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Grounding a turntable (Read 1984 times)
Mulenut
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Grounding a turntable
11/16/13 at 20:21:03
 
Hello,
I am going to be purchasing an amp from decware in the near future.  I am entering the world of tube amps and efficient speakers with a budget. The TT I will be purchasing is a pro-ject debut carbon. Doing some research I am hearing about an earthing wire.  If I have the decware super zen, how or where would I connect this ground wire, or is it even necessary? Any and all advice is appreciated.  Being a newbie to all of this I am trying to gather all info I can before I make the purchases (which I will be doing all at once.
Thanks!
Mulenut....
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Lon
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #1 - 11/16/13 at 21:54:51
 
Welcome mule nut!

In general a turntable's ground wire is connected to the phono preamp . . . .
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Mulenut
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #2 - 11/16/13 at 22:07:09
 
Thank you,
In reading most if the specs and comments for the 2 watt zen amp, I've gathered that the amp could be run without a preamp. Is there a way to ground the turntable without having to purchase a preamp?
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Lon
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #3 - 11/16/13 at 22:41:09
 
More than just grounding, the turntable needs another component between itself and the amp.

You will need a phono preamp for the turntable to be used. A turntable puts out a very weak signal with a special EQ that needs to be amplified and re-EQ'd (in reverse) before being sent to the amplifier. In this modern age this is most often accomplished in a phono preamplifier. Decware makes one called the ZP3 which is an excellent, okay a fantastic phono preamp. In most cases the turntable is grounded to the phono preamp.

The Zen amp itself does not have a built in phono preamp so one must be used between it and the turntable.
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« Last Edit: 11/16/13 at 23:46:40 by Lon »  

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Mulenut
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #4 - 11/17/13 at 15:23:52
 
Thanks Lon for steering me in the right direction.  The unfortunate side to this is that I am in a strict budget. That being said, do I go for the Rachel? An integrated amp?  In addition, I will probably have to go for a different speaker (was set on the Decware DM945).  I will be purchasing a new system from amp-TT-power cord-interconnects-speaker cables etc. any suggestions? Would love to have a Decware amp as the centerpiece.

Thanks,
Gregg
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Lon
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #5 - 11/17/13 at 16:13:29
 
Hey Gregg,

Well yes, the Rachel does sort of have a preamp section in it, but it doesn't have a PHONO preamp within. That is a certain circuit necessary to handle the signal from the phono cartridge and convert it to a "line level" signal such as that from a tape deck, cd player, tuner, etc.

So even with the Rachel you would need a phono preamp, and unfortunately (this would be a nice addition to the line but so far not available) there is not a Decware integrated with a phono section. There is the ZP3, which is a phono preamp and could be used with the Zen amp or the Rachel. And there are many other phono preamps by other manufacturers of varying design and quality.

Here's a page on amazon about phono preamplifiers that may be helpful.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/syltguides/fullview/21PCGJR9SBLQP

From this page:

Unlike line level audio sources you connect to a stereo (DVD/CD players, tape decks, TV audio, minidisc, etc.), the output from a magnetic cartridge installed in a good quality turntable is MUCH lower, and requires an additional stage of amplification to bring it up to the same volume as the other sources you listen to thru your stereo. This additional amp stage, the phono preamp, is built-in to most older receivers and amps, allowing direct connection of a turntable. However, newer stereo equipment (including virtually all mini-systems and home theatre units, as well as many stereo receivers and amps), have NO phono input (this because records and turntables are supposedly obsolete in today's world dominated by CDs and DVDs). In order to utilise the inputs such units DO have (Aux, Tape, Line, Video, CD, etc.) to connect a turntable, you need to first pass the signal thru an external phono preamp to bump the level. The same level increase is needed if you're connecting a turntable to a computer sound card's line input so you can make CD-Rs from LPs; again, the external phono preamp provides it.

Because of limitations in the LP recording process, an equalization curve must be applied to the music or other sonic content prior to it being cut onto vinyl, so as to reduce backround noise and sibilance. Reversing this equalization effect (the RIAA curve) and restoring the music's original frequency response curve during playback is an important part of the phono preamp's job and differentiates it from other preamps used for microphones and musical instruments, which usually provide gain but no other modification of the original sound quality. Proper RIAA re-equalization during playback is a must in faithfully producing the original musical content without coloration or distortion.

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« Last Edit: 11/17/13 at 16:14:58 by Lon »  

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Mulenut
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #6 - 11/17/13 at 16:34:54
 
Thanks Lon for the great advice! The search continues.....
Hoping to stay with Decware at least for the amp. Search for am affordable phono preamp and upgrade later.  The info you have given me has been incredibly valuable.
Thanks again,
Gregg
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Lon
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #7 - 11/17/13 at 20:35:21
 
You're welcome Gregg.

The ZP3 is worth saving for!
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Mulenut
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #8 - 11/18/13 at 00:59:25
 
I've read up on it and that's what I'm going to do. Until then I'll find a middle of the road substitute....hoping for the best.
Thanks again Lon.  Looking forward to my tube listening home.
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Lon
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #9 - 11/18/13 at 01:52:38
 
If you want something truly cheap that will get the job done, though leaving a lot of room for fidelity improvement, this one (especially after a few weeks of use) is not shrill or really thin, decent beginning sound.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00025742A/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&p...

I am using this in my Dad's system with a Pyle turntable that is of decent quality. . . a good starter phono set up if you don't have high expectations. I'd say its "sins" are of omission. . . doesn't sound great but doesn't sound horrible and is awfully cheap.
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Mulenut
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #10 - 11/18/13 at 03:14:07
 
Wow, that is awfully cheap. I'm looking to keep the preamp tube. Looking at a few of the pro-ject models and have seen a few different tube preamps in the $200-250 range and them go from there. What do you think?
Gregg
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Lon
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #11 - 11/18/13 at 03:52:18
 
Sounds like a plan.
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jsm71
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #12 - 11/22/13 at 18:14:36
 
I'll jump in here with another thought.  You may be able to find a suitable amp for a few hunded dollars but that's still the loss of a few hundred dollars while you wait for something better.  I agree with Lon that the ZP3 is worth saving for.  I have a friend with one that I have heard many times and it sounds fabulous.

You might want to consider something that will just work to tide you over.

http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PP999-Phono-Turntable-Pre-Amp/dp/B00025742A

This has been pretty heavily commented on.  How bad can it be? Grin

Oh, I forgot.  Reading a few of the comments it seems that the grounding wire if needed to eliminate any hum would just be wrapped around one of the casing screws and tightened down.  Not elegant, but hey, look at the price.
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« Last Edit: 11/22/13 at 18:17:09 by jsm71 »  
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #13 - 11/22/13 at 18:23:16
 
On the other hand buying a used piece from Audiogon or Ebay can usually be resold when you're done with it and you can get all or very close to your original outlay back.

Buying and selling used isn't for everyone, but those who turn gear this way have pretty good success.

Lastly, when you start getting close to having the funds check the buy/sell forum here and ask who might be willing to sell a ZP3.  You might get lucky and be able to get one somewhat discounted.  It would likely be taken care of well with this crowd.
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Mulenut
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #14 - 11/22/13 at 22:48:05
 
Hey Jam71, thanks for the input. The price is definitely right on that Pyle. My only concern is the sound. I'm going to be ordering the se84ckc within the next few weeks along with the DM945 bookshelf speakers. Will I be sacrificing sound with the Pyle preamp? Tiding me over after my initial purchases will be quite some time. Any thoughts?
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #15 - 11/22/13 at 23:49:07
 
Hi mulenut, you`ll have 3+ months to wait until you have to buy a phono. You never know something may turn up in the way of a bargain. If you go with the Pyle then you`ll enjoy it as you`re 1st set up, and will sound better as the Decware gear breaks in. The first phono I bought was the size of a small cigarette packet with a battery and dip switches. Sounded good to me.
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« Last Edit: 11/22/13 at 23:49:36 by marky »  
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Lon
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #16 - 11/22/13 at 23:49:16
 
Mulenut, that is the same Pyle preamp that I mention above and that I have in use with a Pyle turntable in my father's system.

Will you sacrifice some sound quality with that? Sure. But it's not going to sound (after break-in) thin and shrill, it's going to have a balanced sound. Not the be-all for detail or dynamics, but not sacrificing a lot of either. The ZP3 will mop the floor with it, but it's supposed to for the huge difference in cost. But it will allow you to listen to your lps til you get a ZP3 or another great phono preamp. Worth considering.
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Mulenut
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #17 - 11/22/13 at 23:56:59
 
Ok great. Decisions.......I'm kind of getting sold on the idea of the small preamp until I can afford exactly what I want. All in all it'll probably make "the boss" a little happier as well.  I'll keep thinking on it. I appreciate the advice and info!
Rock on..
Mule head for life!
G
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Mulenut
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #18 - 11/25/13 at 18:57:03
 
Hello All,
I am going back and forth with my budget.  I have a question about speakers. My original plan was to order the Decware DM945 bookshelf.  At their price point it limits my ability for cables etc.  I have a little leeway within my budget.  Will the SE84CKC power Klipch Icon KB-15 bookshelf speakers effectively? these speakers are rated with a 94db sensitivity. I am hoping to buy the DM945 but in the event that the budget rotates in the direction that I can't, I would like to have a back up speaker to go to.  Agian, any and all advice is welcome and appreciated.
Thanks,
Gregg
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #19 - 11/25/13 at 23:07:59
 
I like Klipsch - but not for high end audio - they typically have a bit of honk to them and are a bit brash. The efficiency is perfect for the Zen, and they will be tolerable, but the 945 would be several levels above those Klipsch - so I would do whatever I could for the better speakers.

Cables you can DIY and upgrade later.  Source, Amp, Speakers are the gear Triad - and don't forget how important placement in the room is.

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« Last Edit: 11/25/13 at 23:50:35 by Lonely Raven »  
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Mulenut
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #20 - 11/25/13 at 23:47:28
 
Thanks LR.  I will go for what I originally set out to do and thays get the 945s.  Room place ment is going to be fun with the space I have and how to lay it all out. I have convinced "the boss" to allow me almost full reign to figure out the room.  I appreciate your advice , very helpful.
Thanks,
Gregg
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Mulenut
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #21 - 12/01/13 at 04:29:02
 
Ok another silly question. Talking with "The Boss" about radio. She enjoys the all day Sunday programming of NPR. Is a tuner an option for the se84ckc or is it a pipe dream? Again, newbie to tube gear and trying to keep the whole house happy. Any and all advice is much appreciated.

Cheers,
Gregg
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #22 - 12/01/13 at 05:24:42
 

Plug in any source you have. You could even run an iPod through it if you have a dock.

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Mulenut
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #23 - 12/04/13 at 21:05:32
 
Hello again,
doing a little research on power conditioning/surge protectors etc.  Does anyone out there have any experience or thoughts on this matter.  I'm having some space issues with the power source (wall outlets).
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #24 - 12/09/13 at 08:37:45
 
Quote:
Mulenut said,
Hello again,
doing a little research on power conditioning/surge protectors etc.  Does anyone out there have any experience or thoughts on this matter.  I'm having some space issues with the power source (wall outlets).


There are a lot of opinions on this - PS Audio seems to be a big hit with a lot of guys on this board.  They have an entry level protector/conditioner called the Dectet that could possibly fit into some tight areas if space is a concern.  

There are other companies such as Running Springs Audio, Shunyata and Audience who have their own techniques to condition power.
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #25 - 12/09/13 at 19:44:24
 
I use a PS Audio Quintet conditioner for all my gear except the power amp.  Amps should not have any current limitations that many conditioners impose as a small penalty for the conditioning.  Also, you want your amp on its own outlet.  My preamp, SACD player, and turntable combined don't draw that much current, but they really benefit from reduced power line noise.

The Quintet ($350) was discontinued, I believe, because it brought too much benefit at a low price.  PS Audio couldn't just up the price for no good reason so they replaced it with the now current Dectet ($495) model which has less features.  If you could find a Quintet used, jump on it.  I noticed immediate improvement in blacker backgrounds and resolution right out of the box.  

Another great budget conditioner would be the Furman - PST 8 Digital Power Station ($185) available at many online gear outlets like Music Direct.  Even an entry level model from a company who has experience in this area is better than not using one.
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Lon
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #26 - 12/09/13 at 20:16:08
 
j,

Yeah, I have two Duets, one I use for my Fender Bassman TV amp and Fender '63 Reverb head, makes a difference; the other I use on my Dad's system, really changed that one.

I also have a Dectet, in my second system. SOUNDS BETTER than the Duet. Noticeably, I had the Duet now in my Dad's system in that system before hand.

I have tried to like my Torii plugged into the wall compared to the Torii plugged into my PS Audio Power Plant Premier. I much prefer it plugged into the Premier. i don't find any loss of dynamics, what I do find is more dynamics, more warmth, more detail. The same when I used to have it plugged into a Duet but to a lesser extent.
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Mulenut
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #27 - 12/12/13 at 04:27:30
 
Thanks for all of the sound advice. I really appreciate it! Just got onto the build list today. Totally psyched!!! Can't wait for the gear to arrive.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #28 - 12/12/13 at 15:59:09
 

And now the wait starts....

I'm about 9 weeks into my 12 week wait on a new amp...I'm practically bouncing in my chair in excitement.
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Mulenut
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Re: Grounding a turntable
Reply #29 - 12/12/13 at 18:45:28
 
I am right there with you Raven, as soon as I submitted my order I was chomping at the bit.  Gonna be a long 8-12 weeks   Cool
I've managed to drive my entire household crazy with the idea.
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