Ground buzz narrowed down to the tonearm on my Prime

Ground buzz narrowed down to the tonearm on my Prime

Postby Wilson667 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:51 pm

I have been dealing with a hum in my phono chain. I sorted out a ground loop caused by the integrated amp and phono pre being on different circuits. Now I have narrowed the remaining buzzing down to the tonearm and cartridge. I am looking for a little help and some things to try to get rid of the buzz.
With the phono pre on the buzz gets louder if I touch the tonearm lift or go near any of the wires. If the lemo connector is disconnected the buzzing stops altogether. I am not sure how to resolve the issue or what the problem even is. I would appreciate any help you all would be willing to give.
VPI Prime with an Ortofon 2M Black, Icon Audio ps1mk2, Primaluna Dialogue Premium Integrated, Tekton Design Impact Monitors,Clear Day Double Shotgun Speaker cables, Bluejean interconnects.
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Re: Ground buzz narrowed down to the tonearm on my Prime

Postby Jprod » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:44 pm

This is a very common problem and there are posts both here and other forums with people that have the same issue. I have the same issue as well. I have tried running a ground wire from underneath the turntable to my phono pre with little success ( I also have a hell of a time having that wire stay put). If your set up is not on a dedicated cicuit that may also exacerbate the problem. What cart do you have ? Seems like the ortofon mms are susceptible to this.
VPI Prime with ortofon 2m black, Manley Chinook phono preamp, Wyred4sound STP-SE preamp, parasound halo a21 amp, Ascend acoustics tower speakers with RAAL ribbon tweeters, audio sensibility signature cables
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Re: Ground buzz narrowed down to the tonearm on my Prime

Postby Jharris » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:00 pm

Have you tried removing the ground wire from the turntable? If adding grounds doesn’t work sometimes taking them away does
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Re: Ground buzz narrowed down to the tonearm on my Prime

Postby Wilson667 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:13 pm

Adding or subtracting ground seems to have no impact on the hum. Touching the lemo connector seems to reduce the volume of the hum but if I touch the lemo wires or tonearm lift the hum increases. Adding a ground from the turntable and phono pre to the integrated had no impact. I checked to make sure the cartridge clips are all the way on and on the right pins. I have an isolation transformer that I can run in line that should help with the hum but I would rather not have to use it. It seems that if this is a common problem that there should be a solution.
VPI Prime with an Ortofon 2M Black, Icon Audio ps1mk2, Primaluna Dialogue Premium Integrated, Tekton Design Impact Monitors,Clear Day Double Shotgun Speaker cables, Bluejean interconnects.
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Re: Ground buzz narrowed down to the tonearm on my Prime

Postby VinBob » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:30 pm

Hi All,

One thing to try which is not in the user manual and quite critical to the grounding process, is to ensure that the pivot point (sharp needle) is not oxidized. If it’s a dark grey color then chances are, it’s oxidized and not allowing the ground to work properly. You need to file the point with some very fine sandpaper which will remove the oxidization and allow the grounding to be present.

I was amazed when this was explained to me by the good guys at VPI as I had spent countless hours troubleshooting hum related issues which could have been easily avoided, if this was a known and documented maintenance step.

Hoping this helps...!

Cheers,
Vin.
VPI Prime | VAS Nova Special 0.4mV | Phoenix Engineering Eagle & Roadrunner | Sutherland 20/20 | Bryston BP-26/MPS-2 & 4B Cubed | Focal 826W Chorus V LE | SVS SB-1000 | Naim DAC-V1 | Rega Apollo-R
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Re: Ground buzz narrowed down to the tonearm on my Prime

Postby Wilson667 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:47 pm

I’ll give that a try the pivot point did indeed look grey. Did VPI recommend a grit. I would assume something in the neighborhood of 400.
VPI Prime with an Ortofon 2M Black, Icon Audio ps1mk2, Primaluna Dialogue Premium Integrated, Tekton Design Impact Monitors,Clear Day Double Shotgun Speaker cables, Bluejean interconnects.
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Re: Ground buzz narrowed down to the tonearm on my Prime

Postby 10ovr » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:55 pm

000 steel wool well do fine,,,It's part of my maintenance routine
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Re: Ground buzz narrowed down to the tonearm on my Prime

Postby VinBob » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:09 pm

Nice one 10ovr as I couldn’t remember what I was told to use! :o

Here is an interesting read on the very same issue:
http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/b ... 513/page-3
VPI Prime | VAS Nova Special 0.4mV | Phoenix Engineering Eagle & Roadrunner | Sutherland 20/20 | Bryston BP-26/MPS-2 & 4B Cubed | Focal 826W Chorus V LE | SVS SB-1000 | Naim DAC-V1 | Rega Apollo-R
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Re: Ground buzz narrowed down to the tonearm on my Prime

Postby rsfphil » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:29 am

I'm pretty sure it's the cartridge. I had a Traveler V1 with an Ortofon 2M Black (MM). I've experienced the exact same problem you are having. The closer my hand got to the Lemco cable the louder the hum. When I touched the cable the hum got louder. When I touched the cable and the headshell the hum disappeared completely. I had the same problem with the 2M Blue (MM). It was not a big deal because there was no hum at my listening seat, so I decided to just live with the situation. A short time ago I upgraded to the Ortofon Quintet Black (MC) and the hum disappeared completely. When I touched the Lemco there was no hum. There was no hum anywhere. I don't know if it's MM cartridges in general or if it's just the Ortofon MM cartridges in particular that cause the hum. If you try an MC cartridge there's a good chance the hum will disappear.
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Re: Ground buzz narrowed down to the tonearm on my Prime

Postby Orchids1 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:36 pm

Grounding may not be the solution. Some cartridges (especially LOMC) are very sensitive to EMI/RFI. Separate, isolate, and shield the cartridge from potential sources of interference. The results of your various “touching” tests seem somewhat consistent with EMI/RFI. As has been said, there is a lot of discussion in the Forum on the many different sources of hum and buzz, which can be tricky to pin down. Nonetheless, I’ve never experienced distortion that could not be entirely eliminated. Rich
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