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Sound Engineer Advice

Grafter
Posts: 41
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Registered: 3 weeks ago

Sound Engineer Advice

Hi,

I'm hoping there are people out there that can help me with sound issue.

I stream a lot of music from Spotify Music (YouTube new platform) and I have an audioengine DAC connected to PC using USB and the speakers are a pair of Ediffers can't remember the exact model.

Any way I can hear buzzing if I sit near the speakers or if no music is playing, it's like some electrical interfence.

I tried different USB cables, different usb ports even a different PC, I have placed the speakers in other parts of the room away from power sockets as I can but the speaker requires power from the wall to operate, but the buzzing is still there. The buzzing is not loud and can't hear it in the music but you hear it like I said if there is no music playing or sat next to speaker.

I checked YouTube and the videos all say I need to ground the speakers but we are in the UK isn't the majory of our houses grounded that why we have 3 pins on plugs one is for earth, any way not prepared to follow the guides on YouTube which say I need to strip the power and ground.

Any advise will be appreciated.
Yorkshire and Proud. Embarrassed to be with Plusnet.
20 REPLIES 20
Aspiring Legend
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Re: Sound Engineer Advice

It does sound like (no pun intended) a grounding issue. Is it a low frequency 50 Hz buzz?

Might be worth checking in with another socket in another part of the house as that one might not be wired in right. Perhaps run it out on an extension cable to safe moving all your stuff.

It's going to be a process of elimination at first.

 


Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not who somebody else is today
Hero
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Re: Sound Engineer Advice


@cOmp wrote:


I checked YouTube and the videos all say I need to ground the speakers but we are in the UK isn't the majory of our houses grounded that why we have 3 pins on plugs one is for earth, any way not prepared to follow the guides on YouTube which say I need to strip the power and ground.


(My bold)

@cOmp 

Is the 'earth' pin on the speaker power supply even metallic?  Many are just plastic these days (if so, nothing connected to it is earthed via that pin).

Hero
Posts: 3,507
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Re: Sound Engineer Advice

@cOmp 

I'm not familiar with your speakers so I Googled them ...

The pair I looked at appeared to be powered by a 'Figure-8' type mains socket plug (like these).

If yours are the same try reversing the plug 'polarity' - i.e. pull the plug, twist it through 180° and push it back in.

You might not believe it, but that's cured problems for me in the past.

Grafter
Posts: 41
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Registered: 3 weeks ago

Re: Sound Engineer Advice

My power lead is not those it's hard wired into the speaker. The plug pins are metallic to answer your previous questions. No matter which plug socket I use the buzzing is there. I will keep trying various tasks. The thing I have not tried is using a surge protector so I will buy one and try that.

Yorkshire and Proud. Embarrassed to be with Plusnet.
Seasoned Hero
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Re: Sound Engineer Advice

@cOmp 

Is the buzzing still there if you disconnect the USB cable? If it's quiet then try a USB isolator. An example, there's probably cheaper ones around:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nobsound-Isolator-Eliminator-Industrial-Protection/dp/B07GF8643T

Aspiring Legend
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Re: Sound Engineer Advice

I'm betting it turns out being something simple hidden behind finding a complicated solution.

Been there, done that. 😉


Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not who somebody else is today
Aspiring Legend
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Re: Sound Engineer Advice

@cOmp 

How do you think a surge protector will help?

Just asking.🙂 


Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not who somebody else is today
Grafter
Posts: 41
Thanks: 8
Registered: 3 weeks ago

Re: Sound Engineer Advice

@Baldrick1
I will test with USB unplugged and thanks for the that link I will read the specs of my DAC and see if it will be supported.

@Minivanman
I will rage if it's something simple and I have spent money for no reason. I want to try surge protector to see if it it can isolate any interfences from power supply and clean it, I doubt it will work but I need to purchase a surge protector for another project anyway so I won't be wasting money there.

This is what I have:
AudioEngine D1 DAC
Edifier R1010BT
Monster RCA cable
Van Damme Blue Series 4mm speaker cable.
USB cable that came as standard with DAC
Yorkshire and Proud. Embarrassed to be with Plusnet.
Aspiring Champion
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Re: Sound Engineer Advice


@cOmp wrote:
I want to try surge protector to see if it it can isolate any interfences from power supply and clean it, I doubt it will work but I need to purchase a surge protector for another project anyway so I won't be wasting money there.

Its not a surge protector you need but a mains conditioner. Prices though do vary. One here goes for £27 but prices can get silly i.e. £500 and more, but what is price to stop noises spoiling the music? 

 

But you might be wasting your time, it might be a poorly grounded power supply. While your plug's earth pin is suppose to connect to an earth, without physically checking the socket using an earth loop impedance meter, you really have no idea what that earth is like. It might also be 101 other things. Good luck.

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
Aspiring Legend
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Re: Sound Engineer Advice

@idonno 

Ditto to all of that. 


Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not who somebody else is today
Seasoned Hero
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Re: Sound Engineer Advice

@cOmp 

If there is noise with no USB cable plugged in then the problem is with your audio equipment and that is where you must seek a solution. If it is only present when you plug the USB cable in then it is being introduced through common mode voltages between your computer and the audio equipment, which will probably be solved with a USB isolator. 

Finding low level hum can be a nightmare and earthing audio signals is a black art not simply solved with connections between signal and power earths.

Grafter
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Registered: 3 weeks ago

Re: Sound Engineer Advice

Thanks everyone for the help and advise so far it's greatly appreciated.

What I haven't tried so far is swapping out the usb cable to a shielded twisted pair not sure if any one has seen them but it separates the power and data but they are not cheap.

Thanks for sugguesting the isolation idea. I believe this cable is the perfect one https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00MFR2OL4/ref=cm_sw_r_em_apa_i_gY3.Fb2YS1BGY

If it doesn't work I can return it and since Amazon owe me £10 anyway it will only cost me £25.
Yorkshire and Proud. Embarrassed to be with Plusnet.
Aspiring Legend
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Re: Sound Engineer Advice

Thanks for the thanks, always appreciated... not always given. 😎


Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not who somebody else is today
Seasoned Hero
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Re: Sound Engineer Advice

@cOmp 

Your choice of cable might work but it is not what I am suggesting. This cable is designed to reduce pick up and degredation of the digital data stream. To be honest I don't know how cleaning up digital data will prevent hum pick up.

If that does not work the try my solution which should give electrical isolation of the digital data  from the audio system. Or have you not done the no USB test and have dismissed your base audio system as the possible cause?

It's obviously your choice but before finding a fault it's always better to find the source of an issue before spending money on what you think is the solution.