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Hum in a transformer (Read 4709 times)
Lonely Raven
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #15 - 12/12/13 at 15:50:24
 
Quote:
I think yes, call Steve. Just be sure you don't talk to him more than a few hours and delay his getting to Stone and Raven's (hey some sort of diabolical law firm?) ZMA builds. Wink


You just earned plus two in cool factor with me. Thinking of our ZMA amps first, and coming up with a cool and diabolical company name!


J- I'm starting to wonder if maybe your just hearing the inherent tube noise that comes with tube amps...they aren't dead quiet, and if your room is super quiet, you can actually hear that slight buzz of the current going through the tubes come out of the speakers. My 2 watt, 15 year old Zen amp used to have a lot of that, but is much, much quieter with new tubes and Steve's circuit mods (I had a big tune up done on the old amp). If that's what it is, I personally feel it's just nature of the beast with very transparent, single ended tubes.
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Lord Soth
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #16 - 12/12/13 at 16:14:03
 
I confirm that my Torii MK4 is dead quiet and Hum free.

I always turn on my MK4 and let it cook for 30 mins before my audio sessions.
There is no tube hiss too.
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jsm71
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #17 - 12/14/13 at 15:08:35
 
Well, I solved the problem the audiophile way.  After talking to Steve and hearing that the faint sound was inherent, I decided to take the only sensible path left.  Upgrade to the ZMA!  Steve and I worked out how that will happen.  Don't worry, I'm at the back of the list. Grin

This actually solved another dilemma that was eating at me.  I've been holding on to a monster SS amp as an insurance policy if the MK IV proves too weak when I get a bigger listening room.  Selling the SS amp will more than cover the cost of the upgrade and I will have an amp with enough power for any room.

I should have pulled this trigger as soon as the ZMA was announced, but the MK IV sounds so damned good I was nervous.  I will now have visions of meters and big ass caps dancing in my dreams during the cold months ahead.

Scott

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Lon
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #18 - 12/14/13 at 15:27:04
 
Awesome Scott! An elegant way to solve your problem. . . I hope the ZMA doesn't have that hum!

I'm sure someone will take that IV off your hands if it's not part of a structured deal with Steve. And you will be able to give valuable comparisons between the two amps.
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tgarden
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #19 - 12/14/13 at 16:24:02
 
It's interesting about the hum of Scott's MKIV.

I had hum issues from time to time with my MK II and III.  Once I started using a Running  Springs Audio Haley (latest version) on my MK III, it became dead silent. I was previously using a a PS Audio Quintet, and before that, PS Audio Power Plant Premiers (one of the first 100 built and a later replacement, both self-destructed).  

Now that I've converted my MK III to a MKIV, it's still dead silent.  No transformer hum. I can hear the rectifier tubes if I put my ears close to them, but that's it for amp noise.

Mike in Seattle area

ps  I should mention I'm using a PS Audio Duet in my second system (ZSM's with Jupiter caps), and they are dead silent.

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« Last Edit: 12/14/13 at 16:28:10 by tgarden »  
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Lord Soth
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #20 - 12/15/13 at 00:30:25
 
I do hope that Scott's problems are solved with the new ZMA.

In my audio (and home theatre) system, I'm using a simple Belkin Surge Protector with some EMI/RFI filtering.

http://www.belkin.com/us/F9H710-12-Belkin/p/P-F9H710-12/

Nothing fancy or expensive.

I leave the final AC power cleanup job to the Torii MK4's VR tubes! Wink
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jsm71
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #21 - 12/15/13 at 15:11:31
 
I want to be clear about what I was hearing so anyone reading this thread isn't confused.  The sound through my speakers is dead quiet.  Steve's design is great.  What I hear is a very faint electrical hum from the transformer's windings.  I know enough about electricity to know that current running through wires will generate this sound.  You can hear power lines as well if you are close enough.  Experimenting with my power conditioner was beneficial and yielded better and cleaner sound through the speakers, but physics still prevail with the transformers.  I had a hard time believing this noise was in the signal path.  A number of designers use covers over their transformers if not not the whole amp, and if not this issue would likely be discussed more.  I like the open design however.

Steve in fact told me (no surprise) that all transformers have this inherent hum.  I really expect that the ZMA may also give me similar behavior and if so that won't be part of the "mystery".  Sorry for the pun.  I really believe in a more open room this will all become moot.  Today the easiest remedy is lowering the stylus on to the record.

Scott  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #22 - 12/15/13 at 17:55:50
 
Well said Scott!


I do think some companies have potted transformers. They are basically dipped in epoxy or some other tough material that can soak into the windings and keep them from vibrating in the current. Not that that is going to help you, just throwing that info out there.



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« Last Edit: 12/15/13 at 17:56:49 by Lonely Raven »  
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Lord Soth
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #23 - 12/16/13 at 14:47:04
 
For my Torii MK4, the closest I ever get to my amp is when I have to change the volume.

At that close distance, I still can't hear any external transformer hum emanating from my unit.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #24 - 12/16/13 at 19:36:50
 
LS - I think it's probably a local power issue. After this thread, I gave my Zen Amp's transformer a good listen to - I don't have to go up to change the volume since my Oppo has variable voltage analog outs on it, so it's been a while since I stuck my ear right up to it. Sure enough, I can hear the transformer humming...I was thinking how I never noticed this before as I got up to get a drink from the fridge (just one room over) and the hum of the fridge matched the hum of the Zen Amp's transformer EXACTLY.

Well, that solves that one for me. LOL

My noise floor in my listening room isn't that good, what with dogs rustling and cats pawing at stuff, and the fiance's laptop cooling fan going, traffic just outside the window, heat kicking in. It's a wonder I hear any micro-detail at all! So someone in a great listening room with really low noise floor (I can only wish), would probably notice details like this much more.

Plus, as stated above, it's nothing a needle drop doesn't take care of...or in my case a double click on the 24/96 or DSD file.  :D
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« Last Edit: 12/16/13 at 19:38:16 by Lonely Raven »  
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Lord Soth
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #25 - 12/17/13 at 02:01:15
 
Hi LR,

Yes, I agree with you and Scott.

My listening area is semi-open rather than a "man cave ".
So maybe the natural transformer hum is more pronounced in dedicated listening rooms.

The power lines in my residential area are also very clean.
I've never had any Hum issues with audio equipment both Decware or otherwise.

On a side note, I'm using an Oppo-95.
I belong to the religious (*) category of audiophiles who believes in using the max output volume of the DAC, hence I don't mind the "extra" exercise involved in changing the volume manually. Smiley


(*) I suppose this make me a Puritan then Wink
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #26 - 12/17/13 at 02:58:51
 

LS - I've tried both ways (DAC full on or Amp full on), and I hear no difference. Granted, the Oppo is variable analog voltage, so I don't worry about losing bits turning it down - and as Steve reminded me, the volume pots on amps sound better the higher they are. If it was a different mix of equipment, it might be a different choice.

When my big amp shows up, I'm going to retry and see if my opinion and method changes. I am kinda stuck on this remove volume though, especially since I've been jumping tracks lately rather than playing an album from end to end.
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Lord Soth
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #27 - 12/19/13 at 01:36:30
 
LR,

I could not resist testing my equipment, must be a carry over of my tube rolling OCD. Wink

Late at night with minimal ambient noise, I turned on my MK4 and put my ears literally next to the transformers.
There was completely no hum nor any noise at all!
If it weren't for the fact that my tubes were glowing, I might have thought that the MK4 was turned off.

As for the Oppo's digital volume control , my settings are normally

Oppo 95 : MAX 100 Fixed volume
MK4: 9 turns volume

I then tested it with
OPPO 95 : Variable Volume 90-95
MK4: 11 turns volume

In my audio chain, with variable volume, there was something missing from my music.
I can't say for sure, I admit that it might even be Psychologically induced, but I felt less drawn by the music.

For this reason, I'll stick to my normal Oppo 95 settings and change the mk4 volume manually.
I'm using pure silver interconnects and speaker cables so my audio chain is really sensitive to the minutest changes made.
This could be the reason why the adverse effects of using an extra volume control are more pronounced in my audio chain.
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ckc527
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Re: Hum in a transformer
Reply #28 - 09/10/14 at 23:39:17
 
JSM, did upgrading to ZMA solve the transformer hum issue?

Thanks,
ckc



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