Help! Static noises with AKG Q701 + nuForce Icon HDP + laptop (ALAC/FLAC)
Sep 12, 2011 at 4:34 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 26

dsp0704

Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Posts
60
Likes
11
Hi, I purchased AKG Q701 with nuForce Icon HDP couple of days ago for $880 CDN after been using Grado 80is. I really love the phones but I'm starting to hear some static sounds.. sometimes it's crackling/popping. Only in certain tracks in FLAC format (ALAC on iTunes + FLAC on VLC). I download my music from torrent sites. Can someone help me fix this? I think the problem could be: the phones itself, amp/dac, FLAC format, or the VLC player but I have no idea.
So far I'm really loving the SQ and don't think I will ever need better SQ in my music than with this small setup which is something I couldn't say with my Grado 80is. But was this a good purchase? I'm talking about price and the the performace of the "combination of" AKG Q701 with nuForce Icon HDP.
Thanks^^
 
Dan
 
 
Sep 12, 2011 at 2:39 PM Post #4 of 26

Head Injury

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 11, 2009
Posts
5,404
Likes
440
Is this noise repeatable? Does it play at the same time on the same track every time? It could be a flawed rip, or it could be part of the recording. Flawed rips are going to happen if you get your stuff from torrents. Those files could just be re-encoded MP3s if you weren't supplied with a log of the rip.
 
Does it disappear at different volume settings (not just get quieter, but disappear)? Does it disappear if the amp is turned off, unplugged, and plugged back in? I'm not keen on NuForce's design philosophy or the problems they've had with the uDAC-2, but the Icon HDP seems overall fine. Output impedance and line-out Vrms are higher than they should be, but only the output impedance is harming you and neither would cause popping.
 
Have you tried other free audio players?
 
Sep 12, 2011 at 2:41 PM Post #5 of 26

Willakan

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Posts
1,039
Likes
106
Firstly, piracy is not condoned around here, in common with most online forums. Saying "I am a pirate" in a post is thus not a good idea.
Secondly, assuming you don't get temp/perma-banned for the above, can you explain when the noise occurs? Does it appear to be random?Is it caused by changing the volume? Have you verified the original files do not contain the noise? Downloading random files off the web illegally hardly ensures good rips.
 
Sep 12, 2011 at 4:43 PM Post #6 of 26

dsp0704

Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Posts
60
Likes
11
The noise seems to be on certain files and i think they were all FLAC files playing from VLC. The songs I have converted to ALAC seems to be fine. So I'm going to try and change a problematic song in FLAC and convert it to ALAC and see if the noise still occurs. To describe it, (only on certain tracks) as the music starts at certain mid-notes(?) it goes sssssss sound almost like playing from old record player.. I'm sorry that is the best I can describe. The noise seems to go away with lower volume setting but that could just be that it is too quiet to hear. And it happens in the same place in a certain track all the time. I really hope that means it is because of bad ripjob. However I was trying to see if the wires were the problem (AKG Q701 comes with 10Ft wire which I wrapped up and tied) and when I tried to move the wire around the noise became bad because I was touching it with hand. On most tracks I have converted to ALAC (I say most because I haven't listened to them all) it is so clear no noise at all.
 
Thanks everyone and I'm sorry about mentioning pirated music. But I was trying to be honest to figure out where the source of the problem. Please do not ban me I love this forum^^
 
Sep 12, 2011 at 5:21 PM Post #7 of 26

TobaccoRoad

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Posts
690
Likes
28


Quote:
The noise seems to be on certain files and i think they were all FLAC files playing from VLC. The songs I have converted to ALAC seems to be fine. So I'm going to try and change a problematic song in FLAC and convert it to ALAC and see if the noise still occurs. To describe it, (only on certain tracks) as the music starts at certain mid-notes(?) it goes sssssss sound almost like playing from old record player.. I'm sorry that is the best I can describe. The noise seems to go away with lower volume setting but that could just be that it is too quiet to hear. And it happens in the same place in a certain track all the time. I really hope that means it is because of bad ripjob. However I was trying to see if the wires were the problem (AKG Q701 comes with 10Ft wire which I wrapped up and tied) and when I tried to move the wire around the noise became bad because I was touching it with hand. On most tracks I have converted to ALAC (I say most because I haven't listened to them all) it is so clear no noise at all.
 
Thanks everyone and I'm sorry about mentioning pirated music. But I was trying to be honest to figure out where the source of the problem. Please do not ban me I love this forum^^



Are you saying when you moved the headphones' wire around the noise got worse? If so there's your problem.
 
On the other hand you say the FLAC files are noisy and when you convert them into ALAC the noise disappears. That's weird, because converting bad rips will still result in bad rips since you don't have the original source to re-rip.
 
You should double check all your problems, like trying with difference sources, headphones, etc.
 
Sep 12, 2011 at 7:10 PM Post #8 of 26

dsp0704

Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Posts
60
Likes
11
Yes, I noticed the noise got worse when I was untangling the coord. However, no I didn't mean that when FLAC becomes ALAC the noise disappears. I have not tried this yet but after reading what you said, bad rip = bad rip and this should not "fix" the problem. BUT all the tracks with the noise problems seem to be FLAC playing from VLC. I have not yet to find a noise problem in any ALAC. I'm just trying to figure out the source of the noise... I'm so lost :frowning2:
 
Sep 12, 2011 at 7:13 PM Post #9 of 26

Head Injury

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 11, 2009
Posts
5,404
Likes
440
Quote:
Yes, I noticed the noise got worse when I was untangling the coord. However, no I didn't mean that when FLAC becomes ALAC the noise disappears. I have not tried this yet but after reading what you said, bad rip = bad rip and this should not "fix" the problem. BUT all the tracks with the noise problems seem to be FLAC playing from VLC. I have not yet to find a noise problem in any ALAC. I'm just trying to figure out the source of the noise... I'm so lost :frowning2:


The file you'll get when converting from FLAC to ALAC will be exactly the same. This makes the test more useful actually. It will allow you to test whether or not the problem is the way VLC is handling your FLAC files. If so, use a dedicated audio player with a bit-perfect plugin and see if your FLAC work fine then.
 
Sep 12, 2011 at 9:28 PM Post #10 of 26

dsp0704

Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Posts
60
Likes
11
Ok, I got home and converted one file that was very noticeable and compared playing FLAC on VLC and ALAC on iTunes. ALAC on iTunes, the noise definitely got fainter. I wouldn't say it is gone, it is definitely still there but you would have to listen closely to hear but it's there. While the FLAC version playing from VLC is very clearly crackling sound. What does this mean?
 
Sep 12, 2011 at 9:48 PM Post #11 of 26

dsp0704

Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Posts
60
Likes
11
Oh and I found a track called "The Way I Am" by Eminem in The Marshall Mathers album which has in the beginning of the track (purposely) the noise I was trying to describe and get rid of.
 
Sep 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM Post #12 of 26

TobaccoRoad

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Posts
690
Likes
28


Quote:
Oh and I found a track called "The Way I Am" by Eminem in The Marshall Mathers album which has in the beginning of the track (purposely) the noise I was trying to describe and get rid of.


 
That's just part of the recording. It really has nothing to do with proper rips or bitrates.
 
As for your previous comment I'm not sure, but I'd suspect it has something to do with VLC. I'd suggest converting to MP3 where both players can play the same file then compare. Also make sure the EQ on the iTunes is off. When you compared the FLAC and ALAC were they on the same volume? I honestly don't see how they can sound different.
 
Sep 12, 2011 at 10:25 PM Post #13 of 26

Head Injury

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 11, 2009
Posts
5,404
Likes
440
Quote:
Ok, I got home and converted one file that was very noticeable and compared playing FLAC on VLC and ALAC on iTunes. ALAC on iTunes, the noise definitely got fainter. I wouldn't say it is gone, it is definitely still there but you would have to listen closely to hear but it's there. While the FLAC version playing from VLC is very clearly crackling sound. What does this mean?

Just in case, find another free player that plays FLAC, preferably one with a bit-perfect plugin option like kernel streaming or WASAPI. What OS are you using?
 
In the mean time, convert everything to ALAC and use that if it makes you feel better.
 
Could you list a few tracks where this noise is happening? Don't post any links if they're from torrents.
 
Sep 13, 2011 at 1:48 AM Post #14 of 26

dsp0704

Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Posts
60
Likes
11
The two files were playing on same volume setting with EQ both disabled. I listened side by side and VLC seemed to be more apparent in static noise. I googled kernel streaming and WASAPI but I couldn't find a program called that. Could you recommend me something? Is Winamp good to play FLAC?
And thanks guys, I'm going to try and buy more CD's than I download. I just can't afford to buy as much music as I like to listen at this moment but I'll convert to CD's soon.
 
Sep 13, 2011 at 1:51 AM Post #15 of 26

dsp0704

Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Posts
60
Likes
11
Oh and I'm really starting to think it was just some bad rips that caused the static. Most of my songs are perfectly clear. AKG Q701 + nuForce Icon HDP is the best set up I love it.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top