Rega IO Amp Headphone Buzz (Not changing with volume up and down)

TlgSasz

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Hello. Just bought myself a Rega IO amp. While i'm waiting for my Q Acoustics 5020 i decided to use the amp with it's headphone output.

With no rca cables hooked (only the power cable is connected and the amp is on) i hear a low level buzzing coming from headphones. And it's strength doesn't increase or decrease by changing the volume level. I connected rca inputs to listen music, and the buzzing is still there during quite parts of the music. It's inaudible while listening to rock music etc.

Is this related to grounding, if it is where should i ground this amp? The power cable has ground pin but the amp itself only has two pins, Rega removed the earth pin. I connected the power cable directly to the wall outlet so there aren't any other devices connected to the same wall outlet. I'm just looking if there is anything i can do to sort this out before sending this back to dealer.

Thanks in advance.
 

Gray

Well-known member
....I'm just looking if there is anything i can do to sort this out before sending this back to dealer.
Easy enough to take it to another house, maybe a relative preferably in another street and repeat your tests - but most people wouldn't bother with that.

If it was me, I'd be returning it for a (brand new) replacement.
If I found that the buzzing was inherent I would give up on the model - no ifs, no buts.
 
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twinkletoes

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I’m with what’s been written above.

I will just add this, are your sure it’s not it’s not a dirty or loose connection. If you spin the headphone connector in the socket does the buzz go? Some it’s just the connector.

Or you could be hearing the transformer.

Not all amps are silent either and it may just be inherent in the design of the unit. After all the amp isn’t designed first and foremost as headphone amp, the connection will be there as curtesy a tick box as it where.
 
I’m with what’s been written above.

I will just add this, are your sure it’s not it’s not a dirty or loose connection. If you spin the headphone connector in the socket does the buzz go? Some it’s just the connector.

Or you could be hearing the transformer.

Not all amps are silent either and it may just be inherent in the design of the unit. After all the amp isn’t designed first and foremost as headphone amp, the connection will be there as curtesy a tick box as it where.
I would disagree. There's a possibility it is expecting speaker cables to be attached but if they aren't it shouldn't affect the headphone circuit.
It's not a cutesy check box if provided it has to work simple as.
Send the amp back to wherever it came from. You don't pay good money for faulty items these days....
 
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You might hear a faint background with no source connected, but once it is connected there should only be silence, or the very faintest hiss or hum that can’t be heard when listening.

Something is up as others have said, and I’d also be rejecting it. But I’d try another mains outlet in a different part of your home, just in case it’s something else - like a noisy ‘wall wart’ close by.
 

TlgSasz

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Hello again and thanks for the replies. I tried my parents’ house and it’s a newly constructed house without any electrical issues.

The issue is audible there too sadly. I even used Schneider UPS. I also hooked up my creative thx speakers from old times just to see if the issue is also there and yes. I can hear buzzing sound from both speakers but to hear it i would have to be really really close to the speaker. In fact i can only hear it from 5cm away and then it’s not audible farther away.

So the issue really does not affect my listening experience at all but i will return the unit anyway because it is not cheap. My dealer said “send it and we will test it, if it is a faulty unit we will replace it with a new one.”

Man i loved the sound of the amp even with the crappy creative g500 satellite speakers which are no good without the sub as they cant go below 120hz lol. But they did come alive with this thingie. Anyway i can’t wait for Q Acoustics 5020. Hopefully amp will get replaced by the time they arrive.
 

Gray

Well-known member
My dealer said “send it and we will test it, if it is a faulty unit we will replace it with a new one.”
The buzz is very likely to be inherent.
In which case a replacement will be the same and they could rightly say that there is no 'fault'.

You say the issue is acceptable to you.
You've come on the forum to tell us about it, so I would suggest that it is not.

If you decide that it is not, inform the dealer that, regardless of whether or not they describe it as faulty you will be insisting on nothing less than a full refund should the (brand new) replacement have the same issue.
 
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Stuart83

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The buzz is very likely to be inherent.
In which case a replacement will be the same and they could rightly say that there is no 'fault'.

You say the issue is acceptable to you.
You've come on the forum to tell us about it, so I would suggest that it is not.

If you decide that it is not, inform the dealer that, regardless of whether or not they describe it as faulty you will be insisting on nothing less than a full refund should the (brand new) replacement have the same issue.
I thought the same.

There's a lot of self convincing "tigsassz" in your replies of it "not being a problem" going on, yet it obviously is as it would be to me.

"If you decide that it is not, inform the dealer that, regardless of whether or not they describe it as faulty you will be insisting on nothing less than a full refund should the (brand new) replacement have the same issue"

That's exactly how I would go about things.
Well said grey 👍
 
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twinkletoes

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Thank you. Here below is a youtube short video i captured yesterday. Again, it is only audible when you hold your ear next to it, but in the video it sounds a bit exaggerated.

View: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/5DRUbva44zE
I have no idea what people are listening to and what they’re use to but that is completely normal behaviour for a class A/AB especially if the wick is at its max.

Most designs will give some sort transformer hum/ hiss especially with your ear up against the drive units. This will be exaggerated through a cheap headphone stage. Sorry Al ears but that’s the truth of it, it’s hitting a price point and it’s seen first and foremost as an integrated amp for driving speakers. The circuit will not be shared

There is no fault here. As I alluded to i my earlier post it’s probably just a slightly noisy amp by design. Or you have unfortunately quite a noisy power supply in the building.

My sugden through my speakers lets off a low buzz from the woofer and a hiss from the tweeter, can’t hear it from the listening position though the speakers are 99db efficient and flaws will be shown in all there glory.

All my naim amps did it as well, heck on a bad night I could actually hear the transformer hum it’s self inside the case.

If you think it’s abnormal show the video to the dealer.
 

Stuart83

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The buzz noise causes is hinted towards in this forum during a teardown.


It's not done well within the audio science review.
qoute-

"The speaker wiring forms a huge receiving loop antenna and that alone can be enough to contract hum/buzz"

It's also apparently the pitfalls of their small casework.

"having a power supply too near the amp section and the amp running hot"

There is a multitude of other information within other sites about this buzz being an inherint fault due to a holistically "bad and lazy design"

These are however not my personal opinions as I haven't heard/seen one myself to judge.
Rega usually review well.

All that aside I wouldn't accept that kind of volume buzzing on modern kit regardless of which class amplification it is.

We all encounter a faint buzz inherint to certain classes of amplification but-
It is not normal to continue to hear the buzzing through your music as you mention on any class amp.

Amongst the obvious this would render low volume listening impossible and to think one would have to "play rock music" as you mention to drowned it out would have me taking it back immediately.

I've had ever so faint buzzes with certain classes of amp in the past usually on vintage kit but even then never to that extent unless it's been a fault.

If it's easy sent back I'd go with the majority and indeed send it back.

Its obviously bothering you and it won't become easier to live with however much you try and normalise the issue.
 
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The buzz noise causes is hinted towards in this forum during a teardown.


It's not done well within the audio science review.
qoute-

"The speaker wiring forms a huge receiving loop antenna and that alone can be enough to contract hum/buzz"

It's also apparently the pitfalls of their small casework.

"having a power supply too near the amp section and the amp running hot"

There is a multitude of other information within other sites about this buzz being an inherint fault due to a holistically "bad and lazy design"

These are however not my personal opinions as I haven't heard/seen one myself to judge.
Rega usually review well.

All that aside I wouldn't accept that kind of volume buzzing on modern kit regardless of which class amplification it is.

We all encounter a faint buzz inherint to certain classes of amplification but-
It is not normal to continue to hear the buzzing through your music as you mention on any class amp.

Amongst the obvious this would render low volume listening impossible and to think one would have to "play rock music" as you mention to drowned it out would have me taking it back immediately.

I've had ever so faint buzzes with certain classes of amp in the past usually on vintage kit but even then never to that extent unless it's been a fault.

If it's easy sent back I'd go with the majority and indeed send it back.

Its obviously bothering you and it won't become easier to live with however much you try and normalise the issue.
Ouch, I now recall seeing this. Unfortunately the case is too small given the design choices. This may revert us back to @Gray ’s observation that it may not actually be faulty, but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

Maybe in the context of the lifestyle system on a sideboard with LPs played as background, but in the context of a modest Hifi it’s probably worse than my first Hifi bought in 1973, which was 20wpc.
 
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Gray

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If you think it’s abnormal show the video to the dealer.
It doesn't really matter what the dealer thinks about it Twink.
What everybody here is saying, is that it would be unacceptable to them.

I'm not going to start talking all trendy about "low noise floors" but, if you can hear any noise when the music is not playing, then that noise is there as part of your music.

That's fine if you're ok with that 👍

I've got a £100 Chinese amp with me at the moment - I reckon that the music sounds as good as it does, partly because the thing is silent when there's no music.

These days, whether listening at close range to speakers or on headphones, with no music playing, the only way you should know an amp is on, is via some visual indication.
 
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TlgSasz

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Wow thank you for the detailed information. It turned out to be a little costly to send the unit to the dealer as they are in different city and the shipping cost is on me. I showed the video to the dealer and stated that the buzzing is inaudible at listening position. I'll keep the amp because i have no belief that they just going to replace it with a new one and i don't want to pay the excessive shipping costs. After seeing the teardown now i am convinced that this may be by design. Actually the noise doesn't really bother me as i cannot hear it when listening music. I have no plans to use headphones either. I'll mainly use this with Rega P2 & Rega Fono MM. Maybe i'll try a ferrite choke on the power cable and see if it helps.
 

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