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Help needed with grounding issue.

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
2,556
2
0
I’m having some trouble with noise noticeable when I’m using my headphones. After consulting the manufacturers forum for my little dot headphone amp, it seems to be an issue with grounding.

All my equipment is connected to the same pair of power outlets, one goes to my mains conditioner which powers my CD, DAC, Xbox, TV, external HD and the other to a standard 4 way extender with my Amp, headphone amp, PC and router attached. Are both the two sockets using the same ground?

I have isolated the problem to something to do with my PC because when I turn it off I no longer get any unwanted noise through my headphones. Initially the PC was plugged into the conditioner so I switched it over to the standard 4-way extender but still the problem persists.

I have the Amps using the other outlet so that the conditioner is not restricting the current(?), not sure if this is right, my understanding of domestic electric is feeble. If the two power outlets in the set do use a different ground I was thinking of using the mains conditioner plugged into the 4-way extender and the extender into the mains. All the devices besides the amp will be attached to the conditioner and the amps would occupy the two of the 3 remaining slots in the 4-way extender. Leaving the other mains socket free for the PC. I’m not sure if running this setup would put too much demand on the one power outlet??

So what I’m asking for is some help please! If you have any ideas or if I have not made myself clear just ask and I will try to clarify.

Cheers
 
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Anonymous

Guest
not familiar with your setup at all but what type of cable do you use from pc to amp

also is it a hum or some other noises
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I use a coaxial from PC to DAC>Head amp.

I have been playing around for the past few hours and I think the coaxial is the problem somehow. When I use the DAC with the USB I have no issues with noise, but I worried about compromising on SQ as Beresford recommend coaxial as the best then USB last: http://www.homehifi.co.uk/config/best-connection.htm

I'm updating the driver as we speak but I doubt it will make a difference.

Somehow coaxial suffers more with these issues than other digital connections.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I have established it is something to do with my PC, interference between graphics card and sound card or soundcard and any number of other devices. The noise changes with any function which rouses it from a dormant state, even a simple move of the mouse changes the noise. It sounds like a high pitched crackle with a constant background hum, low in volume, high in annoyance.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Ive had this kind of problem. Ive still not sorted it, hang on just guna read yr first post again
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
coaxial ! im suprised your having trouble with sound via this type of cable.

1. Id make sure your pc, dac, and amp are plugged into the conditioner.

2. Try and demo another coaxial lead.

Im having trouble with my setup but its still ongoing to be honest.

dave
 
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Anonymous

Guest
It seems that the problems are not due to the digital conversion but due to problems originating from the PC in the earth/ground connection, affecting the analog part of the Beresford. So I expect that the current / earth fed to your setup is not causing it, but the computer adds it. Optical cabling would prevent this. But if you do not have material at 96kHz or higher USB should also be fine (some problems with ground loops can also occur with USB, so you will have to listen yourself).
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Pete10:It seems that the problems are not due to the digital conversion but due to problems originating from the PC in the earth/ground connection, affecting the analog part of the Beresford. So I expect that the current / earth fed to your setup is not causing it, but the computer adds it. Optical cabling would prevent this. But if you do not have material at 96kHz or higher USB should also be fine (some problems with ground loops can also occur with USB, so you will have to listen yourself).
that would be my feeling too but there are those who think optical and usb do not sound as good

if your pc has an optical out id try that first if not try usb as pete10 says

usb also does not have problems with jitter
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
2,027
13
19,695
Optical is not as good as electrical, given zero interference. But given that the signal's coming out of a PC (the noisiest applicance on earth), optical would be better.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks guys, I have come to the same conclusions. I'm thinking of putting in another sound card, the one in using is the integrated one anyway. I might get the same problem but it seems worth a try, after all it has been working previously for over a year before this issue. I have 4 expansion slots on my PC one with my graphics card in and 3 other slightly different ones. I believe the graphics card goes into a PCI slot and most sound cards are also PCI, but these other slots seem to be shorter than the first. Anyone know if these are PCI as well, maybe made for other peripherals not graphics cards??
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Well I picked up a £20 soundcard from maplin which has both sets of digital outputs. So far so good, all installed and functioning without any noise using the coaxial, always got the optical as backup if I have any further problems. It's a bit cheap, the driver disc simply has the words 'Drivers' printed on in that standard word art font, you know the one. I'm guessing using the digital output the soundcard has little or no effect on the sound, I have re-clock using kernel streaming in the background also.

As per my question above, I have now educated myself in the difference between PCI and PCIe slots.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Ah! The wonderful can of worms of PCs :)

What you heard, as far as I can tell, was not a grounding problem. Ground loops produce a 50Hz tone. My guess is it was simply all the HF noise in the PC polluting the soundcard and traveling along the coax to pollute it too. Perhaps it also caused extreme amounts of jitter. Internal soundcards found on the motherboards are utterly rubbish. I'm sure if you'd connected headphones directly to the analog out of the internal soundcard you would have heard a lot of noise too. An external soundcard is preferable when trying to avoid this kind of problems.
 

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