Are you experiencing an annoying humming sound coming from your turntable?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Turntable hum is a common issue that can ruin your listening experience.
Whether you’re a seasoned vinyl enthusiast or just starting out, it’s important to understand the causes of turntable hum and how to fix it.
In this article, we’ll explore the different types of turntable hum, what causes them, and provide some tips on how to eliminate the noise.
So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of turntable hum.
Why Is My Turntable Humming
There are a few different reasons why your turntable might be humming. One of the most common causes is poor grounding. When your turntable isn’t properly grounded, it can pick up electrical interference from other components in your audio system, resulting in a low-pitched humming sound.
Another cause of turntable hum is a problem with the wiring inside your audio system. If the amplifier is tuned to the input that your turntable is connected to, and you’re still hearing a humming sound, there may be a breakdown in the device itself.
Additionally, using low-quality equipment or a cheap turntable can also cause humming. This is because these components may not be properly shielded, allowing electrical interference to seep into the audio channel.
What Is Turntable Hum?
Turntable hum is a constant electronic humming or buzzing noise that occurs when the amplifier is set to the input that the turntable is connected to. This can range from a quiet low-pitched humming sound to a louder, more mid-range hum. The most common type of hum sound is the well-known 60 cycle hum, which is caused by improper or poor grounding.
The 60 cycle hum is a result of high voltage electricity from your outlet bleeding into the audio channel. Occasionally, when you hear this sound, it means that you are about to be shocked if your skin touches the wrong part of the component. It’s important to ground your turntable properly using a ground wire to avoid this issue.
While turntable hum can be frustrating, it’s usually fixable. By identifying the root cause of the problem and taking steps to address it, you can enjoy high-quality audio from your turntable without any unwanted humming or buzzing sounds.
Types Of Turntable Hum
There are different types of turntable hum, with the most common being the 60 cycle hum. This is a low to mid-range humming sound that is caused by poor grounding. When the grounding is not done properly, high voltage electricity from the outlet can bleed into the audio channel, resulting in this annoying noise.
Another type of turntable hum is feedback. This occurs when the sound from the speakers is picked up by the turntable’s cartridge and amplified again, creating a loop of sound. Feedback can be caused by a number of factors including speaker placement, turntable placement, and even the room’s acoustics.
Ground loops are also a common cause of turntable hum. A ground loop occurs when there are multiple paths to ground in an audio system, resulting in electrical interference and a humming sound.
Lastly, there can be mechanical reasons for turntable hum. This can be caused by worn out or damaged components such as the motor or bearings. If you suspect mechanical issues are causing your turntable hum, it’s best to have it checked out by a professional.
Understanding the different types of turntable hum can help you identify the root cause of the issue and take appropriate steps to fix it.
Causes Of Turntable Hum
There are two main causes of turntable hum: poor grounding and problems with the wiring inside the audio system. Poor grounding occurs when your turntable isn’t properly connected to a ground wire, which can cause it to pick up electrical interference from other components in your audio system. This interference produces a low-pitched humming sound that can be very distracting.
Problems with the wiring inside your audio system can also cause turntable hum. If the amplifier is tuned to the input that your turntable is connected to, and you’re still hearing a humming sound, there may be a breakdown in the device itself. This can be caused by faulty wiring or other issues within the amplifier.
In addition, using low-quality equipment or a cheap turntable can also cause humming. These components may not be properly shielded, allowing electrical interference to seep into the audio channel. This can result in a range of different sounds, from quiet low-pitched humming to louder mid-range hums.
It’s important to note that excessive hum fields can occur in some turntable motors, particularly when installing a magnetic pickup in a vintage record player designed for a ceramic pickup. While this is rare, it’s worth keeping in mind if you’re experiencing persistent humming despite trying all of the above solutions.
How To Fix Turntable Hum
If you’re experiencing turntable hum, there are a few steps you can take to fix the issue. The first thing to check is whether your turntable is properly grounded. Most turntables have a small wire in the rear of the unit located next to the RCA cables. This wire should be attached to the GND screw on the rear of your receiver. If your turntable has a built-in preamp, you may not have to ground it to a receiver. Built-in preamps are common on turntables that are hooked up to active desktop speakers that require you to plug them into the wall in order to work.
If your turntable doesn’t have a ground wire, you can try locating a metal screw on the turntable (usually underneath the table) and connecting a piece of speaker wire to another metal screw on the receiver. You want to get a good metal-to-metal connection from the turntable to the receiver to get rid of the hum noise. Another method is to tape a metal wire from your receiver to the turntable using gaffe tape.
Next, make sure that your turntable, preamp (if you have one), and amplifier are all plugged into the same power board. This can help eliminate any electrical interference that may be causing the humming sound.
Check all the cables on your turntable to ensure they are connected securely. Check the RCA cables that plug into your amp/preamp, the tonearm wires, and especially the cartridge connections. Often they can be loose. You can further troubleshoot the cartridge wires by connecting the and wires together using an alligator clip. This should eliminate the hum. If it does not, then the wires need replacing.
Finally, play around with the positioning of your turntable – as far away as possible from the rest of your equipment is ideal. This may require a less aesthetically pleasing positioning of your turntable, but can often fix the annoying turntable hum problem.
By following these steps, you should be able to eliminate any humming sound coming from your turntable and enjoy high-quality analog music without any distortion or background noise.
Preventing Turntable Hum In The Future
If you’re experiencing turntable hum and want to prevent it from happening in the future, there are a few steps you can take. First and foremost, make sure your turntable is properly grounded. This means connecting the ground wire that comes with your turntable to a ground post on your amplifier or receiver.
Another way to prevent turntable hum is to separate your audio components from each other. Move your turntable away from any other devices that emit electrical signals, such as speakers, amplifiers, or even your TV. This will help reduce the likelihood of electrical interference.
If you’re still experiencing humming after grounding your turntable and separating your components, consider investing in a standalone preamp. A preamp can help boost the signal from your turntable and reduce the chance of interference.
Finally, if you’re using low-quality equipment or a cheap turntable, consider upgrading to a higher quality model. High-end turntables are often better shielded and can help reduce the chances of humming.
By following these steps, you can help prevent turntable hum in the future and enjoy high-quality sound from your vinyl collection.