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Puzzling 'issue' with my near field monitors

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So my pc puts out digital signal (toslink) to  a coaxical/optical converter, which goes to my Sugden au51 dac. From there 2 xlr cables to my Nano Patch, to the hs80m's, connected with trs cables. Unbalanced. Since today I noticed that when the volume on the Nano Patch is totally off I can still hear very faint music/signal coming out of my speaker monitors. I'm not sure if I heard this before. Yesterday I cleaned my monitors (the outside only) and connected them again. I reckon this has nothing to do with the issue. Is this common or does someone know what's going on? Thanks guys.

post #2 of 7

You say you've got unbalanced signals in your system with balanced signals? It's likely a ground leak is causing signal to be carried over ground giving a faint signal to the speakers regardless of the Nano Patch volume setting. I always lift the negative bias of a balanced signal when going to single ended, it's common to ground it but I've found that leads to signal leaks onto the ground. If you're balanced all the way I can't imagine what is happening other than poor performance of the Nano Patch or a bad cable.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 65535 View Post

You say you've got unbalanced signals in your system with balanced signals? It's likely a ground leak is causing signal to be carried over ground giving a faint signal to the speakers regardless of the Nano Patch volume setting. I always lift the negative bias of a balanced signal when going to single ended, it's common to ground it but I've found that leads to signal leaks onto the ground. If you're balanced all the way I can't imagine what is happening other than poor performance of the Nano Patch or a bad cable.

Thanks for your reply. I have  a suspicion that it's perhaps the Sugden au51 is causing all this. I sold my hs80m's and have a pair of Dynaudio dbm50's hooked up. Nano Patch is gone. 2x rca output from dac > rca > xlr converters > xlr cables to monitors. It's still the same, when the Dynaudio volume controller is on zero it still puts out faint volume when music is playing. Also, it seems that in certain tracks there is noise/distortion audible and I'm sure it's not the songs fault. I'm getting quite paranoid/annoyed over this. Any ideas?


Edited by gideonMorrison - 1/25/13 at 2:30pm
post #4 of 7

Okay, now that I know your signal chain a little better we can do some tinkering. The Dynaudio DBM50 speakers accept an RCA connector for single ended. Try using the RCA through a pair of standard RCA cables. Ditch the adapters for testing. See how it reacts to that.

 

It's possible that your DAC isn't completely cutting out the signal when the volume is very low. Though from what I can gather through google search it's a fairly nice DAC.

 

I would try going straight RCA-RCA, adapting to balanced isn't doing you any favors as balanced expects a hotter signal usually.

 

Otherwise I would consider the remote volume control for the speakers and leave the DAC at full volume.

post #5 of 7

The volume control on the Nano patch has maximum volume as "0dB" and attenuation to below that as the volume is turned down. While it does have an infinity mark at the lowest setting, likely this isn't zero volume, but -80dB or lower, which isn't zero volume. That is why you still hear sound coming through. That, and/or the volume pot is cheap and doesn't attenuate completely when all the way to the left.

 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 65535 View Post

Okay, now that I know your signal chain a little better we can do some tinkering. The Dynaudio DBM50 speakers accept an RCA connector for single ended. Try using the RCA through a pair of standard RCA cables. Ditch the adapters for testing. See how it reacts to that.

 

It's possible that your DAC isn't completely cutting out the signal when the volume is very low. Though from what I can gather through google search it's a fairly nice DAC.

 

I would try going straight RCA-RCA, adapting to balanced isn't doing you any favors as balanced expects a hotter signal usually.

 

Otherwise I would consider the remote volume control for the speakers and leave the DAC at full volume.

Thanks man, I will get a couple and test next week. Not sure if it ever happened with my previous Level Pilot, but it's the same with the Dynaudio Volume Controller. Maybe it's even not that abnormal? What does annoy me more is the crackling/noise/distortion that I THINK I hear at certain peaks in certain tracks. This requires more testing though.

 

 

@ Currawong: I'm glad the Nano Patch is gone already (see my earlier post). I now have the Dynaudio Volume Controller.

 

 

 

It's still the same, as I described, as with the Nano Patch. Not sure whether it's normal to not have it completely silent. It could be the cables, or the dac or perhaps interference from power cables? What annoys me more is the noise/distortion/crackle which I THINK I'm hearing when sound peaks in certain tracks. Not sure though and baffled as to why that could even happen...

post #7 of 7

Sorry if I missed that you changed what you were using. Likely it is the result of a cheap volume pot. I recommend using balanced cables if you can for active monitors. I have 4m unshielded cables going past a bunch of power cables and other electronics to mine and don't hear a thing when music isn't playing.

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