Does the new Project Debut Carbon DC fix the motor hum problem?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Alobar, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. Northa40

    Northa40 Active Member

    Location:
    Canada
    There are so many variables involved with turntables and their setup. No 2 listening rooms are the same and no two people have the same system. I have read in this thread where someone has a few days of quiet operation and than the hum comes back. I would like to relate one other source of noise I have encountered and it's no fault of the turntable. I was also having intermittent noise problems, and I will be clear, it was electrical, not mechanical hum or rumble from the motor. Some days things were fine, the next day buzz, turns out the LED pot lights in my kitchen upstairs and on a different electrical circuit is causing RFI that the cartridge is able to pick up. This is unfortunate but not the fault of the table. I am going to try different dimmers to see if that helps. Until then, if I am doing some critical listening I need to turn off the lights in my kitchen. Sometimes it is easy to get on the bandwagon, myself included, and start putting down a product before all the variables have been checked out. As of now my Essential II is working very well and I am happy with it. I have replace the power supply and the slipmat with a slightly heavier and stiffer felt mat. Both of these were at almost no expense, $5.00 for the wall wart and the slip mat was free at last years record store day. I still plan on getting a Debut esprit, once I scrape up a few more dollars. One last thought, when I was in my teens, the music was more important than what I played it on, I hope I can get back to that reality, after all, that is why we have turntables. Isn't it?
     
  2. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    I guess it's the classic, "It's good... if you get a good one."

    .
     
  3. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Basic Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    It might be more than that. A person's relative perspective any connected system makes a big difference. I have had a Debut carbon for about three years and have been on both sides of the humm issue.

    When I first brought it home, it replace a Technics SL 23 and it was amazing. When I upgraded my phonostage, I could hear more of the limitations of the table. I upgraded the platter and cart as a result which was an improvement but I could hear mechanical noises I didn't like. I replaced it with a table that cost much, much, much more money and put the Carbon in my office. That system was basic and I couldn't hear the mechanical noises. As time went on I changed the components in that office system for better stuff and I could hear more things I didn't like. When it started to bother me, I would just go listen to my other system.

    Currently, I have three systems set up with a turntable and I have run the Carbon with them all in the last three weeks. I bought a Luxman on craigslist to replace the Debut mostly to rid myself of the thought of the hum issue. The cart on the Lux wasn't great but I could hear plenty of mechanical noises, more than on the Carbon. It was a Craigslist buy and while I had people over and playing the table it stopped working. I quickly went upstairs grabbed the Carbon and it sounded so much better. I mean not even close.

    A week ago, I snapped the cantilever on my main table. Once again, I grabbed the Carbon and replaced my VPI Classic. I was pretty disappointed with those results, couldn't really hear a hum but that was the least of my issues.

    I can't argue the point that some come from the factory with issues. I have not owned every table that came from the factory. I can tell you that I can hear limitations with the table dependent on the system it is connected to. There is no such thing as a free ride, its a $500 table with a $100 cart and very nice tonearm. If you give it advance audiophile scrutiny, it will fail. If all in you have say $1,000 in new components in the rest of your system, the Carbon is going to be well matched.

    I will also say that nearfield listening with monitors made a hum much more noticeable for me.
     
  4. Northa40

    Northa40 Active Member

    Location:
    Canada
    Again I am late to post, but here goes. This is only my opinion but I believe that the metal platter is working like an antenna and is picking up RFI from the crappy switching power supply which is picked up by the cartridge. Just a guess as mine did not suffer from this problem.
    It seems that the old style class 2 transformer type of power supply, is being used less and less because of cost and efficiency. The switching power supplies use a much smaller more efficient and cheaper to build. They use a small HIGH Frequency coil instead of the larger heavier transformer. The problem with these power supplies is the production of EFI and RMI, not a big deal for most electronics but a big problem for radio station reception, phono cartridges amd HAM radio operation. It seem switching power supplies are here to stay.
     
  5. noman

    noman Active Member

    Location:
    USA
    I created an account because I have a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Esprit SB, and have some major electrical hum (EMI, not the motor movement) and radio frequency interference (everything from cell phone noise to walkie talkies to FM radio).

    I created some short (sub 1 minute) videos to illustrate the problem. I suggest watching in HD with headphones or decent speakers.

    1 - Baseline, phono pre-amp connected but nothing else. Normal white noise. Component list is in this video's description section.


    2 - TT aftermarket audio cables connected, no power connection. RFI (including loud, comically foul-mouthed walkie talkie pickup) begins.
    Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EMI RFI #2 - aftermarket audio cables connected, no power connection

    3 - TT aftermarket audio cables and linear regulated power supply. RFI and EMI in equal measure.
    Pro-Ject Debut Carbon RFI EMI #3- aftermarket cables and power supply

    4 - TT aftermarket audio cables and stock power supply (I've tried two stock "updated" DC PSUs). RFI still there but EMI is now much, much worse.
    Pro-Ject Debut Carbon RFI EMI #4 - aftermarket audio cable, stock power supply

    5 - TT stock audio cables and stock power supply. The worst. EMI so loud it's unbearable and drowns out the RFI (the latter is still there, believe me).
    Pro-Ject Debut Carbon RFI EMI #5 - stock audio cable, stock power supply

    I could go on for days about all the grounding and shielding schemes I've tried. The four phono stages I've tried, the half-dozen interconnects I've used. Not to mention all the wall sockets around the house I've tried, and the various household items I've unplugged/disconnected, etc. I even put our cell phones in a Faraday bag to completely seal them off from the equation. I've checked my socket polarity and grounding, used caps on every unused input, and already have a $550 MSRP power conditioner in place. I think I'm doing my fair share to make this all work.

    I'm out of my dealer's return window (I stupidly thought I could get a handle on all of this with interconnects), but I'm within warranty. I have an RA in place, but just made these videos to make dead certain Pro-Ject / Sumiko agrees there's a problem and that they think they can fix it. I'm not going to risk damaging the table in the mail just to have them pass the buck.

    I'm sharing them here to show the issue is real, in case anyone thinks we're nuts, and to ask if anyone has any bright ideas on a solution outside of giving it to Pro-Ject's techs. Thanks!
     
  6. Northa40

    Northa40 Active Member

    Location:
    Canada
    WOW! I have never had a problem that bad. My best guess is that there is some type of grounding/ shielding problem with the turntable, and no apparent problem with your system. I would work with the dealer to borough/audition a known good table from their stock and try it in your system at home, any good dealer should be more than happy to help. If the demo table checks out, than you know yours is bad, problem solved. If the problem remains, than the plot thickens.
    Good luck, I will be following this link, I hope you get it figured out.
     
  7. noman

    noman Active Member

    Location:
    USA
    This is actually the second Esprit DC SB I've had here.

    First I ordered from one reputable online dealer, heard the same buzz from stock RCAs and PSU, and returned it (my story should have ended there but I'm a doofus).

    I really wanted the Esprit SB to work out (it had all the features I wanted within my budget) so I purchased a second one from a different reputable online dealer, in hopes it wouldn't have the same problems. After hearing the same buzz, I decided that it must be normal (stupid stupid stupid) and that I should look into pre-amps and interconnects and power supplies and grounding schemes (etc) and maybe if I only did one more tweak then it'd be perfect. But here I am a year later, out of ideas, and looking at a table that's just a pure electrical nightmare. I think there's a fundamental problem with the components (PSU, motor, speed box) and general wiring/shielding of these units.

    If no clever ideas emerge here, and Sumiko agrees it's something they can attempt to fix, then I'll be sure to post an update when I get it back from them.
     
  8. Northa40

    Northa40 Active Member

    Location:
    Canada
    This is only my experience, but my noise was mostly caused by the power supply. I ended up returning mine and actually getting a Essential. It seems to be quieter , all be it, with a different power supply. The essential does have some motor hum but is not noticeable unless the system is cranked to 90% For the money I am happy for now. To directly answer your question, I would say there is still some problems.
     
  9. jimbanville

    jimbanville New Member

    Location:
    usa
    I ahd the motor "hum" that everyone complains about. RIDICULOUS! The was the first Debut Carbon (non-DC). It was purchased in mid 2015. I heard it the very first time the stylus touched the vinyl. I was able to fix it 95% by (a) removing the bolts holding motor mount plate to plinth and (b) placing some rubber washers placed under where the "rubber band" that holds the motor touches the plinth. I sent it back to Amazon.
     
  10. Northa40

    Northa40 Active Member

    Location:
    Canada
    I hope there is a fix, the concept of the Debut carbon Esprit seems sound. there just seems to be to many issues. I sent a Primary to my son in Vancouver and he seems happy with his, but he lives in a apartment and rarely has it loud enough to bother anyone. I sometimes I wonder if the carbon fiber tonearm is unable to shield the tonearm wiring from EMI and RFI. I have other post that describe the hum from the stock wall wart power supply. When I had my Carbon, I unplugged the power supply from the rear of the turntable and brought the tip of the power jack close to the cartridge. the hum was unbelievable. So I took a power supply from a laptop, plugged it in and brought the tip of the power jack close to the cartridge, dead silent. I was so pissed I returned it to the store and got the Essential. The Essential's power supply was no better but it didn't cost as much. I ramble. Any way good luck, I look forward to a resolution to your problem.
     
  11. Northa40

    Northa40 Active Member

    Location:
    Canada
    I don't like to complain about a company and it products, and I believe that the Carbon could be an excellent Turntable, but, there seems to be to many stories that say otherwise. Can I ask, what did you end up getting?
     
  12. noman

    noman Active Member

    Location:
    USA
    Me neither on complaining, but my advice to anyone is if they get a Debut turntable home and it's doing any electrical humming, buzzing, radio interference, etc then just send it back and look elsewhere. There's no tackling these problems. Motor rumble might be a little different, seems some folks have some good luck with the rubber washers and tweaking the suspension, but even then, why bother?
     
  13. SpeedMorris

    SpeedMorris Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa
    Ugh. Turrible.

    I grabbed an AC Carbon cheap from Music Direct two years ago for my son and it made some nasty noises, though I can't really remember exactly what they were right now. (Can't remember if it was more hum or buzz.)

    For me, washers on the "outer" 4 screws and no screws at all on the two center screws (letting if "float") did the trick. I had it at our house for a year until his fluid residential situation became more permanent and had no more problems. 'Twas quiet at his house a couple of weeks ago. Still uses the stock cables.
     
  14. Vinyl Addict

    Vinyl Addict Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA
    What phono preamp are you using?
     
  15. noman

    noman Active Member

    Location:
    USA
    Musical Fidelity V90-LPS. Currently on its own linear regulated power supply, but it's the same story with the stock PSU.

    Have also hooked it up to a cheap Behringer PP400, Cambridge 651P, and Schiit Mani. No difference.

    (full component list is in the description of the first video)
     
  16. jimbanville

    jimbanville New Member

    Location:
    usa
    Actually, it was my "last" TT... until last week. Lol. I need cash a couple years ago, so I sold my record collection. Crazy, I know. I recently got the bug again. Sometimes it seems much of the fun (besides enjoying the music) is searching out those much loved albums! Unfortunately, much of collection consisted of 80's bands, like Prince and George Michael. I am now paying out the butt to reacquire those. Boo hoo! I just picked up a sad, sad, sad $25 Marantz (technics sl-bd27 clone). I whipped it into shape and am enjoying it right now.


    BTW, lord only knows y u would wanna test your TT for the motor noise if u don't hear it now, but one good way is to hold onto the next little plastic condiment cup you get at a restaurant. They're usually that semi-clear plastic, and about 3/4" high and 2" wide. Remove your TT's platter and belt. Place the cup, upside down on the plinth where the platter would b and place the stylus onto the cup with your stereo turned on as you would normally listen. Listen to your speakers with the TT motor off. Hear anything out of the ordinary? If u do, its definitely not the mechanical motor noise/hum. Now, turn on the TT's power so the motor is running. Do you hear hum? If not, woo hoo!. If so, try placing some rubber washers (neoprene or sorbothane) between where the black o-ring/rubber band that holds the motor is touching the plinth. That, and removing the screws holding the motor's mount plate against the plinth helped my TT's motor noise greatly. It was still there, but much , much less. Perhaps the noise that remained was the power supply, as I had the older version. The method I laid out using the cup would work for any TT, where the owner is wanting to track down low level noises and "treat" them. Even with my partial solution, my motor wasn't setting straight vertical as it should because of the removed screws. Not sure how that would play out in the long run for the longevity of the belt.
     
  17. Northa40

    Northa40 Active Member

    Location:
    Canada
    I use the lid from a spray paint can. It sure amplifies all those nasty noises coming from the motor and the bearing for sure!
     
  18. Davey

    Davey I carry the moon inside a silver bag

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Just curious, I've no experience with the Pro-Ject, but I'm wondering if anyone has tried to mount the motor solidly to the plinth, maybe with some added mass in a mount plate? The compliant mounting systems are all gonna degrade the sound to a certain extent in a belt drive table, when the motor can move in relation to the platter. This will introduce slight speed variations well up into the audio range, since it will be motor speed dependent, and it would seem that some of the effect of cogging would be transmitted more directly to the platter as well.

    Anyway, just a thought. The best belt-drive tables usually have a solid mounted motor, or one in a massive separate enclosure. Suspended tables do allow some motor to platter movement, but it is usually tuned to a much lower frequency, the motor is still solidly mounted on its own separate plinth.
     
  19. Northa40

    Northa40 Active Member

    Location:
    Canada
    I am planning to do some mods for sure, but not until the warranty is up. Once the warranty is finished I am going to replace the captive cables, just because of the location of the turntable, I need longer cables and I am going to try something for motor isolation. I can hear the motor running but it isn't terrible at listening levels
     
  20. VortexBlast

    VortexBlast New Member

    Location:
    France
    I want to share a fix of mine for the Debut Carbon DC but your mileage may vary though.

    Around a month ago I bought my first turntable. A Debut Carbon DC and a Phono Box (the one that has the switch for MM or MC cartridge at the back) which will be connected to my Schiit Lyr and my HE-500 headphones.
    Once arrived, I set it all up according to instructions and I heard the dreaded hum. I thought it was a ground loop issue but it wasn't. Now if I've read about the hum before the purchase, I would've maybe changed my mind but since I can't be bothered sending it back I decided to fix it.

    I can hear the hum when the motor is off or on. I also noticed that approaching the stylus to the platter and going nearer to the motor makes the hum louder. Then I found out that touching the steel platter with my hands reduces the hum by a significant amount. If you have the latter problem, this fix will fix it completely.

    FIrst of all, I did some troubleshooting
    Swapping out the provided junk RCA cables to higher quality cables: hum softened
    Changing PSU to a 12V 2A from an external HDD: hum softened a little
    Swapping out phono ground cable to a thicker gauge one: no effect

    After some long research on Google and multiple tries like removing the motor mounts to no improvement, I came across this picture on flickr:
    [​IMG]Defeating the Pro-ject Debut Carbon DC Hum Bug by Eric de Redelijkheid, on Flickr

    I thought I might try that because it's a solution that I haven't found anywhere else (as far as my research went). It worked beautifully. Hum was reduced dramatically but I had clearance issues with the cable against the sub-platter and it also looks really out of place. So I decided to mount it underneath the screws on the underside of the turntable. (Forgive me for my poor scotch tape job)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I also saw recommendations to wire the ground cable directly to the ground of a plug.
    [​IMG]
    I tried that but it increased the hum no matter if it's the turntable grounding post or the preamp. Then I thought that by removing the ground cable connecting the debut to the preamp and connecting the ground cable plug to the turntable will decrease the hum.

    Result: hum almost inaudible. The only way to hear it is by turning the volume knob on my Schiit Lyr to 3 o'clock or more but that's at ear shattering levels and as I tried the original power supply again, the hum reduced a little bit more.

    I have an acrylic platter on the way and maybe it'll be the last piece to almost completely remove hum, as well as improving sound.

    TL;DR:
    Change to good RCA cables ; Ground your platter by screwing on the underside ; make a ground cable plug and connect it to the grounding post of the turntable ; remove cable connecting from phono to preamp.
    Optional: Acrylic Platter and/or 12V or 15V aftermarket PSU with a real ground.

    I hope it works for somebody.
     
    Cerealplayer likes this.
  21. VortexBlast

    VortexBlast New Member

    Location:
    France
    Update.
    I did some more tinkering after I found out that using blutetooth speakers with my fix causes hum and by connecting another ground wire from the turntable to the preamp fixes it for this case. The problem is that I listen mainly with my headphones and as I mentioned on my previous post, connecting the ground cable to the two will introduce hum. I guess that my headphone amp already acts as a good ground to filter out all the hum.

    So I found another solution that eliminates almost all hum whether I connect the preamp to my headphone amp or to my bluetooth speakers via RCA to 3.5mm jack cable.

    What I did is remove the fork of the ground cable plug that is used to connect the cable to the grounding post of the turntable.
    Strip a long amount of the outer jacket so that long strands of copper are exposed. Long enough to make a 5.5mm diameter circle.
    I then placed it on the negative (outer part) of the DC power plug like this. Make sure it's quite secure and do not let it touch the inside.
    [​IMG]
    Plug it in then plug the DC PSU and the ground plug and after that connect a ground wire from the preamp to the turntable.
    Done. No more hum at listening levels.
    Alternatively you can try and find a 12V or 15V PSU that has a real ground but that seems to be not so easy.
     
  22. Vinyl Addict

    Vinyl Addict Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA

    Did you try swapping in a different phono preamp?
     
  23. HayesWeighsIn

    HayesWeighsIn Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hey all,

    Just joined the forum to hop in here regarding the issue with the MOTOR hum on a Debut Carbon. I know this thread seems to also be dealing with a power supply hum, but hoping I can help someone out there in some capacity regarding the noisy motor in these.

    These Pro-Ject tables seem to be all over the place, and there doesn't seem to be one fix for everyone. Shame, because for the money, aside from this issue it's a damn fine sounding table.

    In my case, removing the "shipping" screws from the motor mount, and removing the dust cover both only made things significantly more noisy.

    There are a few things that have worked/significantly alleviated the motor hum. Here's where I'm at thus far:
    - Bought the Speed Box S, and all motor noise at 33 1/3 is GONE. Dead silent. It's amazing. Should also mention how much tighter this table runs with a proper quartz and filtering. However, when the motor speeds up for 45, back comes the hum. Soooooo.....
    - Found the proper height for the "shipping" screws. I found that by slightly loosening them, the motor was quietest. Completely removing them made the motor VERY loud.
    - Made sure the belt was not touching the bottom ring of the motor. It may differ with your table, but positioning the belt can really make a difference.
    - Removed the dust cover hinges and re-attached them. This happened by accident, as I thought perhaps removing the hinges could potentially help, (it didn't) but when I screwed them back in, suddenly the motor got quieter. I dunno what to say, but it helped.

    As a result of these changes, I've now gotten the motor hum as quiet as it's ever been. It's really just a very low end hum in a critical listening environment. I would love to get rid of it entirely, and it certainly seems as though it's largely through resonance as to how quiet or loud it is. The only other piece on the table I can think of that may be increasing that resonance is the stock metal platter, so I'm thinking about taking the plunge on an acrylic.

    My question to you guys is, can anyone here definitively say that the acrylic platter helped with the motor hum? It's not a cheap upgrade, so before I pull the trigger, I'd love to hear some feedback.

    Thanks all for the time,
    Kris
     
    Vinyl Addict likes this.
  24. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    All of the humming and buzzing reports seem to be when using high end cartridges. On more than one current brand of turntable.
    Has anyone, anywhere, tried using a cheap cart to check the hum/buzz "through" the cheap cart? An AT 3600 or even the respectable AT95.
    It would be cute if they design these things and perform final QC using an AT 3600 or the Crosley cart - which may not have hum or buzz on these turntables.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  25. baconbadge

    baconbadge Chooglin’

    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Just to add my experience... I purchased the acrylic platter upgrade for my Carbon DC because the static with the felt mat was crazy. The acrylic platter I got was slightly warped, and the store I got it from in NYC was cool enough to let me return it for store credit. I also did some comparisons with the two platters and I actually preferred the sound of the metal platter and felt mat over the more sterile acrylic platter sound. I eventually settled on & highly recommend Herbie's mat for the Carbon DC. It solved my static issues, it sounds great, and it eliminated resonance from the metal platter. I feel very lucky not to have these hum issues with my Carbon DC! This sounds like a total nightmare for people.
    Herbie's Turntable Mats
     

Share This Page