How much turntable hum is normal?

L4dva

Active Member
I have recently re connected my turntable after 2 ish years of not using it for various reasons. The cartridge looks in good shape, I have re-balanced the tone arm etc and connected up to the amp.

Everything seems fine, however I'm getting a hum / noise when I select the input on the amp and have the pre amp switched on. Which I don't remember hearing when I was using the turntable regularly (although it was a few years ago).

Records seems to play at lower volume than other sources so I need to turn the dial a little higher to get volume, which I think it normal even with the pre amp turned on. However now at the higher volume the noise / hum is very noticeable. Even when the turntable has stop spinning and the needle is lifted, the noise is still there. If I switch the pre amp off the noise goes away, or if I switch input on the amp to a different source the noise goes away.

To check I haven't screwed anything up I've disconnected everything reconnected and even tried a different interconnect, however still hearing this noise.

Just wanting to know how much of this is just normal? My kit is all fairly modern, turntable / amp / pre amp are all around 5/6 years old max.

Any help would be appreciated - thanks!
 
I know it seems obvious, but you have connected the ground wire, right?
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
The other thing to double check is you have connected the preamp (assuming you mean a phono preamp/stage and not a preamp to work with a power amp) to an input on the amp that is NOT the phono input I.e. connect to aux, cd, tape, tuner etc.
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
If you've got the ground wire connected properly, check the small wires that connect to the cartridge. I had an issue of bad hum the other day, it started just after I lifted the arm up to turn the record over. I must have knocked one of the wires slightly when moving the arm, all 4 were still connected but either a connection wasn't right or the cable didnt like the position. So just tapped each wire until the hum changed, identifying the offending wire, then moved it slightly and the hum disappeared.
 

DT79

Distinguished Member
If all of the above is order and you still have hum, try disconnecting the ground wire and see what that does. Earthing is a funny thing.
 

L4dva

Active Member
Apologies your right I meant the phono stage not pre amp!

The other thing to double check is you have connected the preamp (assuming you mean a phono preamp/stage and not a preamp to work with a power amp) to an input on the amp that is NOT the phono input I.e. connect to aux, cd, tape, tuner etc.

The ground wire is connected and the phono stage is plugged into a non phono input on the amp, the amp just has regular analogue connections, no in built phono stages unfortunately.
 

L4dva

Active Member
If you've got the ground wire connected properly, check the small wires that connect to the cartridge. I had an issue of bad hum the other day, it started just after I lifted the arm up to turn the record over. I must have knocked one of the wires slightly when moving the arm, all 4 were still connected but either a connection wasn't right or the cable didnt like the position. So just tapped each wire until the hum changed, identifying the offending wire, then moved it slightly and the hum disappeared.
Thanks for the tip I'll give this a try
 

Ataripower

Well-known Member
I have exactly the same issue and would be grateful if you can share any solution you may find please
 
So you appear to have eliminated your TT. If the hum is present when the TT motor is not spinning or when the stylus is not on the record the problem seems to be in the Phono Pre-Amp. Do you have, or can you borrow another Phono Pre-Amp to test? What happens if you disconnect your TT from the Phono Pre-Amp and leave it connected to your Amp?

Again, may be a silly suggestion, but, as you say you have not used it for some years, are you sure you have the correct power supply for the Phone Pre-Amp?
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Are the phono leads well clear of any other mains or signal leads. If it’s constant could be mains noise particularly.
 

L4dva

Active Member
So you appear to have eliminated your TT. If the hum is present when the TT motor is not spinning or when the stylus is not on the record the problem seems to be in the Phono Pre-Amp. Do you have, or can you borrow another Phono Pre-Amp to test? What happens if you disconnect your TT from the Phono Pre-Amp and leave it connected to your Amp?

Again, may be a silly suggestion, but, as you say you have not used it for some years, are you sure you have the correct power supply for the Phone Pre-Amp?
I don't have access to another phono pre amp unfortunatly, I will try with the TT connected directly to the amp - is that what you meant? I suppose i will need to max out the volume if i do this as the level will be really low without a phono pre amp?

The phono pre amp is plugged in, it has a blue light on the front when you switch it on. Plus when I switch it off the noise / hum goes away. So you could be right it might be the phono. Maybe I should go to a local store with my phono pre amp, TT & leads to see if I have the same issue in store on one of there demo amp/speakers.
 

L4dva

Active Member
Are the phono leads well clear of any other mains or signal leads. If it’s constant could be mains noise particularly.
There are power cables near by as the phono pre amp and the turntable need power supply but other than this its not against a wall that has plug sockets or excessive electric cable runs behind it that I am aware of anyways
 

L4dva

Active Member
If you've got the ground wire connected properly, check the small wires that connect to the cartridge. I had an issue of bad hum the other day, it started just after I lifted the arm up to turn the record over. I must have knocked one of the wires slightly when moving the arm, all 4 were still connected but either a connection wasn't right or the cable didnt like the position. So just tapped each wire until the hum changed, identifying the offending wire, then moved it slightly and the hum disappeared.
So I gave this a try, I can't pin point one particular connection to the cartridge that is loose or having a significant impact to the noise. Not sure if anything was loose, the wires seem very small & delicate otherwise I would of attempted to pop them all off and re attach, but I feel like I might break something if I did that.
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
So I gave this a try, I can't pin point one particular connection to the cartridge that is loose or having a significant impact to the noise. Not sure if anything was loose, the wires seem very small & delicate otherwise I would of attempted to pop them all off and re attach, but I feel like I might break something if I did that.
Mine was detectable just from touching the wire with my finger, which changed the level of hum (where the touch was enough to move the delicate wire by a few mm's). If this didn't alter the hum, then its unlikely that these wires at the connection point are the issue, so no need pulling them off if you are wary of damaging them. If you were comfortable in removing them, then its just a quick test to eliminate one potential source of the hum.
Edit: to correct shocking English
 
I don't have access to another phono pre amp unfortunatly, I will try with the TT connected directly to the amp - is that what you meant? I suppose i will need to max out the volume if i do this as the level will be really low without a phono pre amp?

The phono pre amp is plugged in, it has a blue light on the front when you switch it on. Plus when I switch it off the noise / hum goes away. So you could be right it might be the phono. Maybe I should go to a local store with my phono pre amp, TT & leads to see if I have the same issue in store on one of there demo amp/speakers.
I don't think connecting your TT directly to your Amp will help, I was thinking of your Phone Pre-Amp to your Amp without the TT connected, if it hums, there is your problem. It may be useful if you could identify your TT and Pre-Amp.
 

DT79

Distinguished Member
Also what interconnects are you using between phono preamp and amp? Perhaps try a different set.
 

L4dva

Active Member
I don't think connecting your TT directly to your Amp will help, I was thinking of your Phone Pre-Amp to your Amp without the TT connected, if it hums, there is your problem. It may be useful if you could identify your TT and Pre-Amp.
ahh yes that would make much more sense - thank you, I’ll give it a try tomorrow.

TT - project Essential 2
Phono stage is Cambridge audio, can’t remember exact model, it’s deff not from the current range which sells for c.£200. My one was about £50 from memory
Amp - Cambridge audio CXA60

I have tried both interconnects that I own and it made no difference. One is a Ixos gamma cable - very chunky yellow leads that feel quite premium, this lead is fairly old. The other is a Cambridge audio lead that I got as a freebie when I brought the amp and phono stage. It’s one of the “budget” Cambridge audio leads that sells for around £10/15.

After trying Mikes suggestion, if that highlights the phono stage as the problem I guess I’ll just make an appointment at richer sounds to try my kit on there demo system and take it from there. Hopefully don’t need to spend £200 on the new Cambridge audio phono stage… it doesn’t come in black either!
 
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L4dva

Active Member
Quick update... the problem seems to have resolved itself.

I'm not sure how exactly, I'm still using the same kit / leads etc but it seems fine now. I did move a few things around in the cabinet which meant sliding the amp out, so maybe something moved or changed while I did that.

Now I'm thinking if I should get a new cartridge or not.... I'll open that can of worms on a new thread maybe!
 

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