantz. It is still definitely there and I can't rule that the issue is with the receiver because, without the speaker wire, it's still really loud and annoying.

    One thing I noticed is that I need to push the volume up a lot more on the Denon to reach the same level as, let's say, 50% of the knob on the Marantz (which is really loud already). Maybe this is related to why the buzz is less noticeable on the Denon? Maybe the Denon is less sensitive? Does this even make sense?

    It's amazing how many persons have issues with Regas and, still, nothing is done on their part. I'm sorry to hear that, hope you get it fixed somehow.

    It could be, but don't forget I tested it with a multimeter and there was continuity. I still need to test the four cartridge wires, I'll do that on the weekend and report back. But the internal ground wire is properly connected.

    Thanks a lot for sharing. Could you please keep me updated? How did you reach Rega, through the dealer?

    About the rewiring, I totally agree. It's a shame that it voids the warranty and I'll try the dealer's way first, but I'm not happy with the interconnects anyway so I guess it's a win/win.

    Again, please keep me updated. Thank you!
     
  2. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    When I had hum problems with my Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, the hum was louder using the phono preamp and quieter using the phono entry on my Denon, but so was the music. Seems like something similar. Same hum, but louder because of the higher gain in the preamp.
     
  3. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    I believe you stated a tech person could replace the shielded output cables. Have this person order doubled shielded cables. If double shielded not normally available, use coaxial double shielded cables. Also, ask about a separate ground cable too.
     
  4. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    Yes, maybe that's it. What should I look for on each receiver's specs to explain this though?

    The Marantz is a SR-73 and the Denon is a AVR3803.

    I mentioned that the friend that has been helping me with this is pretty handy with this kind of stuff and could easily help me rewire the tonearm.

    We were thinking on something like this: The ultimate Rega Tonearm Rewire kit FLUID DAMPED!! | eBay (hope eBay links are allowed). It seems pretty good and I've been following the latest listings (this particular one gets listed regularly) and it always ends up at around £70-80.
     
  5. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    It is pointing to a bad earth connection but I have doubts your test method is reliable. Also check how the motor is earthed as likely via the arm pillar if the deck has a two pin plug. If you go for the rewire I would advise sending the arm to the seller to do this. He only shows pictures of old style rega arm so worth checking. I would recommend Audio Origami or Moth marketing to do this with something like Cardas wire. http://www.audioorigami.co.uk/tone-arm-rewires/. In view of cost v price of deck I would advise getting the Rega retailer or distributor to check the deck out. You should really ask to try another sample to be honest since you have had it a short time and in warranty. This is Rega's problem to resolve and if you make no progress try to get refund or exchange for another TT (not Project). Borrow a Rega Fono or Amp from your dealer just to eliminate the amps you have tried as the problem.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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  6. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    I would suggest that too.
     
  7. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    I don't know, unfortunately. I solved the problem by buying a new completely different turntable.
     
    rogertheshrubber likes this.
  8. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    Thanks a lot for your continued help!

    Yes, I will definitely exhaust the dealer's option before I go a different path. I will only rewire if no other cheaper option is given. As far as I'm concerned, this is still their problem to fix and I've already done too much. When I call them in, I'll ask them to bring another Planar 1 and an amp/phono pre to test.

    Also, as I stated before. A new turntable is not out of the equation, but I'm pretty sure I'd have to spend at least double of what I spent to get the same quality as I get with the Rega (minus the buzz obv). Pro-jects are not an option and there aren't new decks at this price that compete with the Planar 1, unfortunately.
     
  9. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    I think you may have to pay more and/or go for something that looks DJ. I would suggest Pioneer PLX1000 as a starting point. The hum issue should be resolvable and frankly rewiring is a waste of money on the Planar 1 as a TT upgrade would not cost much more with resale taken into account.
     
    4011021 likes this.
  10. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    My hum problems and the desire to use better cartridges was what moved me from Pro-ject to the Pioneer PLX-1000 referred above. Turned it on, no hum, happy smile in my face. Plus, I read several reviews in this forum stating that the PLX-1000 is a good competitor to the Planar 3, so I suppose it would be an upgrade from the Planar 1. I like it a lot and would only replace it by a much more expensive turntable (above the $2000 level).
     
  11. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    @Classicrock

    I paid €270 for the Planar 1. I'd be able to rewire for around €100 making it a total of €370. You're suggesting that I take a €600 deck as a starting point. We're talking almost double the value. It's a lot for me right now and not really doable, unfortunately.
     
  12. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Unfortunately it's a level you have to go to that will provide trouble free vinyl playback. backed up by the string of problems reported on the forum. The P1 is obviously the best low priced option but limited by the auto bias arm. You should not be having earthing issues however. Otherwise at £250 the AT decks appear to be the best bet (apart from their limited inbuilt phono stages). I would probably suggest the AT LP5 over the cheaper AT LP250 due to aesthetics and good reports on SQ. Comes with an AT95E cartridge. AT LP5 will be cheaper than Planar 1 plus rewire.
     
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  13. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll also only be able to upgrade to a deck the same store has available. I'm pretty sure they don't have DJ decks. I'm screwed basically. All I can do is hope that another Planar has no issues or that another amp would fix it. I'll report back on further testing I'll conduct on the weekend.
     
  14. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Well, so far you have demonstrated that the Rega arm is grounded, that your amplifier chassis is not grounded, that the Rega arm sounds as it should at the dealer, and that your system has a buzzing noise (higher in frequency than a ground hum) when it is connected. You have proven that the amplifier can be made to be more quiet by connecting an wire from its chassis to a true earth ground. Your amp may have an unusual grounding method, floating somehow, and its chassis not be tied to the audio ground plane. In addition to the earth wire to your outlet ground, I would also try touching a small piece of wire from the amp chassis to the left channel of the phono input (outside of the RCA connector barrel) while the turntable is connected. That should put all connected equipment on the same ground plane.

    If your dealer does come with another demo Planar 1 which works as designed at the shop, but has the same buzzing at your place, you'll have to agree that it is a compatibility issue with your system rather than a fault with the players as both will behave the same. Having no issues in their system makes the issue local to your crib. It's an unusual problem.
    -Bill
     
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  15. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    @KT88

    I'll do that today and report back. Thanks.

    I wouldn't say incompatible with my system, but with my place and my friend's place? The same receiver was used at the dealer. Only different speakers. Also, three receivers with the same issue and no issue with two different turntables that come with an external ground wire. That's what doesn't add up.
     
  16. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    Fenton, MI
    It is 100% shielded.
     
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  17. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    It does add up if your amp has a floating ground. Rega ground assumes the amp signal ground and the amp chassis ground are tied together. That is standard practice. If the audio ground is floating, then the arm wiring has no shielding and the phono preamp will amplify the noise that it picks up via EMI, RFI, etc. If the arm wiring has a true earth ground, then it is fully shielded. That still doesn't tell you what the heck the source of the noise is at your place, but. if it can be mitigated, then so be it for now.
    -Bill
     
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  18. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    You are still entitled to ask for a refund if goods are faulty. If it were Richer Sound in UK there would be no hassle. They may sell the AT LP5 if they are AT dealers.

    BTW I think Bill has well articulated the problem and backed up what I was trying to say earlier. Another thought - are you near to a radio or TV or phone mast?
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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  19. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    This is probably the post that made the most sense so far. I don't find it acceptable because, if that's the case, Rega should say "Guaranteed to work 100% on amps XYZ ONLY". We're not talking about one amp or crappy brands. It was a Pioneer, Marantz and Denon receiver I tried it on. All three with the same issue.

    Now, how would I know which amp to test it in exactly?

    Also, I followed your advice about the new wire and it helped to some extent. I think. On the Denon, after running wire from the chassis to the outlet, the buzz is quite insignificant at normal hearing levels and the white noise at max volume also overpowers it so I can't tell for sure. But it does seem to have helped a little tad bit. For now, I'm happy with how it sounds, but again, I shouldn't need to be running speaker cable from different spots and choose a very specific amp. I will also not be using this receiver in 2 weeks time for music because I'll have my home theatre ready again and I'll be using the Denon for that. By that time I'll call the tech anyway so I guess we might get some answers by then.

    I'll also be upgrading my gear to a pair of B&W 804 Matrix, a Forté Audio Model 3 and a to be chosen pre-amp so I guess I'll need to pick the pre-amp based on it being compatible with the Planar 1? It doesn't make any sense for me to filter out options because of such a thing.

    Unfortunately, I am not entitled for a refund if it is faulty. EU law is very clear on that. You have 14 days to ask for a refund or exchange no questions asked as long as everything is returned as new. After those 14 days, you have the right to a warranty period no shorter than 2 years and you're only entitled to a refund if the problem cannot be fixed.
     
  20. s13coupe

    s13coupe Active Member

    Location:
    USA
    Sigh. I have the exact same issue and I've tried the following with now luck fixing the humming/buzzing issue.

    1. Everything already suggested
    2. was using Brio-R, upgraded to new Brio, same problem
    3. Returned new Brio and bought a dedicated phono stage
    4. had an electrician wire a dedicated circuit with grounds (rest of house is un-grounded, old house)
    5. noise filtering power strip - this is some god damned snake oil but tried everything else so figured it was worth a shot
    the only thing that's somewhat reduced him is grounding the bottom of the subplatter to the amplifier. even still this only reduces the humm/buzz by about 60%, not entirely. I've learned to deal with it and enjoy the music.
     
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  21. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    @s13coupe

    Oh crap, sorry to hear that :( And that might be bad news for me as well. How did you ground the subplatter?
     
  22. s13coupe

    s13coupe Active Member

    Location:
    USA
    I took at 14 gauge copper wire and tapped one end to the ground screw on my amp, and the other end on the threaded stud that goes through the plinth. I secured it by wrapping the copper wire around the threads and wrapping that with plumbers tape. Will take a picture when i get home. It doesn't look pretty.
     
  23. s13coupe

    s13coupe Active Member

    Location:
    USA
  24. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Actually it was discovered via a consumer program that in UK you are entitled to a refund up to 6 years for a product that doesn't perform as intended. Something that would be likely only enforceable via a small claims court unless the seller played nice. A big seller like Richer in UK would let you swap this deck (but unfortunately they aren't Rega dealers). If all else fails it could be RFI as some Schiit Mani buyers have discovered. I doubt @s13coupe's solution will make that much of a difference with this design. Appears to be cable shield that is not grounding properly and is picking up hum from whatever source. So you have a combination of issues here. Anyway you need your dealer or Rega to sort this. I would suggest try contact Paul Darwin at Rega. This can be done via forums he posts on notably Pink Fish Media and What Hi -Fi.
     
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  25. dastinger

    dastinger Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Portugal
    Thanks a lot for the detailed explanation and pictures. I tried touching that area with speaker wire connected to the receiver's chassis and it didn't help so I guess we have different types of hum or at least different sources for the issue.

    Yes, I understand that, but fixing needs to be tried first.

    Someone suggested I posted to Pink Fish Media before and I definitely will. I'm just holding off until the tech comes to my place and I exhaust that option.
     

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