Turntable Rumble Filter

Posted on Apr 17, 2012

Many record players unfortunately exhibit two undesired side effects: rumble (noise caused by the motor and the turntable) and other low-frequency spurious signals. The active high-pass Chebyshev filter presented here was designed to suppress those noises. The filter has a 0.1-dB ripple characteristic and a cut-off point of 18 Hz. The choice of a Chebyshev filter might not seem optimum for audio purposes, but because of its 0.1-dB ripple in the pass band it behaves very much like a Butterworth type.

Turntable Rumble Filter
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Its advantage is that the response has steeper skirts (which are calculated curves). Frequencies below 10 Hz are attenuated by more than 35 dB. The phase behavior in the pass band shows a gradual shift so that its effect on the reproduced sound is inaudible. If the filter is used in a stereo installation, the characteristics of both filters must be identical or nearly so. Phase differences between channels can be heard—perhaps not so much at lower frequencies, but certainly in the mid ranges. To ensure identity and also to obtain the desired characteristics, capacitors CI through C5 must be selected carefully. It does not matter much whether their value is 467 or 473 pF; this difference only causes a slight shift of the cut-off point. However, they must be identical within that 1% tolerance. For symmetry of channels, the capacitors can be paired and then used in either channel at the corresponding position. The diagram shows theoretical values for the resistors: their practical values are given in the table. The prototype was constructed with 5% metal-film types from the E12 series and these were used without sorting. Their tolerance was perfectly acceptable in practice. The current drawn by the circuit is purely that through the op amp and it amounts to about 4 mA. The high cut-off point is also determined by the op amp and it lies at about 3 MHz. The only problem that cannot be foreseen is a possible coupling capacitor in the signal source. That component will be in series with CI and this might adversely affect the frequency response. However, if its value is greater than 47 ¥, it will have little if any effect; if it is below that value, it is best removed; CI will assume its function.

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