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HX Stomp USB Ground Loop


Novahawk
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Hi all,

 

New Stomp user here and really digging this little beast... but ran into an interesting issue. It seems when I use mono/stereo out to an amp while the Stomp is plugged into my PC via USB for controlling via HX Edit I get a terrible ground loop. 100% it's because of the USB since when I unplug the USB it instantly goes away. If I don't have the outputs connected, USB is also perfect into the PC, crystal clear.

Ideally I'd rather not move all my circuits around and also ideally I'd like to not spend a ton of money on a USB isolator (all the ones I found were a fortune). Anyone had an experience with this? Should I just spend $25 on a Behringer HD400? Will it even fix the ground loop issue if it's caused by USB?

 

Thanks!

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Bad news. Ideally ain't gonna get it, and a differently branded HD400 equivalent didn't work.

 

My experience, FWIW - 

 

I have 8 (sometimes 9) USB devices connected to my laptop.

Helix, Powercab, Audio Interface, External HD, and 4 (sometimes 5) MIDI controllers.

Powered USB hub and USB C hub.

Everything in one wall socket with quality EMI/RFI Surge suppresors.

I switched ALL the connectors around. And around. MANY times.

I bought the $50 USB isolator and tried it EVERYWHERE. IT MADE IT WORSE!

Out of desperation I connected the Powered hub to the USB C hub.

That fixed it! Go figure! Why? I have no clue.

Would this work for you? Maybe........maybe not.

 

Good Luck!

 

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Ground loops are the devil's work. You have to do a lot of experimenting and elimination and A/B'ing to sort it out. A few things you could try, in addition to @rd2rk's suggestions ....

 

- if you PC is a laptop, try with and without the PC power supply

- try a USB cable with a ferrite choke on it (looks like a little barrel)

- avoid a USB hub, and if you use a hub make sure it is powered, and try disconnection other USB devices, one by one

- make sure there are no transformers (lights, old monitors, etc) nearby any cabling

- switch cables one by one

- if your amp accepts a TRS or XLR input, cable out of your stomp using 3-wire shielded cable

- go through a DI box that has a ground lift into your amp

 

 

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OMG!!!! I have been dealing with this for over a year now and just when I can't take it anymore, once again I pulled everything apart and tried lifting grounds, moving s*** around and just keep hearing it. The only time it stops is when I unplug the USB cable from the computer. It has broken my heart and killed a good vibe every single time I use HX Edit. There is no one to blame but Line 6. I can't tell you how many USB devices I have had over the years including the ones I use now EVERYDAY and I have NEVER Had this problem. For example this is my 10th attempt trying to fix this which is why I just happened to search online AGAIN to see if anybody came up with the fix. Right now the ONLY 2 things I have plugged in to my HX Stomp is a left output (1/4" going into the board) and 1  USB cable going into my computer. (I tried all 6 ports on my computer by the way and 4 different type USB cables) No power plugged in, just the two cables. And the hum is tremendous. It is as if the engineers at Line 6 were trying to "create" the ultimate ground loop device. I have never seen anything like it.  Did anyone ever find a sure fix for this????????????????????? I tried all the suggestions above at least two times. 
Gerry C

 

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20 minutes ago, gerryCol said:

OMG!!!! I have been dealing with this for over a year now and just when I can't take it anymore, once again I pulled everything apart and tried lifting grounds, moving s*** around and just keep hearing it. The only time it stops is when I unplug the USB cable from the computer. It has broken my heart and killed a good vibe every single time I use HX Edit. There is no one to blame but Line 6. I can't tell you how many USB devices I have had over the years including the ones I use now EVERYDAY and I have NEVER Had this problem. For example this is my 10th attempt trying to fix this which is why I just happened to search online AGAIN to see if anybody came up with the fix. Right now the ONLY 2 things I have plugged in to my HX Stomp is a left output (1/4" going into the board) and 1  USB cable going into my computer. (I tried all 6 ports on my computer by the way and 4 different type USB cables) No power plugged in, just the two cables. And the hum is tremendous. It is as if the engineers at Line 6 were trying to "create" the ultimate ground loop device. I have never seen anything like it.  Did anyone ever find a sure fix for this????????????????????? I tried all the suggestions above at least two times. 
Gerry C

 

 

Well, I hate to break your heart, as you seem happy to lay the blame on L6, BUT.....

 

Before I had a single piece of L6 hardware, and before I had a laptop with a USB C port, I used most of the same USB devices with computer sims (Amplitube, Guitar Rig, etc) and had the same USB ground loop problem. It's a PITA, and I wish I had a "sure fix" for ya, but all I've got is how I fixed it in my current rig.

 

Good Luck!

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I'm afraid the free and real way to fix this is to ensure your stomp and PC are plugged into the same grounded circuit as your amp... at least that's all I could find. Kind of a shame because I don't really wanna move stuff around circuits.

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47 minutes ago, Novahawk said:

I'm afraid the free and real way to fix this is to ensure your stomp and PC are plugged into the same grounded circuit as your amp... at least that's all I could find. Kind of a shame because I don't really wanna move stuff around circuits.

 

Well, if that fixes your problem, I'd simply dedicate a power strip to your devices and plug the strip into one outlet. Its not like your Stomp and amp and PC will be in different rooms, right?

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I have my PC, Helix rack, PowerCab+, XR18 mixer, Boss GP10, Boss RC-3 and two Yamaha HS8 monitors all in one power strip and all with usb connections into a hub and no ground loops (or any noise)  So I would say the freeway is the best way.

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I hear what you are all saying, But as for circuits, the Stomp's power adapter isn't even plugged in at all. And i plugged the USB into an old computer that is just sitting there connected to nothing whatsoever.I guess that was my point. I should have clarified.

There are 4 devices here.
Guitar
HX Stomp
Mixing Board

Computer

My guitar is plugged into my Stomp which is plugged into my board and the USB from the Stomp into my computer. . Even when I do not have the power adapter plugged in. There is a hum and crackling coming through my speakers. When I disconnect the USB, it's gone. And the Stomp is nice and quiet. So using HX EDIT is a total drag. And it's loud.
So I am wondering if it's possible that the USB port on my Stomp was not grounded properly but was wired correctly for the data transfer to work.
Tried multiple cables, moving the stomp all around the room. As long as the USB is connected there is crackling and popping. And another thing I tried. I have another computer sitting right next to my new one. There is nothing attached to this old computer it is just the box on the floor. When I plug the USB port cable into the USB port on the computer bang! it's back. So it's like once USB is plugged into something, the Stomp becomes one big radio receiver. 

Thanks
G

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1 hour ago, gerryCol said:

Dorfnar< What hub are you using?

I'm using a surface pro with a docking station and a Insignia (best buy) USB3 hub. The Helix, mixer, GP-10 and power cab are connected to the hub everything else is connected to the docking station. I'm actually surprised I don't have problems

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20 hours ago, gerryCol said:

My guitar is plugged into my Stomp which is plugged into my board and the USB from the Stomp into my computer. . Even when I do not have the power adapter plugged in. There is a hum and crackling coming through my speakers. When I disconnect the USB, it's gone. And the Stomp is nice and quiet. So using HX EDIT is a total drag. And it's loud.
So I am wondering if it's possible that the USB port on my Stomp was not grounded properly but was wired correctly for the data transfer to work.
Tried multiple cables, moving the stomp all around the room. As long as the USB is connected there is crackling and popping. And another thing I tried. I have another computer sitting right next to my new one. There is nothing attached to this old computer it is just the box on the floor. When I plug the USB port cable into the USB port on the computer bang! it's back. So it's like once USB is plugged into something, the Stomp becomes one big radio receiver. 
 

 

This is indeed strange. It is possible there is a bad solder joint on the Stomp's USB point (though unlikely). Try using a long, bare conductive wire and try to touch one end to the metal USB housing (USB cable that plugs into the Stomp, and another ground point (such as your guitar, some bare metal on the outside of the Stomp, etc). There is no danger of shock; you're just touching ground. See if the noise changes. (Also, I'm sure you've tried multiple USB cables, but be sure to do that to ensure its not a bad cable.)

 

Another question. Does the noise change when you have no guitar connected? How about if you eliminate the board (listen through the Stomp headphones) or got straight from Stomp to an amp. Do you hear the hum if you are only using the Stomp and the computer (no guitar connected, listen through the Stomp headphones)?

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Hey there,

I think I am in agreement with you regarding the grounding of the USB port. I don't know if I mentioned but this USB port was replaced not long after I got the unit. The interior housing had cracked> it was under warranty and I had it fixed but it took a month to get it back. I know I had this grounding issue before I just can't be short if it was as terrible as it is now. As for the guitar being plugged in or not doesn't matter. no effect whatsoever. Once I plug the USB into the computer the buzz comes through. To give you a better idea you can hear the level of the hum increase as I'm putting the plug in. what I mean is as the cable approaches the USB port you can hear the hum beginning and it gets louder the closer you get to you finally plug it in.
 I have contacted Line 6 about this several times they keep blowing it off making the same recommendations. I wish they would just say "OK let's will send you a loaner, and you can send that back to us let's check it out, thanks for your business, we will make this right",   but never happens. So I just gotta live with it or buy a whole new unit and take my chances that I was right. 
 

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I do have another question you may be able to help me with.


I want to record my acoustic into Pro Tools in order to make presets for my HX Stomp for my live gig.

Basically it's very simple, all my backing tracks are in pro tools and I want to record my acoustic playing along with the backing tracks and set my levels, eq's etc and copy the presets from HX Native to my stomp thru HX Edit. One issue I'm having is I have no idea of what level to set my Pro Tools input to. I know I can't set it louder as if I am recording to produce a tune, I tried that. The difference in input into pro tools needs to be the same as the input into the HX Stomp when I play live. The sound is completely different if it isn't. So I'm left guessing what that input level should be. Does anyone know what that level would be roughly?
Thanks
Gerry C

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With regard to the ground problem, it sounds like Line 6 should make this right, especially given you had the USB port repaired under warranty and that seems to be directly related to your problem. You've exhausted all normal troubleshooting. Perhaps a board tracing or solder joint is cracked. Maybe it would help if you would include a link to this thread in your ticket. Squeaky wheel gets the grease (my daddy always said).

 

Regarding the level setting ..... its complicated. The Stomp has a fixed level, and there are no meters to go by. But with Helix Native, you've got multiple places where level is set: mainly at your audio interface (if not using the Stomp's USB for audio input) and the input level in Native. I think you're going to have to set your levels by "trial and error" (guessing!) until it sounds right to your ears and then note your settings so you can ensure consistency between gigs.

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20 hours ago, soundog said:

With regard to the ground problem, it sounds like Line 6 should make this right, especially given you had the USB port repaired under warranty and that seems to be directly related to your problem. You've exhausted all normal troubleshooting. Perhaps a board tracing or solder joint is cracked. Maybe it would help if you would include a link to this thread in your ticket. Squeaky wheel gets the grease (my daddy always said).

 

Regarding the level setting ..... its complicated. The Stomp has a fixed level, and there are no meters to go by. But with Helix Native, you've got multiple places where level is set: mainly at your audio interface and the input level in Native. I think you're going to have to set your levels by "trial and error" (guessing!) until it sounds right to your ears and then note your settings so you can ensure consistency between gigs.

 

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On 2/16/2021 at 7:02 PM, rd2rk said:

Bad news. Ideally ain't gonna get it, and a differently branded HD400 equivalent didn't work.

 

My experience, FWIW - 

 

I have 8 (sometimes 9) USB devices connected to my laptop.

Helix, Powercab, Audio Interface, External HD, and 4 (sometimes 5) MIDI controllers.

Powered USB hub and USB C hub.

Everything in one wall socket with quality EMI/RFI Surge suppresors.

I switched ALL the connectors around. And around. MANY times.

I bought the $50 USB isolator and tried it EVERYWHERE. IT MADE IT WORSE!

Out of desperation I connected the Powered hub to the USB C hub.

That fixed it! Go figure! Why? I have no clue.

Would this work for you? Maybe........maybe not.

 

Good Luck!

 

Thanks, I'm gonna bring my computer in to the guy that made it. My old computer had a hum as well but not as bad as this one.

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  • 2 years later...

Just wanted to share my solution to this -- the hum stopped after I unplugged the power supply to my MacBook Pro. Obviously not ideal as I now have to rely on laptop battery life when using HX Edit with my Stomp plugged into amp/monitors, but it works for now and I will happily take it as I was starting to go a little bit insane moving cables/plugs around.

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On 12/2/2023 at 8:58 AM, bjameson said:

Just wanted to share my solution to this -- the hum stopped after I unplugged the power supply to my MacBook Pro. Obviously not ideal as I now have to rely on laptop battery life when using HX Edit with my Stomp plugged into amp/monitors, but it works for now and I will happily take it as I was starting to go a little bit insane moving cables/plugs around.

 

Better solution - Hum Eliminator. I use the Pyle PHE400. $30 on Amazon.

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On 12/8/2023 at 5:24 PM, leemurray1 said:

has anyone found a USB Isolator that solves the USB ground loop / noise issue?

A hum eliminator should do the trick - see @rd2rk's suggestion.

If it starts humming when you close the ground loop with USB that doesn't mean you can't fix it by breaking the loop in the audio connection.

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  • 2 months later...

Commenting here in case anyone is still searching for a confirmation for the fix. Using a "hum destroyer" type of device in your circuit will 100% solve the problem.

 

I have used a Behringer HD400 Hum Destroyer in the following way: HX Stomp -> Unbalanced cabe -> Hum Destroyer -> Balanced cable -> Amp/Audio interface

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