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How can I troubleshoot a noise coming from my receiver?


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I don't often listen to music with headphones in my office, but I did today and noticed a high-frequency noise, both in the headphones and speakers. Here's the details.


I got the new Dylan mono box set today, and wanted to listen on headphones. I have Sennheiser HD-580s, a Cambridge Audio Sonata receiver, with a Cambridge DACMagic, the music coming from a Mac mini and iTunes. I noticed, on the headphones, a high-frequency sound, which is independent of the receiver's volume. Putting my ears next to the speakers I heard it as well, but I don't hear it in normal playback as I did on the headphones (I had the volume of the music fairly low, as it seems like it's pretty loud on the recording).


So, I made sure that everything was connected to my UPS, which, if I understand correctly, eliminates the possibility of a ground loop. I do, however, have _a lot_ of equipment plugged into different outlets and power strips in my office.


What can I do to find where this noise is coming from? As I said, I don't use the headphones often, but didn't notice this before.




I write about Macs, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of macOS Media Apps

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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Do you have any other sources connected to your system or is the only connection via the DacMagic? If you have other sources connected does it occur with those sources also? If you do not have other sources connected try another input on your CA receiver. Does it still occur when moved to another input?


Does this occur only with your new Dylan source material or does it occur with other material as well? Is there any chance that the bit and sample rate of those files is at 24/96 and if so did you reset Audio Midi Set Up to reflect the change (and restart iTunes after doing so)?


Do you have other equipment plugged into your UPS? What types of equipment? Have you tried disconnecting the other equipment and then verifyiing if the sound is still present or not? If it is not present plug back in the other equipment one at a time checking each time if the sound returns.


I do not know what else to think of as a process of elimination other than trying to bypass the DacMagic to see if it disappears.


Good Luck


"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Frank Zappa
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The only source is the DacMagic. I get the hum even if it's not connected.


The hum is permanent, even when I'm not playing anything. I just noticed it playing the Dylan because it was at a low volume, and perhaps it being mono made the hum stand out more.


My Mac is connected to my UPS, as is my monitor.


I'm guessing it's actually something wrong with the amp itself...


I write about Macs, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of macOS Media Apps

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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Years ago, a had an old Sony AV receiver that developed a nasty hum.


Having the grounds (internal) reset by a factory tech solved the issue. The fix lasted another decade till something else went bad on the unit.


1) Asus netbook/XP > decco integrated > audiodata 88 dB @1W/1m, 8 Ohm loudspeakers[br]2) Rega Planet or Asus desktop/XP > Rega IO > Mapleshade-modded Heathkit SA-2 (2x EL84/ch) > audiodata 90 dB @1W/1m, 4 Ohm loudspeakers

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