Lifting the Ground


Somebody please explain to me again the rules about using cheater plugs on audio componenets. I have my turntable, CD player, and preamp all going into a TICE power conditioner. Is it recommended that I use a cheater plug on any or all of the three units? I have my solid state amp going into a second wall outlet. Is it recommended that I also use a cheater plug on the amp? And what about the risks. I don't want to come back from work and find my house burned down.
rockyboy
Do you have hum problems?
Is it recommended that I use a cheater plug on any or all of the three units? I have my solid state amp going into a second wall outlet. Is it recommended that I also use a cheater plug on the amp
Recommended, surley not by the manufacture.
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I don't want to come back from work and find my house burned down.

No that will not happen. What could happen if an internal ac fault or leakage were to occur in a piece of equipmemt from the hot conductor, be it a wire or a winding in a power transformer to the chassis or case, the case could become hot with repected to any other earth grounded equipment. A small leakage of current would, should, be bled off by the ics to a piece of equipment that is earth ground connected. If you do have to use ground cheaters because of ground loop hum problems and you cannot solve the problem, make sure to unplug all equipment using ground cheaters before disconnecting, or changing out ics. If a leakage is present you could receive an electrical shock.
"Recommended, surely not by the manufacturer"

Well, actually, the 500w subwoofer amp from Hsu Research (Model #500A)comes packed with a cheater plug, with the owner's manual saying that you should use it with the amp if you experience a hum problem. I did, and I did. Dave
Lifting the ground is used to cure hum problems.
Maybe a few golden eared ones have discovered some other use for it but not to my knowledge.
Polarity and ground are the AC hum-busting tools.
The other big hum creator is cable TV service lines.
Then you got radiated power fields from local AC lines/generators and motors, florescent lighting..
IMO worrying about lifting grounds without hum present is not worth the bother.
I have no hum problem. But I thought I read a while back that lifting the ground also improved the sound. If that's not the case, I won't pursue this.

Thanks for keeping me straight.
Generally, lifting or floating the ground does indeed improve sonics. Unless perhaps you had a dedicated ground like a copper pole going 6ft into the earth for just the audio circuits/lines.

For most of us without dedicated grounds, the common ground usually attaches to the nuetral bus somewhere within the service panel and I think this may explain why the ground actually induces sonic harm.

In my experience and under most conditions I float/lift the grounds on all components except for the cdp source component. It is this configuration that typcially provides the best sonics.

FWIW, I use dedicated line conditioners on all of my components so I have no idea what one might expect floating the grounds without any line conditioners.

At this moment, I have all grounds floated but two days ago I had only the cdp grounded.

-IMO
At this moment, I have all grounds floated but two days ago I had only the cdp grounded.
Stehno, just curious about your CDP. My Arcam Alpha 9 accepts a three wire plug and cord with an IEC connector. The male connector on the CDP only has two blades for connection, the hot and neutral. No equipment ground blade for connection to the CDP chassis/case. Have you checked your CDP IEC male connector on the back of your CDP?
jim
Jea48, as you probably know most all components have 3 pronged connectors for AC. But as you point out a few will only have two. My old APL 3910 had only two because APL snipped off the grounding blade at the IEC connector exiting out of the chassis.

All Esoteric units have the three prongs. However, Esoteric seems to insist on using only their power cable for the G25u Master Clock Generator. Because their power cable only conducts the hot and neutral leads and no ground.

Hope this helps,
Stehno - what improvements did you hear when you lifted the ground on your system components (minus the CD player)?

Do you run your amp thru a power conditioner? I was told by my dealer that running an amp thru a power conditioner would degrade the sound. What's been your experience?

Do you agree with Jea48 that there's little risk in lifting the ground on a high wattage SS amp? I have my preamp, CD, and turntable plugged into a Tice power conditioner; and I run my SS amp straight into another wall socket. Are you recommending floating the ground on everything, to include the amp?
Do you agree with Jea48 that there's little risk in lifting the ground on a high wattage SS amp?
Rockyboy, in no way do I imply lifting the safety ground on equipment means little risk of an electrical shock hazard. You the operator must weigh the risk factor. I do not have any of the grounds lifted on my equipment. My system dead quiet. I have never had a ground loop hum problem. I guess I am just lucky.
jim
Rockyboy, depending on the resolution of your system and the quality of line conditioners one should be able to hear a much lowered noise-floor, better soundstaging and imaging, and less negative sibilance. And perhaps improvements in other categories.

But keep in mind that for the past 5 years I've used what I consider the best line conditioners available. And this alone dramatically enhances such electrical changes. So when I lift the ground on a given component, I'm actually lifting it on the line conditioner or perhaps at the wall. I'm also using dedicated line conditioners (one for each component).

Without proper line conditioning one has far more serious sonic issues to address than just the potential sonic harm induced by a common ground.

Floating the ground should have little or nothing to do with the amp's power output because it has to do with cleaning up the dirty AC. As for safety, so long as one component is properly grounded, safety issues should be minimal.

Lastly, everybody has very dirty/noisy AC (a few worse than others) coming in from the street. It's the nature of the beast and it must be dealt with properly.

-IMO