Project Essential III motor hum

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Polya123
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Project Essential III motor hum

Post by Polya123 » 18 Mar 2018 14:40

Hi everyone! I bought a brand new Project Essential III and have a problem with motor hum. It starts when turning the turntable on: for a second it's quite loud, then it becomes quieter, but you still can hear it, especially when listening on low volumes and being close to the turntable. Motor hum seems to be a frequent problem with Project turntables, but all information that I found refers to Debut line, nothing about the Essential line (removing the transportation screws is supposed to help with Debut turntables). Do you know if this noise on my Essential III is normal? If not, any ideas how to fix it? Thanks in advance!

mockduck
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Re: Project Essential III motor hum

Post by mockduck » 18 Mar 2018 15:52

I have a hum that happens whenever the needle touches the record on my Project Essential III, and do feel that hum is inherant in these turntables. I ended up taking the plastic boxes off of the underside of the turntable to see the wiring, and was surprised at how cheap and thin the wires and soldering were. If it's like mine, the main ground is a thin wire punched through a bit of light cardboard with a metal side to it, with the wire cheaply soldered onto the side to ground it.

You may be able to improve the grounding by putting in a new ground wire, although I have not been able to remove the hum myself. For me it seems to be related to cheap grounding on the tone arm. Good luck!

strangebudgie
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Re: Project Essential III motor hum

Post by strangebudgie » 18 Mar 2018 19:35

I think the hum described by the OP is unlikely to be an earth or grounding problem. More likely to be the stylus picking up the vibration of the motor that is being transmitted through the vinyl. I don't know the Pro-ject well but if there are transport screws then definitely remove them - this should help isolate the motor. A thicker turntable mat can also reduce the amount of noise getting through to the stylus. Best of luck

Polya123
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Re: Project Essential III motor hum

Post by Polya123 » 20 Mar 2018 21:01

mockduck wrote:I have a hum that happens whenever the needle touches the record on my Project Essential III, and do feel that hum is inherant in these turntables. I ended up taking the plastic boxes off of the underside of the turntable to see the wiring, and was surprised at how cheap and thin the wires and soldering were. If it's like mine, the main ground is a thin wire punched through a bit of light cardboard with a metal side to it, with the wire cheaply soldered onto the side to ground it.

You may be able to improve the grounding by putting in a new ground wire, although I have not been able to remove the hum myself. For me it seems to be related to cheap grounding on the tone arm. Good luck!
strangebudgie wrote:I think the hum described by the OP is unlikely to be an earth or grounding problem. More likely to be the stylus picking up the vibration of the motor that is being transmitted through the vinyl. I don't know the Pro-ject well but if there are transport screws then definitely remove them - this should help isolate the motor. A thicker turntable mat can also reduce the amount of noise getting through to the stylus. Best of luck
Hi guys! Thanks for your replies. I have already grounded the turntable so there are no problems with regards to that kind of hum. I have filmed a short video where you can hear what happens when i turn the turntable on, I assume this is the motor hum. Here is the video: https://youtu.be/TK8OPrIYGGQ

I am quite new to turntables, so honestly speaking, I have no idea where the transport screws are :) I have attached some pictures of how the turntable looks like from the upper and lower sides, can you help to locate the screws?


Thank you for your advices!
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Coffee Phil
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Re: Project Essential III motor hum

Post by Coffee Phil » 21 Mar 2018 04:31

Hi Polya123,

Welcome to the forum.

Does the hum come through the speakers or directly from the motor? If it is mechanical hum from the motor, the remedy may be to dismount the motor from the plinth and mount it to the side uncoupled from the plinth in a similar manner to what is done in Project's more expensive machines. Of course a longer belt will be required. If there is clearance you may be able to demount the motor from the plinth and let it rest in the shelf in its present location but isolated from the plinth. With that approach you can retain your present belt.

Phil
Polya123 wrote:Hi everyone! I bought a brand new Project Essential III and have a problem with motor hum. It starts when turning the turntable on: for a second it's quite loud, then it becomes quieter, but you still can hear it, especially when listening on low volumes and being close to the turntable. Motor hum seems to be a frequent problem with Project turntables, but all information that I found refers to Debut line, nothing about the Essential line (removing the transportation screws is supposed to help with Debut turntables). Do you know if this noise on my Essential III is normal? If not, any ideas how to fix it? Thanks in advance!

strangebudgie
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Re: Project Essential III motor hum

Post by strangebudgie » 21 Mar 2018 21:48

All motors make some noise but listening to the video I would say that the hum is excessive and will make its way into the playback. I had a quick look in the hnadbook for you and there is no mention of transit screws so it is possible that something else is touching the motor and vibrating. I would take the motor cover off the base and check that it is not loose or making contact with the motor as either of these could cause reverberation.

Big_Walleye
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Re: Project Essential III motor hum

Post by Big_Walleye » 22 Mar 2018 04:32

Instead of taking apart or modifying a brand new turntable that has an obvious problem. My suggestion would be to return it for exchange or refund.

b+v8an
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Re: Project Essential III motor hum

Post by b+v8an » 22 Mar 2018 14:30

Have you tried moving it further from your amp,tv ,speakers, etc? It might be that simple.Good luck!

cerx
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Re: Project Essential III motor hum

Post by cerx » 27 Sep 2019 16:46

Even though this topic has been discussed a million times, here my take on it after getting back into vinyl with a Music Hall MM2 player (~Pro-Ject debut I-III).
There are three sources of hum, defined as 60Hz related interference.
1. Grounding problems or ground loops - that shouldn't happen if the manufacturer is even half-way competent. If it happens 'all-the-sudden' it's likely that some cable or connection at the cartridge, in the tonearm or cable became loose/broke.
2. Mechanical vibrations from the motor transmitted to the plinth/tonearm - a common problem in the early Pro-Ject-like turntables. I fixed mine with a stronger O ring as motor mount and adding rubber bumpers under the transport screws. The process is tricky because the motor with pulley has to be properly aligned with the subplatter, otherwise the belt rubs on the pulley resulting in speed variations/flutter. On my turntable the transport screws had to be removed per instruction manual but I added them back after installing rubber grommets. Properly tightening the screws is the secret - too loose or too tight results in noticeable motor vibrations. Just touching the screws, motor running :), one will find the optimum.
3. Electromagnetic, usually from motors or transformers. Based on contributions in the diverse forums I thought it would be the 110V AC turntable motor, since hum in my system increased towards the inner grooves which are closer to the motor. But to my surprise hum even increased when I moved the tonearm towards the center even with the motor off and turntable unplugged. Turned out that my receiver's transformer is located in the 'left rear' and since the receiver was positioned right under the turntable the cartridge was simply getting closer to the transformer towards the end of the record. Easy fix - I moved the receiver to the lowest shelf in my rack. I suspect that in many cases when the turntable motor is suspected it's really electromagnetic interference from powerful transformer(s) in the amp or receiver.
A final note: I replaced the cheap MM cartridge of the Music Hall player with a Denon MC DL-110 which I had kept from the 80ies when I used to be a 'true audiophile' with SME 3009 tonearm and all :). Since the MM2 like many of it's brethren comes with a magnetic steel platter it does not play well with a moving coil cartridge. I tried it briefly any way and was surprised how well the cartridge/am tracked - 100um horizontal 315 Hz at 1.8g tracking force as dialed on the tonearm. Wrong! The strong magnet in the cartridge was attracted to the platter and a check with my trusty Shure tracking force gauge revealed an extra 1g due to the magnetic attraction. I replaced the steel platter with an acrylic one, added a record clamp and now I'm reasonably happy. Hum is for all practical purposes inaudible and some of the 40 year old records sound surprisingly good...
Music Hall MM2, Denon Dl-110, T+A R 1200 R and Magnepan 1.7i

Mr Pig
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Re: Project Essential III motor hum

Post by Mr Pig » 28 Sep 2019 19:17

A lot of ProJect turntables have noisy motors. The ones that have the motors attached to the plinths do seem quite good at sending some of this noise over to the record. ProJect often deal with it by simply mounting the motor separately from the plinth.

If the noise is heard through the speakers, intrusively anyway, I wouldn't try to fix it. Just part of the deal with ProJect turntables. if it's annoying I'd take the deck back and buy one that's quieter.

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