Are you a music lover who enjoys listening to vinyl records on your turntable?
If so, you may have heard about the importance of having a grounding wire for your setup. But what exactly is a grounding wire and how do you go about getting one?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explore what a grounding wire is, why it’s important, and what materials and tools you need to create one.
Whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or just starting out with vinyl, read on to learn more about turntable grounding wires.
What Can I Use For A Turntable Ground Wire
When it comes to turntable grounding wires, there are a few options available. The main objective of a grounding wire is to connect to the earth and provide a wire that doesn’t carry its own signal. Technically, any insulated wire can do the job, ideally 18 to 20 gauge stranded wire.
If your turntable already comes with a grounding wire, you’re all set. However, if your turntable doesn’t have a grounding wire, you can easily manufacture an alternative wire using any insulated wire to ground the device.
One option is to use an insulated 18-22 gauge AWG wire of about 5ft. (1.5m). This wire can be connected to the amplifier’s grounding terminal, or you can create a connection using gaffer tape if your amplifier doesn’t have a grounding terminal.
If you’re 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.
Why Is A Grounding Wire Important For Your Turntable?
A grounding wire is a crucial component for any turntable setup. Without proper grounding, a small difference in ground potential can cause a ground loop, which can result in a 60-cycle alternating current passing between the turntable and amplifier along your audio cables. This can cause an audible 60-cycle hum with the phono input selected. In simple terms, a ground cable can help you avoid humming and improve your overall sound quality.
Grounding your turntable correctly to your amplifier will not only minimize or even eliminate the hum, but it will also help your turntable reach its full potential, giving you the best quality sound it can possibly produce. Additionally, having a grounding wire is not just about improving sound quality; it’s also a safety measure. If for some reason, electricity comes into contact with the chassis of your hi-fi boxes, having a grounding wire will ensure that any unwanted electricity will travel through the wire back to your electrical panel, tripping the circuit-breaker and stopping the flow of electricity.
If your turntable doesn’t come with a grounding wire, you can easily manufacture an alternative wire using any insulated wire to ground the device. It’s recommended to use an insulated 18-22 gauge AWG wire of about 5ft. (1.5m) and connect it to the amplifier’s grounding terminal or create a connection using gaffer tape if your amplifier doesn’t have a grounding terminal.
How To Create A Turntable Grounding Wire
If you’re making your own grounding wire, the first step is to obtain an insulated wire that is ideally 18 to 20 gauge stranded wire. Strip about 6 to 8 mm of the insulation from both ends of the wire using needle-nose pliers.
Next, get some copper spade connectors from your local electronics store and attach them to the ends of the wires. If you can’t find these connectors, just strip the end of the wires an inch or so.
Then, take one stripped end of the wire and attach it to the chassis of an amplifier, preferably to a screw. Take the other stripped end and attach it to the chassis of the turntable, also to a screw. This will serve the same purpose as a grounding wire being attached to the grounding terminal.
It’s important to note that 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).
Materials And Tools Needed For A DIY Grounding Wire
To create a DIY grounding wire for your turntable, you will need a few materials and tools. Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Insulated wire: You can use any insulated wire for this purpose, but ideally, 18 to 20 gauge stranded wire is recommended. You can purchase this wire from any hardware store or online.
2. Copper spade connectors: You will need these connectors to attach the wire to the grounding terminal of your amplifier. You can find these connectors at your local electronics store.
3. Needle-nose pliers: These pliers will be used to strip off the insulation from the wire.
4. Razor or small knife: You can use either of these tools to strip off the insulation from the wire.
5. Gaffer tape: You can use this tape to create a connection between the wire and the amplifier’s metal body if your amplifier doesn’t have a grounding terminal.
6. Screwdriver: You will need this tool to attach the wire to the chassis of your amplifier and turntable.
By having these materials and tools on hand, you’ll be able to easily create your own DIY grounding wire for your turntable.
Tips For Installing And Maintaining Your Turntable Grounding Wire
Installing and maintaining your turntable grounding wire is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and reducing unwanted noise or hum. Here are some tips to help you with the process:
1. Locate the grounding wire: The grounding wire is usually attached to the underside of the turntable’s chassis, next to an unconnected copper spade connector. If you can’t find it, you can use your own grounding wire and ground wire spade connector.
2. Use the right wire: Any insulated wire can be used as a grounding wire, but ideally, you should use 18 to 20 gauge stranded wire. This will ensure that the wire doesn’t carry its own signal and provides a stable connection to the earth.
3. Properly connect the wire: Connect the grounding wire to the amplifier’s grounding terminal or create a connection using gaffer tape if there is no grounding terminal. Make sure to properly tighten the connection, but don’t over-tighten it or you might strip the terminal.
4. Test for the best spot: To find the spot that creates the best connection and emits less hum, touch the end of the wire on different areas of the turntable’s chassis while the power is turned back on.
5. Maintain your equipment: When moving your equipment, slide the ground wire with the spade connector to the grounding terminal and tighten the connection with a moderate force. Also, make sure to keep your hands dry when touching both ends of the ground wire.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your turntable grounding wire is properly installed and maintained, providing optimal performance and reducing unwanted noise or hum.