How to Fix an earth loop

Author: Ian Bush  
Date Posted:13 November 2020 

 

How to fix an earth Loop!

Electronic equipment is earthed (or grounded) to prevent serious injury to the user if the equipment fails. Earth loops (or ground loops) are caused when you have more than 1 earth (connection to the earth in your system) which creates an audible buzz or hum at around 50-60 Hz.

Maybe you have your guitar processor connected to 1 PowerPoint and then you are running an unbalanced lead to a PA in another PowerPoint. This will give you 2 eath points in the same audio circuit which may create an audible earth loop.

So how do I fix an earth loop?

  1. Try and have all of your amps and pedals in the 1 PowerPoint (ideally have a PowerPoint with 2-4 outputs), just be careful not to overload the PowerPoint. Most venues you play at will have all audio and stage power running from the same circuit.
  2. Use good quality audio cables. The Audio cable its self will not solve an earth loop, but it is a good starting point. 
  3. Get an isolated power supply. 
  4. If you're going direct into a PA system, use a DI box like our's and try lifting the earth (most DI Boxes have an option to lift the signal earth while keeping the safety earth attached.) Warning - never remove the Earth connection on your power cable. while this can remove earth loop problems it's extremely dangerous and people have died as the result.
  5. Get a Line isolation transformer.
 
A line isolation transformer goes in the signal path and isolates the earth, so, for example, say if you were using an amp with an effects loop, and you had your pedalboard with a separate power supply, In this situation, you would have multiple earth paths to ground. 
 
If you have a hum problem you're not sure how to solve why not send us a picture of your set-up and a video (so we can hear the hum) we can give you some great advice on ways to reduce the hum.
 

Thanks for reading this blog! to give you even more great content, check out our pages. 

 

I hope this article has helped. if you need any assistance please email:

sales@artistguitars.com.au or call us on 1300 489 816


© Artist Guitars 2020

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