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Ground loop even if connected to the same power outlet

  1. Carcajou
    I have a ground loop problem I'm having a hard time getting rid of. I'm almost certain it's a ground loop as I can get rid of it by lifting the ground on my Dacmagic 100. Since my Gungnir doesn't have this option, I'm trying to find a more permanent solution. What I dont understand though, is how can I have aground loop if all my devices are connected to the same power strip? I first thought the problem was my PC so I tried using an optical cable from my TV and the problem persisted. Here's my intended setup:

    Windows 10 laptop > Schiit Gungnir > Jolida 302CRC (using SE) and Mjolnir 2 (using balanced).

    What's even weirded is that I tried using the XLR input on my 302CRC directly from the Gungnir's balanced output and that it didn't fix the problem (either the 302 isin't really balanced or I'm not correctly understanding the concept of a ground loop)... I don't think the amp is faulty since, as I previously mentioned, lifting the ground on the Dacmagic 100 (or using my phone as a source) fixes the noise problem.

    Thanks your help!
  2. PaganDL
    Hi Carcajou,

    Do you mean a noise like a humming &/or buzzing sound when you say ground loop? Because lifting the ground on your amp generally means reducing the noise it makes.
    There are a number of things you could look into.

    See if the powercord for all your equipment which use the power strip are IEC certified or even if the power strip itself is IEC as well, not just surge protected, that doesn't do much on its own.
    Most generally, that usually reduces a fair amount of humming or buzzing from mains power but doesn't necessarily get rid of it in stabilising the current to some degree so keep that in mind, this is highly subjective as you may still hear something.
    That is among the cheapest options.
    The next step or after, especially if changing the power strip & power cords isn't satisfactory enough, look for something the pro audio world calls a noise or hum isolator, see if that makes a difference, you can also get a noise or hum isolator specifically for cables as well if you want to go that far.
    Any good pro audio shop should have those on hand, two brands I can recommend are Sescom & Radial Engineering, also Neutrik has cable specific ones too.

    Hope this helps.

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