Ground loop, cheater plugs, power cords, many ques

I thoughly done a search on curing a ground loop problem I had with my CATV and amps. Cheater plugs did work the best without any trade offs as with matching transformers and whatever, and I did numerous things on this problem. Couple questions? Has any one ever measured and compared the noise level with a cheater plug and CATV on and without the CATV and cheater plug. Just want to know if there is any differance. Please post.

Example, you just bought a $300 power cord and added a 50 cent cheater plug to it. Now that the ground wire is not being used, does this mean you are using only 2/3 of your power cord, or $200 worth? No pun intended, but why not remove the ground wire at the female end of the cord, cover and heatshrink, then reassmble?

To go even further, has anybody thought of putting a toggle on back of the amp or power conditioner to switch the ground wire out (float or lift). This means drilling a hole in the back of the unit, but wouldn't this give you a more purest path than using a cheater plug?

One last thing, you have your Porter outlets, Hydra cords, Wattgates, Hubbles and etc, why add a cheap$ cheater plug in the chain. Granted, it is only an inch and half long and made out of something that is really not the same quality level of conductance as stated above. My last question is, is there a oxygen free copper, shielded, cryoed, teflon coated, polyurethane jacketed high end cheater plug out there? If there is, let us know.

I have only been in audio for a year now, and I am finding out that the biggest impact per dollar on a descent sound system, other than the source, is what is feeding it, the ac. By eliminating as much ac noise as possible, my audio system does sound much better, but its those 50 cent cheater plugs bothers me the most. Yes, it is quick, easy and cheap to do, but are any of the alternatives I mentioned above would have a better impact on sound than the magical cheater plug? Please post any comments and thank you.
high quality cheater plugs sadly don't exist. Wish someone would market some I'm absolutely sure they would sell.
I have 4 dedicated outlets for my system, I have "custom" power cables on all of my components (I make them myself) and I have 3 Panamax 5500 power conditioners/surge protectors on the entire system. With this I still had a ground loop noise problem! While working on it one day I found a little ground loop isolation transformer that can be used for the cable input on the back of the cable receiver. It helped but did not totally cure the problem. I then found that when I disconnected my satellite input the problem went away. That was fine but not acceptable as an answer. I then realized that mw DVD player and my CD player had 3-prong plugs going into the Panamax units so I put the $0.50 "cheater plugs" on them. Viola'- problem solved! Absolutely no ground loop noise problem! As for your search for a high quality cheater plug, I really do not see how they can actually be better than they already are. I have found that the gray colored hard plastic type are superior to most others. They make a more secure connection b/w the cord and the receptacle putting aside a gold plated contact scheme for this inexpensive devise there really is no place for improvement. If you look at the mechanics of this little device you can understand what I mean. I hope this helps.
Maybe you should break the third prong off the power cord?
I have an extra power cord here with IEC at one end and 2 prong at the other end,that address your problem.The Cord sounds FANTASTIC.You are welcome to try,if interested just email me.
Blue Circle makes power cords that have a box to allow for defeating the ground and/or reversing the polarity. Check their website. I have a couple of slightly better quality,
cryo'ed 3 to 2 prong adaptors that I obtained from Virtual Dynamics.
Some amps do have a ground lift switch I believe Cinepro amps have them. I have seen other amps with this feature just don't remember the others.
I used to own a Bryston 2B that had a ground lift switch. Wish I never sold it, it would be a great office system amp.
El, this is easy. I assemble DIY PC Kits that provide inner lifted-ground shields AND an OUTER 3rd GROUND that's SWITCHED simply on the fly if necessary with a quick-disconnect. No need to use cheaters or compromisiong adaptors, or break off ground pins. RSVP for details. Ern
Everyone, thank you for the replies, keep em coming.

What I am trying to avoid is, as Sub suggested, a compromising adapter in the cords. Now I know that putting a ground switch in does exist, I can look into it. For breaking off the ground prong, I don't know about that yet, especially after spending a few hundred$ on cords. For any cord gurus out there, which is better, undo the ground wire at the prongs or at the IEC, then heatshrink the wire? Or does it make no differance? I really want nothing between the cords and the Porter outlets. Right now I have a filter in the rca's from the CATV box (digital) to the front ch. amp. The hum went down a lot, but not as much as a cheater plug. Maybe lifting the ground from that rca input or cable would work? Any other suggestions or comments?

FWIW, this is what happens when you you mix a great stereo system with home theater, problems, ground loops and frustrations.

Thanks again and I will post any changes, hopefully soon, when they happen.
I own two Cardas Goldens, one which is in original condition, the other I've defeated the ground on simply by ripping out the ground prong on the male plug. I went this way simply because that cord is heatshrinked at both ends, but many are not, and I defeated the ground on a Blue Circle BC62 I owned simply by taking apart the male end, removing the ground wire from the plug, taping it off with electrical tape and reassembling the plug. Cardas, I understand, will charge $50 per end to re-terminate. If you can easily do it at the male end (if there's no heatshrink there) I'd suggest that. I've never had a ground loop or hum problem, and I can tell you in no uncertain terms that any of the cords I've defeated the ground on sounded much better that way, so you may get even more than you bargained for (in a positive way). But you will also have the naysayers telling you your house is going to burn down and your children will be electrocuted, so you may as well be prepared for that.
If you have to, lift it at the IEC (middle terminal). In some designs of the plug you may be able to simply pop out the terminal itself and just let it hang outside the case, as a reminder of what you've done, and allowing an easy rebuild without soldering or otherwise much surgery. If the manufacturer has globbed a lot of heatshrink over the IEC then you of course have to cut it all off. Now you know why I provide a simple quick-disconnect in-line switch....
Sub, thanks again for the response. I did read somewhere that it is better to disable the ground at the IEC, not at the prong. I just can't seem to find that article anywhere. My pc's are van den Hul Mainstream whose conn. are not heatshrinked. I should be able to undo the ground as you suggested and go from there. You did mention you put a ground switch on your pc's. How and what did you use to accomplish this? Other responses have been putting a switch on back of the amp, which would not really be a problem, since I have no intentions of selling the amp. The simple in-line quick disconnect switch does seem to be the most practicle way of doing this. Thanks again.
I am not suggesting you do this but it is something I have considered. I also have chased ground loops and ended up with a bunch of cheater plugs. Since I have a dedicated panel for my stereo, I was considering disconnecting all the ground wires except one at the panel. I suspect this would work but make any electrical inspectors cringe. Has anyone else done this?
After months of searching for the source of an interminable and annoying hum in my system, I did what I should have done first; namely, I took the power conditioner (an Audio Prism unit), out of the circuit, and simply plugged the offending components into the wall. Voila! No hum.
Holzhauer...could work fine to unscramble potential loops, but be careful if salivating kids or critters visit!
Holzhauer, Subaruguru, tried that, done that. As Suburuguru stated, it can be a dangerous thing to do. I really have not done anything the last couple weeks cause of time restaints, but the audio ground loop isolator in the rca line from CATV box or tv has been working quite well. Eventually, all video will go to an AVR and use the front pre-out with the isolator in line to the int. amp. As now as it stands, the music input on the int amp is a lot queiter than it has been, but the video input does have some noise. This was tested at almost full volume, not noticable on the music input at normal listening level. Could be a good thing. I should get a spl meter and take some readings and compare cheater plugs to a rca ground loop isolator. When I do, probably after the first, I will post the results.
I just saw the PS Audio site, they have a removeable ground on their new power cords.
Like Lapaix above, my new Exact Power piece has revealed ground loop problems in my system, but because of the improvements it gives, I'm still looking for solutions. I think Jensen-transformers has a troubleshooting guide for hum problems, on their website.
PS also has "borrowed" my PRELUDE PC name. Sigh....
Check out . Bruce has the answer to your cheater plug problem.
Just take off the bare ground wire feeding duplex plug ,tape or cap off.
Easy, Jeb. Hate to be around when the insurance appraiser discovers this if there's ever a fire! Better to "cheat" the ground in the PC or component than the house-wiring!
Check out Granite Audio's Ground Zero product. It took me 20 minutes to set this little black box up in my system and immediately eliminated the ground loop problem I had been struggling with for months. It's amazing and absolutely works!
Thanks for the last couple answers on this. I am in the middle of moving and did find the best solution for eliminating ground loops caused by cable tv line. Before I packed everything up, I moved the television out of the room and left a small rack between the speakers. Obviously there was no CATV ground loop issues, but the music was so much better. As in my case, instead of correcting the problem, I eliminated it. When I get my new place, dedicated room is the way to go. Now at least I know what my system is capable of doing, which is very good. Now I have to wait a couple months before I can get back into the swing of things. BTW, I did use a ground loop isolator on the rca cables from the CATV box to the television with success.
I had problems on my home theature system as well with ground loops. I disconnected every wire, one at a time until I traced it to my cable feed (coax cable). I purchased a 75 cent part from the cable company that I wired near my main electrical panel. This piece has two screw on coax connectors on it and a screw that screws into the outside metal part of the connector (the grounding outside sleeve of the coax cable). I wired this wire to my main panel ground and instantly eliminated my grounding hum in my HT system. No cheater plugs are required, no more lifting the ground lift switch on my bryston amps.

You might give this a try as well to solve your problem if you're getting noise coupled through your cable feed.

I subscribe to the no cheater plugs are required in a properly grounded system camp. Though now that I type that, I do admit I've got a 1500 watt chandaleer on a 2000W dimmer that I positively can't have on during vinyl playback. Though I think even that problem will be fixed once I get off my arse and securely ground the table. I have it jury rigged because I don't have the right connector for ground on this ancient table. I have no problems with cd's through that same system w/ or w/o the monster light on.


Jjurich, do you have a device similar to the the device you installed, on the outside of your house that has a ground wire connected to a ground rod the cable company installed when the cable was installed? This a lightning arrester. If that is the case that sure would cause a ground loop condition. When you wired the new device directly to the ground in your electrical panel you put the cable shield on the same ground plane as your audio equipment, equipment grounds. Both now have the same ground potential, 0. I just bet if you were to lift the ground wire from the device you installed and take a voltage reading between your panel ground and the device there would be a difference of potential, voltage. By the way the place you installed it is the best place. If lightning were to inter the cable it will be bleed off to earth thru your electrical service grounding electrode conductor/s via the gronding electode/s.
Jea48. I'll have to check that in a week or two. It is hovering around 5 degrees here and I'm in no hurry to rush outside and check :)