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Electrical Grounding Talk

amirm

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#1
No doubt you all are familiar with audiophiles attempting to make their systems better with dedicated grounding systems for their audio equipment. Incredible amount of myth and wrong intuition is involved in such motivations and endevour, sometimes leading to very unsafe electrical systems that are not compliant with electrical safety code.

I was online and got prompted by youtube to watch this video by Mike Holt. Not sure how many of you know him but his is the most famous electrician I know. He has had an online community for seemingly forever and they argue almost as much as we do about audio! Anyway, here he is giving a talk I think for other electricians on what grounding is, and is not. Because it is a trade talk, it may be a bit challenging at times to follow but it is still a very well done presentation. He goes over key principles that are gotten wrong by audiophiles and electricians alike. And walks through the scenarios where dangerous conditions are created.

It is long at one hour and 13 minutes but if you are at all contemplating grounding systems for your audio gear or just want to learn more, I highly recommend watching it. It is exceptionally well done talk.


Note that he states that he too used to get this topic wrong.
 
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Wombat

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#3
Does he cover the subjective effects of grounding schemes? :)
One I saw on a SET forum: "Some hum is desirable, it helps the transients get started more readily". :confused:
 

amirm

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#4
Does he cover the subjective effects of grounding schemes? :)
Assuming you are talking about the shock you receive by touching the hot lead, yes! :D
 

Blumlein 88

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#6
I started watching this and realized I have seen it. It is very good. Plenty of audiophiles would do well to watch it several times and learn from it. Fundamentals indeed. Of course he is talking facts sometimes. You know how high end and facts mix.........like oil and water.

For condensed (somewhat) info about myths of grounding this one is an excerpt from the full one Amir has linked above.

Really worth watching the whole vid.
 

Speedskater

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#7
From an AC power point of view there are two different grounding systems:

1] the Safety Ground/Protective Earth (British), Equipment Grounding Conductor (EGC) system. While it's purpose is to trip the circuit breaker in the event of a Ground Fault (short circuit), from an audio system point of view it's good to reduce the Safety Ground resistance from one hi-fi component to all other components.

2] the connection to Planet Earth, through the Grounding Electrode Conductor (GEC) system. It's purpose is for safety during thunderstorms or power company high voltage failures. Also to keep the Neutral at about the same potential as the swimming pool. It has no impact on day-to-day AC power quality.

Remember that neither Planet Earth nor magic grounding boxes will act as a sink or sump for bad electricity.
 

RayDunzl

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#8
But the Earth is not grounded...

(Turtles, all the way down, last I heard)
 

Speedskater

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#9
For those who would rather read than watch a U-tube (like me), here are three important papers that have sections on grounding and audio systems:

1] the Jim Brown paper.
"Power and Grounding For Audio and Audio/Video Systems"
' A White Paper for the Real World'
http://www.audiosystemsgroup.com/SurgeXPowerGround.pdf

2] the Bill Whitlock paper.
"An Overview of Audio System Grounding & Interfacing"
9/4/2012
http://centralindianaaes.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/indy-aes-2012-seminar-w-notes-v1-0.pdf

3] the Middle Atlantic white paper.
"Optimized Power Distribution and Grounding for Audio, Video and Electronic Systems"
'Integrating Electronic Equipment and Power into Rack Enclosures'
https://www.middleatlantic.com/resources/white-papers.aspx
 

RayDunzl

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#10

trl

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#11
If your home is grounded or not a RCBO will trip in both cases, so it's a real life saver:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Residual-current_device
-

As for the AC noise, hum and ground-loops...a cheap mains 2-stages filter followed by an isolation transformer and perhaps a Hum-X could help., especially if the DAC or amplifier is having the digital/analog ground connected directly to the chassis.
 
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