Noise

Huge posted:

Hi Ardbeg,

I don't think the OP is confused about hiss vs hum, but maybe a little confused as to the distinction between noise and distortion.

Is your hum through the speakers or from the transformers of the PSUs in the components themselves?

In terms of the 'transformers' (actually they're probably SMPSs) for low voltage lighting, then these won't have any effect when the lights are off (no current = no power = no EMI), also the main house lighting will be on a completely different circuit to the mains power distribution making that a less likely source of interference.

For the microwave, there should be an isolation switch somewhere in the kitchen, try turning it off using that and see if the hum goes (if not it's something else - of course it could always be coming in on the mains supply from outside your house).

Huge, I have a very distant soft hum in the loudspeakers of my home office. I think this is some mains wire being close to a cable, or a smps. It is unforuntatly a bit cluttered again in my hifi stack. Need to clean up things: all office hifi, printer, raspberry pi, my synthesizer, switch and pc are on the same power bar. I think the issue will go.

My SN1 transformer loves to hum pretty loud. I took it to my parents house and there the hum was pretty civilized. It was there, but much less than in my house. I've noticed that when I print a document the hum gets more intense - the Samsung printer seems to send a lot of noise on the mains. My microwave (from 1993) is giving the same hum as my SN1 and it is one of the few devices I can't disconnect. It is in-build in the kitchen. You are probably right about the lights. There is a dimming switch and there is indeed no audible hum or so.

By the way, I have an old house. My electricity is really a chaos. Livingroom, Kitchen, Home office and bathroom are all on the same ring. It is quite bizar but takes significant money to change. I'm actually impressed by how good the Hifi still performs. However I have earth wires, I don't think the earthing is operating properly. Several metal devices like my macbook or telly give 'resistance' when I stroke them.

I had a Naim 5i integrated and now a Supernait 2. With both amps, If the volume is all the way down, in a completely quiet room, with my ears 2-3 inches from my speakers, I hear a very low hiss. This hiss never interfered with the performance of the system. I asked my dealer if this was normal for Naim amps years ago. He said yes, but I don't remember the reason he explained to me. I never worried about it. 

There was no mute button on the 5i. Out of curiosity, when I get back home, I will use the mute button on my Supernait 2 to see if there is still a hiss. 

SimonPeterArnold posted:

I hear a little voice from my system whispering "how much did you pay, how much? I hope it's worth it? Sssssssssss" or is it just in my head?  I just ignore it and enjoy the music. 

Mine hisses

"Your mates system sounds better than yours and he didn't pay nearly as much"

I'm sure that's real ....not in my head

Since I replaced a NAP200Dr with a brand new NAP250Dr, I also have a hiss in the loudspeakers. It is not a constant, monotone hiss, but it changes constantly and comes close to "scratch" sound. It is at very low volume level and seems to come from the tweeters. Strange thing is: it is not there every day and only happens when I select streaming or Tidal as source (my TV Digital decoder is also connected through the NDX, but when I select this source there is never a hiss) 

This noise issue sorta reminds me of the man who visited a veterinarian with the problem of every time he pets his dog while the dog is eating, the dog snaps at him.  He has tried everything.   The vets replied, “when the dog is eating, don’t pet him”.   So, if I near hissing when I stand close to the speakers, don’t stand next to the speakers.  

Zackwater posted:

This noise issue sorta reminds me of the man who visited a veterinarian with the problem of every time he pets his dog while the dog is eating, the dog snaps at him.  He has tried everything.   The vets replied, “when the dog is eating, don’t pet him”.   So, if I near hissing when I stand close to the speakers, don’t stand next to the speakers.  

Indeed, and if the hiss - or indeed other noise - is quiet as it should be, and either inaudible at the listening position or so quiet that you don’t really notice it unless you focus on it, and completely inaudible below the lowest level of the music, then all is normal and nothing to worry about - different if it is loud enough to be intrusive in some way, which with decent equipment would suggest something wrong (other than, perhaps, if using highly efficient speakers like horns).

Huge posted:

Indeed, provided you can't hear it from the listening position, don't worry about it, it's normal for some designs (such as Naim).

If Naim were to design out the low level of noise, doing so would have a detrimental effect on sound quality (but quite how much detriment is difficult to say - the difference may actually be quite small but Naim's philosophy is to always maximise sound quality).

And if you can? I can easily hear mine from the listening position. Still normal ... apparently. 

 

Got Hi-Fi? posted:
Huge posted:

Indeed, provided you can't hear it from the listening position, don't worry about it, it's normal for some designs (such as Naim).

If Naim were to design out the low level of noise, doing so would have a detrimental effect on sound quality (but quite how much detriment is difficult to say - the difference may actually be quite small but Naim's philosophy is to always maximise sound quality).

And if you can? I can easily hear mine from the listening position. Still normal ... apparently. 

 

Is that with the pre-amp muted (or the volume control set to zero)?
Is it the same on both channels?

If the answer to the first is 'Yes' or the answer to the second is 'No', then you need to measure the RMS voltage of the noise.

Huge posted:
Got Hi-Fi? posted:
Huge posted:

Indeed, provided you can't hear it from the listening position, don't worry about it, it's normal for some designs (such as Naim).

If Naim were to design out the low level of noise, doing so would have a detrimental effect on sound quality (but quite how much detriment is difficult to say - the difference may actually be quite small but Naim's philosophy is to always maximise sound quality).

And if you can? I can easily hear mine from the listening position. Still normal ... apparently. 

 

Then you need to measure the RMS voltage of the noise.

Is that with the pre-amp muted (or the volume control set to zero)?
Is it the same on both channels?

Yep, same on both channels, volume and mute have no effect at all, its the same when muted/vol at zero as it is when not muted/vol at half. With the 202 off and the 200DR still on, there is no hiss at all. I have been told that it is from the pre-amp. I also tried another pre-amp, and there was no difference. 

Zackwater posted:
yeti42 posted:

What are the speakers, something uncommonly sensitive?

My speakers are Focal Utopia Maestro.   Now that I know I’m not alone hearing the hissing, I’m much better. Misery loves company. 

At 93 dB/2.83v @ 1m, not the highest sensitivity around, but higher than average: 6dB more sensitive than mine, which are a fairly average 87dB/2.83v @ 1m, so that is like amplifying the hiss with four times the power, making it more audible.

Not so Got HiFi’s Elacs & B&Ws, both said to be 88dB/2.83v @ 1m.

Yeah, guess we gotta take the bad with the good to get the amazing sound we have. I have considered switching brands once or twice due to insane transformer hums and hissing, but at the cost of losing the "naim" sound, I haven't taken that chance. Good thing is, I never notice any of it when I am listening, only when the room is silent, so play on I say! 

Got Hi-Fi? posted:

Yeah, guess we gotta take the bad with the good to get the amazing sound we have. I have considered switching brands once or twice due to insane transformer hums and hissing, but at the cost of losing the "naim" sound, I haven't taken that chance. Good thing is, I never notice any of it when I am listening, only when the room is silent, so play on I say! 

Is it intrusive when not playing, or do you turn the amp off? 

Innocent Bystander posted:
Got Hi-Fi? posted:

Yeah, guess we gotta take the bad with the good to get the amazing sound we have. I have considered switching brands once or twice due to insane transformer hums and hissing, but at the cost of losing the "naim" sound, I haven't taken that chance. Good thing is, I never notice any of it when I am listening, only when the room is silent, so play on I say! 

Is it intrusive when not playing, or do you turn the amp off? 

I have put an Emotiva CMX-2 on the system to control transformer hum, since then, I rarely notice it. I hear the hiss more, but not enough to be intrusive. I never turn it off. 

Humming and hissing is okay? Just part of the Naim Sound?  Boy, Naim engineers must get a good laugh out of that.  They can't get rid of the noise?  No problem, just charge the customer more & tell us it's something special - The Naim Sound.  Luckily my gear is silent.  If it weren't, I'd sell it to a Naim acolyte in a heartbeat & try something else.

docmark posted:

Humming and hissing is okay? Just part of the Naim Sound?  Boy, Naim engineers must get a good laugh out of that.  They can't get rid of the noise?  No problem, just charge the customer more & tell us it's something special - The Naim Sound.  Luckily my gear is silent.  If it weren't, I'd sell it to a Naim acolyte in a heartbeat & try something else.

Why are you even on this forum then? Surely there is plenty of gear out there that sounds as good as Naim, but it will also sound different. If one chooses to like the sound of Naim, I believe that is their choice, Naim engineers aren't forcing anything on anyone. 

As I have said, my gear is silent, so I'll hang onto it.  I happen to like the way it sounds.  Is it the elusive Naim Sound?  Don't know  & don't care.  I have numerous Naim cables, including Super Lumina, but also use use other ones, such as Crystal Cable & Siltech.  Do they have an effect on the way things sound?  Probably, but on the positive side.  I like Naim gear, but don't but don't buy into the whole Naim philosophy.  It's good gear but not magical - nothing is.  Will I purchase other pieces?  Probably, if I like the way they sound when added to my system.  Have I purchased gear made by another company?  Yes, I have a Chord Dave DAC, which sounds far superior to my 272 DAC.  Maybe it's time to move onto something other than the 272.  Will it be more Naim gear?  We'll see what's out there.

docmark posted:

As I have said, my gear is silent, so I'll hang onto it.  I happen to like the way it sounds.  Is it the elusive Naim Sound?  Don't know  & don't care.  I have numerous Naim cables, including Super Lumina, but also use use other ones, such as Crystal Cable & Siltech.  Do they have an effect on the way things sound?  Probably, but on the positive side.  I like Naim gear, but don't but don't buy into the whole Naim philosophy.  It's good gear but not magical - nothing is.  Will I purchase other pieces?  Probably, if I like the way they sound when added to my system.  Have I purchased gear made by another company?  Yes, I have a Chord Dave DAC, which sounds far superior to my 272 DAC.  Maybe it's time to move onto something other than the 272.  Will it be more Naim gear?  We'll see what's out there.

Ah ok, the way you were talking about Naim, I thought you meant you had other brands of gear and didn't like Naim.  To me, it is magical, I love the way my system sounds, it is not all Naim, just amplification/DAC. If I could find another brand that sounded the same and was silent, would I switch? Maybe! So I get you. 

No, I quite like Naim.   I feel though, as with any other brand of audio gear, that there is always room for improvement, hence the different interconnects (SL DIN-XLR & SL RCA-RCA, Siltech digital cable), power cables (3 Powerline, 1 Siltech, 1 Nordost Odin), and a Furutech power distributor. 

Huge posted:

Indeed, provided you can't hear it from the listening position, don't worry about it, it's normal for some designs (such as Naim).

If Naim were to design out the low level of noise, doing so would have a detrimental effect on sound quality (but quite how much detriment is difficult to say - the difference may actually be quite small but Naim's philosophy is to always maximise sound quality).

Well, how is a hissing sound maximizing the sound quality? I feel it’s more like the opposite, a kind of distortion that’s polluting the sound quality... to be honest..

but I don’t mind, my foot is tapping..

It's not the removal of the noise per say that would be detrimental (I agree that, in itself, would be an improvement), but it's the circuit and component changes that would be needed to remove the noise sources - that's where the detriment would come.

It does seem odd that some people report the hiss loud enough to be very clearly evident at the oistening position, yet others say only audible right up by the speakers - and with the two who have identified their speakers it doe not seem to be purely with particilarly sensitive speakers. Maybe it would be worth people with Naim amps identifying here what amp, the sensitivity of their speakers, listening distance, and some indication of how loud the hiss is at the listening position. With a number of responses people may be able to work out if their amp is atypically hissy, suggesting a possible fault that could be worth having it looked at.

As suggested in the post above, I run a Naim 82/Supercap/135s rig into B&W 804S, nominal sensitivity 90db (1 watt at 1m), listening position about 4m away, no audible hiss until I have my ear within 2-3 centimetres of the tweeter. No audible hum from the transformers either, although I admit I haven't tried lying beside the bottom of the rack to get very close.

I also have a Uniti Nova into PMC twenty5.23, nominal sensitivity 86.5db 1W 1m, listening position about 3m, no audible hiss at listening position. Again no hiss until really close, 1-2 cm from speaker.

Just started playing around and located the source of me noise.  When I turn the amp off, nap 300dr, it goes away.  I also noticed it was worse from thee speaker closest to my components. Plus there is a faint music/talk mixed with the noise only on this speaker.  There is noise from both speakers, but the music/talk is only from one speaker.   Say what you want, but this is not right.  I can hear this from about a meter away, not from my listening position.  If I wanted this bs, I should have spent 2K at Best Buy.   I do have a dedicated circuit just for this system plus fancy power strip and the high dollar cables connecting the components.  Also, my dealer hooked it up.   Anyone want a deal, I’m in Arkansas.   

OK, that's not right it shouldn't do that.

You shouldn't be getting breakthrough (the stray music/talk you hear is referred to a breakthrough rather than noise - noise is quite specifically random fluctuation i.e. the hissing sound).

Just a thought...  Have you checked the routing of cables; try keeping all the interconnect cables and speaker cables (and even the Ethernet cables) away from the mains cables (they can cross at near to 90°, but shouldn't be placed close and parallel)

Also unlike noise, breakthrough CAN be related to a poor earth connection, either in your 'fancy power strip' or in the house wiring.  It's also worth trying the system with a simple power strip (rather than the 'fancy' one) or even better plugging the 300 and your source component(s) directly into the wall outlet(s).

Can you recognise the stray music/talk signal, is it a local radio station perhaps?

I hope one of these suggestions helps rather then having to change the whole system.

I contacted Naim’s customer service and the “hissing “  was normal and goes away when the music starts.  I guess I choose to believe them.  Especially after my local McIntosh dealer offered me $11,000 trade in allowance on $60,000 worth of 8 month old Naim equipment buying McIntosh at full retail.  I’ll just keep it and buy a 552 preamp.  

Zackwater posted:

I contacted Naim’s customer service and the “hissing “  was normal and goes away when the music starts.  I guess I choose to believe them.  Especially after my local McIntosh dealer offered me $11,000 trade in allowance on $60,000 worth of 8 month old Naim equipment buying McIntosh at full retail.  I’ll just keep it and buy a 552 preamp.  

Well, it doesn't exactly "go away" .. the music just drowns it out. You will still hear it between songs and on quiet passages. 

As I wrote before - my take on this is that the wiring in the house’s circuit or the power strip is off. Most likely the ‘earth’ in either. It’s enough if one of the connections is a bit loose.

Done correctly, a system of this caliber, should emit a very faint hiss, when unmuted. When I write ‘faint’ I do mean that - audible perhaps when putting one’s ear close to a tweeter. This means it’s alive and ready for action. 

 

Got Hi-Fi? posted:

Grounding issues do not cause hissing, they cause hum. Also, in my case, I have tried different circuits, different conditioners etc. even another pre. All have the same results, it is normal of Naim gear. 

And how do you know which one is exactly troubleing the OP?

I don’t think you shouldn’t be so dismissive of any suggestion.

Adam Zielinski posted:
Got Hi-Fi? posted:

Grounding issues do not cause hissing, they cause hum. Also, in my case, I have tried different circuits, different conditioners etc. even another pre. All have the same results, it is normal of Naim gear. 

And how do you know which one is exactly troubleing the OP?

I don’t think you shouldn’t be so dismissive of any suggestion.

"When there is nothing playing but you system is powered up, is there complete silence or is there “hissing” coming out of your speakers?  My six figure Naim system has distortion (hissing) coming out of the speakers.  Of course when the music is playing it is drowned out.   Is this the norm?"

^^ That is how I know, the OP has clearly stated his issue. The exact same issue I and many others have. This is normal Naim behaviour, not grounding/earthing issues. He clearly stated a hissing out of his speakers, not a hum/buzz. 

My Unitilite / Monitor Audio set up hisses, as did its predecessor NAC102 / NAP180 / Monitor Audio / Linn set up.  I always thought this was a Naim "feature" due to the high gain amplifier design.  Personally it doesn't bother me a jot and is only audible at very close range in a silent room.  

On an unused input I get a faint signal breaking through with the volume turned up full, the signal has audible hiss behind it. I didn't get much past half way where an idle superline is connected before there was background noise audible but it's still way below record surface noise level so not really an issue, nothing noticable If I leave the volume at 11 after playing a record LOUD. My speakers (NBLs) are around 3dB less sensitive than the OPs but even so I'm surprised he has audible hiss feet from the speakers. He may just have jounger ears however.

Either:

  • It's the normal theremal noise from the electronics.
  • It's data traffic on the power circuit as per Iver.
  • There's oscillation in the amplifier from a poor choice of speaker cable or a fault (a warm amp at idle would be a hint this is happening).

Have I forgotten anything?

 

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