tube phonostages are all noisy.
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Regards, Moonguy: You may have a ground loop hum. This will sometimes occur with a metal bodied cart on a metal tonearm.
There MAY be a small grounding strap on one of the cartridge's ground pins, see:
In this photo (no association with the seller), the first I could find, it's visible on the blue (left) ground pin. The strap is designed for removal, should this be necessary to eliminate this particular ground loop. A nonconductive isolator between the cart & headshell, with nylon mounting screws will also eliminate this type of hum.
Good luck &
It is hard to tell from your description if the 'hum' is grounding or something
else. I would try replacing the tubes- I don't know much about JJ tubes but
assuming the unit uses standard 12ax7, 6dj8 or other small tubes, those
are easy enough to get from a reliable source. If it is grounding hum, you
might experiment with the following:
what is the relative placement of your phono stage to the turntable?
sometimes, you can get nasties induced through that. Also, any chance the
phono cable is near an AC cable? Laying out the cables to keep low level
signal cables away from power cables is a good idea.
try some other cables as well if you have them. I assume, using a different
source, like CD or radio, no hum, right?
Also, try a cheater plug on the phono stage, just temporarily, to see if it has
something to do with the way the unit is grounded.
Finally, did this problem just exhibit itself or has it been there since you've
had the unit? (if it just started, it could be a tube. I've also had experiences
where I'll get noise through the system through some extraneous source,
like an appliance elswhere in the house, or somebody doing something on
Marakanetz- I have owned a couple of very good to excellent tube phono
stages and none of them have been noisy. I did have tube noise through
the phono stage of my old SP 10 mk ii ARC preamp, but that would rank as
a 'vintage' unit these days. Modern phono stages should not be noisy.
I also don't think upgrading the power cords will eliminate the problem you
describe, though they may improve the sound, particularly on the phono
stage. I haven't experimented enough with high end power cords on my
motor controller to say whether that will make a significant enough
improvement to justify the cost over the more modest power cord I am
presently using there.
To answer your questions.The hum has been there since day 1 with my vinyl set up.I never had any problem with my cd player.
I have adjusted the ground switches on the zesto to get the lowest hum, but it is still there.I have kept the phono cable away from pc's.
The turntable is on a shelf right next to the zesto phono stage.I have the turntable plugged into a direct line and the phono stage into an Audience adept response r12 conditioner.
I think I will take the whole system apart and clean connections and try to re route cables better and look at the other sugestions mentioned.I sold the cd player due to liking the sound of the records better, but really need to loose this hum problem.
I currently run two McIntosh C8's around 57 years old, completely original never serviced before. I bought them last year had them sent directly to DeWick thinking caps would need changed the least and he didn't have to do anything at all, even the tubes tested superb. Dead quiet no hum even at full volume. Sure they weren't used much over the years but six decades later and they sound amazing untouched. I will be upgrading from them for remastering purposes, but they sound better than any SS gear I've heard including Naim.
I had a similar situation where only the phono was picking up some electrical line noise; no noise with the CD or the DAC, and I'm using the Zesto as well... I was able to eliminate the noise by adjusting the ground switches on the back. I ended up with one side up and the other down.... Not sure of all the reasons (although I do have an inclination) but was able to eliminate most noise, now it's back to a very quiet tube system, using Cary SL-05 pre and Cary 805AEs for amps.