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Weird interferences from Windows - xonar essence stx

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have had this issue for a long, long time!

(Technically speaking, it's been there with 2 different motherboards, 3 different dedicated soundcards and onboard sound, 3 different mice and 3 different versions of windows (7, 8.1 and now 10) and no change..)

Using my Yamaha hs50m connected via rca to the asus xonar essence stx, I have a high pitched sound being emitted in perfect "harmony" with the cursor movement.

There's also a fairly high level of ground noise that annoys me when no music is playing.


I recently added a headphone amp to the collection (also connected via rca) and there the interference is even worse!


I'll have to check again whether the amplified headphone out shows this too, haven't tried that in a while..



I saw that others had this issue 10 years ago already, so it's not something simple to get rid off, I guess?

Any ideas?
post #2 of 18
A cheap external DAC can fix this easy enough. It sounds like the noise is coming from EMI I side the PC.

If a USB DAC / amp is in the cards try this:
https://www.amazon.com/Meridian-Explorer-USB-DAC/dp/B00BCJWTAM
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
If I need an external DAC, what's the point in having an expensive soundcard with dedicated emi shielding? frown.gif
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbphotox View Post

If I need an external DAC, what's the point in having an expensive soundcard with dedicated emi shielding? frown.gif

How about this? The noise has nothing to do with EMI shielding because it's not EMI related, and thus also not related to the expense of the sound card.  

 

And a cheap/expensive external DAC may not solve it either because the problem is related to a ground loop.  You'll need to isolate the speaker ground from the computer ground.

 

Most people solve that issue with one or more of these depending on how many speakers/channels you have.  There are more expensive versions, but this will do the job.  

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
So if I pull the rca from soundcard to monitors through the headphone amp, it would be enough to install that ground isolator before the amp?

Worth a try!
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Question:
I read up on those decouplers and all sites recommend to use only one wall plug for all devices and a good powerboard.
Already have it that way and it doesn't help.

I'll get one of those decouplers and hope it helps.
post #7 of 18

I've been there, only thing that worked to get PC-audio to have dead silent background in active monitors like your Yamahas was to use balanced connectors all the way. Wont work with a Xonar though as it is unbalanced, but with my UR22 from Steinberg it did the trick. I guess it is modern high end gaming videocards that makes all those noises as it is usually silent on lesser systems. And in particular active monitors are extra sensitive as using headphones is mostly ok. Could maybe be a little better if you use grounded mains on all units. 


Edited by xeizo - 4/21/17 at 8:13am
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yeah, my headphone amp only has rca connectors as well.
If it really is a ground loop, I need a ground loop isolator that separates these signals, but I don't trust the cheap ****.. loads of people report an impact in lower frequencies!
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbphotox View Post

Yeah, my headphone amp only has rca connectors as well.
If it really is a ground loop, I need a ground loop isolator that separates these signals, but I don't trust the cheap ****.. loads of people report an impact in lower frequencies!
Some do impact lows, some don't. Be careful of all those opinions, many are just lemmings. If you can find them, the Radio Shack units from the last 15-20 years are good, pass the lows untouched.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
After some more research I'd prefer a direct box with true ground lift. But my headphone amp doesn't have balanced inputs and some of those direct boxes don't even offer a true ground lift.



Saw a DIY blog post where someone recommended building an isolater using a 1:1 transformer from an old computer modem. biggrin.gif


Edit:
Now I'm confused, because some blame the soundcard for the interferences.
They say - and it makes sense to me - that it's not an issue with the grounding if hard drives and cursor cause annoying sounds, but an issue with the computer.


Well, I'll check if those are present with my headphones directly connected to the soundcard first, before I buy new stuff.
Edited by mbphotox - 4/21/17 at 12:41pm
post #11 of 18
A transformer from an old modem? Wasn't someone concerned about low end response? Ain't gonna get it that way.
post #12 of 18
You don't need balanced inputs to use a DI box even if it is balanced, but any respectable one will have a ground lift. Kinda the point.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Still, can I get rid of periphery-induced interference with a ground lift?

I found some posts where ppl claimed it wouldn't help since it wasn't a ground loop issue.
post #14 of 18
I routinely solve this problem for my clients with transformer isolators. Works every time. I can't actually recall the last time real noise was actually coming out of a sound card along with audio. Been many years. There are some systems quieter than others of course, but the typical noise level coming out of even an integrated sound card on a pretty basic machine has been entirely passable for at least a decade plus.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
So I could use a DI box (active or passive?) And take XLR-RCA cables to feed my headphone amp?
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