Component grounding

This is an Audio 101 question.

My Shunyata power conditioner has grounding posts. If one fancies supplemental grounding for one's components, beyond the ground wire in the power cord, one can run a wire from a chassis screw to the posts on the conditioner.

I’m not using the phono ground post on my integrated. Can I run a ground wire from there instead of a chassis screw?
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Showing 7 responses by williewonka

Generally speaking, modern components fall into one of two categories
  • those with grounded power cords
  • those without - i.e. two pin plugs 

For the latter, the chassis of the ungrounded components cannot be grounded and may "pickup" some EMI/RFI - therefore grounding eliminates this and may prove to be beneficial

Having said that, some components with a grounded power cable may not ground their chassis either, so they fall into the same category as ungrounded

So without testing each component its hard to tell which would benefit from additional grounding

Some people swear by chassis grounding - but I've never found it to be beneficial on any of my systems

But that's not to say it might be beneficial under certain conditions

Regards - Steve

@rfprice - that hum is probably due to the unit having a two pin plug OR being ungrounded.

This is common and easily remedied...
  1. try connecting a piece of wire to the ground point on the power conditioner
  2. then touch the other end to any unused RCA socket on your amp
  3. the hum should disappear.
If it works you can make up a grounding lead as a more permanent solution using any old RCA plug, but connect to the neutral side of the RCA only

My NAIM amp was designed in such a way that it relies on the source components being grounded. So if the source had a two pin plug it would cause a hum

Hope that helps - Steve
@rfprice - you should NEVER defeat the ground on any component !!!

It is there for a reason - SAFETY !

I know its a common solution, but you are not addressing the root cause of the problem


@rfprice - What happens if you take the Shunyata Power Condtioner out of the system altogether?

What components do you have?


The neutral side of any circuit should be at zero volts, but very often the neutral side may have some residual voltage due to the design of the circuit. If this voltage is not "wicked away" to a proper ground then connecting that component to another component may introduce hum.

In your case it would appear that the neutral of one of the components plugged into the shunyata is not at zero volts and the "isolated zones" on the shunyata are doing a great job at isolation (even the ground), but this allows the component with the non zero neutral to propogate the hum via the interconencts.

Can you plug everything into a single Zone?

Or perhaps experiment with different groupings of components in each zone e.g.

- pre-amp and source in one zone power amp in another

Try different permutations to see what works

Hope that helps - Steve



@rfprice - obviously there is some pretty strange grounding issues at play here and without being there it is difficult to advise on a solution


I noticed that the hum kicked in when I connected the interconnects from the DAC to the integrated. It didn’t happen when the components were merely plugged in and powered on.

This indicates to me that the DAC is causing the issue not the integrated

- did you try grounding the neutral side of the output from the DAC as I suggested above??? i.e.

  1. try connecting a piece of wire to the ground point on the power conditioner
  2. Also try the ground point on an outlet
  3. then touch the other end to THE NEUTRAL COLLAR ONLY of any unused RCA socket on your amp
  4. the hum should disappear.


(Although this still doesn’t explain why the hum didn’t happen with either of the other two integrateds that I tried.) --

This is because the other two integraed amps had a different grounding scheme


You say it only hums if you bypass the pre section of the integrated

- wih both DAC and itegrated plugged into the shunyata in any combination

- but IT DOES NOT HUM if the integrated is plugged into the wall outlet

- and IT DOES NOT HUM if the pre section is NOT bypassed

So I think you have one of two possible solutions/choices.

Personally, I have ONLY EVER plugged my intergated or amp directly into the wall outlet - it allows the amp to excercise if full dynamic prowess.

I no longer use a power conditioner of any type, just a power distribution box with no "isolatoin" or filtering, but I do have a device like the Shunyata Venom Line Defender to protect the gear from surges - I also have a surge supressor on my electrical panel

Sorry I could not be of more assistance

Regards - Steve


I installed the nylon washer between the chassis and the ground wire ring.

Perhaps the wire should be next to the chassis and the nylon washer placed on top of it - and not in between the wire and the chassis?

I am assuming it is a metal screw?

Seems strange to put a piece of nylon (an insulator) between the chassis and the ground wire - but I guess the screw should make the connection

What DAC is it??? - so we can look at the manual

Regards - Steve