How to Prevent Ground Loops in Audio Patchbay

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The Music Telegraph
Text 2022-05-23


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How to Prevent Ground Loops in Audio Patchbay

With unbalanced equipment, there is the possibility of a ground loop occurring because of the AC wiring arrangements, which will create an annoying hum in your speakers and on your recordings. Ideally, the entire system should be grounded at only one point and if more than one piece of equipment is connected via its own AC cord lead to ground, then a ground loop could be created through the shield of the signal connection cable. A common cure for this is to disconnect the AC ground wires of all but one piece of equipment in the setup. The equipment will still be grounded, but through the shields of the signal cables. Unfortunately, although this will cure the ground loop and get rid of the hum, it is not safe becuase it would be very easy to remove an item of equipment from the setup and use it without a ground. The most practical alternative is not to connect the shield of the cable at the inputs of any piece of equipemnt that has a ground in its AC cord. Where equipment is designed not to have an AC ground, then the shield must be connected.






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