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Ground Loops

motis1953

Member
Messages
1,546
If I'm running two amps, would running alligator clips between the two amps chassis' eliminate any ground loops or would it possibly kill me? Seems like a simple solution and cheaper than buying a splitter, but I'd rather not die if given the choice. Thanks in advance fellers.
 

Keyser Soze

Member
Messages
1,472
If you did nothing else then both devices would still have earth bonds. In which case the jumper could actually be a ground loop.

You would also need to lift one earth bond. But then if your jumper falls off you have a very unsafe situation on the unearthed chassis.
 

mach90

Member
Messages
223
never ever lift the ground on the power side of any peice of kit. If you end up with a ground loop use an isolation transformer between the output and one of the amps or lift the gound on the audio signal
Ideally run both amps from the same power outlet and the rest of your gear too if you can BUT DONT LIFT OR BYPASS any of the earth bonding on the power supplies to any of your equipment ever
 

motis1953

Member
Messages
1,546
I've read a few posts that claim you lose a bit of signal with the Radial Bigshot when the transformer function is engaged and after conferring with the nice folks at Lehle I've decided to give the P-Split a try.
 

Kyle B

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,115
A ground loop doesn't exist if you don't make a loop. The effectiveness of a ground loop to pickup hum is dependent on the area of the loop. If the loop has zero area, then you get no hum (reference Faraday's law).

Imagine the loop in your mind. It starts at the outlet, goes through the A/C cord of amp #1, then on to your guitar cord, then (setup dependent) to the input of amp #2, passing through the A/C cord of amp #2, and back to the wall outlet. If you can make this loop enclose zero area, or better yet break the loop, you get no hum.

Of course, to get zero area, the two amplifiers would have to occupy the same position in space (theoretically possible, but not exactly practical :) )

So you can't completely eliminate it a loop by amplifier position, but you can minimize it by modifying the routing of the wires that connect all your gear. As mentioned previously, have both amps connect to the same outlet. Keep the A/C cords physically as close to each other as possible, and also keep the guitar cords as close to each other as you can.

Isolation transformers work because they break the direct metal connection in the loop. If not buffered, it would affect your tone for sure. But there's another way to do this as well that nobody mentioned.

If you go wireless, you can break the loop 'cuz there's no wire! You could do it with one rig, by having your guitar feed one amp and also the transmitter via a splitter, but that's kinda messy. To be effective and practical, you'd use TWO receivers, one for each amp. Only 1 transmitter though. (Keep the 2nd for a spare). This won't necessarily work with EVERY wireless rig, depends on the internal design (a digital unit that locks a frequency might be troublesome, but an analog unit would probably work). One radio transmitter can feed multiple radio receivers - there's billions of examples of this all over the planet. You just need to tune both receivers into the same frequency.

As a bonus, you get to run all over the stage like a crazed rock star :)
 






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