Weird speaker buzz problem

stangman67
stangman67 Posts: 1,658
edited February 5 in 2 Channel Audio
Experiencing a bit of a weird buzzing problem over here. I purchased and installed a AQ Niagara 1200 power conditioner and at first had no issues. I listened for a few minutes, then turned the amp off and kept the pre/phono on to warm up. Went up this evening to listen, turned on my amp and was greeted by a decently loud buzz from the speakers. This was not low level tweeter hiss, but a transformery buzz.

Turning off pre/phono didn't do anything. Unplugging the Niagara from the wall stops the buzz (amp is directly plugged into the wall, same circuit as the AQ). Then plugging the AQ back in even without anything plugged in causes the buzz to return.

Now even more interesting, plugging the niagara in and then plugging my pre directly into the wall makes the buzz disappear.

I bought the Niagara open box, wondering if it is faulty. Went back to my old trusty Belkin PureAV and everything is peachy and dead quiet. Any ideas? It is an old house but all electrical was redone three years ago. Never had problem with noise until the AQ entered the house. Tempted to return it and buy a new one to see if there is still an issue, I really like the form factor of the 1200 so would like to give it another shot I think
2 Channel - 2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Cambridge 851N I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius


Comments

  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 11,100
    Can you try the 1200 downstairs in a different room/circuit with some different stereo gear and see if you can replicate the same behavior/symptoms?

    Definitely sounds like a defective unit at first glance.
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 1,658
    Believe it or not, I don’t have any stereo equipment in any other rooms but good suggestion!
    2 Channel - 2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Cambridge 851N I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius


  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 30,047
    edited February 6
    You're hearing it through the speakers, if I read correctly, so it doesn't sound like mechanical ("transformer') buzz -- i.e., you're not hearing the "laminations singing" in the PT of one of your components.

    Sounds, to me, therefore more like induced hum from the innards of the new component (very possibly a transformer or other inductor) into another component in your system (amp, preamp, or even source), or a cable acting as an antenna.
    Try moving the new conditioner: turn it 90 degrees, move it physically higher or lower with respect to its current location, and see if the hum/buzz changes in magnitude.

    Could also be a ground loop, I suppose, occasioned by the new component, given the preamp result described in the OP. One could try judiciously lifting a few grounds, here and there, with a cheater... although I guess the most likely culprit is probably the new kid on the block (conditioner), which might grumble about having its ground lifted. If your preamp has a 3-wire power cord, perhaps try lifting the ground between it and the conditioner.


    ws7ziavc2xd1.png

    EDIT: open box, eh? Hmmm... perhaps now you know why. :(

  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 1,658
    Thanks for the suggestions. I purchased a new one and it should be here on Tuesday. If the problem is gone, I will know the open box one is the issue. If not I will have to troubleshoot or return both and go a different route. I think I’ll try one of the IsoTek power strip sized conditioners next if this doesn’t get better with the new one. The Belkin never gave me any issues but it’s a full size component and I’m very tight on space now in my rack
    2 Channel - 2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Cambridge 851N I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius


  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 11,100
    Good troubleshooting technique, looking forward to the result.
  • txcoastal1
    txcoastal1 Posts: 12,284
    I've had good luck with the PS Audio Dectet AC Power Conditioner

    Bought 5 of them back in the day at 1/2 price sale back when they were $600

    That's why I was called out about the ones I have my pinball machines plugged into. When I was doing audio shows, hotels often had nasty power and they would clear up most of the issues.

    I also have a couple Furman Elite 15's and 20's be very happy with

    Your system rocks dude....big MW fan
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 1,658
    Appreciate the compliment! And the suggestion on the Dectet! I’ll keep that in mind if the second AQ doesn’t work out
    2 Channel - 2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Cambridge 851N I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius


  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 4,296
    Sounds like your power conditioner works better unplugged. Problem solved. ;)
    Gustard X26 Pro DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables
    Harman Kardon T65C w/Grado Gold. (Don't laugh. It sounds great!)


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 25,721
    audioluvr wrote: »
    Sounds like your power conditioner works better unplugged. Problem solved. ;)

    That's how most power conditioners sound best 🤔
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 1,658
    Unfortunately the second AQ Niagara still presents the buzzing problem. I did as much troubleshooting as I can with what I have to no avail. Whatever technology is being employed in the AQ just does not play well with my stuff. I could certainly lift grounds until I find the problem component, but I am going to go back to square one and try either an Isotek EVO 3 sirius or a PS Dectet
    2 Channel - 2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Cambridge 851N I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius


  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 11,100
    edited February 8
    Shunyata PS8 with the Venom Defender also worth a look. Happy with mine.

    FWIW I liked it better than the Dectet or the AQ 1200.
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 1,658
    Thanks for the suggestion! Does that provide any spike protection? Does not appear so to me, the protection factor is important for me as I live in a 100 year old house in an old community where we experience power events from time to time. I understand while surge protection doesn't always sound the best, I need to protect my investment to some extent
    2 Channel - 2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Cambridge 851N I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius


  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 1,658
    AH I see, the defender serves the protection purpose
    2 Channel - 2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Cambridge 851N I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius


  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 25,721
    Have you considered a whole house surge protector?

    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 25,721
    Siemens FS100 Protection Device Whole House Surge Protector, Gray https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013WINLIO/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_i_PD0FWS86JHSQQ123XGFV
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 11,100
    Heh heh you said siemen
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 1,658
    I really have not considered that route but it certainly is intriguing. I’ll have to do a bit of research and cost out having one installed
    2 Channel - 2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Cambridge 851N I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius


  • txcoastal1
    txcoastal1 Posts: 12,284
    edited February 8
    SurgeX is badazz when it comes to protection

    I have 2 SurgeX PF 420 circuit panels in my house
    1-for the pinball room...also uses 2 of the PS audio Dectet
    1-for media...also a Furman Elite 20

    Furman Elite does surge and conditioning

    I'm in Hurricane/lightning country and will cry if my shat got blasted

    Not to say it will not, but if the insurance company wants to investigate I can tell them FU pay me!!
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 1,658
    edited February 8
    Thanks for the suggestions. I need something with a small form factor like the isotek Corvus, dectet or the Shunyata drew linked above. No space in the rack for a component sized conditioner anymore. I’m gonna give the isotek a shot, if that doesn’t work out I will be going with a whole house surge protector and then just a distributor like the shunyata
    2 Channel - 2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Cambridge 851N I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius


  • txcoastal1
    txcoastal1 Posts: 12,284
    edited February 8
    Just got email

    NEW PRODUCTS AT UNDEWOOD HIFI ... feel free to talk to Walter, standup dude

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    The E=Q 1800 MK3 has a full size chassis, upgraded electrostatic shielded custom transformer, with 6 of our custom $60.00 copper duplexes now standard.

    This is the best sounding line conditioner that we have ever sold and easily the best value in an 15 amp, 1800 watt conditioner.
    Compare it to competitor units at $4000.00

    Our intro price includes 6 of our $60.00 custom pure copper gold plated duplexes to run 12 products & a $400.00 Gold series power cord

    In the Sept 2020 Equi=Core 1800MK2 review in Positive Feedback they say:

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    "Making the switch to the Equi=Core removed that noise, and this alone left me quiet satisfied. As I listened to the system with the Equi=Core I also noticed a slightly more relaxed top end and more bass definition from my amplifier. I have found that tube amplifiers in particular really loved the Equi=Core 1800 MK2."
    "The Equi=Core 1800 MK2 was extremely effective at killing transformer hum and vibration. The result was an inkier black background and more separation between instruments and artists."

    They also said:
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    This new MK3 model has our new transformer with wide band technology for even better performance.

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    pq4hywvwe24f.png



    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,520
    It could be a house wiring problem with an outlet that's not grounded properly given this is an ongoing issue. The Niagara essentially just dissipates power line noise to ground. It does that very well in my experience.

    I never noticed a buzz from mine, just power dropping to a component that didn't have the cord securely connected. The receptacles are tight.
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 1,658
    It is not an ongoing issue. It has only been an issue since the Niagara has been put in. Never had a problem before this
    2 Channel - 2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Cambridge 851N I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius


  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 1,658
    Good news is the Isotek unit is installed and is nice and quiet (and compact!). Saved quite a bit over the AQ so I had some leeway to buy a few more sets of Furutech plugs and a bit more wire to complete my power cable overhaul
    2 Channel - 2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Cambridge 851N I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius


  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 11,100
    All's well that ends well.