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tubenut 13th August 2005 08:03 AM

Tone arm earth wiring and DIN plug questions.
I still intend rewiring my Linn Akito with some screened Cardas tone arm wire from cartridge clips to RCAs with a single run.
I will remove the screen for the part inside the arm tube and pivot point.

The question is what earth arrangement to use.
Do I use the screen as the earth wire?
Do I run a dedicated earth wire and float the screen ala van den Hul / SME. They float the arm side, ie they connect a screen on the RCAs or should I float on the RCA side and connect screen, tone arm earth and earth wire in a cluster at the base of the arm?

I could do any of these floating on the RCA side and connected at base of the arm makes technical sense to me but why do VDH and SME do connect on the RCA? Easier as the din plug would be crowded on their designs?

If I wanted to use a DIN plug (breaking my single run) where would I get a half decent one for less then the Kings Ransom SME/Van Den Hul/Cardas charge for theirs?

Any thoughts and opinions welcomed.


AndrewT 13th August 2005 09:22 AM

you could go with 5pole gold plated XLR socket & plug.
Gives hot & cold L and R and a separate ground to connect to your external ground lug on the preamp.

I would use twin twisted pair in separate shield for each channel. One shield could be your ground the other shield is connected at the output end only. Alternatively both shields are connected at the output only and a separate ground wire from arm to lug.

BTW if your preamp allows I would recommend locating it under and inside the deck chassis if there is room and connect the arm wires straight into the phono pre. Then use long interconnect from the low impedance phono pre to your amp/preamp.

pinkmouse 13th August 2005 09:27 AM


Sorry, but I hate Din Plugs. They are probably the worst connector in the history of audio - a pain to solder, too small to take any but the thinest of wire, and all apart from the locking ones have very dodgy contact.

May I suggest XLR instead? Up to 5 pin are easily available worldwide, can have gold contacts, lock, and are very easy to use with just about any cable.

As for earthing, I would use the floating screen method.

AudioOrigami 13th August 2005 10:51 AM

hi guys

peeps aften ask me about running a solid lenght of wire all the way from the rca to the cartridge

my own experiments over the last 20 years ..has led me to belive that the over all sound from doing this suffers....<<----yes i said something crazy

on paper the solid run looks like the best idea...but
there is a lot of other factors u ignore just to avoid a small solder conection at the base of the arm--- and useing proper external balanced or unbalanced cable is very good at hum and noise rejection

my own experiance is the solid runs are a little flat sounding and very fragile....esp if u change decks and amps a lot ect

any questions please just ask
best wishes

tubenut 13th August 2005 02:04 PM

I guess that if I did a single run and did not like it it would be easy to cut and put into the din plug with thicker fancier wire from there on...

I do not really want to reconfigure the base of the arm with an XLR, the barrel will not fit into the arm base so then it starts to become messy and certainly fragile....

Keep the opinions and ideas coming!!!


EC8010 14th August 2005 09:54 AM

Gosh, there's nothing like a DIN plug for upsetting people! I think it's a fine connector - much better than phono. Not as good as 3 pin XLR, but not much different to 5 pin XLR.

I use a 5 pin DIN on my arm. I have an individual screen for each channel, then an overall screen directly over both. With those three screens in contact with one another all the way along, and soldered together at each end, I have an earth conductor to go to the arm metalwork with a nice fat cross-section and low resistance. I use floating twisted pairs inside each screen for my audio and transformer balanced inputs at the pre-amplifier.

dnsey 14th August 2005 02:02 PM

Smaller than XLR?
More reliable than DIN?
Try Lemo!
(OK, they're more expensive and still a pain to solder, but they work well).

AndrewT 14th August 2005 02:46 PM

further to post 2:- take the arm wires straight in to the phono preamp. Do not use connectors, solder the wires right on to the input PCB. Yes, you will have to rewire the arm with slightly extended but very flexible coax which is easy to dress into a loop for good suspension movement.

tubenut 14th August 2005 05:51 PM

I looked at Lemo...
But here in SA through RS they (a plug and socket set) would cost as much (more actually) as an angled Cardas Din plug.....

Maybe I can find a better source for Lemo but I also think i will run into space problems with the length of a straight connector.


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