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How to stop USB noise in my DAC from my Laptop (mac)

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by indigo bob, Jan 27, 2017.
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  1. pinnahertz
  2. Indigo Bob

    No difference.  I accidentally switched it around that moment right before I took the screens shoot looking at what was under the tab.
  3. pinnahertz
    Does the  DAC have any means of independent external power?
  4. Indigo Bob

    Unfortunately not.  It's power source uses that same DAC port.  2 in 1 micro usb slot.
  5. pinnahertz
    BTW, which DAC are we talking about?  The Martin IMS HVA?  I can't find any data on that.  And just so I know, which model Mac?
  6. Indigo Bob
    The martin IMS HVA and the FiiO x3ii both have the same problem when hooked up to the macbook air.
    Thie model of mac is:
  7. pinnahertz
    Any chance you could try the devices on a different computer?  Have you checked with manufacturer's support for either one, perhaps a support forum where you might find someone else had the issue?
    Now that you've done the "free" stuff, you can try cables, perhaps a powered USB hub first.   But I'd do a bit of research with the DAC manufacturer first.  It's unlikely this is the first time someone's had the problem. 
  8. Indigo Bob

    Thank you.  I'll see what I can find.
  9. Indigo Bob

    I picked up the jitterbug on amazon and am receiving it on monday so I'll be able to give something a try that might clean up the sound a little bit.  
  10. sonitus mirus
    I did a quick scan and didn't see it mentioned, but could it be the wifi?  Can you shut of the wireless radio on the Mac?
  11. Indigo Bob

    That seems to have made a considerable difference.  I'm going to do some testing with it to make sure, but there is definitely a positive significant difference.
  12. pinnahertz
    It could be, odd, you can try it easily.  Click on the Wifi icon in the menu bar, and select Turn Wifi Off.
  13. Indigo Bob

    Not only did it improve the background noise considerably, but it eliminated all the static and interference from the HVA being close to the laptop and that was not intermittent static, but constant and predictable, especially when directly adjacent and on the mac.
    I need to test this more with the FiiO X3ii as well, but I have an early clinical tomorrow and need to rest.  I really appreciate your guys' help so much!  It seems silly, but not to be able to use the DAC of the DAC/AMP's (especially the HVA, which I love and use for therapeutic purposes), is frustrating when you have put so much money into them.
    It has been a very fascinating learning experience and I look forward to continuing it tomorrow or when anyone is available.
  14. WindowsX
    Or you can try connecting devices with different laptops and see if it works fine. If so, it's either macbook itself or cable. Like I said upgrading cable should be the most promising solution right now since what I saw there isn't really good stock ones.
  15. pinnahertz
    Sorry you didn't read the thread.  
    What he has is interference from the WiFi card.  That would be a flaw in the DAC design, and not all DACs have the problem.  It's not the MacBook, as this would be the same issue with any computer with a healthy WiFi card and those DACs.  In fact, I have a MacBook Pro, and have a DAC sitting right next to it, on the side the WiFI antenna is located, and no problems.  Not the same DAC, though.    
    I did suggest he move to cables next, but then he discovered turning off the WiFi card cleared the problem.  He also said that putting the DAC on a longer cable and moving it away from the computer reduces the problem.  That would indicate that the problem is RFI from the WiFi card entering the DAC directly, not via the cable.  A longer cable makes a better antenna, not a worse one.  
    Yes, he could try a shielded USB cable. I'm doubtful it will help, as the symptoms don't strongly indicate the point of RFI entry is the cable.  
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