Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

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Spaceman75
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Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by Spaceman75 » 20 Sep 2019 00:26

I've had a problem with a frighteningly loud hum which used to cut in infrequently, but is now happening far too often.

It could be 'fixed' by wiggling the RCA outputs from the turntable in the phono stage until the noise stopped, and it would be fine for a few days. I've cleaned the plugs and jacks, which didn't seem to help. Now this noise comes in much more regularly, and it takes a bit of positioning of the turntable wires to get it to temporarily stop so I can enjoy my music. I've recently noticed that touching the turntable output wires near where they leave the tonearm (under the plinth) also causes a horrible loud din, so my suspicions that the phono stage was at fault have now been replaced by a suspicion that it could be the wires themselves.

I am thinking of replacing the wires to see if it fixes the issue. Does that seem wise, or could there be another culprit? Is there a way to check if the wires are at fault before attempting to replace them?

Cheers in advance for your help

musicmn
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by musicmn » 20 Sep 2019 00:39

HI Spaceman75, The best way to check the tonearm wires and RCA cables is with a Digital volt meter. The meter will tell you if you have good continuity in them. My guess is that you have bad RCA cables or it just might be that one or both of the RCA cable ends are bad and need replacing. Let us know what you find.

lenjack
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by lenjack » 20 Sep 2019 01:30

Cables need to be replaced.

Alec124c41
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by Alec124c41 » 20 Sep 2019 04:15

Pinch the RCA plugs, to make them a tight fit.You should need to hold the phono stage firmly, to force them on.

Cheers,
Alec

lenjack
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by lenjack » 20 Sep 2019 14:43

Agreed. I was prematuure. What Alec said. If that doesn't work, then replace the cables.

Mr Pig
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by Mr Pig » 20 Sep 2019 19:03

Unless the cables are physically damaged, replacing them won't fix it.

What make and model of arm is it? Does it have a separate ground wire?

lenjack
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by lenjack » 20 Sep 2019 23:18

If wiggling the cables has an intermittent effect, and pinching the skirts doesn't fix, the cable need replacing, OR the jacks are bad, which is unlikely. Oh, and check the ground terminal, if present, to be sure it's tight.

Mr Pig
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by Mr Pig » 21 Sep 2019 07:22

lenjack wrote:
20 Sep 2019 23:18
If wiggling the cables has an intermittent effect, and pinching the skirts doesn't fix, the cable need replacing, OR the jacks are bad.
Could be but a grounding problem anywhere on the arm could cause the same thing.

lenjack
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by lenjack » 21 Sep 2019 15:49

Don't think so, since wiggling the cables affects it.

Mr Pig
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by Mr Pig » 21 Sep 2019 17:17

lenjack wrote:
21 Sep 2019 15:49
Don't think so, since wiggling the cables affects it.
If the grounding is bad even touching the cables can affect it.

Pikey
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by Pikey » 21 Sep 2019 20:04

My nephew had a similar problem, just re-routing the cable slightly fixed it ...

Copperhead
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by Copperhead » 21 Sep 2019 20:14

Spaceman75 wrote:
20 Sep 2019 00:26
I've had a problem with a frighteningly loud hum which used to cut in infrequently, but is now happening far too often.

I am thinking of replacing the wires to see if it fixes the issue. Does that seem wise, or could there be another culprit? Is there a way to check if the wires are at fault before attempting to replace them?
Often the connection to the RCA plugs is at fault, it's the easier fix. Just cut 1" off the ends and replace both plugs. The old Rega arms could also develop faults at the base, where the rubber bung is. That would mean a rewire as the existing wires are normally not long enough to allow comfortable resoldering.

Change the RCAs, and if that doesn't solve it just rewire it. You can always reuse the RCAs so no loss there.

AsOriginallyRecorded
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by AsOriginallyRecorded » 21 Sep 2019 20:32

All of these are good suggestions, costing nothing but a little time to check. A partial connection (such as remedied by Alec's suggestion) is often the first and easiest. Spending some time and effort to either make clean runs of cables (no parallel runs and crossing at 90degree angles only if necessary) often reveals hidden problems. The wiggling and resultant change in sound is a huge indicator of poor connections somewhere in the sequence. New cables are not expensive, and do wear over time if not handled carefully, causing separation under the plastic sheath. Beg, borrow or steal as necessary. Do make sure the TT is properly grounded to the source, and don't assume it is internally grounded elsewhere. One power source...don't have various components plugged into several outlets...often just introduces multiple loops. All in all, a pain to have rear it's ugly head, but usually solved by simple adjustments and management. I personally like to do a "clean install" of a component when signal related problems arise. Tends to work as a refresher course and exercise, eliminating possibilities as you go. Simply rotating the plug 180 degrees in the socket has even worked in some instances of hum. As much magic as science almost....Unless there are hidden electronic or mechanical breakdowns somewhere, new equipment is not necessarily going to change the condition of hum. Good sleuthing, and good luck! #-o [-o<

lenjack
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by lenjack » 21 Sep 2019 21:09

There's some overthinking going on here. If wiggling the cable "intermits" it, it's almost certainly a cable, or cable connection problem, requiring checking to see if the connections are tight, or replacing the cables. Replacing the cables might be a bit tricky, if they are hard wired to the turntable, as not all users are comfortable doing this.

Alec124c41
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Re: Very loud intermittent hum from Rega type turntable

Post by Alec124c41 » 21 Sep 2019 22:18

One common fault is an internal break in the cable, just behind the plug. These tend to get bent sharply, when a receiver is pushed back against a wall.
If pinching the plugs does not work, then cutting the cable an inch behind the plugs, and putting new plugs on, almost certainly will.

Cheers,
Alec

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