IC cable to address RF coming from nearby FM station


I'm looking for a good interconnect (balanced)  cable to try to suppress RF coming from a radio station a mile away. I've read herein that Canare Stargard makes such a cable, but I haven't been able to find a retail outlet for the Canare brand.

Thanks, Phil


Canare L-4E6S Star Quad Balanced Microphone Cable | XLR Male 3-Pin to XLR Female 3-Pin | Neutrik Gold | 2 Feet | Black | Assembled in The USA


Or Google Mogami cable. 


You can purchase Canare Star Quad Balanced cables from Bluejeans Cable-

I use these on my system and have had no issues. A eight foot cable with Neutrik connectors will run you about $40.

That RF is a problem that a single cable won't fix. I would start a new thread and ask, how to reduce RF, it is a big can of worms.

That's a good thought.

@converge  Did you troubleshoot the problem to be the cable? If not, it could be a component, any other cable, power supply.

Check posts from @spatialking-

In reading about one of his experiences with a neighbor who had some massive amateur radio setup near his place he had to seek out a heavily shielded cable- just don’t remember which type or brand.


Thanks to all for your insights and recommendations. I opted for the Canare Stargard because it's designed to address RF issues and it's  inexpensive.  My IC cable is 18 feet long. 

But I'd have to admit that I have not done a thorough job of troubleshooting the internal source of the RF.  I can modulate the strength of the signal by grasping the tonearm cables at various locations along their length. Closer to the tonearm itself  will amplify the signal; farther away from the body of the tonearm will suppress the RF. The tonearm is acting as an antenna.

Thanks again, Phil


Just out of curiosity, is it an AM or FM station you're having a problem with? Is this a stereo pair of balanced cables giving you RF in both channels (or just one cable)? Are you actually hearing the radio station through your speakers? Are the cables feeding power amps? Do the devices that are interconnected have XLR ins and outs that you're using, and you're not converting balanced cables to RCA ins and outs? I'm a Radio Broadcast Engineer, and have dealt with this type of problem for decades. Maybe I can help. 


The RF signal is coming from an FM station, 97.5, that's about a mile from my house. The tonearm seems to be acting as an antenna. I can modulate the strength of the signal by grasping the tonearm cables at various locations along their length.These tonearm cables are integral with the tonearm and are terminated with XLR connectors. They feed directly into an outboard phono stage. All cables in my stereo system have hardwired XLR  connectors.

I'm hearing the RF thru both speakers.

At one point, I'd considered wrapping these tone arm cables with an adhesive-backed copper foil and then soldering a ground wire to the foil. But the foil would crumple as I tried to wrap each tonearm cable.

Thanks for your inquiry, Phil

I agree something is acting like an antenna. How long is the cable run from tonearm to phonostage and where is this unit located? Is it earth grounded to the buss bar in your service panel as the rest of your system should be?

Process of elimination: 1) have you tried a different phono stage 2) have you tried a different phono cartridge 3) have you tried a different set of phono cables; and if so, are the results the same? 

These tonearm cables are integral with the tonearm and are terminated with XLR connectors. They feed directly into an outboard phono stage.

...like within 3 feet of the turntable? The output of the phono stage is balanced XLR, and the 18' XLR cables feed a pre-amp input from the phono stage output? What phono stage are you using? 

@converge Hi there - Yes, I had a ugly situation from my neighbor who had a very illegal CB radio with a high power transmitter.  It was bleed into my stereo to the point I could hear the conversation.   Through process of elimination, I fixed it by using coax for my speaker cables.  I used two of them, grounded the shield to the chassis of the amplifier, which was Earthed, and using the center conductors of each to carry the signal to my speakers.  The speakers were Dahlquist DQ-10's and the center conductor the coax was 16g.  The shield was a heavy copper braid.  Unfortunately, I don't recall the brand name of the cable.  Over the years they disappeared somewhere in one of the moves.

What I suggest you do is put some ferrite cable clamps on the phono cables.  Since they are coax, they won't affect the audio signal but should squash the RF floating on the cables.  The word "some" here means three or four spaced evenly about the cable run.  Use a thicker wire on your chassis ground for the phono.  It won't reduce hum but it does make a lower impedance path to earth for RF.

Here are some suggestions for cable clamp ferrites.  You can get them mail order from DigiKey, they are cheap really.  Note the lossy impedance ratings, so the one that is slightly more expensive is somewhat better if you buy just one.  That rating is at the frequency specified, at audio frequencies the ferrites are non existent.  The ones with larger holes  you can wrap the cable around and go through it twice, but for phone cables, I'd just buy a few extra as I mentioned above.



BTW, the reason you get more pickup when you hold the cable next to the amp is your body is acting like an antenna, whereas at the opposite end, it acts like a load.  There is a reason why RF is often referred to as Black Magic!  Once you sort out the problem and find the solution, you will discover it is pure science.  

Am I reading this wrong or are you running an 18 foot tonearm cable to your phono stage? That would not be the way to do it. You want a short phono cable and a long cable from your phono  stage to your preamp.

@converge i’m assuming you’re replacing the interconnects between your phono stage and preamp/integrated?

I don’t think that’s the source of your problem. The root cause is most likely your phono stage, that would be the unit picking up the RF. 
Can you list your components - turntable, arm, tonearm cables, cartridge and your phono stage? What cables are connecting the arm to phono? There are phono stages, like Schiit Mani for example, that are susceptible to picking up nearby radio stations. Could be that…

Phonostages can be the root cause of RFI. Changing phono cables can sometimes cure this problem, relocating the unit may also be a solution.