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White noise/static mixed with higher pitched frequencies coming from speakers


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#1 Joof

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 10:16 AM

My desktop PC and monitor and active speakers are all connected to one socket via a power strip. Over usb, signal is sent to my schiit fulla 2 DAC/preamp (which in addition to receiving power over usb, receives power from a separate wall plug) which is connected to my JBL LSR 305s via a 3.5mm to mono left and right 1/4" trs y split cable much like this https://www.gear4music.com/G4M/Klotz-Y-Cable-35mm-Twin-1-4-Cable-1m/2557 (but by yamaha). 

 

In this config I get a horrendously loud static/white noise sound with intermittent high frequencies (think screeching sound).

 

What I've tried:

 

Connecting the fulla usb to a laptop instead of the desktop - this results in basically no audible white noise at all, regardless of whether the laptop is charging or not.

 

Connecting the 3.5mm end of the cable directly to my mobo - this is in effect worse in every way. The static shifts to be even more high pitched and I can now hear high pitched frequencies much more, especially when scrolling or moving the mouse.

 

Removing the separate power source for the fulla 2 - results in more high pitched screeching. I've heard this is due to noisy vbus on usb.

 

Building and using an entirely different desktop pc - same as before.

 

Switching plug sockets, even from a completely different room - no difference in results.

 

Removing all usb and ethernet cables connected to the pc - no difference.

 

Turning off and removing the DVI monitor - no difference.

 

I've checked the motherboard standoffs and they seem tight with good connection. Power supply screws that ground the case seem good too. My worry is that they are painted screws which may interfere with proper grounding of the case and hardware, and that I've read that the middle most standoff for a motherboard should be plastic and is metal for my case (Phanteks Evolv ATX).

 

This has been going on for a while and recently got even worse despite no changes made by me. My PC sits under my Ikea chipboard desk, the speakers sit above (on a few books) and I try to route all power cables separately to the usb and audio cables. 

 

Increasing the volume knob on the speaker increases the volume of the white noise/hiss/static and screeching but changing windows or preamp volume changes nothing.

 

Specs:

mobo: MSI B350 TOMAHAWK AMD B350
cpu: Ryzen 5 1600

gpu: Gtx 660 gigabyte windforce OC 

psu: EVGA supernova 650

OS: windows 10

ram: corsair LPX 3200MHz

500gb Samsung ssd

 

peripherals:

keyboard: tada68

mouse: razer deathadder

DAC/preamp/headphone amp: schiit fulla 2

Active speakers: JBL LSR305

 

 

Please let me know if there's a better place to post this question, maybe even an entirely different website! Please do offer any and all help. I am on a limited budget here, so I'm afraid I may not be able to buy isolators / usb hubs just to test.

I just want this noise to be gone/ reduced to the level that I can enjoy using something that is admittedly a sizeable purchase for me.

 

Thanks very much for your time,

 

Joof



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#2 mjd420nova

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 10:40 AM

Tracking down the interfering source can be difficult.  Sometimes it's easier to crank up the volume and trace the audio path outside the case and the associated connectors.  Most USB cables don't have a shield  so are can pick up induced noises from power leads and other digital leads to printers, etc. 



#3 Joof

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 10:53 AM

So perhaps see if I can get a shielded usb cable? I could always test with the same usb cable but put my laptop near the back of my desktop pc so the cable is in the same environment as it normally would. If the noise is still there I know it's cable induction, but if it isn't... I'll report back!


Edited by Joof, 19 December 2017 - 10:53 AM.


#4 Joof

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 11:00 AM

So I got my laptop and shoved it down the back of the desktop, with the dac connected via usb to the laptop. I got the usb all mixed up in all the power cables etc and nothing - clean sound with very very little noise. Does inductance not work to the same effect if the cables come from a different source? I don't think it's poor shielding though... 

 

edit - so the buzzing has got even worse now for no reason. With the normal chain of PC -> dac -> speakers, when I sleep the system, the 'bee like' buzzing fades to just white noise with some digital screeching. Interestingly, the buzzing fades in and out with the intensity of the breathing mode of my keyboard when the pc is sleeping.


Edited by Joof, 19 December 2017 - 11:05 AM.


#5 mightywiz

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 04:12 PM

that cable you had a link for, you also need a ground loop isolator and it will fix your problem.

 

like this one for example:

https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-ground-loop-isolator?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzc7o1_6W2AIVAsRkCh0EhQgkEAQYAyABEgKmafD_BwE



#6 Joof

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 04:15 PM

that cable you had a link for, you also need a ground loop isolator and it will fix your problem.
 
like this one for example:
https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-ground-loop-isolator?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzc7o1_6W2AIVAsRkCh0EhQgkEAQYAyABEgKmafD_BwE

Thanks very much, I'll have a try with one of those. Out of interest, why does the cable I have specifically need this?

Edit

Surely this won't fix all the high pitched frequencies?

Edited by Joof, 19 December 2017 - 04:18 PM.


#7 mightywiz

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 06:25 PM

 

that cable you had a link for, you also need a ground loop isolator and it will fix your problem.
 
like this one for example:
https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-ground-loop-isolator?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzc7o1_6W2AIVAsRkCh0EhQgkEAQYAyABEgKmafD_BwE

Thanks very much, I'll have a try with one of those. Out of interest, why does the cable I have specifically need this?

Edit

Surely this won't fix all the high pitched frequencies?

 

when you connect different devices you can create what's called a ground loop.  basically grounds can be a different voltage levels hence a "difference in potential".  meaning the ground on one machine may be a couple volts different then on the other device your connecting to.   that's why it's very important to always connect to 1 wall outlet for all devices. 

 

and it's especially bad with audio connections.  the noise is probably coincides with drive access and the high frequency your hearing is just that.   my situation i also karaoke at a club on weekends and have to use different outlets for my speakers.  and I always create this anomaly and have to use a ground loop isolator to break the physical ground from device to device so everything plays nice together. 



#8 Joof

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 06:27 PM

I see your point. However they are all connected to the same socket, and shouldn't ground loops be ~60Hz, not the high pitch I hear? Many thanks for helping.

#9 mjd420nova

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 06:38 PM

I have run across some  MOBO's that were prone to noise due to the close proximity of traces on the board itself to other devices drawing current or passing a data stream.  Tracked one to the noise when the user moved the mouse.  Silence and then someone bumps the mouse??  WINX had no clue.  I suspected it was a one of a kind when some chips were on sockets.  Wouldn't do any system noises/alerts.  Even some on board DVD/CD drives have data lines clustered with audio lines making playbacks noisey.



#10 Joof

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 06:40 PM

So I may just be stuck with it like this?

#11 Joof

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 12:12 PM

 

 

that cable you had a link for, you also need a ground loop isolator and it will fix your problem.
 
like this one for example:
https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-ground-loop-isolator?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzc7o1_6W2AIVAsRkCh0EhQgkEAQYAyABEgKmafD_BwE

Thanks very much, I'll have a try with one of those. Out of interest, why does the cable I have specifically need this?

Edit

Surely this won't fix all the high pitched frequencies?

 

when you connect different devices you can create what's called a ground loop.  basically grounds can be a different voltage levels hence a "difference in potential".  meaning the ground on one machine may be a couple volts different then on the other device your connecting to.   that's why it's very important to always connect to 1 wall outlet for all devices. 

 

and it's especially bad with audio connections.  the noise is probably coincides with drive access and the high frequency your hearing is just that.   my situation i also karaoke at a club on weekends and have to use different outlets for my speakers.  and I always create this anomaly and have to use a ground loop isolator to break the physical ground from device to device so everything plays nice together. 

 

Ordered a USB isolator, will report back. Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention!



#12 Joof

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 10:22 AM

Hello all, I went and bought a hifimediy usb ground isolator... and it worked! With the speaker volume on full with the worse possible signal:noise ratio, the static is barely audible (the same as if the speaker wasn't connected to a source).

 

Many thanks and happy holidays!






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