So I was changing a lightbulb last night…

I had just finished listening to a record and decided to change a lightbulb that had gone out directly above my turntable. When I started unscrewing the bulb I noticed a faint buzz coming from my speaker. I then turned the volume way up on my amp and tried again. Turns out the buzzing was happening when my hand touched the metal light fixture, not the lightbulb. 

At first I thought the tubes in my phono stage were picking up an EM field from the light fixture and out of curiosity I grabbed a piece of foil and covered the phono stage and then tried tapping the fixture again, same buzzing. Then I switched the input on my amp to my DAC and tried the tapping, no buzzing. Switched the input back to the phono stage and tapped the fixture, buzzing continued. Then I covered the tonearm with the foil and the buzzing went away almost completely. 

So it appears my tonearm is picking up some sort of signal from the light fixture but only when I touch the fixture. If I turn the lights off there is no buzzing when I tap the fixture. The setup is in the basement and I use LED lights that are recessed in the ceiling and wired to an “LED” dimmer switch. The audio gear is on a dedicated circuit.

Any of the knowledgeable folk on here have an explanation for what’s going on? Doesn’t effect SQ AFAIK since the buzzing only occurs when I touch the metal fixture. Seems odd but I thought it was interesting and maybe a chance for me to learn something from the members. 

I uploaded a video of this happening to Imgur that I’ll try pasting here:   




I had a similar issue in my music room. All outlets (PS Audio) plus recessed LED lights were on the same circuit. The lights were connected to a dimmer switch. I had a terrible hum coming from my speakers when the phono input was engaged. Once I disconnected the dimmer and the lights put on a simple on/off switch most of the hum disappeared. But not all. I am awaiting an electrician to physically move the wiring for the lights to their own circuit in my box.

Why is touching the ground (lamp body is normally grounded) with a human body (fairly well insulated from ground, assuming shoes, ladder, carpet) getting a signal to the tone arm.

The tonearm is carbon fiber, the clearaudio ‘Satisfy Carbon’.

@durte30 When I saw this question my first thought was to ask what the arm tube was made of. I suspected Carbon or something like it and you just provided confirmation of that theory.

The reason this is happening is the arm tube is supposed to provide shielding to the cartridge wiring. Carbon isn't particularly good at that so is more susceptible to this kind of thing. I really doubt you'll get much relief from a different dimmer but they are cheap so its worth a shot.