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Budget Power regulation?


Lynn124
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I'm having a problem with some fuzziness. I tried switching from an old RCA-140 cd player to a Sony DVP NC555es player- Both used as transports through a Bel Canto 2 DAC The video components are separated from audio in the Sony and can be completely shut off. The Sony sounds like absolute crap, but I don't think it should... What I can hear is as if someone put a reverb filter that is variably off rhythm over the entire sound. Very slight, but it creates a fuzziness. No pops or crackles. It seems like it's worse when I turn on a dehumidifier. So, I'm thinking power regulation. Below is something from another forum I looked at that made sense (??). So... automatic voltage regulation ?? Someone on that forum also mentioned hospital isolation transformers, but I don't know if those would regulate voltage? Can anyone recommend an automatic voltage regulation device useful for audio that might cost around $100 used ? Can any device with ARC be used or are is audio more sensitive than data centered computers in general?

 

The ARC thing might make sense as I get brownouts in the winter. I'm near the end of a private line and have actually seen the power lines here catch on fire 2-3 times over the years. Luckily, so far, the fire seems to just stay on the pole like a candle till someone shuts the main power off. But it's always very exciting for my neighborhood...

 

Here's what I've read. Does this make sense?:

 

High quality (but not necessarily expensive) audio devices have filtering built into their designs. So even if your mains are dirty, you are likely already covered in some way. A dedicated device may have better filtering than what is inside your audio device, but it is definitely not something you should assume.

 

In my experience it is not line filtering that makes a difference, your audio device probably has that already. True voltage regulation via boost/trim, however, might.

 

 

Or maybe you live in an area with brownouts, where your area's line voltage will drop by 2-3+ V during heavy usage times.

 

In these cases your audio equipment will be seeing out of spec mains power. The delta, unless it is significant, probably won't harm your device, but since, unlike line filtering, most audio devices do not have true AVR (automatic voltage regulation) a power condition with AVR may make a noticeable difference.

 

 

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S/PDIF signals from the coax outputs from transports are afflicted with jitter. The sound is like you describe, fuzzy and indistinct. S/PDIF can be cleaned up with re-clockers, which re-times the signal.

With 75 Ohm coax it's not possible under IEC rules to isolate the signals, so reclocking is the go.

 

Wyred for Sound's Remedy is the base line re-clocker, Mutec MC-3+USB does a better job, it should at 3 times the price of the Remedy.

 

The power situation sounds dire, would be good to clean this up but not strictly necessary. A UPS will work, however it will send back crud into the network, so careful planning of its location is necessary.

You hang around head-fi too long, $100 for an on line UPS is just a deposit!

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Plug the Sony into a monitor and make sure the digital output is not set to any type of 5.1 or surround setting.

 

+1. this is the answer -- make sure it's set to stereo.

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headphone rig:  chord qutest > bryston bha-1 > audeze lcd-3
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Thanks all!

 

The DAC should be taking care of the jitter.

 

Don't need a measuring device for voltage- my lights work for that. Frequent brownouts & outages today.

 

Yes, it may be the settings. I just got a remote for it, however... I'm finding those settings need to be set with a television. I threw my TV out years ago... I'll try and see if I can hook it to the computer later- big storm tonight, electricity is going out off and on.

 

It may be both the settings and electrical interference. I'm finding the fuzziness increases and decreases randomly and when I turn something on, but is never quite as clear as I'd expect it to be. The other player is a bit fuzzy, but not as much.

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The DAC should be taking care of the jitter.

 

 

That's interesting. What ever happened to "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"?

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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This doesn't sound like jitter to me. I have a $50 apc automatic voltage regulator on one of my amps. Search on Amazon. Doubt this solves your issue however. I also have a hospital grade isolation transformer, but did not like it's effects on my audio system. I have it on my computer/networking gear now. It could be one a many issues really. So this wasn't happening with the rca player?

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This doesn't sound like jitter to me. I have a $50 apc automatic voltage regulator on one of my amps. Search on Amazon. Doubt this solves your issue however. I also have a hospital grade isolation transformer, but did not like it's effects on my audio system. I have it on my computer/networking gear now. It could be one a many issues really. So this wasn't happening with the rca player?

 

Thanks Speavler, glad for the feedback on the hospital transformers.

 

It seems to be happening on the RCA. I thought it was the player itself, so got another. The RCA is a bit fuzzy, but not as much. This is all just slight- the music is listenable, I'm just being picky here. I'd like it to sound better. I'll be getting a better cable in about 5 days and that might help. I have it on toslink and am getting a coaxial cable. I'll also have to order a cable & maybe an adapter for the monitor to check the settings. Then if it's still a little fuzzy I'll try a regulator.

 

So, if I go that route, do you think any regulator will work or should I try and find a good used one specifically for audio? I wouldn't think my equipment is all that sensitive- parasound 2125 amp & 2100 preamp.

 

Got to go, electricity is off and on again. Still storming in far Northern California.

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Thanks Speavler, glad for the feedback on the hospital transformers.

 

It seems to be happening on the RCA. I thought it was the player itself, so got another. The RCA is a bit fuzzy, but not as much. This is all just slight- the music is listenable, I'm just being picky here. I'd like it to sound better. I'll be getting a better cable in about 5 days and that might help. I have it on toslink and am getting a coaxial cable. I'll also have to order a cable & maybe an adapter for the monitor to check the settings. Then if it's still a little fuzzy I'll try a regulator.

 

So, if I go that route, do you think any regulator will work or should I try and find a good used one specifically for audio? I wouldn't think my equipment is all that sensitive- parasound 2125 amp & 2100 preamp.

 

Got to go, electricity is off and on again. Still storming in far Northern California.

 

You can try a regular IC to use as a digital IC just to test. Or a 75 ohm video cable. Other than that, I think your dac has a balanced option. If so, make sure you have it set to single ended (non balanced) operation. That can cause a hum like you describe. Also, your amp has some features that are not typical. Try the impedance settings in both positions. Make sure the front panel selector switch is set to normal, not lockout. High pass filter to off. Bridge switch set to normal, not bridged. Make shure both L&R channel gain selectors are set to detent (should be half way - 12:00). You can even try backing off the gain a little. Sometimes too much gain can cause a hum.

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Fixed! I think. Although there are no brownouts today...

 

I spent 5 hours today and finally got the computer monitor to work with the video side and switched settings. It was set to "sharp" filter and I switched to "slow". The slow filter filters out noise in the higher tones. Rolls off a bit too, and not quite as detailed, but at least it sounds pleasant & no echo or harshness. Without that filter this player is way too bright for me.

 

I should probably have gotten the no-video version of this player- I found out they use different components. BUT, very nice for what little I paid for it. It will do fine for now. Maybe I'll clean the lazer, maybe that will help detail on "slow".

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You can try a regular IC to use as a digital IC just to test. Or a 75 ohm video cable. Other than that, I think your dac has a balanced option. If so, make sure you have it set to single ended (non balanced) operation. That can cause a hum like you describe. Also, your amp has some features that are not typical. Try the impedance settings in both positions. Make sure the front panel selector switch is set to normal, not lockout. High pass filter to off. Bridge switch set to normal, not bridged. Make shure both L&R channel gain selectors are set to detent (should be half way - 12:00). You can even try backing off the gain a little. Sometimes too much gain can cause a hum.

 

Thanks 17629v2. I changed the settings on the player and that helped. No reverb fuzz today- but no brownouts either- so hard to say. But it no longer sounds harsh- just slightly fuzzy in a much pleasanter way. May be the player, but I will certainly check the amp settings tomorrow or next.

 

I think the impedance settings are for the speakers- they are ?? 8 ohms (whichever uses less power) not 4, so will read up on that first. Thank you so much for these suggestions, cuts through a huge learning curve.

 

The DAC doesn't seem to have any settings. It's a basic heavy black box- looks like a small ballast. But will double check.

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Yessssss!!!! Thanks everyone!!!Sounds much better.

 

17629v2, I did find some settings that were a bit "off" on the back of the amp. Also switched out the player's power cord for a 14 gauge one- but not sure if that did anything. Obvious fuzz is gone- the only echo left is from the room itself- I think. I know it's not the best source in the world but it sounds pretty darn wonderful to me right now. Maybe someday I'll add a tube to warm slightly, but it's certainly nice to listen to. Close to live to my ears.

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