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Old 06-08-2012, 11:36 AM   #1
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Default Need Device to Remove Grounding Noise For Audio Equipment

Have a client asking me to remove the background buzzing sound he gets while trying to record music at home.

Ive installed a 75 kva transformer and separate service for a church a while back for this same reason, but wondering if they make something simpler for this type of application.

Waiting to hear back from him about all the equipment he will be running so that I can size whatever equipment I might need.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:02 PM   #2
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You can fix the problem or install a ONEAC isolation transformer.

I would suggest fixing the problem first.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian john View Post
You can fix the problem or install a ONEAC isolation transformer.

I would suggest fixing the problem first.
In order to fix them, what problems can cause buzzing like this?

I built a small rehearsal/recording studio in my home and I have the same issue. I have discovered that the kitchen, old school fin style 1000W dimmer makes a terrible buzz so I just leave it off. There is also some slight hum from who knows where.

Could/would a dedicated circuit to the equipment help? The ONEAC thing is freakin pricy
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221

In order to fix them, what problems can cause buzzing like this?

I built a small rehearsal/recording studio in my home and I have the same issue. I have discovered that the kitchen, old school fin style 1000W dimmer makes a terrible buzz so I just leave it off. There is also some slight hum from who knows where.

Could/would a dedicated circuit to the equipment help? The ONEAC thing is freakin pricy
Dedicated circuit definitely. Old dimmers, old wiring, bad harmonics + high precision electronic equipment spells disaster.

Last edited by Service Call; 06-08-2012 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
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Dedicated circuit definitely. Old dimmers, old wiring, bad harmonics + high precision electronic equipment spells disaster.

Harmonics in a house are minimal at best.

In a residence, first I would check for ground current, then operate every dimmer I have from high to low while listening for hum. I have also heard that some old motors in particular refrigator compressors can cause problems.

In lieu of the ONEAC try an isolation transformer small single phase 240 to 120. GROUND THE SECONDARY.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian john View Post
Harmonics in a house are minimal at best.

In a residence, first I would check for ground current, then operate every dimmer I have from high to low while listening for hum. I have also heard that some old motors in particular refrigator compressors can cause problems.

In lieu of the ONEAC try an isolation transformer small single phase 240 to 120. GROUND THE SECONDARY.
Couldn't you put an inline harmonic filter with a dedicated circuit?
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian john View Post
Harmonics in a house are minimal at best.

In a residence, first I would check for ground current, then operate every dimmer I have from high to low while listening for hum. I have also heard that some old motors in particular refrigator compressors can cause problems.

In lieu of the ONEAC try an isolation transformer small single phase 240 to 120. GROUND THE SECONDARY.
You might try walking around with a boom box set to AM tuned off-station. Every bit of EMI or RFI will be heard as you get close to the source.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:13 PM   #8
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thanks guys. please keep the suggestions coming. I will send out checks at the end of the week...LOL

Seriously thanks!
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:21 AM   #9
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Also could be something in the equipment. Tube amps and vintage equipment often have bad caps that contribute to a general hum. Some equipment will allow a ground lift that will mitigate the problem, but not solve it.

Maybe find out if the amps or gear has been recapped?
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Also could be something in the equipment. Tube amps and vintage equipment often have bad caps that contribute to a general hum. Some equipment will allow a ground lift that will mitigate the problem, but not solve it.

Maybe find out if the amps or gear has been recapped?
some older amps have a polarity switch

but, an old sound man trick is, get everything (instrument amps, pa, soundboard) on the same phase

worth a try im ex-sm ho...

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Old 06-09-2012, 08:48 AM   #11
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Use shielded cable for the audio stuff.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:19 PM   #12
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As I wrote in a thread last December:

The following three papers total about 145 pages, but it's the best information available on wiring audio/video rooms.

The Bill Whitlock of Jensen Transformers Seminar paper
http://www.jensen-transformers.com/an/generic%20seminar.pdf

The Jim Brown of Audio Systems Group white paper
"Power and Grounding for Audio and Audio/Video Systems"
http://www.audiosystemsgroup.com/SurgeXPowerGround.pdf

"Power White Paper" from Middle Atlantic.com
http://www.middleatlantic.com/power.htm

or a different version of the same paper

"The TRUTH" from ExactPower of Middle Atlantic Products
http://www.exactpower.com/elite/wpapers.aspx
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:35 PM   #13
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I troubleshoot this kind of problem a lot! So the order of work is:

a] All the equipment needs to be plugged into the same power strip.
b] Only Plain Jane interconnect signal cables. The boutique cables may be wired in strange ways.
c] Look around the home for. Light dimmers, new high efficiency lights and light systems, any new appliances with Switch Mode Power Supplies (SMPS).
d] Getting back to the audio system, start simple and work outward.
Dis-connect everything, then.
Connect the amp or receiver to the speakers and check.
Add one unit at a time and check.
A battery power music source is a handy tool.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:38 PM   #14
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Before you go rewiring the whole joint, maybe all he needs is a "line level isolator" in the signal path... half the time I come across this situation, thats all it took. Im sure there is some N to G bonding somewhere in the system as well - other than where it should be bonded.
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