Are you experiencing a buzzing or humming sound when playing your turntable?
It could be due to an ungrounded wire. Grounding your turntable wire is essential to eliminate unwanted noise and ensure optimal sound quality.
But how do you ground a turntable wire?
In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to ground your turntable wire, whether it’s equipped with a grounding wire or not.
So, let’s get started and enjoy your vinyl records without any annoying noise!
How To Ground A Turntable Wire
Step 1: Turn off the power to your turntable or unplug it if the unit doesn’t have a power switch. Safety should always come first when working with electricity.
Step 2: Locate the grounding wire on your turntable. This wire is usually green and can be found on the backside of the turntable where other inputs or cords are located. It can also be attached underneath the unit.
Step 3: Find the grounding terminal on your amplifier or receiver. This is where you’ll need to connect the ground wire from your turntable. The grounding terminal should be easy to find and is typically marked “Ground.”
Step 4: Connect the grounding wire to the grounding terminal. There might be a screw you need to loosen up and then insert the grounding wire into here. Or the ground wire might attach via some other type of connection. Regardless of which connection you see on the back of the terminal or receiver, ensure the wire is secured correctly so it doesn’t come loose as you get things set up or start playing your record.
Step 5: Play a record and check for any buzz or hum. Once you have the ground wire attached and any other necessary cables in place for playback, you should play a record and check to make sure things are properly grounded. If you still hear a buzz or hum, you might need to secure the ground wire better.
If your turntable does not have a grounding wire, don’t worry! You can still ground it by making your own grounding wire. Take each end of a length of electrical cable and strip it by about 6 to 8mm until you are left with just the cable within. Take one stripped end and attach it to the chassis of an amplifier, preferably to a screw. Then, take the other end and attach that to the chassis of the turntable, also to a screw.
It’s important to note that after loosening the grounding terminal, you need to ensure that turntable ground wire ought to catch the amplifier’s grounding terminal. After that, you should move your equipment to minimize the distance between an amplifier and a turntable (when necessary).
Understanding The Importance Of Grounding A Turntable Wire
Grounding your turntable wire is crucial for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s a safety measure that prevents electrical current from flowing through the metal exterior or chassis of your hi-fi boxes. This is important because if electricity were to come into contact with the chassis and the safety measures failed, it could potentially cause harm to anyone who touches it. Grounding provides an alternate path for the electrical current to flow back to the source, rather than creating excess noise or a potentially dangerous electric charge.
In addition to safety, grounding your turntable wire can also prevent a ground loop. This occurs when equipment is not at the same ground potential and can ultimately cause extra noise. For turntables, which handle sensitive signals from a delicate cartridge, the issue is amplified. A turntable suffering from a Ground Loop will produce a hum through your speakers. By grounding your turntable wire, you can reduce this background hum tremendously and ensure that you’re getting the best possible sound quality from your vinyl records.
If your turntable does not have a grounding wire, don’t worry! You can still ground it by making your own grounding wire as described above. It’s important to follow the steps carefully and ensure that the wire is properly secured to both the turntable and amplifier/receiver chassis.
Checking If Your Turntable Has A Built-in Grounding Wire
If you’re not sure whether your turntable has a built-in grounding wire, there are a few things you can do to check. First, look at the back of your turntable and see if there is a wire attached to a grounding terminal. This wire is usually green, but it can be any color. If you see a wire, then your turntable has a built-in grounding wire.
If you don’t see a wire, don’t worry. Some turntables have built-in phono preamps that don’t require grounding. To check if your turntable has a built-in phono preamp, look for a switch on the back of the unit that says “phono/line” or something similar. If your turntable has this switch and you’ve never had any sound issues, then it’s likely that your turntable doesn’t need to be grounded.
However, even if your turntable doesn’t have a built-in grounding wire or phono preamp, it’s still a good idea to ground it. This can help reduce any unwanted noise or hum that might occur when playing records. You can easily make your own grounding wire using an 18 to 20 gauge stranded wire measuring 5 feet or 1.5 meters in length.
Grounding A Turntable With A Built-in Grounding Wire
If your turntable comes with a built-in grounding wire, the process of grounding it is relatively straightforward. First, turn off the power to your turntable or unplug it if the unit doesn’t have a power switch. Safety should always come first when working with electricity.
Next, locate the grounding wire on your turntable. This wire is usually green and can be found on the backside of the turntable where other inputs or cords are located. It can also be attached underneath the unit.
Once you have located the grounding wire, find the grounding terminal on your amplifier or receiver. This is where you’ll need to connect the ground wire from your turntable. The grounding terminal should be easy to find and is typically marked “Ground.”
Connect the grounding wire to the grounding terminal by inserting it into the screw or other type of connection on the back of the terminal or receiver. Ensure that the wire is secured correctly so it doesn’t come loose as you get things set up or start playing your record.
Finally, play a record and check for any buzz or hum. Once you have the ground wire attached and any other necessary cables in place for playback, you should play a record and check to make sure things are properly grounded. If you still hear a buzz or hum, you might need to secure the ground wire better.
Grounding A Turntable Without A Built-in Grounding Wire
If your turntable does not have a built-in grounding wire, don’t worry! Grounding it is still possible, and it doesn’t require any special skills or experience. All you need is some insulated wire, wire strippers, and some tape.
Here are the steps to grounding a turntable without a built-in grounding wire:
Step 1: Get some insulated wire. You’ll need around 5 feet of wire, but the length can vary depending on the distance between your turntable and amplifier. 18 or 20-gauge wire is the most commonly used type of ground wire, but technically any size can work effectively as a ground.
Step 2: Strip around 1/4 to 1/2 inch of insulation away from both ends of the ground wire using wire strippers. You don’t have to be exact with how much exposed wire you have, but you want enough to make a secure connection.
Step 3: Unplug your turntable and amplifier or receiver. This is a safety precaution and a good idea whenever you are working with electrical components.
Step 4: Attach one end of the ground wire to the metal surface of your turntable using tape. This surface is typically underneath the record player. You need to attach the exposed cable to a metal surface to complete the ground, and it can’t be plastic or any other material.
Step 5: Attach the other end of the ground to the receiver or amplifier. If the amp or receiver has a ground terminal, attach the exposed wire there. You can tape it to a metal surface on the unit if it doesn’t.
Step 6: Make sure both ends of the ground are properly secure, plug everything back in, and play a record to ensure that the ground wire is attached correctly.
It’s important to note that finding the right chassis connections that create the best connection might 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).
Troubleshooting Grounding Issues
Despite following the steps above, you might still experience some grounding issues. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you out:
1. Check your cables: Ensure that all your cables are properly connected and in good condition. If you notice any frayed wires, replace them immediately. Also, make sure that your cables are not too long as this can cause interference.
2. Check your equipment: If you’re still experiencing grounding issues, check your equipment for any faults. Make sure that all your equipment is properly grounded and that there are no loose connections.
3. Use a ground loop isolator: A ground loop isolator is a device that can help eliminate ground loop noise. It works by breaking the ground connection between your turntable and amplifier, which can help reduce humming or buzzing sounds.
4. Move your equipment: Sometimes, simply moving your equipment to a different location can help reduce grounding issues. Try moving your turntable and amplifier to different positions in the room to see if this helps.
5. Seek professional help: If you’ve tried all of the above and are still experiencing grounding issues, it might be time to seek professional help. A technician can diagnose and fix any issues with your equipment and ensure that everything is properly grounded.
By following these troubleshooting tips, you should be able to eliminate any grounding issues you might be experiencing with your turntable. Remember, proper grounding is essential for good sound quality, so it’s important to take the time to get it right.
Final Thoughts On Grounding Your Turntable Wire
Grounding your turntable wire is an essential step to ensure you get the best sound quality possible. Without proper grounding, you may experience a buzz or hum that can be distracting when listening to your favorite records. It’s crucial to follow the steps above to ensure that your turntable is grounded correctly.
If you find that your setup is too far apart for the wire to reach, or your turntable doesn’t have a grounding wire, don’t worry! You can still make your own grounding wire by following the steps above.
Remember, safety should always come first when working with electricity. Always turn off the power to your turntable before starting any work. It’s also essential to double-check that your ground wire is secured correctly to avoid any accidents or damage to your equipment.
By following these steps, you can enjoy your vinyl records without any buzzing or humming and get the best possible sound quality from your turntable.