Can Hagerman Audio Labs' Humbucker Put a Grado Cartridge On Your Rega Turntable?

Of course you can put a Grado cartridge on your Rega turntable without Hagerman Audio Labs' permission or help, but because of where Rega positions the motors on its turntables, doing that comes at a cost: hum.

That's because the motor's low frequency magnetic fields induce in the Grado moving iron cartridges' coils a powerful audible, impossible to shield hum. Hagerman's Humbucker "...employs an entirely different approach, pulling stray magnetic fields from the motor away from the cartridge, instead of trying to block them. This turns out to be so effective you will think sorcery is involved" says Hagerman." "On a Rega P3 turntable with an Opus 3 cartridge, hum is reduced by 15dB," the company claims, which is enough to make a real, audible difference. All you have to do is place the Humbucker as shown in this photo. It's hidden under the platter's mat.

Unfortunately, we didn't have a Rega turntable on hand to use for a review but considering Hagerman's excellent engineering reputation and considering the list price of $49.00 and the current (as of 7/13/2020) sale price of $39.00 for Humbucker, other than hum, what have you got to lose trying one? Grado is making some sweet, yet detailed sounding cartridges lately. With this $49 device, you can check one out minus the usual hum—at least down 15dBs. If you try this, please let us know how well it works. Next time there's a Rega in-house we will too.

chicken peddler's picture

thank you for this, rp3 and grado happens to be my main table and low-end hum is present in the absence of signal.

garrard201's picture

Good idea, especially for the price. In 1998, Corey Greenberg wrote a whole column on how the Grado+Rega combo COULD BE one of the sweetest in all of high-end audio... except for the hum. He outlined a process for ordering a "free sample" pack of mu-metal (feels like heavy tinfoil) and then molding some of it into a cage around the Rega's motor. I don't recall the mu-metal company he referenced at the time, but assuming they were still in business, and assuming the "sample pack" was still free, and assuming you don't feel strange about getting a sample kit with no intention of buying... this Hagerman solution is more elegant, requires less time, less effort, and minimal financial outlay. Looking forward to an official review of how well it works at some point.

PeterPani's picture

I wonder whether that plate will help reduce hum generally in tables when placed opposite a motor in any turntable. I might try it in my Thorens TD124 for my Ortofon MC.

Vinyl On Tubes's picture

I have a P3-2000 with the old motor. So, we'll see if it helps. The current situation is that I get hum as my Platinum hits the run out. I also have a P5 with the 24V. I might just slap it on there to see if does anything, but the P5 doesn't have a Grado installed on it so, it'd be more as just a science experiment.

Vinyl On Tubes's picture

Haven't used it on my P5. But it definitely works on the P3 with 16V motor and a Grado Platinum with 1.5mV output. No hum in the run out.

jokerman's picture

I have had that issue in the past and I think it was a prob with the cartridge.

TommyTunes's picture

Back around 1982 I had the just reintroduced AR turntable when I mounted a Grado the hum was terrible. At that time I used a piece of Aluminum fold around the motor and it silenced it.

Jim C.'s picture

My Humbucker arrived today, thanks to the usual excellent Hagerman customer service.

Short answer: this thing definitely and measurably works, but not at 15db in my system.

My vinyl front end: VPI Traveler v.2; Grado Reference Series Platinum I cartridge (the $350 high-output wood body cart); Schiit Mani preamp; Herbie's mat; Herbie's record stabilizer; Morrow cables. I've always had some hum with this system, so I thought a $39 experiment would be worthwhile.

My test: with the line stage preamp volume control set at my usual listening level, the platter spinning and the cartridge suspended above the run-out grooves, my Radio Shack sound level meter (C weighted, slow response) measured 56 db of hum without the Humbucker, and 54 db with. So not life-changing, but real and worth $39.

Jim C.'s picture

Sorry, I should have been more precise: the 52 db and 54 db are the total noise floor, which includes the hum but also ambient room noise.

Duke86fan's picture

I'm pretty sure the grado hum is the only reason my friends use mofi ultradecks instead of rega P3s..

i mean i still have a hum on my grado black on a uturn orbit (thats why i plan to upgrade to a nagaoka MP110, audiotechnica vm95ML, or ortofon blue)

PTB's picture

The Rega Exact has a 7mV output, and on my P3 I got the hum with this cartridge as well as the arm travels to the center of the record. Subsequently fitting Audio Technica and Nagaoka cartridges the hum has disappeared. I used two different Exact cartridges and both produced the issue.