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USB Noise (Read 3013 times)
Donnie
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USB Noise
04/10/20 at 13:49:35
 
I've had an interesting problem pop up recently that is driving me crazy.
A low level buzz from my USB connection has popped up.
The noise is a buzzing whirring sound that is just loud enough to make me want to smack the computer with a ball pein hammer.

A bit of history, I had a several year old Dell computer that was a monster, SSD drives all over the place 16 Gigs of RAM, the whole shooting match. It had played silently for years, then all of a sudden it started buzzing through the USB. So I thought that the computer had served it's life well and that it would be a good time to upgrade.

I ordered up a new Dell, a smaller form factor and with the newest i5 processor, with the hope that it would produce less heat and that the fan wouldn't ever have the need to run.

Well guess what? I still have a buzz.
So the trouble shooting really began.

All of the USB devices were removed other than the DAC (mouse and keyboard) and I converted over to using my phone as a remote to operate the system. Buzz buzz.

I rerouted all of the cables to and from my DAC, nothing.

Then I started to blame my DAC.
So the DAC was then connected to my Dell laptop, pure silence, no problem with the DAC.

JRiver had a new version of their Media Player, so it was installed with no luck.

So where to go from here? I really don't like using my laptop as a server, I'd prefer to use it to it to harass all of you folks while playing music.

Would a USB noise harvester work? Audioquest has one but I'm not too sure it would cure what I have.

Do I just give up and use the laptop?

Maybe a new DAC?

Hell, I hooked up my cheap DVD player up to play CD's because the noise from the computer was driving me crazy.
And if you know anything about my hatred of of physical media, you know that was a huge step back for me.

Or I guess I could sit in my chair and hum to myself.

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Geno
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #1 - 04/10/20 at 14:27:56
 
Donnie,  I so enjoy your posts. They always tickle me.

Have you tried a different (maybe better quality?) usb cable?
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Donnie
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #2 - 04/10/20 at 14:58:38
 
Thanks Geno.
Yep, I've changed USB cables. In fact, after I saw your post I took the cable from my phone charger and hooked it up real quickly to the DAC, Buzz buzz.
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Geno
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Without music, life
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #3 - 04/10/20 at 15:58:20
 
Iím sorry. Without question, the most aggravating thing about this hobby, is troubleshooting hums and buzzes!

If this is a buzz, I would think that is a ground loop caused by the locations of power cords or outlet, as opposed to a hum caused by interconnect locations.

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SE84UFO(25th Mods) / CSP3
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Technics 1210 MK5 (KAB Mods)- KAB/Ortof ProS 40 cart / ZP3 (25th Mods)
Otari MX5050 R2R
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Donnie
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Why does it hurt
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #4 - 04/10/20 at 17:22:28
 
This isn't a regular hum or buzz. It is computer noise, different sounding. Kind of like how a tube TV screen buzzes. ZZZZZ sounding, with clicks and pops and it changes pitch and tone with what is going on the monitor.
Yes I also unhooked the monitor's HDMI cable.
Maybe the sound is from the hard drives switching back and forth??

It has been more noticeable with Dan the Amp than with my Torii, but I think that Dan's greater gain has to do with that.

It isn't as noticeable when I really crank up the volume, but I think that my wife would get a little peeved at me when I wake up at 3:00 AM and start playing something at Mach 5!

The upside is that my laptop is dead quiet. I guess that at least for now it can be my server.
It just stinks to find out that dropping $1200 on a new computer was a waste of time and money.

I just thought of something else to try. There is a Wadia DAC/AMP out in the garage, I will see if it buzzes.
If it doesn't buzz maybe it is my DAC???

I'm normally really good at systematically diagnosing problems but this one is a headache to me.

Or it could be that Diet Dr. Pepper I just drank.
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Archie
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #5 - 04/10/20 at 17:30:03
 
Could this be a wi-fi issue?  I've seen that several times in this Forum.
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Donnie
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #6 - 04/10/20 at 17:54:44
 
Well the Wadia DAC/AMP is silent.
It sure doesn't sound as good as Dan the Amp nor my Torii.

Now I'm at a crossroads in my thinking process.

On one hand my Grace Designs DAC sounds great and processes DSD through my laptop, silently and without a glitch.

On the other hand my new super zoop computer buzzes like a maraca when used with the Grace.

Do I now use my laptop as the server for music with the Grace?

Do I drop some serious coin on a new DAC without really knowing if the problem will go away with the change over?

I guess I could just run the Wadia and give away my Torii and Dan the Amp, hell I guess I throw the Grace in too.

I think I will go out in the cold and mow the grass, at least it is sunny out there.

Oh Archie, I just saw your question.
I don't think that it is a WIFI problem. I usually have it turned off on the desktop, and the laptop's is turned on, but without any buzzing from it.
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Dana
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #7 - 04/10/20 at 19:38:29
 
Sounds like a USB driver issue to me. †I had a problem with my computer that moving the mouse would cause static in the music. †I don't know if Grace has a support line but they might be able to suggest a different software driver or USB board with a different chip set that would stop that so your money could be used for a better cause, like beer...

https://www.gracedesign.com/support/drivers/XMOS-Stereo-USB-Audio-Class2-Driver-...

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Tom Waits:
And the newspapers were fooling,
And the ash-trays have retired
'Cause the piano has been drinking,
The piano has been drinking
The piano has been drinking,
Not me, not me, not me, not me, not me
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Donnie
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Why does it hurt
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #8 - 04/10/20 at 22:44:49
 
Thanks Dana,
I had those drivers already installed, but went ahead and re-downloaded them again.

Still nothing.

Your mouse buzz sounds a lot like what I'm hearing, but mine is always in the background.

Squeak, buzz, crackle, pop. All at about 45 Db, just enough to drive me crazy, always in the background.

But at least my laptop is quiet, it just sucks sitting up here between the speakers to type this.
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Showme
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #9 - 04/10/20 at 22:52:00
 
I would just keep buying and replacing equipment until it stopped. 🤣
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armstdav
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #10 - 04/11/20 at 04:19:12
 
Is it possible it's a ground loop that's present using the desktop but is eliminated with the laptop? Have you tried a 3-prong adapter on the desktop computer power cord?
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Dana
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #11 - 04/11/20 at 08:19:50
 
A windows update finally fixed my issue but may have caused yours. †Using different players windows Media player, foobar etc make any sound difference? †It's a pain but you can burn a bootable Linux disc that doesn't affect your current install too determine if it's a defective USB controller chip. †What happens if you remove the current driver and use the standard windows USB driver?

Some computers have USB 2.0 &3.0 ports does changing ports make any difference?
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Tom Waits:
And the newspapers were fooling,
And the ash-trays have retired
'Cause the piano has been drinking,
The piano has been drinking
The piano has been drinking,
Not me, not me, not me, not me, not me
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MarioEd
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #12 - 04/12/20 at 22:35:32
 
Hi Donnie,
I had an issue a couple of years ago with usb noise from a computer into a dac. I ended up getting a Wyred 4 Sound Recovery reclocker to put between the computer and dac. It cleaned up the noise completely. A similar product is the UpTone usb regen, I tried one but thoufgt the W4S reclocker did a better job. At the moment W4S has the reclocker on sale.
Regards,
Mario
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Donnie
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Why does it hurt
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #13 - 04/18/20 at 03:12:13
 
Well happy days are here again!

I figured the MF'r out.

I was sitting here trying to listen to music and all I could hear was the buzzing, popping, and gurgling noises coming out of my speakers just above the noise floor. You know how the drip drip drip of a leaking faucet sounds in the middle of the night?

So it became a battle between me and the noise, Mano A Computer, may the best win.

So I started by unplugging everything but the DAC from the computer, it fixed nothing. I put a different power cord on it, still nothing.

I was then running out of ideas, then the thought of moving the computer to the floor came to me, so when I moved it the power cord became too short, no big deal just plug it into the power strip that I had the monitor and crap like that plugged into.

Silence, blissful quiet. Who would have thought that?

It must have been a ground loop between the two lines.

See dogged persistence works. Everything has to be checked, and it is always the basics.

So I guess I can save my $1275 that I had for a new DAC and spend it on a new purse for my wife. But a new DAC would be pretty cool....

Thanks to everyone for their help.
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Dana
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #14 - 04/18/20 at 06:50:52
 
Congrats. Sure you don't want a new DAC???
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Tom Waits:
And the newspapers were fooling,
And the ash-trays have retired
'Cause the piano has been drinking,
The piano has been drinking
The piano has been drinking,
Not me, not me, not me, not me, not me
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Donnie
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Why does it hurt
when I pee?

Posts: 1825
Re: USB Noise
Reply #15 - 04/18/20 at 12:28:48
 
Dana,

I could have my arm twisted into buying a new DAC. Perhaps a Denafrips Ares II.

Who out there is man enough to twist my arm?
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ArtMan
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #16 - 04/18/20 at 15:24:46
 
Donnie,

You can get the Ares II and a purse for your wife for $1200. You can make everyone happy.

Is that a good enough twist?
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Dominick
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #17 - 04/18/20 at 15:29:53
 
DonnieÖ Great to hear that you finally won the battle your computer. † Ground loop computer noises are definitely like fire ants crawling on your skin ( Not that Iíve ever had that experience but I can only imagine).

For $50 bucks the Audio Quest Jitterbug  I have heard is actually pretty decent. †It may or may not have worked, but it would have been worth the shot if you didnít discover the problem and fix the issue. †

I have always made it a point to run my computer on a APC battery back up, more for some protection than anything else, † so thank God Iíve never really had any issues with weird humming noises. †

Glad to hear you the noise issues are goneÖ Now you can just enjoy the music!! †

Dom
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Donnie
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Why does it hurt
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #18 - 04/18/20 at 16:30:21
 
ArtMan,

You convinced me! My shoulder now hurts from your twisting.

There is one Denafrips Ares II with my name on it.

Now to stay calm until it can be delivered.
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ArtMan
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Re: USB Noise
Reply #19 - 04/18/20 at 20:57:47
 
Donnie,

I have the bigger brother Pontus and love the sound. The Ares 2 is supposed to be excellent for the price. It will make you happy.
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