What cartridge are you using?
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You also might try sanding the pivot pin the arm sits on. There was a short period where the unipivot came coated. With that coating the arm has no way to ground itself. I had this issue on my Prime and was told to use very fine steel wool until I saw bare metal. You may be able to find the thread on the VPI forums.
Okay, so I’ve tracked what is causing the hum down and it was not what I expected. Let me list my current signal chain:
VPI Scout 1.1 (Shure M97xE w/ LP Gear ViVid Line stylus) > Schiit Mani Phono Preamp > Schiit Sys Passive Preamp (use this to switch sources into my amplifier) > Emotiva MiniX A-100 Amplifier > ELAC UB5 speakers
Everything connected with Blue Jeans LC-1 interconnects.
So, tonight, just for the hell of it, I decided to really dig into this. I decided to connect the Schiit Mani phono preamp directly into the Emotiva power amp and, sure as hell, no hum whatsoever... This blew me away as this is the first time I've heard my analog system without a trace of hum or buzz.
So, that tells me something is going on with the Sys.
Next, I plugged the phono preamp back into the Sys, with the Sys output going to my Emotiva power amp. But, this time I unplugged my other source (iFi iDSD Nano DAC) and, once again, sure as hell, no hum.
Basically, if I plug anything other than the phono preamp to the inputs of the Sys, I get hum. I’ve tried different cables... I’ve tried everything. This is extremely frustrating. The Sys is basically useless to me if I can’t use it to switch sources into my amplifier.
So, I guess now I’m on the search for either a nicer passive preamp to switch my sources or a proper preamplifier.
Anyone have any idea if I can remedy this without having to spend a bunch of money? If not, some affordable suggestions of high-quality gear that I can use in place of the Sys?
Okay, I’ve taken this a bit further now.
I’ve decided to rewire the ground using splices and fork connectors to make a single wire, all using the same cable. I’ve also plugged the Schiit Mani phono preamp into a separate circuit away from the rest of the gear in the signal chain. I’m happy to report this has completely eliminated the hum and actually imrpoved the sound quality. Blacker backgrounds with better separation. The system sounds amazing right now.
Here is the ground scheme I used:
From the screw on the bottom of the motor assembly housing to the large nut securing the spindle. From the spindle nut to the tonearm. From the tonearm I have two splices, one going to the JMW junction box and the other going to the phono preamp. The cable is terminated in a banana connector at the phono preamp end because the Schiit Mani uses a 5-way binding post... just makes things easier.