When your turntable hums at high volume it can be annoying. It can be like nails on a chalkboard when you are just trying to kick back and listen to some vinyl! While we have looked at many different styles of turntables here on the site. Some are made to a higher standard than others. Today, we are taking a look at why your turntable hums and a few ways that you can try and fix this so that you can listen to your music and not want to turn into the Incredible Hulk and Hulk Smash your turntable or speakers!
Why Does My Turntable Hum?
First of all, if you are listening to track three on the awesome God Shuffled His Feet by The Crash Test Dummies, do not worry it is supposed to go Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm…. Sorry about that terrible joke, I will grab my coat and leave!
In all seriousness, if your turntable is making a humming sound, chances are it is down to the wiring inside your turntable. Cheaper turntables such as this retro-inspired Turntable Vinyl Record Player with Speakers and this more modern-looking Wrcibo Record Player, Vintage Turntable are great for people new to the hobby.
However, these turntables that have built in speakers tend to struggle at higher volumes. In my experience, most people who go for one of these cheaper turntables are able to live with the low-level hum that they can sometimes have.
It Might Not Be Your Turntable!
Ok, so while we are focusing on the turntable, I do also want to take a moment to let you guys know that it might not be the actual turntable. I am sure that many of you have a phono preamp as part of your setup. This also could be what is causing a faint hum. The easiest way for you to check this is to get a friend who also has a turntable, let you connect it to your phono preamp. If it still hums then you know that it is the preamp that is probably the cause of your humming issue. I hate to pile it on, but if your receiver has a bunch of stuff plugged into it and everything such as your TV, games console, or whatever has a faint hum then you know the problem is probably not your turntable.
How To Fix Your Turntable Hum
Here we are looking at a few of the common ways that you can go about fixing your turntable humming issue. The first thing to do is check for a ground post. Many turntables, phono preamps, receivers, and so on will have one of these. Some turntable manufacturers do not think they are necessary so if you do not have one do not freak out.
All you need is a cheap turntable ground wire like this one here I found for ten bucks, there are a ton of these on Amazon and you do not need a super expensive one for it to do its job!
Another thing that can help is making sure that everything you have is plugged into the same power strip. This will, of course, depend on your setup, but I have my turntable, preamp, and receiver all going into this power strip and it works like a charm. If you have your turntable plugged into one power strip and then your receiver into another and so on it can cause problems with a bit of interference. I find it best to have it all in the same place.
One of the first things I always suggest that people do, no matter if it trying to fix when your turntable hums at high volume like we are looking at today or any other issue is a teardown! I do not mean to get a screwdriver out and start pulling your turntable apart. I am talking about unplugging everything and then carefully plugging it all back in. Sometimes a loose wire can cause interference and once it is properly plugged in that interference is gone. I also highly recommend that you check that your cartridge is properly connected to the tonearm too.
So, there you have it. We know that getting a turntable is awesome, but sometimes you do get these unexpected issues like humming. Hopefully, one of the suggestions that we have looked at today is going to help you out. Just remember if you get a cheaper, more basic turntable chances are at higher volumes it will have some kind of faint hum, but it should not be so bad that it ruins your listening experience. As these tend to have built in speakers. If the hum is so off-putting that it is ruining your music listening, you might be better returning it and trying a different turntable out.
Hope that this article was able to provide you with some possible solutions when your turntable hums at high volume. You may also want to look at why your record player slows down and speeds up and if your record player has fuzzy sound, here is how to fix it.