Eliminating hum on a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable - Page 7 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 09-03-2015, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norneslo View Post
Just for reference for other readers of this thread, my TT is the older Debut III, and I noticed the hum, first on headphones, and then quite noticeably by the fact my woofers were visably moving in my speakers as soon as the platter was clicked on. Like the others here, I messed about with eliminating the hum, and ended up using bicycle cable donuts all around the o-ring/rubber band motor mount, and on the underside of the shipping screws (which in my model were supposed to be removed). I didn't have a measurement method to see results, but I got the woofers to stop moving when it was powered up. I know a few years ago when the fix for the debut III was being developed a lot of guys were using blu-tack to dampen the motor mounts and the o-ring, another option that seemed to work well. It's sad this wasn't dealt with more effectively in the carbon model.
And, amazingly, you can still find some guy who posted this video documenting the intense hum he got on his brand new supposedly quieter DC model.

In his case, just like mine, replacing the crap RCA cables that came with the turntable made a big difference but I also needed to use the neoprene washers.

What the heck is wrong with that company; a product that is perfect in every way, including value, but must be tweaked by the end user with the factory making no effort to notify end users of a factory recommendation even though I talked to them directly and they liked the "fixes."


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Old 09-04-2015, 07:16 AM
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I have been struggling with the hum issue on my carbon DC for a month now. Has had the problem since day one. I have contacted dealer and Sumiko about the issue. They told me to take the shipping screws out. I did that and hum decreased, but was not eliminated. I was happy for a week or so. Then the problem returned. I again called Sumiko about the issue. They said they would be happy to repair the table and that a certain number of devices have bad motors. I feel this is unacceptable for a brand new turntable. It would seem that buying a turntable with a carbon fiber tone arm that has motor vibration issue, defeats the purpose. If the motor was silent then the carbon fiber tone arm would make a difference and make the Carbon DC a real value, but with the current motor issues, all value is erased. I think I am going to dump the Carbon and to with a U-Turn table.

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Old 09-04-2015, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bighifi View Post
I have been struggling with the hum issue on my carbon DC for a month now. Has had the problem since day one. I have contacted dealer and Sumiko about the issue. They told me to take the shipping screws out. I did that and hum decreased, but was not eliminated. I was happy for a week or so. Then the problem returned. I again called Sumiko about the issue. They said they would be happy to repair the table and that a certain number of devices have bad motors. I feel this is unacceptable for a brand new turntable. It would seem that buying a turntable with a carbon fiber tone arm that has motor vibration issue, defeats the purpose. If the motor was silent then the carbon fiber tone arm would make a difference and make the Carbon DC a real value, but with the current motor issues, all value is erased. I think I am going to dump the Carbon and to with a U-Turn table.
So you replaced the rca cables and put neoprene washers in and no luck?
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Old 09-04-2015, 11:08 AM
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I never used the cables that came with the TT, but that is usually a 60cycle hum due to a grounding issue, not a vibration issue. I did not try the washers yet, I might give that a try tonight. My contention is that I should not have to do that on a brand new TT. When I purchase my new car I don't want to have to replace the head gasket so the car will run correctly. I am still not convinced that the washer trick will eliminate the issue. I may drop the vibration down below the normal volume threshold but I would bet that the vibration is still there. Pro-Ject knows about this issue and has failed to fix it for several years now. If the consumer can fix it with 1 dollar of parts, why can't they? The answer is they don't have to because people keep buying the defective unit and fix it themselves. Would anyone buy a 7.1 receiver that only worked if you soldered a connection inside the unit? Nope, we would demand a fix and then move on to another vendor. Onkyo just deal with this same issue, except they admitted the issue and extended the warranty.

Sorry did not mean to rant, but I am tired of buying poorly designed products.

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Old 09-04-2015, 11:44 AM
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I really have to say that I am amazed by the varied experiences people have with this table, and have to wonder which is the norm. I bought my non-DC version over a year ago on Amazon. Out of the box, I had no discernible hum, but I did the washer fix anyway...it was simple...and why not? Since then, I added a set of Blue Jeans cables and the Acryl-it platter -- again, just because. Today, after reading some of these posts, I turned on my Marantz SR7008, cranked up the volume, stuck my ear right up against my Sonus Faber Veneres and...nothing. No sound what so ever. Has to be bad motors then, right? Not a design flaw?


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Old 09-04-2015, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tgterm View Post
I really have to say that I am amazed by the varied experiences people have with this table, and have to wonder which is the norm. I bought my non-DC version over a year ago on Amazon. Out of the box, I had no discernible hum, but I did the washer fix anyway...it was simple...and why not? Since then, I added a set of Blue Jeans cables and the Acryl-it platter -- again, just because. Today, after reading some of these posts, I turned on my Marantz SR7008, cranked up the volume, stuck my ear right up against my Sonus Faber Veneres and...nothing. No sound what so ever. Has to be bad motors then, right? Not a design flaw?


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Yours was made on a Wednesday, ours were either made late Friday or first thing Monday!!

Great to here you've had good luck right out of the box.

But, really, I'm used to tweaking stuff to maximize performance so I'm not quite as annoyed at some about having to do modify things to fit my needs.

I've done it with cars, motorcycles and especially TV's where proper calibration is mandatory to maximize the performance of that piece of equipment.

Some audiophiles go way beyond that and modify their speakers, amps, preamps, turntables, listening rooms etc.
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Yours was made on a Wednesday, ours were either made late Friday or first thing Monday!!



Great to here you've had good luck right out of the box.



But, really, I'm used to tweaking stuff to maximize performance so I'm not quite as annoyed at some about having to do modify things to fit my needs.



I've done it with cars, motorcycles and especially TV's where proper calibration is mandatory to maximize the performance of that piece of equipment.



Some audiophiles go way beyond that and modify their speakers, amps, preamps, turntables, listening rooms etc.

...or, maybe I've listened to too much Led Zeppelin over the years and can no longer hear the frequency of a Debut Carbon hum?


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Old 09-04-2015, 08:29 PM
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you are correct some people don't have the issue. My friend has the same TT as mine, and it make no noise at all. I think this is a motor issue that Sumiko is not owning up to.

I love to tweak as well. I have been a techie for 30 years, build my own computer, calibrate my TV, laser align my speakers. We tweak to "improve" not to make it work. Making sure you have exact cartridge weight is tweaking, eliminating noise created by the motor is not tweaking, that is "fixing". I am hoping the dealer will help me out. I wanted to buy from an online dealer, but wanted to help out my brick and mortar store, but I might regret that.

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Old 09-05-2015, 01:25 AM
 
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I suspect that all electric grids are not equal. Some areas may have noise on the line coming into your house that causes issues with the motor. Where I work, there is a big laser in a lab. Every so often it and some of the other instruments/machinery actually causes the network lighting to become nonfunctional in random rooms in the building. Later versions of lighting by Douglas have no such issues but this one is susceptible.

My amp used to have a somewhat audible hum. After I changed the ballasts in the fixtures(on the same circuit) the hum was gone. I'm sure there is a percentage of faulty motors in the Pro-ject Carbon, but there must be a percentage too that are grid related humming. I've read reports of the Speed box removing the hum as well. It's too bad this is an issue in a 400+ turntable, but after all, it is pretty much their entry level stuff. My Carbon sounds amazing, and it seems to me they put the lion's share of cost into the sound quality. Maybe a more expensive motor design would have meant a non carbon arm, or a cheaper needle.

For me, I had a slight hum that washers solved. And the sound quality of that deck rivals my Oppo 95 with some tracks. Mind you, I've got a pretty good phono section too, but still.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:19 PM
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Unhappy Pro Ject Carbon Debut DC

Received first unit last week and the right channel was dead. A second unit was sent out and I setup today. Hum is present, I called tech support and was instructed to remove transport screws.
This reduced hum, but not totally silent. Hum can be reduced while tonearm is in different positions, example hovering over record. I tried washers recommended by other uses with no success.
I used different cables than set that came with turntable connected to Marantz 8801 prepro.
60 days to return.

CC

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Old 10-11-2015, 08:18 PM
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Just took my Carbon Debut (DC) out of the box tonight and set it up. Really LOUD, nasty hum right out of the box. I think a big part of it is the crappy RCA cables it comes with. I get the same hum whether the platter is spinning or not. If I touch the RCA's, the hum gets much louder. When I touch the tonearm, the hum goes quieter, but as soon as I drop it onto the platter, hum gets louder. I tried removing both the transport screws and little rubber bumbers. Not sure this made any difference, good or bad. I'm going to try changing out the RCA's (which I now have to seek out and purchase) and see what difference it makes. I have until Friday to return this thing. Haven't tried the washer fix yet, obviously, but if REMOVING the screws made no discernible difference, why would returning them with neoprene washers change anything?


::EDIT:: Growing frustrated, I turned my plasma panel off, and oddly, the turntable hum dropped to almost nothing. Still a very slight hum, but you have to put your ear right up to the speaker to hear it. Wonder if the neoprene washers can eliminate that as well? Thoughts? Whew, am I feeling a million times better. No idea why the tv would cause this effect?


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Old 10-12-2015, 09:48 AM
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Just hooked up my brand new Carbon DC on Saturday. Zero hum, sounds great!
Luck of the draw I guess.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:59 PM
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Received my Carbon DC Red, went ahead and installed the neoprene and brass washers before first turn on. I hear no noise, no hum, only the music. Using a Schiit Mani as the phono pre-amp.
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:32 AM
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Adding two more "lucky draws" or whatever you want to call them:
One Debut IIIE (using the original motor suspension) and a Debut III DC (which is for all intents and purposes a Debut Carbon DC with downgraded tone-arm and cart taken from the original Debut III).
Both of which have zero motor-hum.

But even so I think Pro-ject should come up with a completely different design - too many people having problems even with the third iteration of that motor suspension screams "back to the drawing-board" to me.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:33 AM
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I lived with the hum for a little bit. Stumbled on this thread and did the neoprene and brass washer fix. Did the trick. I too am amazed the factory doesn't just include these preinstalled if they can't fix the design flaw.
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Old 11-09-2015, 11:38 AM
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Another vote for the neoprene washers. Hum now is inaudible for all practical purposes with dust cover up. Slight hum with the cover down, but I'll bet some leveling fixes that. A big thanks to all the folks who contributed solutions.

BTW, I hated the standard platter mat, which always stuck to the record. I use instead a heavy rubber mat from my old Yamaha 450 instead. It's thicker than Pro-Ject's standard mat but I can't hear any difference.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:01 PM
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Hi there. Thanks to all of you for posting your fixes and solutions. About a month ago I purchased a Debut III 2nd hand from a local shop in excellent condition. I hooked it up in my office at work and it sounded great. So great that after a week I purchased a Debut Carbon Esprit DC (SB). I was thinking about upgrading the III with a 2M Red and the acrylic platter. I had a bunch of Discover cash back saved up so I grabbed a SnD of of Crutchfield for only $9.99 out of my pocket. Not a bad deal for a $600 turntable. Anyhow I've been working on my stereo only room at home (where the Esprit will ultimately live and the III will go back to the office) and this weekend hooked up the III to my Audio Engine D1 headphone amp (through a Rolls pre amp and a analog to digital converter). Initially I had some 60hz hum which puzzled me. It went way down when the table was grounded to the pre, but was still present. I narrowed it down to the Speed Box S that I initially passed on at the shop and went back and got it for only $80 in the original box and like-new condition. What I ended up doing is grounding the Speed Box, the pre and the ground of the USB power cable to the D1 together. That coupled with the analog RCAs going to my AVR the hum is 100% gone. That taken care of I spun some wax and limitedly heard the annoying motor rumble that many have encountered. I really could not hear it much with the AVR, but with headphone especially my Grados it was way annoying and I could hear it during music and I listen to a lot of Jazz, Classical, prog and other music with wide dynamic range. I did some searches and ended up here. Today I placed 3/16th neoprene washers under the four mounts of the motor mount O-Ring. I initially tried some 5/32 ones but got better results with the 3/16th there. I immediately noticed that the vibration I was feeling when moving and lowering the arm had gone away or was at least much less. The results were not what I had hoped so I also placed the smaller 3/16th washers under the O-ring where the rubber band was touching the plinth. That eliminated much more of the transfer of noise. It is now unnoticeable when listening to speakers and tolerable with music and only audible at high volumes and in between tracks. I was too lazy to venture out for some grommets and 1/2" #5 screws to reattach the tabs to the plinth. I noticed that if I pressed on the motor and made those tabs make contact that the motor stopped vibrating. However I had no less vibration doing that than with the washer trick I did. My guess is this table is now as quite as it is going to get. I could probably get it almost silent installing the Pro-Ject upgrade kit from the UK, but I really don't want to spend the $50+ that it will cost to import it. I think I can do most of it just by adding some grommets big enough to not require me to lower the motor much more than where it is now. As it is with the speed box requiring the belt to be in the larger lower pull the belt is about as low in the inner hub as I would ever want it to be.

I grabbed a new vinyl and played it and seemed ok. Not as quiet as I would like, but this table will go to the office eventually and the Esprit will come home. My hope is that the Esprit being DC and having the acrylic platter that it won't have these motor hum/noise issues. If it does, at least I know a few fixes to try. I have listened to that table at work cranked pretty high with all kinds of music and with The Power and The Majesty MFSL and I did not hear any rumble, noise, hum or anything bothersome, just awesome analog vinyl sound.

I have also purchased about 300 LPs mostly 2nd hand but several new in the past month. Also picked up a Nakamichi tape dec 1.5 in excellent shape at that some shop yesterday. That's my next project. I still have several cases of tapes sealed and un-touched since the 80s including several TDK-MA -Rs that I held onto when I liquidated everything olden when I last moved. I am entertaining the thought of picking up an open reel recorder as I have seen a bunch in shops recently to complete the analog trifecta, but tape is so hard to come by these days in good condition. Cassettes have come back in style so at least you can get some basic blank tape again. I still have a few rare pre-records and a couple MFSL tapes. Wish I would have kept my vinyl back in the day as it was all in excellent condition. Also wish I had not thrown away (actually recycled) my cassettes a few years ago.
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Old 11-14-2015, 10:41 PM
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Wow! Listening to Wish You Were Here now. Tried last night and it sounded terrible with my Grados due to the motor hum/noise. Been a long time since I have heard that album as God intended; with headphones from an LP source. It will be better when I bring the Esprit home along with it's Tube Box S (forgot to mention that before). The Rolls is ok, but the Tube Box is divine.

Funny thing with these open back Grados and rocking out. I've got Shazam running on the computer and it keeps picking up the songs ;-)
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:13 AM
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This trick worked (#1) with a bit of tweeking

I tried this and was still getting the hum... then I screwed them back on but with 2 square pieces of rubber (1/2" square by 1/16" thick each). I used those from bike parts for the lack of a prettier option. See picture attached.
The new rubber 'parts' are between the screw and the metal plate, I left the existing rubber underneath. First it wasn't making any difference but then I took the time to adjust a quarter turn at a time until... VOILÀ, no more noise. None, nada.

This is a mechanical issue due to motor vibration. Now it is 100% gone and I have a quiet TT. I was considering buying another one; WAS.

Hope this trick works for you

Cheers,
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:05 AM
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Hey folks,
Just received my Debut Carbon DC and it's great except I'm hearing a slight hum on the left channel as soon as I drop the needle. It is mostly inaudible during playback and I only notice it between songs or if there are really quiet passages in a song. I'm not sure whether this is due to motor vibration becuase why would it only occur on the left channel then? I noticed that the white RCA plug doesn't sit as tight as the red one, so maybe since the white plug is the left channel that could be the problem instead of the motor hum. Domyou think buying a new cable could fix my problem?
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Thomas Nook View Post
Hey folks,
Just received my Debut Carbon DC and it's great except I'm hearing a slight hum on the left channel as soon as I drop the needle. It is mostly inaudible during playback and I only notice it between songs or if there are really quiet passages in a song. I'm not sure whether this is due to motor vibration becuase why would it only occur on the left channel then? I noticed that the white RCA plug doesn't sit as tight as the red one, so maybe since the white plug is the left channel that could be the problem instead of the motor hum. Domyou think buying a new cable could fix my problem?
Yes, for some odd reason many RCA plugs including the ones that came with the unit do not sit tightly on the RCA inputs of the turntable.
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Old 08-04-2016, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas Nook View Post
Hey folks,
Just received my Debut Carbon DC and it's great except I'm hearing a slight hum on the left channel as soon as I drop the needle. It is mostly inaudible during playback and I only notice it between songs or if there are really quiet passages in a song. I'm not sure whether this is due to motor vibration becuase why would it only occur on the left channel then? I noticed that the white RCA plug doesn't sit as tight as the red one, so maybe since the white plug is the left channel that could be the problem instead of the motor hum. Domyou think buying a new cable could fix my problem?
No hum for me with these...https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/audio/

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Old 08-04-2016, 11:05 AM
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If the instruction manual says to do anything differently than what this guy has done, then the instruction manual is wrong:

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".

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Old 08-04-2016, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Tgterm View Post
No hum for me with these...https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/audio/

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I replaced the ones that came with my Esprit SB with some Hosa ones and it helped but I still have hum issues in my setup. I have been meaning to get some better ones like the Blue Jeans. If I do what would I use for a ground wire? I have heard you can just strip the ground out of the cable that came with the turntable and use that. My only issue with that is that a good portion of my hum issues seem to be caused by the cheep ground cables?
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Old 08-04-2016, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.kludge View Post
I replaced the ones that came with my Esprit SB with some Hosa ones and it helped but I still have hum issues in my setup. I have been meaning to get some better ones like the Blue Jeans. If I do what would I use for a ground wire? I have heard you can just strip the ground out of the cable that came with the turntable and use that. My only issue with that is that a good portion of my hum issues seem to be caused by the cheep ground cables?

It has been a while...I may have picked up a separate ground wire from Radio Shack. In any case, no hum here. I also did the washer fix described early in this thread, for good measure.


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Old 08-05-2016, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mr.kludge View Post
I replaced the ones that came with my Esprit SB with some Hosa ones and it helped but I still have hum issues in my setup. I have been meaning to get some better ones like the Blue Jeans. If I do what would I use for a ground wire? I have heard you can just strip the ground out of the cable that came with the turntable and use that. My only issue with that is that a good portion of my hum issues seem to be caused by the cheep ground cables?
I used the ground wire that came with it.

Or just use a piece of speaker wire.
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Old 08-06-2016, 12:29 PM
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I used the ground wire that came with it.

Or just use a piece of speaker wire.
Ok, thanks, that's what I thought. I have ordered up some Blue Jeans and will see if that improves things. The best cables I have (some I bought from a local record store where they have a guy custom make them. Great for line level but not phono level) help a little but I really don't have any that grip the terminals on the table tightly. The Hosa DJ turntable cable I bought is a vast improvement but still getting hum due to the loose connections. Even with some crimping the connections still cause some hum if you mess with the cables. The cable that came with the table is basically worthless though I really didn't try that hard to crimp the RCAs so they would make the best connections. I could tell right away that the cables were cheep and also a tad long for my application.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:25 PM
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I got my Blue Jeans in the mail earlier this week and just got around to hooking them up. Much less hum, though I still have some in my setup; Pro‑Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB (DC)+Project Tube Box S (split to) Bravo tube headphone amp and ADC+Audioengine D1>Denon AVR-1909. Almost inaudible hum on the D1 now. Haven't tried through the AVR yet but even when I could hear hum before on the cans I really could not hear much on the AVR. A nice improvement, though quite a bit more expensive than the Hosa cable. The connections are much better with the Blue Jeans than either the supplied cable or the Hosa. They appear to be very well made. I expected the connections to be a little tighter but I think these connectors are designed to give a good enough tight fit without damaging things. They are quite a bit thicker than I expected and I also expected them to be connected together, not separate cables, but it makes more sense to have them separate to avoid crosstalk.

Anyhow I bought these used off of Amazon since they were quite a bit cheeper that way. They are obviously used but in great shape. No opens or shorts that I can detect.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tgterm View Post
...or, maybe I've listened to too much Led Zeppelin over the years and can no longer hear the frequency of a Debut Carbon hum?


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Old 12-13-2016, 09:30 AM
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Is this the solution?

I have a Project Carbon turntable with an Ortofon 2M cartridge. Until today it too suffered from the motor rumble problem. In fact, the rumble was a very pronounced ±15-20DB above the reference audio output taken without the motor running.

I tried all the solutions noted in this thread. None worked. The following idea, however, brought the rumble down to ±2-3DB above reference. Here's how I did it.

First, it turns out that with the platter off and no drive belt I could actually HEAR the motor rumbling. It was loud—relatively speaking. I looked at the suspension system with the four screws holding the rubber sling and noticed that the motor pulled the sling down over the edge of the plinth. That meant the motor was sending vibrations to the plinth over about 10mm of stretched rubber on four sides (the "shipping" screws and associated damper were not included with my turntable).

What happens if that contact point is eliminated? My solution? Four rubber o-rings about 12mm in diameter held under the rubber sling and slightly pushing against the motor housing. It works very well. I can listen to solo cello at near full volume through a reference Decware tube amp without any appreciable rumble.

The one other things that may be required is to slightly lower the belt spindle by 1mm or so to clear the platter.

I hope this solution helps others.
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