Turntable to PC drone noise.


New member
Username: Gonetomorrow

Lexington, KY US

Post Number: 1
Registered: Sep-05
Hello all, good to be here.

I have a Pioneer PL-1150 turntable connected to my PC via a TCC TC-750LC Phono Preamp.

My LPs play fine, but there is this intolerable drone or humming noise coming from the speakers (not there unless plaing LPs). The noise persists despite being grounded to the preamp itself. The preamp has an adjustable output knob, but it has to be turned very low to eliminate the noise, which makes MP3 recordings extremely quiet.

I use Creative Media Source to record, and while the Audio Cleanup successfully eliminates clicks/pops, it can't eliminate the drone.

I also tried ungrounding it, which completely eliminated the drone, but of course that produced other clicking noises by being ungrounded.

My turntable is old (~ 30 years or so) but was rarely used by my parents and is almost mint condition.

Anyone have/had a similar problem, and found someway to eliminate this drone, be it by some other recording software or hardware manipulation?

Thanks for your consideration!

PC specs:

Intel D865PERL mobo
Antec NeoPower 480w PSU
P4 3.4 GHz Prescott core 1 MB L2 Cache
512 MB x 2 PC3200 Kingston Value Ram
Western Digital Raptor SATA 10K RPM 74 GB HDD
XFX 6800 GT 256 MB
Creative Soundblaster Audigy ZS
Viewsonic VP201B 20.1" LCD
Klipsch ProMedia Ultra THX 5.1

Bronze Member
Username: Steve542


Post Number: 12
Registered: Aug-05

Somewhere there is a ground loop (a signal ground or earth carrying current). This is shown by the disconnect removing the drone.

The ideal solution for this is to isolate the mains to the turntable i.e. use an isolating transformer to power it; usually these have 1:1 turns and are often used on building sites (the yellow portable boxes) for safety reasons.

Then the ground on the turntable can stay connected to the preamp which will reduce clicks and bangs.

Hm. If you had a laptop and could record using that, that would help. :-) but I expect the Creative Labs unit you use is a card in the PC?

PC's are bad for this sort of job; it's not their thing. The recording card really needs to be an external unit away from all the electrical noise in the PC.

In order to get the quality of z.ogg sample (do take a listen, see
https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/157725.html#POST434914 )

I really did have to go around the mountains to do this. Originally had monster hum and click problems. Everything has click eliminators in power lines; also have to turn the house fridge off whilst recording (the motor turning on generates huge clicks which run around the house throught the power system).

And you can get better software for declick; gwc is recommended. Don't know if that runs under Windows, it's really a Linux app. But it's free. Once you get a Linux rig running (it can use your present hardware) you also have some good extra options as there are many nice audio edit apps available.

Post some more if you want to go down this road, it can be tricky...

New member
Username: Gonetomorrow

Lexington, KY US

Post Number: 2
Registered: Sep-05
Thanks for the suggestions. I don't think I'm ardent enough to go the route you suggested (wherewithal is a problem also). I just want to transfer my LPs into 320 kbps MP3 format. Although that OGG sample you posted is quite amazing I must say.

Would a better turntable help? Mine is just an old belt-driven Pioneer, which works, but the humming noise would happen even connected to a component stereo system. It wasn't a bother just for listening, but now that I have ventured into recording, it's quite untolerable. Any suggestons for a good turntable? I don't need something state of the art, just something that wouldn't have any sort of hum at all.

And despite using Creative's software for click removal, it actually does the job quite well. Even my old Arturo Toscanani records, which click and pop no matter how well they are cleaned, turn out absolutely no clicks after recording.

The only solution I have found, and it may seem unusual, is to simply not ground the turntable. This eliminates the drone altogether. If let it record and walk away (so my foot steps etc. don't cause any bumps etc.) it seems to produce a decent recording.


Bronze Member
Username: Steve542


Post Number: 13
Registered: Aug-05
Hi James,

suspect the hum is coming from something mundane which is showing it's age e.g. a "tired" (electrically leaky) capacitor / anti-click filter on the power side which is allowing some power hum through. Somewhere! Anywhere!!

..I take it this is a 60Hz hum?

Email me a sample with the drone & I'll take a look; if Audacity can process it away that would be good.

'cause Audacity is available for Windows (and it's free).

I've a gmail.com account - send it to me there, as long as it does not go over 100M in size that'll be fine. Ideally a .wav file.

The handle before "@" is "brodders" (no quotes) which I'm talking about so spambot's don't read it from here.

:-) I suspect your turntable is better then mine; the OGG file just shows what can be done - yours can do that too (though I'd say get an external USB based CL box).

Will check the gmail account tomorrow.

All the best!

Bronze Member
Username: Steve542


Post Number: 14
Registered: Aug-05

Thanks for saying the OGG is amazing; the more I listen to it the better it sounds to what I was happy to hear years ago on a cheap LP player.

But it's all FZ's bands work. They are so good it is painful - as one fan reviewed some of their work:

"..Review posted by Darko Flagg:

This album is deadly. It will hurt you. You will twitch and go into a series of convulsive spasms.
Your mom will not recognise you. If your a musician, you will look at your musical equipment and wonder why you started to ever learn to play. Then you will become a plumber and give up music and die a very slow death, but never bored, because you have this record in your collection."


New member
Username: Gonetomorrow

Lexington, KY US

Post Number: 3
Registered: Sep-05
Will do, thanks!

Bronze Member
Username: Steve542


Post Number: 15
Registered: Aug-05
Hi James,

Nothing in my gmail account yet. Did it bounce?

Also had some ideas re the grounding.

Here is a simple trick. Instead of grounding directly, go through a small capacitor (say 10nF) with a voltage rating of double your mains e.g. in States using say 200v or higher is fine. This should be small and cheap and you'll be able to get this from any electrical/audio/radio hobby shop.

Low notes can't get through such a small capacitor, but the click's pops can. So they will be grounded but hum will not.

A pedantic person would also put something like a 1Meg ohm resister across the capacitor to allow leak-away of any static; this really is not a problem.

Also power both turntable and the preamp power supply from a surge-suppressed power strip NOT the one your PC is plugged into. If your PC is adding noise (likely) then plugging all the kit into the same power strip will make a route for noise to go from the PC to your turntable.

Bye for now..

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