Issues with heavy noise using RCA cable connection to Record Player


I have a Denon DP-450 USB record player using the Ortofon 2M Red cartridge on a Yamaha TSR-7810.  It was using old Audioquest (AQ) Ruby X3 RCA cables and there were no issues to speak of. I had a pair of Synergistic Research (SR) Foundation RCA interconnects that I wanted to try to use, so I switched out the AQ Ruby X3s. Suddenly, there is an extremely loud buzzing hum from both speakers that gets louder as you increase the volume.

I wasn't using the grounding pins, so I got a grounding cable and connected to both the player and receiver.  That did nothing. I tried to see if it changed if the motor runs on the player, or if it goes away when music is actually playing, and tried to see if that noise happens on any other input on the receiver. I narrowed the scope to the phono jack. I decided to try a completely different cable and brought out my aging Monster Cable Reference 2 RCAs.  No issues.  No hum. No buzz. I went back to the AQ Ruby X3s and again, no issues. As soon as I put the SR Foundation cables, horrible buzz/humming noise again.

So the issue appears to be with the SR Foundation Cables. What's going on with these?  They never presented a problem with other components that were using it.  It seems to be limited to use on a record player.  I tried seeing if I could find the answer out on the web, and the answers are perplexing at best.  It could be a faulty cable, but as I said, it will play music through it and has no issues on other devices. The other issue could be capacitance?  Apparently that is an important spec when using RCA cables on a record player.  I am not sure what the AQ Ruby X3s and Monster Cable Reference 2 are doing differently. Is there something I am missing or haven't ruled out?  Do I need to find an alternative method for grounding when using the SR Foundation cables?

Thanks in advance for assistance.


As others have mentioned, you should have used the Foundation phono cable designed specifically for that application, not their line-level interconnect. The cable your presently have should be just fine in downstream applications. By contrast, Audioquest (and probably Monster?) takes more of a one-size-fits-all shield the crap out of everything approach to their cables. I like both AQ and SR cables. In my systems, I have not found the extra shielding to be necessary.

I have the SR Foundation phono cable on my 2 tonearm table alongside an Audioquest WEL Signature LP cable (their top of the line $4K cable), and it acquits itself very well in that matchup. No noise issues at all -- extremely quite phono cable, even with lo-MC cartridges (it’s actually on my 0.3mV Koetsu Blue Lace, which is my best sounding cartridge). The line level Foundation RCA and XLR also work perfectly downstream in this same system.

@klh007 "today turntables sometimes come with RCA outputs but that does not mean you can just plug in a normal IC and expect proper performance transferring the low level output from a phono cartridge, you must use a properly shielded cable." I might remind you that the turntable came with a standard red/black, low gauge, standard-fare RCA cables.  The sort of freebie cables you get with any component. Nothing special. Even the instructions for the turntable state that you don't need "phono" cables. That you have the option of using a pre-amp, or to NOT use a pre-amp.  I tried both options. I tried using the Yamaha's built-in pre-amp and I tried switching to the turntable's built in pre-amp.  Nothing changed. 

It was a fair and reasonable assumption that I could use the IC Foundation cable as a modern-day phono cable on a low-level, modern-day turntable.  In fact, I went ahead and reached out to SR and they gave me an RMA.  So it seems they feel there is something wrong with the cable.  Not everything is a mismatch.  Sometimes, it's cable failure.

I absolutely have to agree with the above comments. You need to be using a SR cable that is DESIGNED to be a phono cable in your application. That should solve your problem immediately.


Analog is analog.  The "phono" specific Foundation cables have 100% the exact same physical specifications and cable design as the IC line.  The only difference is that the phono line has grounding cables that are attached to the shield.

Funny how the manufacturer didn't take the same approach you did. They gave me an RMA#. So, even they seem to think there is something wrong with the cable.

@enzo2016 OR....I use a different manufacture's cable and solve the problem.  Interesting how that works.  Everyone's "comments" seem to suggest that the IC line simply isn't well shielded. If that's true then they are susceptible to massive EMI interference. That isn't what is advertised about the product.

If an out-of-the-box manufacturer's freebie works without special designation, then the RCA only option should have worked.