AC Line Problems

I have big problems regarding AC line noise. I get alot of loud "pops" through my phon stage from appliances in house while listening to phono stage. I had dedicated line installed from the existing panel but to no avail. The house is only wired for 110 amps. Would upgrading to 220 amps help? Any suggestions? How can I determine noise which is coming in from the AC line versus noise which is airborne?
Do you have any line conditioner? If not this is very important to start with. There´s a very nice trick in this months Fine Tunes in Stereophile (if you feel comfortable with electronics,etc). Maybe you ment volts not amps... Also look for proper grounding in your AC set up and polarity in each component by reversing plugs. Very cheap tester at Radio Shack for this. 110 to 220 volts wont be a cure for other more important factors you might be facing. For faster fingings try listening to your system late at night when AC line noise drops and air noise does as well. There are many tweak sites to look for starters look at Magnan home page. Good luck
Also look at the thread under grounding problems to have more insight Regards
Since all of the noise is collected on your equipment by the ground it must capable of dispensing it. When your house was wired the electrical contractor should have driven a triad of 6-10 grounding rods into the ground and terminated them to the distribution box via 1 ot cable or larger. Depending on the age of you installation (electrical service ) some of the ground connections may have worked loose or corroded. I would suggest installing a new triad ground system and use the proper conductive grease where connections are made. Home Depot should be able to help. good luck
Good luck! Regardless of a dedicated line, you may be subject to voltage sags and could use some filtration. Use a Radio Shack multi-meter and measure the voltages asap after some noise. I live in Philadelphia and had sags down to 95 volts which caused my tube amps to go into ocillation. I installed a Tripp Lite LC 2400 line conditioner that filters and adjusts voltage by switching taps. Problems went away and the sound became very quiet and "black". Only negative about this product is that it makes a loud "click" when it operates and creates a large emi field (my tape deck was recording a huge amount of hum).
(1)You must isolate the audio system from the earth ground which runs back to the breaker (fuse box). Float all the plugs which connect your audio system components into the wall. (i.e. do not attach the ground wire in to the ground prong in the plug or use cheater plugs). If you do the above, you must be sure that all the audio components are connected through interconnects that include a ground wire built in; and the ground must be connected to at least one of the components. If this is not true you will have to have more than one grounding point for the system (i.e. a separate ground one for each isolated component (a component whose ground is not connected to any other component in the system) that is separate from the breaker box earth ground). However, this is less optimal than having one grounding point for all the audio components. (2) Establish one grounding point in the audio system. This is most commonly an unused RCA plug on a preamp. In the good old days, every preamp had a grounding connector. Run a heavy gage copper wire from the OUTER shield of the RCA plug (i.e. the ground portion of the plug) to a 6 foot copper grounding stake driven into the ground which is always moist or wet. This establishes a true earth ground or zero potential that all the RFI garbage will drain to. I run MIT Z-Series power conditioners and Z-Stabilizers between all my components and the outlets. The Z-series compoenents are connected to the wall outlets' earth ground - all the garbage collected by the Z-Series components is caught by the transformers and dumped to the house ground running back to the breaker box. Then I float the audio components that are connected to the Z-Series components. This adds an extra level of isolation between the audio system and the house wiring further lowering the noise floor. You should also add some parallel RFI/EMI filtering to cleans the live and neutral AC lines of the high frequency hash. These filters will dump the RFI/EMI to the house ground. These filters should ONLY contain capacitance; do not use anything with an inductor in series with the AC lines. Audioprism Quite lines are such a filter with only parallel capacitance. You can also build better ones yourself for a lot less money (see Magnum Cables website on how to do this). Good luck. Sounds complicated but it is very simple - draw yourself a schematic of how your system and how you will isolate it. The above grounding scheme is a true laboratory grade isolating grounding system that is commonly used in laboratories using highly sensitive electronic equipment. It is well proven and you should hear a much lower noise floor and a much more relazed musical presentation.
Hi, I`m experiencing tube failure on my ARC Reference CD-7 ,18 months ago I sent it back to ARC for power supply upgrade,and new tubes, the CD-7 has just returned from ARC yet again ,where it had a burned out tube that had about taken out another tube [ according to techs at ARC] ! 21 capacitors replaced !  only use this 3-4 hours a day [ piano solos at low volumes] all my gear is hooked up trough a MIT Z Series Line conditioner [ which I sent in to be serviced as well in search of the problem ! ] The tehnician  there said we have 300 to 350  power downs and spikes daily here - My question is how to protect my tube gear, as I just purchased a new ARC LS-17 SE.
  I had no issues ever with my solid state ARC LS-9 or any other solid state gear !
  any assistance will be greatly appreciated !
OP & bkdou812-

where are you guys located?
bkdou812 Have you considered an on-line uninterruptible power supply? On-line means you run off of the batteries all the time. Line interactive means you go to battery only when it senses a power failure.

When I had my Octave V110 tube integrated I noticed after losing a couple of tubes my power was fluctuating between 95 and 135V. I ended up getting a PurePower 1050 ups. I had no problems after that.That PP 1050 I had was extremely reliable for me. I say that because there are some reports of bad service. I sold mine after 5 problem free years with the original batteries. BTW I would get typically 45 min of playing time with no power. And it kept the output voltage at a steady 121V

If you are having voltage sag problems on you line, you should notify your electric utility at once in writing.  mention the problem and state clearly that you believe that this is a safety issue.  That buzz word "safety" triggers the utility to come out and do something. They will test the voltage levels and noise on your line for period of days to see if there is a problem, and if they find a problem, they will fix it. 

You have to submit something in writing and mention safety.

If the noise is coming from equipment in your home, you should try to identify the culprit and fix that problem.

Do not that any recommendation that starts with "float the ground" on equipment.  The ground lead is there for a very good reason.  Your safety.  If you have a ground loop or buzzing, we have discussed this many times on Audiogon and there are ways to isolate the equipment that is causing that problem.

Do not float grounds. You are asking for trouble if you do so. Find and fix the problem.  Bad interconnection cables that tie signal return to the shield, bad grounding schemes in a piece of equipment, equipment that share the neutral and/or grounds before they go back to the panel, and many more reasons.

I have noticed that some electricians do not bring the hot, neutral and ground all the way back to the panel when running dedicated lines.  They may share the neutral and/or ground with other feeds. 

Trust me, there is a reason why one has ground loops/buzzing or pops, noise.  Sometimes it is difficult to find the culprit.  But systematic searching will isolate the problem. 

Be safe, don't take the advice of people that tell you to float the ground.  You can do that for a quick minute, just to find which piece of equipment may be causing the problem, but do not leave it that way.


you know, one test of getting old is typing a response post, actually reading it before posting, then posting it, only to discover spelling errors that you completely missed.