Question issue with ECI-2, CXN v2 and external 2.5" HDD

enthusiast_cityzen

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2021
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Hello,


I'm looking for an explanation regarding the following issue, please.


2.5" HDD -> CXN v2 -> ECi-2


I'm playing WAV files from an external 2.5" HDD (does not have external plug for power, it is takeing power via the same USB port) that is connected to a Cambridge CXN v2. The CXN is linked to Electrocompaniet ECI-2. The problem is that regarding the selected input of the ECI-2, I have a very disturbing noise in the speakers. When the hdd platans starts to spin I can hear that sound in the speakers. The noise is not rising if I increase the volume. It remains constant. It's like I would have a microfon placed on the top of the HDD.

I tried 3 different amps and the disturbing sound was not present. Only when I use the ECI-2 as amplifier. But, if I use and external 3.5" HDD with external plug charger the problem is solved. I played some music from a CD player connected to ECI-2 and the sound is clean, there is no noise.

My question is who's fault for this issue is? Cambridge CNX v2 for sending some brum, noise or the Electgrocompaniet ECI-2 for not having some filters? The ECI-2 might be broken?

Thank you for your time.
 

enthusiast_cityzen

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2021
23
12
525
All 2.5" external hard drives does not come with external power adapter. They all take power from the same USB cable that transfer data.

https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Portable-External-Drive-WDBU6Y0050BBK-WESN/dp/B07X41PWTY/ref=sr_1_5?crid=Y88JRCAZY5LM&keywords=Hdd+2.5+external+hdd+western+digital&qid=1670435764&sprefix=hdd+2.5+external+hdd+western+digital,aps,165&sr=8-5

I used the same HDD on Yamaha RN-803D and it worked without any issues (the 1 TB storage version).

I will use the CXN v2 with a 3.5" external hdd with power supply adapter. But I want to understand witch of this devices has the issue.
 
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enthusiast_cityzen

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2021
23
12
525
That's the interesting bit.
There's no doubt you've done a comprehensive elimination process.
But:
Are you 100% certain that there is not even the slightest noise on other amps?
I wasn't alone when I did the tests. We sticked the ear to the speakers when testeted CXN with pionner, audiolab and pathos. There was no brum, or platan spinning noise delivered to thespeakers.
 

Gray

Well-known member
I wasn't alone when I did the tests. We sticked the ear to the speakers when testeted CXN with pionner, audiolab and pathos. There was no brum, or platan spinning noise delivered to thespeakers.
Right, well your first (obvious) definite is that there's something about the EC that's different to the other 3 amps.
It could be, as you suggested, that it is not filtering very high frequencies, thereby allowing the noise through.
If that's the case, it's just a wideband amp, not a faulty one.

As for the cause of the noise:
Testing another identical, unpowered 2.5 HDD (connected to CXN) would tell you whether yours is faulty.
If the different one still gave the noise, then yours is not faulty.

Without looking into any CXN / HDD specs, this is my guess as to the cause:
The current from the CXN is borderline sufficient for your unpowered drive - so it 'works', but not without the noise.
If that is the case, the drive, the CXN and the EC are (uniquely) incompatible, but none of them are actually faulty!!!

Bottom line:
You're right to be using your powered drive with the CXN (y)

I can understand you wanting to know the cause (I too, wouldn't give up till I found out).
Let us know if you ever do.
 
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enthusiast_cityzen

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Jul 23, 2021
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I forget to mention that I already tested the 2nd 2.5" HDD powered by the CXN, using the same data cable. The result was identical to the first one: noise, noise, noise.

So, the signal is clean as long as I'm using USB stick and external HDD with it's own power supply.
And I think you are right. None of the equipment is faulty. Somebody told me that had similar issue some amplifier. They can't deal with sources that does not have proper grounding or independent power supply.

More of this, I received this video showing how an electrical motor is producing inductive noise just by spinning. And without proper filtering that noise gets drained into the audio system, i guess.

I'm comfortable to hear that none of the equipment is faulty. As long as I deliver clean sound to the Electrocompaniet ECI-2 everything is fine!

Thank you for your explanation Gray. I really appreciate it.

Here is a video explaining how the electrical motor generate inductive noise. Very similar to my problem.

View: https://youtu.be/49dfOQbmKvY?t=779


And for the next issue I will use phone camera/mic to record it. And not just describe the problem like in the 80s :)
https://youtu.be/49dfOQbmKvY?t=779
 

enthusiast_cityzen

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2021
23
12
525
After more research I find out that ifi defender+ is the solution for connecting portable 2.5" HDDs (that are takeing the power from the same USB data cable) to the Cambridge CXN v2. The noise of spinning motor/platans made by hdd desapeard after I connected the ifi defender+ to the Cambridge DAC.
Removing it from the system made the buzz being it present again.

2.5" HDD
--> ifi Defender+ --> Cambridge CXN

It was all about a ground loop noise. Here is a video from youtube that explain the problem and the solution that worked in my case:

View: https://youtu.be/einxGsiuwso?t=250
 
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