Please Help My TT is acting like a tuner

I have a Rega p9 turntable, Shelter 501 cart, Bat pk5 phono stage, Viva 300b amplifier and Galante Symphony loudspeakers. I never had any problems with my system until I moved.

Ever since I moved into my new home, I have been picking up radio stations through my TT. The oldies station comes through loud and clear every time I try to play a record!! I have tried everything: powerwraps, ferrite clamps, grounding, lifting the ground, aluminum foil, etc. The oldies station does not stop playing!!!

I am pretty sure it is the TT because the station does not play when the TT is not connected but the BAT phono is loud by itself and is making a crackling whurring sound.

Anyway I am beyond frustrated and am ready to sell my analog gear and just use digital. I have moved my system into every room in my house to no avail, I still hear the oldies station

Please help if you know what I can do. The Rega tonearm cable is hardwired. Is this my problem? Should I get a TT that has the ability to change out cables so that I can use a really powerfully shielded cable? Do the tubes need replaced in the BAT? Or will nothing work and should I either deal with the oldies station or focus on digital?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Is the oldies station any good?

Seriously, you may need to change the arm cable. I have had a few problems with noise in my system. I always try changing cables before I run the the whole ground loop check. I found I need a cable that really rejects any intereference. My Rega RB250 is of the OL variety, and their cabling seems to be much better than stock.

I also have a RB300 that is rewired with silver wire, and while it is still better than a stock cable, it does pick up some noise. It is not shielded.

I don't know about tubes causing this problem, but that seems unlikely. Don't quote me on this, I'm no EE.

I know others here will help, so don't sell yet! It may be something easy.
I've had the same issue. And when I had a BAT VKP5 and it followed to my P10SE.

Couple of thoughts...1) move your equipment in the room. Try the other side. Sometimes the RF will just be strong in that particular place. Even if just to experiment. 2) Call BAT, sometimes a capacitor might help, your bat has plug in facilities for tihs. 3)In my case, it was the tonearm cable. I've not had the issue with a Hovland and a Purist. You can get your arm rewired. 4)it's likely NOT tubes. 5)Make sure your arm cable and interconnects are away from AC cables and while listening...move your arm cable a antenna (sp?) and see if the radio comes and goes...if so, that may be all you need. Ditto for the interconnects.

Anyway, my setup is dead dead dead quiet now. Scary quiet even. Don't ditch vinyl over this!

I hope others post, I'm sure there are more ideas. Do a search here and on AA. It's been written about before.
The oldest station stinks. All I hear is Mustang Sally. Seems like Wilson Pickett's Greatest Hits is the only album the station owns... VERY ANNOYING.

Anyway. It is pretty upsetting that rega would choose to hardwire their tables with a wire that assumedly is poorly shielded. If this is the case, (even though I love the P9), I will have to sell it as I am not going to start cutting wires on a 4000 table for an experiment. I cant believe how bad my house is for spinning vinyl.

The more I hear Pickett, the more I am looking at a wadia. By the way, I own a Rega Planet and it is mockingly quiet when playing CD's.

I think you are right and it is the cable. When I move the cable and/or the TT, the station becomes louder/softer. However, it is hardwired. I guess I should sell the table and try to buy a decent table w/ detachable wiring so that I can purchase a well shielded cable... I do not think that I am capable of cutting wires on the p9 without breaking it. Has anyone rewired a rega for this type of problem.
Just a thought as I don't know and haven't tried it- I there some way to put some kind of shielding over the existing cable and grounding it?

Rich, I haven't re-cabled a Rega, but have done a couple other makes and it was pretty easy, even for a guy like me with little experience with a soldering iron. Just locate where the tonearm leads are soldered onto the cables and de-solder at that point and re-solder the new cable. No cable cutting involved.

If it as easy as you say, I will try it. However... what is the best shielded phono cable? Not the best phono cable but the one with the best shielding. I am going to disconnect the rega phono cable from the tonearm and hardwire a new cable but which one to use? I only want to do this once and I cannot afford to cut and hardwire a number of cables.
it's your stylus. . .well known phenomenon.
Why my stylus? Is it just Shelter 501 or all MC carts?
before you go rewiring or selling your TT, I'd suggest doing a couple of tests.
1.try to get another TT, with a different (shielded?) cable into your system to see if it really is better
2.unplug the TT, leave on the phono setting and see if there's still RFI - if so, it's the amp that needs better shielding and you're just hearing it on the phone setting because the gain is much higher

I used to have terrible RFI in my last place. It was coming through the windows! Even wrapping the TT cable with shielding didn't help. I eventually had to move the stereo (minus the speakers) to the floor underneath (below ground level) to solve the problem.
Some other things that you might play around with: get a sheet of steel (baking sheet?) or some chicken wire and see if you can affect the RFI by moving it around your components. Also, rotating components 90 degrees sometimes helps. It can be helpful to 'dress' your cables (i.e. supend them, make sure they don't intertwine with power cords etc.). Get a friend to listen as you move your interconnects around to see what helps. Also, ask local audiophiles what they know about RFI hot spots in your area. Good luck!
I had a similar problem. Turned out to be my plumbing. It was acting like a tuner fixed on one a.m. frequency and it induced an audible signal with my turntable. I had to change its orientation and the induction stopped. BTW, my cd player pushes its output through the power cord and into my house wiring. It plays on my car radio in the garage, my portable radio in the next room and makes lines on my TV two floors up.
Thanks Musicslug. I am going to shield the phono cables with bendable copper tubing and fool around with the grounding of the TT and phono. Hopefully this will work because nothing else has. I am going to call Victor at BAT about whether the Phono Stage can be tweeked for this type of problem. I will fill you guys in if he has any ideas.

Should I ground the copper tubing? Should I ground to the base of the tonearm or the motor or both? Any thoughts on how to ground the system?
Have you seen the clamp on magnets that they use on computer cables? I had the same issue with my ET2 until I clamped one on the tonearm wire. Works perfectly.
Good luck
I have used clamp on magnets, ferrite clamps and powerwraps. Unfortunately power wraps were the only ones that made a significant difference. However, the station can still be heard. I think it is just as annoying if it is faint in the background then in your face. Magnet clamps work very well if the interference is not that bad. I just live in a house that is one big radio antenna.
Update from Victor at BAT: I was told that if I attach a ceramic capacitor with a value of .01 to the grounds of the Phono Stage's RCA inputs to the grounding lug on the base of the Phono Stage, the radio will not play through the unit. Hopefully this will work
Rich62: The .01 cap acts as an RF bypass. It is also one of the values mentioned for use in the "DIY" parallel cap filtration system for one's AC system in another thread for this very reason. Given the very high gain of a phono section and the RF susceptability of most tube circuits, one would think that this would have been built in from the factory. Hopefully, this will cure your problem and you'll be able to enjoy your "black circles" once again : ) Sean
UPDATE: I tried everything that Victor said from Bat, I moved the TT to every room in the house, I even bought copper tubing to shield the phono cable. All this to no avail.

I am beyond aggravated, the oldies station is loud and clear. I even think if I tweak it I can get a good soundstage for Mustang Sally.

Kidding aside, I am getting out of vinyl and buying a cd player. I did not get into this game to hear noise and an oldies station through my TT. So... That is it, game over. I am not having fun and therefore, the TT, phono and cart will be sold.

Thanks to everyone for your help, I needed to know that I was doing everything I could before I made this decision. It is ashame, I would stay in vinyl forever if it wasnt for the house I live in.


Sorry to hear that. I kinda like Mustang Sally, maybe once a year! Try one more thing before you get rid of it. Turn off all the breakers in your box, except for the stereo outlets. If it stops, you have a bad ground somewhere, or it is bleeding through your house wiring. If that cures it, you may need dedicated outlets. I don't know if this is an option, but I hate to see somebody getting out of vinyl.

One other question: How old is the house? Old wiring could be the cause. When (if) you try turning off breakers, put the whole system on a power strip and use one outlet. That may help narrow it down.

Hope it helps,

House was built in 1930. It is stone and has plaster walls so it is impossible to rout a dedicated circuit on the second floor. The wiring is all BX shielded cable.

I am done with experimentation and tweeking. I just want to listen to music, not screw around with grounds and wires. Digital may not sound as good as a TT but, it is user friendly and a cd player will not receive the local oldies station.
I have the same issue in my house too.
It is a ground loop issue.
I put a piece of copper tape from the metal chasis of the preamp to the shell of the output RCA jack (ground ) and did the trick.
Adding a small .47 cap from output RCA jack ground to the chasis also did the same trick.
Hope this helps

TT might not be the source of the bad ground.

I will try what you have stated (I am not optimistic though). My dealer told me that a Van Der Hul high output cartridge would lessen the noise and sound better then my shelter cartridge. I am considering this. I have so much $$ invested in Vinyl that I am trying so hard to make this system work. I guess I will give it one more try this weekend.
Good choice on the Cartridge. I love my VDH black beauty.
I was able to get the noise down considerably, but it is still present, thanks for your contributions.

But I believe that the noise can be further reduced by acouple changes. I just purchased a Klyne System 6 phono stage. If the RF and noise still is present, I will get a Van Hur Hul high output cart.

I purchased the Klyne because it is extremely quiet and is better shielded then the BAT. I love the BAT though, great piece, really musical.

By the way, I was able to lower the noise floor by several experiments with location of the tt in my room as well as careful placement of the ferrite and magnet clamps on the phono cable. It is really weird that moving my TT just a couple of inches away from the corner of the room made all the difference.

Rich, do you happen to live in the Neenah, Wisconsin? I just replaced my old cartridge with a Shelter 901 and lo and behold "...WVBO, the Valley's best oldies..." Are all Shelter cartidges tuned to the same station?

My prior cartridge was a Sumiko Alchemist IIb with a metal body, 2 mV output, and no oldies! I am certain the problem lies within the cartridge itself and not the wires. I think I live near a transmission tower. I can even listen to the oldies through my telephone should I choose to do so. There is no problem when my Classe Six preamp is switched to other inputs, and as I said before when I had a different cartridge. Does one need to consider where they live when buying a cartridge? Somebody posted on my original thread that you can have such problems if you live too close to a radio tower. Am I going to be forced to sell this great-sounding brand new cartridge and go back to a HOMC to avoid hearing "The House of The Rising Sun" during the quiet passages of my favorite classical music?
I purchased the Klyne and the Oldies station went away. I still have a whooshing sound at extremely high volumes but I may be able to take take of that by tweeking the loading of the cart.

I hate oldies. Made me crazy. I live in central Pennsylvania. Must be something about rural radio stations.