Q: Hey! I get a loud POP or BANG noise through my audio system! It is random. What's wrong with my phono stage making this noise?
A: It's not the phono stage making any noises. We have seen this over and over when static on the acrylic turntable platter builds up and has nowhere to go except through the cartridge and through the CHINOOK into the rest of your hifi system eventually getting amplified by everything until you hear it through your speakers. This is not a problem with the Chinook. It is just amplifying what is being sent to it. It is just doing its job.
You have got to get a ground to the platter somehow so that your Van de Graaf generator has a place to discharge to besides through your audio system. See if you can get a ground wire to the center spindle housing, maybe under the spindle bearing of your turntable. Contact your turntable manufacturer asking them how to get the static that builds up on the platter to dissipate through a ground wire instead of through your cartridge/audio path! Note: we have seen this happen more often with the Hana SL cartridges than any other brand perhaps due to the Hana’s ABS plastic body that also allows the static to build up on it and not dissipate through any ground path. Or it might because it is very popular.
Q: My unit inside looks different from the picture. Which ones are the input tubes?
A: Later models have the main audio PCB rotated 90º CCW so that the input tubes are located on the left side of the unit, not towards the back. This keeps both input tubes more equidistant and furthest away from the power transformer for slightly improved noise level. The input tubes are nearest to the GAIN select switches. The output tubes are closest to the big giant white output capacitors.