Torpedo Captor 8 Ground Noise and Out Level Issues [Resolved!]

JC Dawson

New member
Hello everyone,

I have a Torpedo Captor 8 and Torpedo C.A.B. (original version) for purposes of silent practice and recording.

My main setup is Mesa TA-30 head -> Captor 8 Speaker In -> Captor 8 Line Out -> 1/4" TRS Balanced Cable -> Torpedo C.A.B. In -> AKG Monitor Headphones.

I find that the Captor 8 seems to be introducing a lot of (what sounds like) 60 cycle hum. To troubleshoot and try to isolate the issue, I've tried using a variety of outlets at home and elsewhere, Ebtech Hum Eliminators at various spots in the signal chain, a few different 8 ohm tube amps, tested all my cables, bought new balanced cables, bought an AC mains ground tester (no issues found), bought a Furman Power Conditioner, tried using the Captor's XLR out into a small mixer, bought ferrite beads to install on various cables and the C.A.B's wall wart, and I even shielded four of my guitars with copper when there was no need to really, especially on my humbucker-equipped Gibson Les Paul. Still, I get a really bad hum even with no guitar plugged in to the amp (whichever amp I use) that goes away when the amp is turned off (whichever amp I use).

So I think the problem might be with my particular Captor 8 but I have no way of knowing that really without buying another Captor 8, which seems a bit of a conundrum.

More clues: When I turn the Captor 8's out level there's scratchiness in the headphones. Also, the hum really, REALLY kicks in at a very particular spot, about 1:00 on the out level knob. Also, when only connected to the line out (dry), the hum changes in tone and intensity when I change any of the following selections: phase, ground lift and/or "gtr/off/bass," which pertains to speaker sim, even though the line out (dry) bypasses the speaker sim as far as I'm aware. Unfortunately, the hum is never really tamed no matter what I do.

I wonder if something is loose inside the unit.

I feel like I've tried about everything, and if I hadn't spent my return/warranty period trying to resolve the hum on my own (and assuming it must be a simple issue like a bad cable) I would have just returned the unit to Sweetwater. I'd sell it, but that seems unfair to the buyer since I'm not sure if it has issues.

Can I send in the unit to have it looked over? What would that cost? I'm just looking for support options, and I appreciate any help TwoNotes or anyone knowledgeable on the Captor 8 can provide.

Thanks,

Jeremy
 
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JC Dawson

New member
Unfortunately if TwoNotes has no response, my Captor 8 is probably going in my bin of unusable waste-of-money gear. I was hoping something could be done to save it. If there's a better way to contact the manufacturer, please advise, but based on what I saw this is it.
 

bmanzer

New member
If you bought from Sweetwater I would contact them and discuss options. They double some manufacture warranties. I would also open a case with Two Notes on their web and likewise discuss options. My Suhr RL/IR has a hum when connected to my old Peavey amp but not to any other I own so I think there can be amp/load combinations that have issues.
 

JC Dawson

New member
If you bought from Sweetwater I would contact them and discuss options. They double some manufacture warranties. I would also open a case with Two Notes on their web and likewise discuss options. My Suhr RL/IR has a hum when connected to my old Peavey amp but not to any other I own so I think there can be amp/load combinations that have issues.

It would be great if Sweetwater doubled the warranty, I didn't realize they occasionally did that. I'll check with Sweetwater, and also create a ticket with TwoNotes as you suggest. Thanks for the advice!

Some additional info since my last post in case it is of interest --

I tried the same signal chain into a vintage Fender Princeton NR, but unfortunately I got the same hum. Also, I tried using a Weber Mini Mass in place of the Captor 8 in my TA-30 rig, and the hum went away. To me, both these clues point to a problem with the Captor 8. Fingers crossed someone will help me get it repaired or replaced.
 

Dilan - Two notes

Active member
Hello @JC Dawson

The Captor 8 does not need to be powered when using the Line (DRY) output. Have you tried powering the Captor 8 and using the DI (XLR) output and connect the Captor to the C.A.B with an XLR to TRS jack cable.

As you have tested 2 amps with the same results, something may be wrong in the Captor you currently have. The setup Captor + C.A.B is a known setup that works well (except in your case of course). Is it possible for you to submit a ticket on the helpdesk of Two notes (support.two-notes.com) and submit some audio samples of your issue please.
 

JC Dawson

New member
Thanks Dilan, and sorry that for some reason I didn't get a notification of your response earlier. I just came here to post an update having resolved the issue, and only now saw your post.

I believe the issue was with the C.A.B.'s power adapter. I noticed that when touching the metal grounded plug sleeve on the balanced cable between the Captor and the C.A.B to any metal switch on any of the stomp boxes on my pedal board that the hum completely stopped. So I ordered a current-doubling adapter for my PedalPower 2+, and tried powering the C.A.B. that way. Any out level issues became unnoticeable and the hum completely disappeared!

I realize this sounds like it was just a common ground loop issue all along. But, I had tried the same setup in many different locations throughout and outside my house, with all components plugged into the same power strip in an effort to reduce the probability of a ground loop. I had also tried an Ebtech hum eliminator, ferrite beads, re-shielding my guitars, just about everything. Out of desperation I even ordered another Captor 8 hoping that was the issue, but the hum was the same using the new Captor. When unhooking the new Captor, it was a lucky accident that the plug sleeve touched one of my pedal switches and the hum disappeared. I can't confirm that my particular adapter was bad without ordering a new one from TwoNotes and comparing, but based on the evidence on hard, it seems the adapter was most likely the problem.

The Captor + C.A.B. setup is now living up to its potential as the ideal silent practice setup. I only wish I had realized I had a bad power adapter a year ago!

Thanks to everyone for your input.
 
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bmanzer

New member
Awesome you were able to figure out a difficult hum issue! Thanks for reporting back too, it may help someone else and save them from the frustration. (y)
 
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