Are you a vinyl enthusiast looking to improve your sound quality?
One important step in achieving optimal sound is properly grounding your turntable. A grounding wire connects your turntable and amplifier at the same ground potential, preventing ground loops and minimizing unwanted hum.
But how do you connect a ground wire turntable? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of connecting a ground wire turntable, whether you have a pre-existing grounding wire or need to make your own.
So sit back, grab your favorite vinyl record, and let’s get started!
How To Connect A Ground Wire Turntable
Step 1: Locate the Grounding Wire
The first step in connecting a ground wire turntable is to locate the grounding wire. Most turntables come with a green grounding wire that is typically connected underneath the metal turntable chassis. If you can’t find the grounding wire, an insulated 18-20 gauge stranded wire will suffice. Ensure that the grounding wire or alternative is long enough to connect to the ground terminal.
Step 2: Connect the Ground Wire to the Amplifier
The ground terminal on your amplifier or receiver is usually located on the back of the turntable and is marked “ground”. Take the grounding wire’s copper spade connector and place it on the grounding terminal. Then tighten the connection, but don’t over-tighten it or you might strip the terminal.
If your amplifier doesn’t have a grounding terminal, use gaffer tape to stick the grounding wire’s copper spade connector to the amplifier’s metal box. Alternatively, if you’re making your own grounding wire, take one stripped end and attach it to the chassis of the amplifier, preferably to a screw.
Step 3: Connect the Ground Wire to the Turntable
Take the other end of the wire and attach it to the chassis of the turntable, also to a screw. This serves the same purpose as the grounding wire being attached to the grounding terminal, but finding the spot that creates the best connection and emits less hum might take a little exploring.
A simple way to test for the best spot is to touch the end of the wire on different areas of the turntable’s chassis (with the power turned back on, and taking care not to touch any of the metal with any part of your body).
Step 4: Secure Everything in Place
Once you’ve found a good spot for your ground wire, secure everything in place. Use screws and nuts supplied with your cartridge to attach it to your cartridge holder. Be sure to make sure that your cartridge is centered and placed on the cartridge holder before keeping screws.
If you’re making your own grounding wire, use needle-nose pliers to position and hold the wire in place while cutting it to size. Then use gaffer tape to create a grounding terminal for your turntable.
Understanding Grounding In Turntables
Grounding is an essential aspect of setting up a turntable. It ensures that the turntable and the amplifier are at the same ground potential, which is necessary to prevent a ground loop. A ground loop can cause an audible 60-cycle hum, which can significantly impact the sound quality of your turntable.
The grounding wire is a single wire that you attach to your turntable chassis and amplifier. It puts both devices at the same ground potential, which eliminates any potential differences that could cause a ground loop. Most modern turntables come with a grounding wire, which makes it easy to connect it to the amplifier.
However, if your turntable doesn’t come with a grounding wire, you can make one yourself using an insulated 18-20 gauge stranded wire. It’s important to ensure that the wire is long enough to connect to the ground terminal on your amplifier.
When connecting the grounding wire to your amplifier, look for the “ground” terminal on the back of the turntable. It’s usually a metal post with either a simple screw terminal or a knurled shaft. If your amplifier doesn’t have a grounding terminal, you can use gaffer tape to stick the grounding wire’s copper spade connector to the amplifier’s metal box.
Once you’ve connected the grounding wire to your amplifier, you need to connect it to your turntable. Look for the unconnected copper spade connector under the metal turntable chassis. If you can’t find it, you may need to uncover it by removing any wrapping around it.
Finding the best spot on your turntable chassis for connecting the grounding wire may take some exploring. A simple way to test for the best spot is to touch the end of the wire on different areas of the turntable’s chassis (with the power turned back on, and taking care not to touch any of the metal with any part of your body).
Checking For A Pre-Existing Grounding Wire
Before you start making your own grounding wire, it’s important to check if your turntable already has a pre-existing grounding wire. Most turntables come with a green grounding wire that is usually connected underneath the metal turntable chassis. Look for a wire that is connected to the turntable’s chassis and runs to the amplifier or receiver.
If you can’t find a grounding wire, check the packaging and manual that came with your turntable. Some manufacturers may include a separate grounding wire that needs to be connected to the amplifier or receiver.
If your turntable doesn’t include a grounding wire, you can use an insulated 18-20 gauge stranded wire as a substitute. Just make sure it’s long enough to reach the ground terminal on your amplifier or receiver.
It’s important to note that some modern turntables may not require grounding due to their built-in preamp. If this is the case, you can skip the grounding process altogether. Check your turntable’s manual or contact the manufacturer to confirm whether or not it requires grounding.
Making Your Own Grounding Wire
If you don’t have a grounding wire for your turntable, you can make one easily using a few simple materials. To make your own grounding wire, you’ll need a 5 feet 18-to-20-gauge stranded wire, needle-nose pliers, and copper spade connectors.
First, strip about 6 to 8 mm of the insulation from both ends of the wire using the needle-nose pliers. Then, attach one stripped end to the chassis of the amplifier, preferably to a screw, and not to the speaker terminal. Attach the other stripped end of the wire to the chassis of the turntable, also to a screw.
Make sure that the wire is attached securely and won’t come loose. You can use gaffer tape to secure it in place if needed.
Once your grounding wire is in place, turn on your turntable and test it out to see if there is any hum or interference. If everything sounds clear and free from noise, you’ve successfully connected your ground wire turntable.
Connecting Your Turntable To Your Amplifier
Now that you have located and connected the grounding wire to your amplifier and turntable, it’s time to connect your turntable to your amplifier. After loosening the grounding terminal, make sure that the turntable ground wire catches the amplifier’s grounding terminal. This ensures that the turntable and the amplifier are at the same ground potential, which prevents a ground loop and improves overall sound quality.
Next, move your equipment to minimize the distance between the amplifier and turntable if necessary. This is because a longer distance between the two can increase the risk of interference and noise.
Once you have connected the grounding wire, you can connect your turntable to your amplifier using RCA cables. The RCA cables should be plugged into the phono input on your amplifier and the corresponding output on your turntable. Make sure to plug in the left and right channels correctly.
Finally, turn on your equipment and test for any humming or buzzing sounds. If you hear any unwanted noise, try adjusting the placement of your equipment or tightening the grounding wire connections. With proper grounding and connection, you should enjoy a clear and crisp sound from your turntable.
Troubleshooting Grounding Issues
Despite following the steps above, you may still experience grounding issues with your turntable. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you fix any problems:
1. Check the connections: Make sure that all connections are secure and tight, especially the grounding wire connections to the turntable and amplifier. Loose connections can cause humming or buzzing.
2. Check the grounding wire: If you’re using a DIY grounding wire and still experiencing issues, try using a different wire or checking for any damage to the wire. A damaged wire could be causing the problem.
3. Check the turntable’s power source: If your turntable is plugged into a power strip or surge protector, try plugging it directly into a wall outlet. Power strips can cause grounding issues and interfere with the signal.
4. Check for interference: Other electronics in your home, such as fluorescent lights or wireless routers, can cause interference with your turntable. Try moving your turntable away from these devices or turning them off while you’re listening to records.
5. Consider a ground loop isolator: If you’ve tried everything else and are still experiencing grounding issues, consider purchasing a ground loop isolator. This device will eliminate any hum or buzzing caused by ground loops.
By following these troubleshooting tips, you should be able to fix any grounding issues with your turntable and enjoy high-quality sound without any interference or humming.