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  1. #1

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    Default How Speakers Work (with noise)

    Let's say you have a tickle in your throat, maybe vague, very vague soreness.....you walk into work and you co-worker says you sound like you are getting a cold. The timbre of your voice has changed.

    Does a transducer respond to background "noise" however subtle?

    For example, my MAC Audio ref. cables let through a almost a buzz whereas a cheap pair of bonded cables do not (I don't have a ground loop btw as I already have a ground loop isolator - you should hear the room w/o it!)

    Does something like 60hz hum, or EMI buzzing etc. affect a driver's frequency response adversely, however little?

    Does noise we can really only hear up close to a driver actually affect it macro-dynamically during playback at real-world listening levels?

    Just something I have been wondering.....

    dc

  2. #2

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    Default

    AC 60hz is filtered as much as possible but there is always some ripple left (potentially in the millivolts)... Do you presently use any power conditionner (may help on the ripple). If your gear is connected to different circuit it may also create humm in the speakers.

    I am not sure what is your ground isolator but ground must be used and again, when using different circuit may cause ground problem because a slight difference in the ground may cause noise in the speakers. Hard to really explain but real, I've seen this so often with our conference set-ups. You had to actually put your hears very close to the driver otherwise you wouldn't notice the noise.

    Also, your explanation also lead me to believe it could be a cable problem (maybe your mac cables aren't compatible with your system? Anything special to them??)
    Cheers!
    TK

  3. #3

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    Default

    It's a really long story, but I have found that overall, grounding, maybe stargrounding, to be so important and overlooked. It's not just "ground loop", I have had issues with 3 different PCs where cpu/gpu and psu activity are dumped on an AES cable (5 PSUs tried, 3 PCs, 3 sound cards, 2 locations, etc.).

    I should have mentioned the MAC cables are unshielded, then again so are my Clear Days and they are quiet, whereas this bonded RCA pair is shielded, and bonded. But the Clear Days are speaker cable.

    My buddy said this tonight via email:

    "In Jim Smith's Getting Better Sound "Quarternotes" newsletter, he published a list of what he calls "Audio Common Knowledge" or ACK, which are well circulated and seemingly factual statements, but which are hardly true. One of those is what he states about amplifiers, and that is that the quieter the amp, the better the sound. I now tend to agree with this as I've had some seriously quiet amps, and while the xxxxxx aren't the noisiest amps I've ever had (and not even now what I would consider noisey) they are without a doubt some of the nicest sounding amps I've had, and by quite a bit -- and that's saying something."
    But I digress, my thinking on the original question has changed, EMI or ground loop hash could affect other components like a pre, earlier in the chain whereas a speaker could be asked to reproduce these particular noises...and it would. It's doing what it is supposed to, if that makes sense, so why would it affect the timbre or performance???

    I have read about phono stages getting overloading with 50kHz harmonics or something like that; things inaudible to you and I, but stressing components earlier in the chain.

    I have an Exactpower EP15 en route and may look at a Majik Buss too; right now I'm planning on seeing how that goes, and then testing chassis to ground for AC on each device if I still have noise, although...I'm very happy as I have temp. floated the computer ground until I can lift pin1 on my AES cables, and the power supply noise no longer gets in the chain...thanks goodness.

    dc

    Quote Originally Posted by TECHNOKID View Post
    AC 60hz is filtered as much as possible but there is always some ripple left (potentially in the millivolts)... Do you presently use any power conditionner (may help on the ripple). If your gear is connected to different circuit it may also create humm in the speakers.

    I am not sure what is your ground isolator but ground must be used and again, when using different circuit may cause ground problem because a slight difference in the ground may cause noise in the speakers. Hard to really explain but real, I've seen this so often with our conference set-ups. You had to actually put your hears very close to the driver otherwise you wouldn't notice the noise.

    Also, your explanation also lead me to believe it could be a cable problem (maybe your mac cables aren't compatible with your system? Anything special to them??)
    Cheers!
    TK

  4. #4

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    Default

    You know I was thinking about this very same thing last night but in a slightly different way. I live on an island near a lighthouse (well at least for a couple more days anyways). At night when listening to vinyl and in between records when nothing is playing I can hear a hamm radio operator from the lighthouse (he always says "this is such and such form the St. Simons Lighthouse, anybody got their ears on.") clearly coming out of the speakers. The first time I heard this, it scared the crap out of me, as I thought someone had broke into the house. Anyways it got me thinking how this may be interfering or distorting the music when it was being played. Honestly, when the vinyl is playing for the most part you can't here the hamm radio guy and it sounds great. I was listening to some vinyl one time though and a quiet passage was playing and I faintly heard the radio guy in the background. Other than that one time though, I can't ever remember hearing the hamm radio interfereing with the music, but to me it has to be doing something, no matter how small and imperceptable it may be.

  5. #5

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    Dawgfish,

    Your comments speak to support my new perspective.

    While it is not entering into your signal chain through the proper channels, your speakers are mainly doing what they are supposed to do.

    So I think the concern here is threshhold; is the amplitude of said noise bothersome to the point of interfering or confusing you, the listener, and not the speaker.

    Hope that makes sense...great story btw.

    J

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