Record player hissing

Howdy all!

Picked up a Pioneer PL-7 record player for $30. I put a new head on it then when I tried to play some music I started getting a hiss from the speakers. I don’t believe it is the Stereo or the pre-amp. Hiss only appears when the record player is powered on. It is present regardless if I am actively playing anything or not. Any ideas on what I should check to try and fix it?

Is it grounded to whatever is immediately downstream of it? If it’s not volume dependent, it’s probably a ground loop. If there’s no ground lug on the turntable (it’s been a minute since I’ve seen the back of a PL-7), you could try a ground loop isolation device like an Ebtech Hum X (although those are 3x the cost of your turntable).

First thing to try would be other outlets on other circuits.


I believe there is. I will try that out in the morning.

Sweet acquisition!

Do they really play into a higher fidelity vs CD or is this going to be dependent on the player having expensive audiophile speakers and amps and so on?

Turntable preamps tend to hiss or hum slightly
Although its not loud it is noticeable
The preamp circuitry is generally a push pull audio amp and is highly sensitive.
The problem can be compounded if the main amp does not have good filtering as it will amplify the hiss from the preamp.
On most of your better amps the hiss or hum is filtered quite a bit but not entirely, Due to degrading the sound output.
So its a fine line.
Bose technology uses reflex sound off the back of the speaker cone from an expanding soundwave guide.
A really cheap way to exploit full tone quality.

Good pressings can sound as good or better but it is an analog system at the end of the day so there is much more to go wrong. Records are the only physical media I really keep around. I enjoy the process and the deliberateness of having to use the record player.

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Hey that was the problem. Thank you for saving me a bunch of time troubleshooting.


I still have a faint popping and crackling but not enough to stop me from using it. The preamp is just a cheap Fosi audio I got off of Amazon.

Also I think the power strip is suspect.

Could the studios muck around with the copy?

I have this question because I’ve seen people accuse warez group that a certain FLAC copy was actually a 320kbit MP3 passed with some high resolution Vinyl noise and would hope that people would think its a legit HD music.

In turn, has there ever been a time where a studio (out of negligience/malice) and would format shift from a lower bit source such as CD (vs a master copy/studio recording) and press it unto a Vinyl, thus ruining the entire point of having Vinyl in the first place?


My understanding is that generally records are mastered differently than digital copies.

Yup, I have listened to records that are either that or a bad/cheap pressing that sounded noticeably worse than MP3 or FLAC.

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CDs are higher resolution than vinyl, in fact there isn’t really a meaningful difference between a CD and a studio master unless the studio deliberately cripples the CD mastering out of fear of giving away a lossless copy of their master.

One of the reasons why vinyl can sound better than CD, particularly when CDs were first introduced, is that because of the limitations of vinyl more work has to go in to making it sound good.

But vinyl also has a sound just like tape does, tape distortion is still added to digitally recorded and mixed music because it sounds good.


Dust? Or just a low quality tone arm maybe? Although that’s a pretty decent turntable. What cartridge?

$50 audio technica unit I got on Amazon.

That could just be surface noise from the disk.

I remember when…
You could hear that shit over the air on the radio. Thats how you knew it was real.

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pops and crackles tend to come from the records. :frowning:
even absolutely cant get any cleaner vinyl will produce unwanted noise. :frowning:
you can minimise some of it with cartridge alignment and tuning the playing arm pressure, so the point of the needle rides the centre of the grove, and not one of the walls.

the hissing could be lack of grounding or shielding on components in the deck.

the speaker wire. is it shielded?
there’s also the impedance of the speaker wire.
if its to high it can cause hiss and muddy the final audio (shorten the wire to reduce resistance. or buy low impedance speaker cable)

are your speakers the correct ohm rating for your amp.
the ohm rating of the speaker should be equal to or greater than the ohm rating of the amp.
higher ohm speakers are harder to drive so less susceptible to hissing. (replace speakers with higher ohm, lower wattage alternatives)

lastly… your sure its not tinnitus? :sarcasm:


Lets get back to basics first, are you sure there are no cats or snakes within the record?

I joke. I have nothing more to comment or add and I’ll see myself out of the thread now.


Vinyl do’s sound better when you listen to some ablums with coffee and friends, because you have work listening like background. And you have taking your time and just listen to records listening and that is always good fun. And that is just nice with vinyl. On some nice kefff speakers with a nad or acram amp. But digital is supriour in every way, DSD even more but al sotware uses PCM,

The device’s are geting old. Did you already look at the capicitaors inside ? And mayebe some new wire’s for the outputs. 30 year old cables.

where did you connect the preamp, if the amp got a phono in you might wana try that one. Because even old amps, are new amps for phono players :stuck_out_tongue: Most amps if seen from the late 80ish and 90is most of them got them build in. If you want to preamp use the aux or the cd in. or just put it directly in the phono in.

the cardige connection can be a problem giving his. get it out, inspect it. look at needle connections inside etc. reatched it.

Good luuck and lots of listening fun. be awere of vinyl from Japan, it can be addictive

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Unfortunately entirely possible lol. Trying to enjoy the music while I still have hearing left.

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It depends on the mastering, sometimes record companies just put the CD mastering on vinyl releases. A fair amount of people assume since it’s on vinyl it will automatically sound better.

However with that being said, it also depends on how the audio was recorded. Sometimes the dynamic range and compression are different between released formats.

One album I notice this on is the CD version vs the vinyl is Eat the Elephant by A Perfect Circle. One giveaway that I look for when comparing versions is how the cymbals on drums sound.

Trent Reznor’s/Nine Inch Nails releases are a good way to learn comparisons too between the original releases and “definitive edition”. To my understanding he also re-recorded some things due to newer technology being available.

So in short: it depends on how much control someone has over masterings, recording, and playback equipment. There’s other variables at play too.