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Tony T
Tony T's picture
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Jan 10 2013 - 6:35am
Rega RP1 ground noise issue

HI guys -

Bought a Rega RP1 (w/upgrade pack installed) along with a Rega Brio amp.   This is my first foray into (entry level) hi fi for about 25 yrs.  I had loads of cherry, unplayed promo vinyl I acquired from a misspent youth in the music industry and finally decided to forgo MP3's and CD's for a while so I could once again carefully put a record on, sit down and actually LISTEN for a change. 

Got the components - lovely looking and easy peasy set up and, at first, it was freakin' awesome.  Small Faces, Shellac, Coltrane, Swans - it all sounded so much better than all those lossy files I had gotten used to.  Then, about a week later, I noticed a hum when I turned the amp on and the first (phono) channel was selected, regardless of whether or not the turntable power was on.  It's noticable with the volume set at about 9:00 and increases exponentially as I turn the volume up.  If I unplugged the RCA turntable jacks the sound went away so I know it's the turntable grounding (with the turntable unplugged I can begin to hear a very different noise slightly as the volume approaches 9:00 to full, but it's only in the phone channel -the others are dead silent- and I'm guessing that's just the nature of phono preamps). Bummer, right?

The shop I bought it from was super nice about it (as they should be), walked me through some potential fixes that dinna work and had me send it back, which I did today ($53).  They're going to check it out and it looks like I'll have a couple of options:

Since Rega runs the ground wire through the tone arm, they've told the retailer they'd send a replacement tone arm.

A new Rega RP1

Credit towards a different TT

So, guys, suggestions?  How many Rega owners out there are very happy with thier TT's? The RP sounded truly lovely before the ground noise showed up and it's a beautiful turntable.  Is my ground problem a fluke or is this unfortunately common w/Rega because of thier unique grounding? Should I give 'em another shot? If not, any recommendations for TT's w/cartidge <1K?

Thanks in advance for any advice!


jackfish's picture
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Rega RP1s have had reported production quality issues

that results in a variety of problems/failures. I'm not sure about the frequency of problems but it is enough to have me try to steer people clear of the RP1 towards a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon or Music Hall MMF-2.2.

If you are looking at under $1,000 the Music Hall MMF-5.1 uses the one piece alloy version of the Pro-Ject 9 arm and the nice Magic 3 cartridge for $875. A significant upgrade from the Pro-Ject Debut, Rega RP1, and Music Hall MMF-2.2 entry level tables.

To get into the outstanding Pro-Ject 9cc carbon arm and the even nicer Sumiko Blue Point No. 2 cartridge, the Pro-Ject RM5.1SE for $1000 would really do your vinyl collection justice. A dustcover is needed and the Pro-Ject Cover-It is excessive at $300, but there are custom vinyl or cotton covers for $20 or a yard-square silk bandana also works well.

Tony T
Tony T's picture
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Jan 10 2013 - 6:35am
Thanks Jackfish

I'm gonna see what HiFi Heaven has to say when they get it back and look hard at the Pro-Jects and Music Halls. 

Best wishes,


commsysman's picture
Last seen: 4 hours 8 min ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am


I would also recommend the Music Hall MMF-2.2 or MMF-7 turntables.

I personally do not think the MMF-5 is that much better than the 2.2, and it costs a lot more.

The MMF-7 has a motor that is completely isolated from the turntable and is a big upgrade from the others, but a lot more money.

Another thing; the Grado cartridges cannot be used with some turntables because they are unshielded. They produce a bad hum when used with the MMF turntables (first-hand experience).

spong's picture
Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: May 4 2013 - 11:44pm
Same RP1 issue

Hey Tony, 

I faced the same issue as you and I went back to my dealer to exchange for a new RP1. To my dismay, the other new RP1 still has this issue. In total I have exchanged for 2 new RP1, all for which faces the same issue. I have also opened up a brand new RP1, where the cartridge is loose. There seems to be a problem with the QC at Rega for this batch RP1...

I have tried placing the turntable away from the amplifier or speakers, swapping the amplifier and the speakers and it doesnt help. I have even brought the RP1 to a friend's place, the problem persists however at a softer level. I have since gotten a full refund on this, however this has caused me a great amount of inconvenience, fuss and time.

I am now currently looking at Project turntables, particularly Debut Carbon. But i fear of facing the same issue with RP1, can anyone please advice on this or may be facing the same issue?

jgossman's picture
Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Aug 18 2011 - 6:21am
Get a Rega 3

The QC on the RB3xx and above are top notch.  Remember, the RB3xx is the BEST SELLING COMPONENT OF ALL TIME.  IN THE HISTORY OF AUDIO.  MORE THAN ADVENT SPEAKERS.  MORE THAN DYNACO AMPLIFIERS.  Rega's reputation is the P3/RB3xx.  Yes their high-end tables approach the best money can buy, but they ain't  bringin' home the bacon.  I make that point as someone who has used a Grado wood bodied cart on a Rega 3 with hum and all for years.  And I'm dismayed at how much cash you have to drop for a significant upgrade.

Read the reviews and find some hi-fi shops if you can and you will find the P3/RB3xx STILL the best introduction to high-end analog on the market.  And the QC on Music Hall tables and electronics has proven a little suspect, as well.  Plus, lack of support for the product manufacturer (branding distributor to be more accurate) has been well documented in these forums.  You're taking your chances.

ManCalledNova's picture
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: Jun 7 2013 - 2:33pm
Did you (or anyone else..)

Did you (or anyone else..) ever resolve the issue? I am having the same problem and was wondering if you found a way to fix it.

hcsunshine's picture
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 13 2011 - 4:06pm
i would just...

stay away from rega. i had the RP1 and it had no hum issues, only a warped platter which i got replaced. though the bass seemed to be lacking. then i got a music hall mmf 2.2 and i'm very happy with the sound. plus it has a ground wire that runs along with the rca cables which i do use, because it started to hum. then i hooked the ground wire into my musical fidelity VLPS 2 phono stage (which has a place for a ground wire) and now it runs like a champ. happy listening to all those out there.

commsysman's picture
Last seen: 4 hours 8 min ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am

I had a MMF-2.2 and it had a bad hum.

It turned out that the Grado cartridge is ungrounded and is incompatible with some turntables.

I have used Clearaudio and Micro Benz cartridges since with no hum whatsoever.



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