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Getting rid of MoFi Studiodeck motor hum

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Romany, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. Romany

    Romany Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    I recently purchased this deck and love everything about it except the motor hum. The motor on my other deck, Project Debut III, was always dead silent, so I was a bit surprised to clearly hear the motor when the StudioDeck gets turned on. Once you move away from the deck by a few feet, the hum practically disappears but still... Also, the noise is probably not related to some mechanical issue, more an electric motor hum amplified through the deck's plinth. The hum is also audible with the belt removed and the motor completely disengaged from the platter.

    I was curious if other StudioDeck owners experienced similar motor hum and had any solutions for getting rid of it. I contacted MoFi support, they mentioned something about using a high-torque motor, etc. but it never went beyond that. Plus, again I doubt there is an issue. More a design flaw (if I can call it that).

    Thanks.
     
  2. Davey

    Davey NP: RAIJ - Beauty Will Save the World

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Looking at the HiFi News review earlier this year, there's no mention of motor hum, and noise measurements look about the same as other high-end tables, so it's something I'd not be inclined to accept at this price level ... MoFi StudioDeck+ Turntable Package Lab Report

    It is an AC synchronous motor, though, so you are somewhat at the mercy of your power line, dirty power with lots of distortion can make motors and transformers hum.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
    patient_ot likes this.
  3. Nathan Z

    Nathan Z Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    You say motor hum as if it's coming through into your listening experience? Is that the case?

    I've got a StudioDeck too. I've noticed that the motor certainly isn't dead silent but it's very well isolated and so from my seat it's not an issue.
     
  4. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, Idaho
    Mine is dead silent.
     
    Nathan Z likes this.
  5. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    Record the hum so someone can determine the frequency for you. What you call "hum" might actually be something else. Hum is usually an electrical issue. Motor rumble is a mechanical issue. Like most of these type of rubber band decks cheap off the shelf industrial motors are bought in bulk and used for the deck, so if it's motor rumble that could vary from batch to batch.
     
  6. Nathan Z

    Nathan Z Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Yeah that's a good idea. I'll be able to tell the difference between motor rumble and a ground-related hum. I experienced some pretty awful motor hum back in June with a Gold Note turntable. I'm still boggled by that Gold Note though... it ran dead silent in the store (the owner even pulled out a decibel meter!) but that's a whole other topic.
     
  7. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    I know from working on other
    Decks that motor should only ground through mains plug.
    If ground wire for tonearm includes

    Motor this can cause it.
    Some interconnects, ( if fitted from RCA
    Sockets on rear of deck and not soldered)
    Are not suited to phono.
    Quite simply, single stranded with shield connected as return are quietest ie
    Mogami
    Probably not relevant in your case.
    Always hard to give an opinion from afar
     
  8. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Hopefully, you purchased new and can exchange...or return it.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  9. Romany

    Romany Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    - Yeah, it's not an issue once you move away a few feet but clearly audible when you're near, turning on or off, flipping the album, or just staring at this beauty ;)

    - Good to know that this is not a design flaw affecting everyone. I might just got "lucky"

    - I have a recording I originally sent to MoFi, and will be happy to share it with anyone via PM. Wish I could attach it here.
     
  10. Nathan Z

    Nathan Z Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    The way I see things, it’s not really an issue worth the hassle of returning. If it’s not affecting the experience provided by your records, why bother? It’s like how when I go by my speakers I can hear a faint buzz but from my seat it’s silent. If you look for problems of these sort, you’ll always find them.
     
    Henrik_Swe likes this.
  11. Romany

    Romany Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    - Unfortunately, I'm never far away either. At least, not enough. The deck is near my home office desk - and nowadays working from home pretty much full time, the two of us are very tight.

    If other owners are confirming their StudioDecks are quiet, it sounds like I got a noisy motor on mine, and may need to request a replacement from Crutchfield.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  12. TerryB

    TerryB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Calais, VT
    I’d say any substantial hum on a $1200 turntable is a returnable defect. That is, unless it’s a problem with your wiring somehow.
     
    luckybaer likes this.
  13. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Sounds like it's faulty, so send it back as such if you can. No way you should get motor hum at that price level.
     
    luckybaer and WithinYourReach like this.
  14. regore beltomes

    regore beltomes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Helenville, WI
    If your Project Debut III is dead quiet you are a very lucky man. Many suffered from not only
    vibrational hum but also electrical hum picked up by the OM-5e cartridge.
    Just Google Project Debut lll motor hum. Other Project models also have hum problems.(Essential)
    Replacing the OM-5e on my friends Debut lll with a Goldring 2500 eliminated the electrical hum.
    If you've already upgraded the cartridge the hum may not have ever been a problem.

    I could not find any posts on the net related to motor hum on your MoFi Studiodeck.
    Replacement is probably your best option if possible.
     
    TheVU and luckybaer like this.
  15. VinylSoul

    VinylSoul Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lake Erie
    Is it possible to rotate the AC plug 180 degrees or use a cheater 3 to 2 adapter? Have you put your hand on the motor while running? Can you feel it vibrate? What happens if you unplug the AC cord?
     
  16. Romany

    Romany Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    - I may have been lucky with my Debut III. I heard others mention issues with electrical hum, but mine has always been dead quiet, mechanically or through speakers, with OM-5e or Nag MP-110 later on. Over the years I upgraded it with an acrylic platter and speed box, but even so, it turned out to be no match for StudioDeck. SD is on a different level entirely (dynamics, tracking, etc.) I will be contacting Crutchfield to get a replacement - at this price, it's a fantastic deck. If I had $1000 more, I'd probably get an UltraDeck - from what I heard it's a lot quieter (groove rumble is a bit loud with SD) and even better sounding.

    - Good idea. I tried using a 3-into-2 prone plug but the hum remained. If you unplug the cable, you hear the same click when you turn on/off the deck with the power button and it goes dead. Also, there is no vibration felt from touching the motor.
     
  17. Toast

    Toast New Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Coincidentally I literally made the same upgrade as @Romany (Pro-Ject Debut III to StudioDeck) this week and thus far have been disappointed. I have not listened to the StudioDeck yet, but when unpacking it, plugged it in and flipped the motor on (with the belt not connected to the platter) and there was noticeable, albeit quiet, noise from the motor. I set my Debut III beside it and performed the same test, but there was no audible noise from the motor. I also put my ear to the plinth of the StudioDeck while the motor was running and there was very noticeable motor noise. Doing the same with the Debut III, I could detect some noise, but considerably less than with the StudioDeck.

    Maybe it won't be audible during playback, but the fact that the motor on a $300 table is quieter than one on a $1200 table is very off-putting to me and has me considering a return of the StudioDeck (as are some other cheap feeling parts of the turntable, such as the plastic yoke that supports the tonearm gimbal and the side to side play/slop of the tonearm on that same gimbal). The "cheap" Pro-ject table I am replacing has none of the concerns of the costlier "upgrade"...
     
    luckybaer likes this.
  18. Romany

    Romany Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Sorry to hear that! I also thought that most likely, there is nothing wrong with my deck, it's just the motor is loud. Although I do like the way Studiodeck sounds, I bit the bullet and replaced it with Ultradeck while I still could. The noise would have driven me crazy because I do sit pretty close to mine.

    Ultradeck is a lot more expensive still (Debut III > Stuidodeck > Ultradeck) but I figured it just might be the turntable I'll be satisfied with for a long time. I like it so far - it sounds noticeably better but that motor, you could still hear it. Not as much as on the Studiodeck but it's there. But it's quiet enough for me to ignore it.
     
  19. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    Sounds you like you have incredibly bad luck or you got hosed with a bad batch of motors. Odds are they use a very similar, if not identical, off the shelf motor. There is no way I'd tolerate it, especially given the $ you spent.

    My 2 cents.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
    luckybaer likes this.
  20. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Wait, so the MoFi Studiodeck has audible motor hum?
     
    Romany likes this.
  21. Romany

    Romany Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    That's the thing: I don't think it was a batch of bad motors. The MoFi rep didn't deny the noise - he mentioned something along the lines of using "high-torque motors that can be noisy". And when Stereophile reviewed Ultradeck, they also mentioned noticeable motor vibration. So in the end to me, it's a question if the positives this deck has to offer outweigh the negatives (high price including). So far, I think Ultradeck might be a keeper ;)
     
    luckybaer likes this.
  22. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    A turntable should not have audible motor noise from the listening position, period. If it does, it's a bad design or defective and should be returned. I have 40+ year old turntables here and they have NO audible motor noise. Neither does my newer deck.

    Like every other rubber band TT company they are probably using off the shelf motors from an industrial supplier. Those motors should be checked for excessive noise before being installed. The ones that are extra noisy should either be written off or returned to the motor manufacturer.
     
  23. gordonlw

    gordonlw New Member

    Location:
    asheville, nc
    Having the same issue as the OP. Very noticeable hum when standing by the table starting a record. My listening spot is about 12 feet away and I do faintly hear it between songs. Very well could be a dirty power issue but I'm not sure. To be clear it is not a ground loop or coming from the speakers. It's the actual motor. I purchased this mid Feb and love it expect this! Been meaning to contact my dealer or MoFi but haven't yet.
     
  24. Nathan Z

    Nathan Z Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Definitely contact MoFi, they always respond quickly in my experiences.
     
  25. MacDonals

    MacDonals Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    I just got my MoFi StudioDeck as well and there is a *tiny* bit of electrical hum coming from the motor and is inaudible once you get a couple of feet away. I consider this normal. For reference I recorded a video below.

    Meet Google Drive – One place for all your files
    The loud noise in the video is the rubber band adjusting. I believe this still needs to break in.
     

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