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Computer definition and proximity to audio gear


fritzg
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I keep hearing that computers and "spinning discs" need to be kept away from audio equipment.

 

So, we put our music on NAS in another room and have a diskless streamer attached to our DAC. But more than likely that streamer is gonna be wifi, introducing that interference with the audio. But wifi is also most likely present in the HDtv I see in so many pics, and a spinning disc is in the cable box or tivo.

 

So, my question is, with this expanded definition of a "computer", what's the proximity of any of these devices to your audio gear? And if you don't think your Aries, cable box, HDtv, or RaspberryPi is a computer, why not?

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Fritzg

Why should it be a problem other than an aesthetic factor, and the possibility of fan noise where fitted ?

A few people may need to separate them to get less interference via the A.C. mains supply for optimum results though, but they should be the exception.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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I keep hearing that computers and "spinning discs" need to be kept away from audio equipment.

 

So, we put our music on NAS in another room and have a diskless streamer attached to our DAC. But more than likely that streamer is gonna be wifi, introducing that interference with the audio. But wifi is also most likely present in the HDtv I see in so many pics, and a spinning disc is in the cable box or tivo.

 

So, my question is, with this expanded definition of a "computer", what's the proximity of any of these devices to your audio gear? And if you don't think your Aries, cable box, HDtv, or RaspberryPi is a computer, why not?

It seems to me that your "diskless streamer" (?Chromecast) receives files intact via Wifi and as such, due to network error checking protocols, should not be subject to interference other than that which is sufficient to completely disrupt Wifi transmission. It's after those files are rendered to a bitstream by the streamer that there is a risk of degradation of audio quality. That's assuming that the Wifi transmission is good enough for the streamer to receive and process the music files in a timely manner.

 

So arguably, the streamer is a computer, but unlikely to generate significant electrical interference. In my case, my (Wifi) streamer is connected to the DAC via a short optical cable. The NAS is at the other end of the house.

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

- Einstein

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One way to put a buffer in place at the receiving end is to use a Wifi bridge and optical LAN for the last bit. This way you are able to keep the interference out, put a bit of distance between the boxes and have the buffer so your receiving chip in the renderer does not have to work as hard. I also use cheap bench LPSUs to power these boxes so no AC noise is spit back into the audio equipment power circuit.

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i think most computers have been built to sit next to other electronics without problems with electrical interference.

i think they did a good job too.

i also think they did a good job with the cables as well.

 

i think it's silly to think there's enough electrical pollution from the AC outlet to cause an audio problem from the DAC or the amplifier.

you'd think if the pollution was that bad the computer would crash.

you'd think the AC line supplier has standards that must be met to prevent damage to their own equipment as well as the equipment connected to it in the residence.

i'm not saying it is impossible, but i am saying the probability is low enough to cause a panic if it does turn out to be true.

more probable might be something is starting to fail and you've noticed and decided to post something.

or maybe the weather changed temperature and you need to re-do the calibration (happened to me, i did a calibration 50% - 75% of the way through fall and needed to do another one for winter because as the weather kept changing the fidelity kept getting worse)

 

otherwise perhaps you are simply asking before hand as if a safety protocol.

and as i said, consumer goods are made to stack up on top of eachother carelessly.

if your premium product is suffering, that is truly a sad definition of premium.

 

but yeah, when people talk about these sort of things i haven't ever heard of rare circumstances or stories that pushed the issue.

with that said, and the decade of being on the internet - if your are the first story that pushes the issue, then that would make you twice as rare.

 

i thought my electrical supply here in this 100 unit apartment complex had pollution because i brought over a pair of 2.1 computer speakers to listen to while cleaning the apartment before moving in and they died from one of the amplifier channels shorting out sending DC current to the speaker and blew the woofer i'm certain of.

hadn't had any signs of age or problems before it happened (no shutting off or weird distorted sound, but i did break the connector off the cable and had to buy a replacement).

well i considered perhaps it was simply the hardware's time to die, but then i plugged my home theater receiver in and happened to turn on the radio while using the selection knob - without an antenna connected the static that was coming in sounded really strange, i even changed the frequency to see if it was simply the frequency it was tuned to and they all sounded strange.

made me think twice about the electrical supply being polluted.

receiver still works, the old crt didn't have any problems, computers have been working.

the only other strange electrical problem i've noticed is with my new refurbished television - sometimes i turn it on and it flashes|blinks as if there is a surge or collapse of electricity going to the screen.

it only does it sometimes when i turn it on, never when after the first 4-5 seconds of turning it on.

hell for all i know somebody is connected to it with a satellite connection and it is slow to transfer over.

i've got an extended 2 year warranty on it, and i figure if it is that bad it will die before those two years is up.

i also thought at first maybe the new components needed to settle.

doesn't make me think highly of the place i bought it from, and it doesn't make me think highly of refurbished items either (and i've had success with them in the past).

kinda makes me think they used junk to repair it and it doesn't even match properly and if the new piece doesn't die maybe a large portion of the circuit will die becoming a more expensive fix as it exceedingly sucks the life out of the oem components where it might take long enough to go beyond the two year extended warranty.

it's upsetting, because there was really good reviews for this television, really good specifications, and then some bad reviews talking about how the television broke - and i thought i was doing the right thing getting a refurbished one that had whatever problem the other people had already fixed.

 

but think about it, cd players and dvd players and blu ray players have been around cable boxes and video game systems for a long time.

before that cable boxes were near the computer of the television without a problem.

hard drives should be able to bleed excess voltage to ground through the power connector anyways, that should help fight off electrical radiation too.

 

quite a few reasons not to jump to conclusions, but to each their own.

i've had a computer within 5ft of my home theater receiver for about six years, but i don't know if all those years count because there was a good size chunk of wood separating them for four of those six years.

a hard drive's electrical radiation bad for a computer? nah, on the minute amount of going a decade without a problem if any.

but a power drill or a degausser coil for a crt screen? yeah that's enough radiation to cause damage.

they say it could erase a hard drive, and if the components on the circuit board become magnetized enough - well they would probably work as if they are clogged (might be good for simple electricity passing through, but nothing like various electrons needing to be somewhere on time & in order)

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i've got a 750 watt seasonic power supply for the computer.

1,000 watt dell power supply for subwoofer amplifier.

television

computer monitor

satellite box

powered usb hub

microphone preamp

modem

home theater receiver

 

the only thing that isn't connected to the same outlet is the subwoofer amplifier, and i'm using a big capacitor on the subwoofer power supply to try and milk a little more sensitivity and|or stability from the power supply.

 

seems to work fine. i trust the power filters in the devices.

i'm also aware it isn't impossible for them to connect to my entire circuit from the power outlet.

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I get trying to keep a hard drive out of the chain (or as far away in the chain as possible), but the proximity aspect doesn't make sense to me given how many computer type devices (some with hard drives) we have within feet/inches (and even i the chain like a set-top box attached to the same system) of the audio gear.

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