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?
- 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.
- Use good quality audio cables. The Audio cable its self will not solve an earth loop, but it is a good starting point.
- Get an isolated power supply.
- 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.
- Get a Line isolation transformer.
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