Issues With Essential Digital II

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Joined: 02 Mar 2019 15:45

Issues With Essential Digital II

Post by theoneillster » 10 Oct 2019 23:39

Hello everyone,

I have been having some strange issues with an Essential Digital II that I picked up on liquidation, brand new, for less than $100 not that long ago - marked down from $500 CAD as it was an outgoing model.

Here is what is happening:
Upon connecting a set of RCA cables to the phono stage on both circa 1980s Harman/Kardon and Marrantz amplifiers, there is a loud "whooshing" noise that comes through both channels, causing heavy and unlistenable distortion upon playback. I initially thought the issue lay with the actual amplifiers - however the distortion goes away completely if I connect the RCA cables into any other input on either of the amplifiers - whether it be CD, auxiliary or tape. I have also connected my Technics SL-1200 into the phono stage on both amplifiers without issue.

I recently purchased a Pro-Ject digital to analog audio converter so that I was able to use the optical cable, and as a means of reducing the distortion that I had initially thought was the digital signal not being converted whatsoever within the analog receivers. However, it did not reduce the distortion at all, and instead added a rather annoying high pitched squeal to the mix.

I have repaired countless turntables, tape decks and receivers in the past - however I have no idea where to go from here with this one. As this is a brand new machine, I am starting to think that there is a manufacturing defect with the turntable. I have a one year warranty with the store that I purchased it at, which is still valid.

I cannot seem to find anything about this issue with this particular model anywhere online. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks! :D

long player
long player
Great Britain
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Re: Issues With Essential Digital II

Post by markcass » 12 Oct 2019 12:04


This model has a built-in phono stage, giving an output at full line level, like a CD player. If you connect it to the phono stage input of another amplifier, you will massively overload that stage, hence the noises you are hearing. That's why the distortion disappears when you connect it to a line level input like CD or Aux.

On the Essential III Digital, there's a switch to by-pass the built-in phono stage, but this was not fitted to the II Digital model.

You'll find the Essential II Digital's manual in the Archive section of Pro-ject's site, assuming it didn't come in the box. There's a warning in the manual not to connect the turntable's output to the phono input of an amplifier.



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