Buzz/hum through JBL active desktop monitors when GPU is under load -- regardless of soundcard?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by Archaea, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This is odd.

    I have a cheap 2.1 set of altec lansing computer speakers that don't buzz when I game. (typical connection - just the 3.5mm headphone jack).

    My headphones don't buzz when gaming.

    Over Black Friday I bought a pair of JBL 306 MK2 monitors. I was excited to use them on the desktop, and they work fine while using the PC on the desktop, but when I use them during gaming (when my 1080TI is under a workload) I get a nasty loud electrical hum/buzz that’s loud enough to easily hear over game sounds and varies in pitch slightly as I use the mouse to look around, or as the game scenry (FPS?) chances. When I exit the game it goes away, and it's back to only the slightest of hiss from the active speakers that you have to put your ear close and actively listen to hear.

    Alright, I thought, maybe it's the onboard soundcard on my X99 Gigabyte Ultimate Gaming. So I tried connecting my USB based Blue Yeti Mic's DAC (and disconnecting all analog audio output from the computer) Same exact problem!!!? What? The Yeti has a external USB DAC!!! Confused, next I tried going back to an old external OPTICAL connected Turtle Beach USB powered DAC. There is no analogue signal on this either - it uses toslink optical to power it. Would you belive the same thing happens?!!?

    It's not a proximity thing - because when I unhook everything from the speakers and just have them powered on they don't buzz/hum when the 1080TI is under load/in game.

    This doesn't make sense to me at all...

    Any ideas?
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  2. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I tried a pair of my JBL LSR 305's from a different room - same thing.

    I've tried multiple cord connections of different styles XLR to 1/4" jack, RCA to XLR - etc. All the same.

    I just packed it all up - I guess I'll let a friend try the setup and see if his desktop PC does the same thing or not?
     
  3. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Well that sounds like a very odd problem.
     
  4. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    Ground loop on AC power side?
     
  5. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    I believe that buzz/hiss is typical of powered monitor speakers. Some have it worse than others. I remember hearing it with a set of Tannoy PMs I tried a few years ago.
     
  6. Neapolitan6th

    Neapolitan6th Gawd

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    I've read these monitors, at least the older generation, do suffer from a slight hum when idle, but nothing that should be noticable at volume.

    I hope you are able to figure it out though, best of luck!
     
  7. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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  8. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Gawd

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    Sounds like maybe mains hum from voltage drops/spikes?

    Your solution is probably to use optical + use a different wall outlet for the speakers.
     
  9. Sabrewulf...

    Sabrewulf... Gawd

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    I'm fighting the same thing, have my gaming pc tied into my HT IB Subwoofer setup through a Pro Crossover. RCA to XLR (unbalanced to balanced connection) which is probably the issue. Gonna test lifting the ground on the crossover and see if stops, using a cheater plug. If that works, maybe this will do the trick without removing the ground from the crossovers power.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
  10. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    The fact that the headphones don't buzz but everything else does is the confusing part. It means that the buzz cannot come from any motherboard interference either. It even can't be a traditional ground loop if an optical DAC suffers from the same problem.
     
  11. HammerSandwich

    HammerSandwich [H]ard|Gawd

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    How's that optical DAC connected to power, Archaea? Can you try a battery pack?
     
  12. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Creative Optical DAC was USB powered. (Connected to my PC for power and sound card toslink for source)

    The Yeti Blue DAC is also USB powered from my PC.

    I need to try my laptop. I could disconnect power to the laptop as a test.
     
  13. Decibel

    Decibel 2[H]4U

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    On one of my DACs I built a cable that pulls signal from the PC and power from a phone charger to isolate noise.

    PC USB power is noisy. Try powering the DAC with a phone charger.
     
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  14. deaedius

    deaedius Gawd

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    Do you have a UPS with line conditioner built in or a power line conditioner? You may have a ground loop somewhere that could be cleaned.
     
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  15. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Every thing was plugged into a old school 1500va APC True Smart UPS.
     
  16. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    This shouldnt matter when he uses the optical dac that is galvanically isolated from the PC. This is the weirdest part.
     
  17. Decibel

    Decibel 2[H]4U

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    Read a little closer.

    So, he's leaving the possibility of having his source isolated, but still pulling power from his system, incomplete galvanic isolation.
     
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  18. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Optical connected USB powered DAC...

    That's not making a lot of sense, unless the 'DAC' is sending optical to another device that's actually the DAC.
     
  19. Decibel

    Decibel 2[H]4U

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    If only there were a virtually ubiquitous 5v 500mA power source...
     
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  20. deaedius

    deaedius Gawd

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    I have had to do this. Was weird but it worked like a charm. DAC using optical from PC and uses the USB power from a phone charger plugged into UPS.
     
  21. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    The OP should try to plug the USB to some charger instead of the PC to test it out then.
     
  22. Decibel

    Decibel 2[H]4U

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    My thoughts exactly...

     
  23. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    Did you try using the USB port on a phone charger for your DAC?

    /s
     
  24. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I bought a usb c Creative Super X-FI and still hum.

    My buddy came by and was helping me troubleshoot.

    He suggested lifting the ground on the JBL powered speakers. I had discounted the idea before because everything is plugged into a single outlet. But to just try it for the sake of eliminating another variable I got a couple cheater plugs and that fixed it!

    I don’t understand how I could possibly have a ground loop issue with everything connected to a single wall outlet — but there it was.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
  25. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Cheater plugs on both JBL speakers fixed it. See previous post. So weird.
     
  26. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    I have the same issue.
    I changed from an Emotiva pre-amp to a Denon amp and get PC related noises coming from the speakers when using it for PC audio that werent there before.
    The main difference is the Emotiva pre-amp used an earth connection, the Denon doesnt.
    To get by I put the PC on a 20m extension reel as this reduces the noise a butt load (the only adhoc thing that works).
    Today I ordered some chokes to fit on my HDMI lead as I think this is where the noise is getting to the amp and passing back through a ground loop to the PC.
    I'll pass on what happens when I get them (mid next month - yeah yeah, they are f'ing cheap tho).

    edit
    The chokes made no difference.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  27. SixFootDuo

    SixFootDuo [H]ardness Supreme

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  28. Ryom

    Ryom [H]ard|Gawd

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  29. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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  30. ellover009

    ellover009 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Just curious how do you like the JBL 306 MK2? My old system gave out, now at a crossroads to repair or move on.
     
  31. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Depending on what you're coming from, this may be moot, but I would point out that studio monitors in general are very large. If possible, I'd recommend sticking with the 5" variants and using a separate sub as opposed to grabbing larger monitors to extend the low-end.


    For reference, I run a pair of the older LSR305 monitors with a cheap Rockwille 10" sub (might recommend doing better than this, but the thing works), with the audio chain being:

    Onboard optical out --> Topping DX7s balanced DAC/Amp XLR output --> Nobsound passive pre-amp with switchable XLR / RCA -->
    • XLR --> Rockville 10" sub XLR --> LSR305 pair
    • RCA --> Massdrop Cavelli Tube Hybrid (CTH) headphone amp --> whichever cans I'm using at the moment

    Input is a Blue Snowball

    Notable points:
    • Using an almost completely balanced chain to eliminate interference noise potential; it's something I've dealt with in the past, and when spending some change on audio, something I wanted to avoid by design
    • Optical output is to eliminate the possibility of a ground loop, as can be had with USB amps
    • Tube amp is for 'brighter' cans, such as my DT880s and HE4XX
    • Nobsound pre-amp provides global volume control and analog switching between speakers and headphone amp -- very convenient and very quick for the purpose
     
  32. ellover009

    ellover009 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks Charge. I'll make a new post showing my whole predicament and options. I took apart the subwoofer of the S750 and thing I found the faults.
     
  33. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Why? It’s just my speakers. They work great these last months on the cheater plugs. No hum.
    I like them a little better than the 305s. I still have both pairs. They seem to have a bit fuller/bigger sound, and are port turned a little lower. I don’t use a sub on my PC, so I appreciate that. They are quite a bit bigger than the 305s, but not too big IMO. The 308s are too big subjectively for my desk use.

    You might look into Behringer Truths. I think I liked my Truths better than my JBL - though I no longer have them to compare and everyone’s audio memory is ....... poor.
     
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  34. SvenBent

    SvenBent 2[H]4U

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    Once again the pattern of spewing out opinions based on complete lack of understanding of the terms being used strikes agian

    https://hardforum.com/threads/240hz-is-best-quantitatively.1983341/page-2#post-1044249256

    It's getting rather funny to follow this guy and his technical "understanding"
     
  35. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Apart from the larger size, at 6" (when the JBLs are not on sale) there are other options that may be better depending on usage. JBL still wins stereo imaging (including gaming) outright, though, at any size for the price, and none of them are less than 'great' sounding. I do agree that if a sub is not in play, and I realize that that may often be the case, then going for the 6" monitors can be more effective overall.

    And it is very hard to beat the JBLs even when not on sale given the whole package. Almost everything else is more expensive.