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Audiophilia: Headphones, Amps, DAPs, and Empty Wallets

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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
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    Built a new pair of speakers from Parts Express. The 'Passive Aggressive' set.

    These are the fifteenth and sixteenth speakers I've ever built and see the first to have an annoying high pitched hum when nothing is playing. It's not any interference from the AC power or the amp, it persists across all inputs, and it goes up and down with volume.

    The build itself was a pain in the ass and positioning the crossover was very challenging to where I had to lengthen connections with MIG aluminum wire to be get everything to fit without bumping into the driver or the passive radiators.

    I'm 90% sure it's a loose positive terminal because I can modulate the hum by wiggling the positive terminal outlined, but my Acousta Stuff isn't due to arrive until Saturday so I'm going to endure it until I open it up and start fucking around with the wires again.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Putting aside the hum, which is only present when it's not playing something, these sound fucking great! Much bigger than the size would suggest and this is still without any dampening in the box.

    These are a great replacement for bookshelf speakers.

    I don't think I would recommend them for a first time build just because of the challenging dimensions.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    I've stuffed these full of Acousta Stuff and they sound phenomenal.

    I can't get rid of the hum, I double checked all the wiring, looked good. Weirdly it only hums if both speakers are plugged in, if a single speaker is plugged in alone there is no hum (it doesn't matter which one it is).

    So that's very odd, but it's not present when music is playing so I don't think I'll do much more to chase it down.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    Lost CanuckLost Canuck World's Greatest Escape Artist Doctor Vundabar's Murder MachineRegistered User regular
    Is there any chance the hum is coming from one or more of your amp's tubes?

    QYW8SHm.jpg
    Nintendo Switch friend code: SW-4012-4821-3053
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Is there any chance the hum is coming from one or more of your amp's tubes?

    That's a good idea to check, it didn't happen with my last setup but something could have gotten loose.

    Honestly, they're all stock tubes from Mono price so I should probably upgrade them at some point.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    Is there any chance the hum is coming from one or more of your amp's tubes?

    That's a good idea to check, it didn't happen with my last setup but something could have gotten loose.

    Honestly, they're all stock tubes from Mono price so I should probably upgrade them at some point.

    Could it be the new speakers are driven more easily, this would cause them to "play" a hum which maybe the old ones didn't reveal.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    Is there any chance the hum is coming from one or more of your amp's tubes?

    That's a good idea to check, it didn't happen with my last setup but something could have gotten loose.

    Honestly, they're all stock tubes from Mono price so I should probably upgrade them at some point.

    Could it be the new speakers are driven more easily, this would cause them to "play" a hum which maybe the old ones didn't reveal.

    That's an interesting thought.

    If you turn on the amp, volume to 100%, no hum across any input (phone, auxiliary, or Bluetooth).

    If you turn on the amp, play anything (across the same inputs), hum once the song is finished.

    Turn off the amp and back on, no hum, play another song, hum returns.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    Almost sounds like a ground loop. Are all of your power connections grounded? Do your power connections plug in nice and snug, or do you have a worn outlet and endplay if you wiggle them?

    Here's a page that looks like it has some nice tips on humming, buzzing, and ground loop isolation: https://www.audioholics.com/home-theater-connection/ground-loops-eliminating-system-hum-and-buzz

    PSN: idontworkhere582 | CFN: idontworkhere | Steam: lordbutters | Amazon Wishlist
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    It's plugged into the same surge protector as it was with the old speakers but I think I'll buy a ground loop isolator anyway, which I should probably already have

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    I tried three separate ground loop isolators from the amp to the speakers without any success (weirdly enough with one of them the hum got worse).

    Waiting on a plug in ground loop isolator I can plug into my surge protector to see what happens. If that doesn't work I'll just live with this interesting bit of speaker character.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    I am assuming you used standard speaker wire and not something that has shielding around both leads, right? Some instrumentation-grade wire has aluminum shielding (usually with a drain wire) and if that's terminated on both ends that will cause a ground loop.

    Also, I wish to reiterate that all of your connections (both signal and power) are all secure. Looseness in any of them or a worn outlet can cause all kinds of weird problems. The last thing you can consider is an isolation transformer for your power unless that is what you meant by what you were plugging into your surge protector.

    PSN: idontworkhere582 | CFN: idontworkhere | Steam: lordbutters | Amazon Wishlist
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Butters wrote: »
    I am assuming you used standard speaker wire and not something that has shielding around both leads, right? Some instrumentation-grade wire has aluminum shielding (usually with a drain wire) and if that's terminated on both ends that will cause a ground loop.

    Also, I wish to reiterate that all of your connections (both signal and power) are all secure. Looseness in any of them or a worn outlet can cause all kinds of weird problems. The last thing you can consider is an isolation transformer for your power unless that is what you meant by what you were plugging into your surge protector.

    All of the internal connections are solid, or as solid as I can make them in this small of an enclosure.

    That isolation transformer for the surge protector is what I'm waiting for, yeah.

    I did have to use some aluminum MIG wire to connect two parts of the crossover because there was no other way to move the coils around, keep them separated by 90 degrees, and not collide with the driver or the passive radiator without it, so that could be something.

    Everything else is connected with standard speaker wire.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    And the wall socket your surge protector is plugged into is solid right? You don't have anything with 80-year-old worn power plugs? I am sure you checked this, but I know I had some bad sockets in my old-ass house that I didn't replace right away and waited until they were a problem.

    PSN: idontworkhere582 | CFN: idontworkhere | Steam: lordbutters | Amazon Wishlist
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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Try the speakers in another person's house, if you've already tried other outlets in your house. Sometimes, a speaker hum can come from a nearby electrical transformer IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, of all places.

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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    No loose sockets here and it's the same outlet as the my previous set used (which I also built).

    The hum does happen with the handful of outlets I've tried in my house, but not with other speakers.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    Any suggestions on PC headphones that are noise canceling? They don't need to be high quality or anything but my son plays Geometry Dash wish causes him to click his mouse like a trillion times and it drives me up the wall when I'm working.

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    NaphtaliNaphtali Hazy + Flow SeaRegistered User regular
    urahonky wrote: »
    Any suggestions on PC headphones that are noise canceling? They don't need to be high quality or anything but my son plays Geometry Dash wish causes him to click his mouse like a trillion times and it drives me up the wall when I'm working.

    What are you using for headphones now?

    Steam | Nintendo ID: Naphtali | Wish List
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    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    edited February 27
    urahonky wrote: »
    Any suggestions on PC headphones that are noise canceling? They don't need to be high quality or anything but my son plays Geometry Dash wish causes him to click his mouse like a trillion times and it drives me up the wall when I'm working.

    Look at what Jabra offers. I'm using their headsets for work, one at home and one in the office, and do pretty well keeping noise out from both my ears and also not letting people in the other end hear what is up where I sit.

    Plus there is also offerings from both B&O worth taking a look at, however all I can say personally is there headphones sound great and are super comfortable only the model I have is not noise canceling.

    PS. Not every mouse have buttons that click loudly, maybe worth considering also.

    BlindZenDriver on
    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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    urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    Naphtali wrote: »
    urahonky wrote: »
    Any suggestions on PC headphones that are noise canceling? They don't need to be high quality or anything but my son plays Geometry Dash wish causes him to click his mouse like a trillion times and it drives me up the wall when I'm working.

    What are you using for headphones now?

    I have a Hyper X Cloud pair (sorry I completely forgot about posting this question). And they aren't too comfortable with my glasses.

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    urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    urahonky wrote: »
    Any suggestions on PC headphones that are noise canceling? They don't need to be high quality or anything but my son plays Geometry Dash wish causes him to click his mouse like a trillion times and it drives me up the wall when I'm working.

    Look at what Jabra offers. I'm using their headsets for work, one at home and one in the office, and do pretty well keeping noise out from both my ears and also not letting people in the other end hear what is up where I sit.

    Plus there is also offerings from both B&O worth taking a look at, however all I can say personally is there headphones sound great and are super comfortable only the model I have is not noise canceling.

    PS. Not every mouse have buttons that click loudly, maybe worth considering also.

    I'll take a look at both! The issue is my son holds his finger like 2 or 3 inches from the mouse and taps it that way. If he kept his finger on the button it would significantly quieter.

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    NaphtaliNaphtali Hazy + Flow SeaRegistered User regular
    okay so you're already using closed-back headphones. hmm, the combination of glasses and trying to get a good seal for NC might be a problem.

    Steam | Nintendo ID: Naphtali | Wish List
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Well, the AC Power loop isolator didn't fix it either. I'm going to assume the hum has something to do with the aluminum wire I had to use to get the crossover to fit in the box in the first place.

    Well, whatever, it doesn't hum when actually playing music, just a nice little piece of character.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    Might be worth looking at noise canceling ear buds. You could look at custom molded ear tips to help with fatigue.

    It’ll be hard to get a good seal with glasses and over the ear headphones. However best buy usually has some of the top models from bose and sony to try on. Not perfect but you’d get an idea if their active NC could work with glasses.

    Origin ID\ Steam ID: Warder45
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    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    I'm thinking of making a few sets of headphones possibly to sell. I'm intending for them to be used most specifically in a stereo setup, but I'm debating if it's not a better idea to make the cables 3.5mm and just include a 1/4" adapter. Any thoughts on that? Or would it even matter?

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    DixonDixon Screwed...possibly doomed CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited March 16
    If you can swing it I'd def do the bump up to the 7800x3D over the 7900x, but I'm not sure what that one runs in NZ.

    7800x3D Benchmarks

    EDIT: Well this was totally the wrong thread

    Dixon on
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    I'm thinking of making a few sets of headphones possibly to sell. I'm intending for them to be used most specifically in a stereo setup, but I'm debating if it's not a better idea to make the cables 3.5mm and just include a 1/4" adapter. Any thoughts on that? Or would it even matter?

    That's exactly what I would do to provide the most options in use

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    I'm thinking of making a few sets of headphones possibly to sell. I'm intending for them to be used most specifically in a stereo setup, but I'm debating if it's not a better idea to make the cables 3.5mm and just include a 1/4" adapter. Any thoughts on that? Or would it even matter?

    I don't think a 1/4" adapter matters, as I am certain those with gear needing one are bound to already have several such adapters. However you could consider making the cable on the headphones detachable and letting people chose what cable type they want, this would also make it possible to offer different lengths (or give buyers the option of them self getting a extra long or short one).

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    I'm thinking of making a few sets of headphones possibly to sell. I'm intending for them to be used most specifically in a stereo setup, but I'm debating if it's not a better idea to make the cables 3.5mm and just include a 1/4" adapter. Any thoughts on that? Or would it even matter?

    I don't think a 1/4" adapter matters, as I am certain those with gear needing one are bound to already have several such adapters. However you could consider making the cable on the headphones detachable and letting people chose what cable type they want, this would also make it possible to offer different lengths (or give buyers the option of them self getting a extra long or short one).

    this is definitely the plan!

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    DixonDixon Screwed...possibly doomed CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited March 17
    Thinking about upgrading the home theatre system. Friend sent me over this deal. Anyone have experience or feedback on the models? The discount seems steep.
    grpnwohwum31.png

    I don't get how it's so cheap, if I purchased those pieces in Canada, it comes to $9700...is Adorama sketchy or something?

    EDIT:

    Well after reading a ton about them, the Sub seems great, the towers are good, but the others fall really short. Think I'll pass on it for now and keep the search going.

    Dixon on
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    Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    Speakers are 80-90% markup. So if there is a close out, you can see some really cheap prices.

    That said, once you start getting into that price range, I’d probably start looking for what kind of sound you like. Pretty sure Klipsch is a bright sound.

    Origin ID\ Steam ID: Warder45
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Speakers are insanely overpriced. The actual electronics that make them work are hundreds of dollars put into a box of MDF and finished with ten bucks and some wood veneer.

    You're always getting screwed on some level buying speakers and it becomes even worse if it's a brand name.

    If you can find out who actually made the drivers and tweeters you could get a sense of how much you're getting screwed.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    Speakers are insanely overpriced. The actual electronics that make them work are hundreds of dollars put into a box of MDF and finished with ten bucks and some wood veneer.

    You're always getting screwed on some level buying speakers and it becomes even worse if it's a brand name.

    If you can find out who actually made the drivers and tweeters you could get a sense of how much you're getting screwed.

    I think it is safe to say the overpricing differs, plus making really good speakers takes more than just throwing some units and electronics in MDF boxes - there is R&D, in some cases lots of R&D.
    With pricing it is essentially no different than with anything else we can buy, only it is worth remembering that with bigger speakers it is not only electronics it is also furniture so handling and shipping plays more a role than with physically small products.

    PS. Nice ones are certainly not "ten bucks and some wood veneer", it is more good furniture finish.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    So I added a tool to my HIFI gear, a measuring microphone with calibration data so I can measure and make frequency response curves. A MiniDSP UMIK-1 to be specific.

    Now my plan is to use the measurements to experiment with speaker placements, furniture placement and so on. The first step was just to make some measurements, here is what I found measuring first my main speakers and then my computer speakers.

    Microphone placed where my head usually is when sitting in my listening chair, the speakers are a pair of vintage/okd Infinity Kappa 90 floor standing speakers.
    ydjrhu59bfg5.jpg

    And then with the microphone in my desk chair where head is, when sitting in front of my computer. The speakers is a pair of B&W MM-1 desk speakers.
    lgc7xr4otwgi.jpg

    Both graphs are dB on the x-axis, with 75 dB marked, and then 20-20.000Hz on the y-axis. I used REW as the software to generation the test signal, record and show the results.

    Seeing the measurements was eye opening to me, since I did expect the curves to be flatter only one can of course not compare the curves from speakers being measured in a lab environment to what happens in the real world.

    Both measurements was done in my office/media room, not a place especially optimized for listening just a sort of cozy office that also has a sofa and a soft chair to sit in.

    For the floor speakers I played the test signal from my PC, fed it through an optical cable to a Cambrige DACmagic, which in turn send its signal to a ML 532H that drives the Kappa 90. And with the desk speakers it was simply an USB cable directly to the MM-1's as they are powered speakers with their own internal DAC and amp.

    Thoughts?

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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