It's in the stars

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The optimum grounding scheme for any music system would be to have all your equipment's grounds at exactly the same potential. To manage this near impossible goal, each piece of equipment, every cable, every connector, would need to have its own wire of identical length tied into the same ground point. Not going to happen. What usually takes place is very different. In real life, we plug our equipment into various outlets, each of our connecting cables daisy chains from one piece to the next, and multiple grounding points are terminated at different potentials along the way. Hardly perfect, but then, there's not much perfect going around these days. So, as in most things in life, we need to look at what our next best option might be, and you might be surprised to learn you're already doing it. What we're going to want to move towards is called a star ground. Here's what it doesn't look like. knight-star-grounded Sorry, couldn't resist. This poor ship, called The Star, is certainly grounded. But what we're more interested in looks like this. starground A star ground is where all grounds tie to one point in the chain. The beauty of the star ground system is that varying lengths of each ground connection do not matter. So, this means you could have a power amp with a 10 foot power cord, a preamp with a 3 foot cord, all connected to the same star ground point and have no difference in ground potential that mattered. Long cords, short cords, daisy chained connections, all ok. I mentioned you might already have something close to a star ground in your setup, and you just might. If you're running your system from one power source, like a Power Plant, or a central power conditioner, chances are good you're getting pretty close to the ideal ground solution already. Properly designed, a multi-outlet device feeding your system shares one ground and all outlets inside can be tied to one point.
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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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