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Humming stopped - new cable the solution

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Pedro2's picture
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Joined: 29 Nov 2010
Posts: 70

It's a long story but over the years, I've tried a number of interconnects (all under £100) but have nearly always been plagued with varying degrees of background hum on my system. Managed to stop it once with a set of balanced xlr between the dac and power amp but it returned with the purchase of a linn majik dsm feeding a separate power amp (I wasn't too keen on the Majik's built in power amp). 

I upgraded my Roksan LIII power recently with a Caspian M2 and was very pleased with the results. While giving it a rare burst of loud throttle, however, I again became very aware of the dreaded 'buzz' when the music stopped. Now I'm not going to knock the DSM resin interconnects because in a buzz free environment, I'm sure they will sound great. After yet another search for buzzing solutions, I came across a recommendation for a well insulated cable that may help. At only £40, the Atratus RCA interconnect seemed like it was worth a try so I ordered a pair.

The new cable's now been in the system for about 10 hours and I've got to say that the results have been very impressive. Virtually no hum even when the volume's up loud and the sound is spot on. Don't want to start waxing lyrical about cable sounds because I know that this would start the usual cable wars responses. Just a suggestion for anyone else out there with 'buzz' issues. It might be worth changing your interconnects....

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Pedro

Linn majik DSM, Roksan Caspian Power, Neat Motive 2SE

Joined: 27 May 2009
Posts: 2360
RE: Humming stopped - new cable the solution

Known for knowing nothing I can only suggest that cables will only supress a problem but not solve it. Others may help. My only buzz issue was with a TT, cured with a bad earth. Cheers

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abacus's picture
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Joined: 24 Sep 2008
Posts: 401
RE: Humming stopped - new cable the solution

Balanced cables and connections are designed to ignore all interference so no surprise the hum disappeared.

Your current unbalanced interconnect must have really good screening hence no interference is getting through.

However the fact that this problem has occurred with a number of cables means there is some serious electromagnetic interference coming from somewhere which needs to be sorted.

Alternatively you have a ground loop, and your current cable is of such poor quality that the screen is not making contact, thus removing the ground loop.

If it’s a 50Hz mains hum then make sure your mains and low level interconnects are as far apart as possible, and if they need to cross make so they do so at right angles.

Also try moving the equipment around on the rack/cabinet in case 2 pieces of equipment are interfering with each other.

Finally if you’re using any of the fancy mains cables, ditch them and put the ones that came with the equipment back in.

Hope this helps

Bill