Are you experiencing a humming sound when playing your turntable?
It could be due to a lack of grounding. While some turntables come with a grounding wire, not all do.
But don’t worry, there are still ways to ground your turntable without a wire.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to ground your turntable and eliminate that annoying hum.
So, let’s get started!
How To Ground A Turntable Without Ground Wire
Step 1: Turn Off Your Turntable and Amplifier
Before you start grounding your turntable, make sure to turn off both your turntable and amplifier. This will ensure your safety and prevent any unwanted noise.
Step 2: Find the Grounding Terminal
If your turntable comes with a grounding wire, locate it under the metal chassis. If not, pick out an insulated wire that you’re going to use.
Next, find the grounding terminal on your amplifier or receiver. This is usually located on the back of the unit and marked as “grounded.” It can be a metal post with a simple screw terminal or a metal post with a knurled shaft.
Loosen the grounding terminal and make sure the grounding wire can reach it. If it can’t, move equipment as needed or measure and cut your own grounding wire according to this distance.
Step 3: Attach the Grounding Wire
Once you have the wire on hand, slip the ground wire spade connector onto the grounding terminal. Make sure it’s tightened enough to be sturdy, but don’t overtighten.
If your amplifier doesn’t have a grounding terminal, you can use gaffer tape to stick the grounding wire’s copper spade connector onto the amp’s metal box. Just make sure you secure it enough so that it won’t disconnect.
If you end up making your own grounding wire, strip roughly 6 to 8 mm of insulation from both ends of the wire. Then, attach one stripped end to the chassis screw on the amplifier (try to avoid the speaker terminal). Attach the other stripped end of wire to the chassis screw on the turntable.
Step 4: Test Your Turntable
Once everything is connected, turn on your turntable and test it out to see if the hum is gone. If the sound is clear and gorgeous, your work here is done!
Understanding Grounding In Turntables
Grounding is an essential aspect of turntable setup that helps eliminate unwanted noise, hum, and buzz. A grounding wire is a conductor that connects the metal chassis of the turntable to the metal chassis of the amplifier. This creates an electrical circuit that helps eliminate any electrical interference that can cause unwanted noise.
The grounding wire acts as a shield that redirects any electrical interference away from the turntable’s cartridge and into the amplifier, where it gets grounded. This process helps reduce the amount of noise that can be heard through the speakers.
If your turntable doesn’t come with a grounding wire, you can easily make one using an insulated wire. The wire should be long enough to connect both the turntable and amplifier. Once you have the wire, strip off both ends and attach one end to the metal chassis of the turntable and the other end to the metal chassis of the amplifier.
If your amplifier doesn’t have a grounding terminal, you can use gaffer tape to attach the grounding wire’s copper spade connector onto the amp’s metal box. However, it’s essential to make sure that it’s secured enough not to disconnect.
It’s crucial to ensure that your grounding wire is correctly attached to your amplifier and turntable. A loose or poorly connected ground wire can cause unwanted noise, hum, or buzz. Therefore, it’s essential to double-check your connections and test your turntable after grounding it.
Why Some Turntables Don’t Have Ground Wires
Some turntables come with built-in phono preamps that don’t require grounding. This is because the phono preamp converts the low-level signal from the turntable to a line-level signal that can be amplified by the amplifier without any interference or noise. In this case, the turntable doesn’t require a grounding wire.
Additionally, some turntables may not have a grounding wire because they are designed to be used with specific amplifiers that don’t require grounding. These amplifiers have a built-in ground lift switch that can eliminate any ground loop issues.
However, it’s important to note that even if your turntable doesn’t have a grounding wire, it can still experience ground loop issues. In this case, you can use the steps outlined above to create your own grounding wire and eliminate any unwanted noise or hum. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to grounding your turntable, even if it doesn’t come with a grounding wire.
Tools You’ll Need To Ground Your Turntable
To ground your turntable without a ground wire, you’ll need a few tools. First and foremost, you’ll need an insulated wire that’s approximately 18-20 inches long. You can purchase this wire at a hardware store or use one you already have on hand.
Next, you’ll need a gaffer tape to secure the grounding wire’s copper spade connector onto the amplifier’s metal box if your amplifier doesn’t have a grounding terminal.
You may also want to have a multimeter (Volt/Ohm/Milliammeter) on hand to make measurements if the experimental grounding method described earlier does not cure your problem.
Additionally, needle-nose pliers, a razor or small knife can be used to strip off insulation from the wire. Finally, it’s always a good idea to have safety gloves and goggles on hand for protection while working with electrical equipment.
Method 1: Using A Grounding Screw
If your amplifier or receiver has a grounding screw, this is the easiest method to ground your turntable without a ground wire. First, locate the grounding screw on the back of your amplifier. It will usually be labeled as “ground” and will look like a metal post with a knurled shaft.
Next, take the grounding wire’s copper spade connector and place it on the grounding screw. Tighten the connection with a moderate force, but be sure not to overtighten it and risk stripping the terminal.
If your turntable doesn’t have a grounding wire, you can make one using an insulated 18-22 gauge AWG wire. Strip both ends of the wire and attach one end to the metal chassis of your turntable. Then, attach the other end to the grounding screw on your amplifier.
Once everything is connected, turn on your turntable and test it out. If you hear no humming or unwanted noise, then you’ve successfully grounded your turntable without a ground wire!
Method 2: Using A Ground Loop Isolator
Another effective method to ground a turntable without ground wire is by using a ground loop isolator. This device can help eliminate any unwanted noise or hum that may occur due to ground loops.
To use a ground loop isolator, first, turn off your turntable and amplifier. Then, locate the RCA output on your turntable and plug it into the input of the ground loop isolator. Next, connect the output of the ground loop isolator to your amplifier or receiver.
Make sure to choose a ground loop isolator with a 3.5mm connector type or RCA connector type that is compatible with your turntable and amplifier. Additionally, pay attention to the channel-to-channel isolation between the input and output of the isolator to ensure maximum noise reduction.
Once everything is connected, turn on your turntable and amplifier and test it out to see if the hum is gone. If you still hear some noise, try adjusting the connections or moving the equipment around until you achieve a clear and crisp sound.
Using a ground loop isolator can be an easy and effective way to ground your turntable without a ground wire. It’s important to choose a quality isolator that is compatible with your equipment for optimal performance.
Method 3: Using A Phono Preamp With Built-In Grounding
If your turntable has a built-in phono preamp, it may not require grounding. This is because the preamp itself provides the necessary grounding. To use this method, you will need to connect your turntable to the phono preamp using RCA cables.
First, locate the RCA output jacks on your turntable and connect them to the corresponding input jacks on your phono preamp. Then, connect the output jacks on your phono preamp to the input jacks on your amplifier or receiver.
Before turning on your turntable and amplifier, make sure that the ground wire on your phono preamp is properly connected to the grounding terminal on your amplifier or receiver. This will ensure that any excess electrical current is properly grounded and will prevent any unwanted noise or hum.
Once everything is connected, turn on your turntable and amplifier and test it out to see if the sound is clear and free of hum. If there is still a hum present, you may need to adjust the grounding wire or try a different method of grounding.
Overall, using a phono preamp with built-in grounding can be a simple and effective way to ground your turntable without a ground wire. As with any grounding method, it’s important to test and adjust as needed to ensure optimal sound quality.