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 Post subject: DAC and amp noise
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:25 am
Posts: 419
Location: Comox, BC, CA
PS Audio Stellar DAC and Sonneteer integrated amp. Both plug into the same outlet (one plug at top and one plug at bottom of outlet).

When I crank up volume on amp with no source there is a very loud hum. If I unplug the DAC there is zero noise.

I believe (???) this might be a groundloop? Or is it something else.

And how do I get rid of it?

Much thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: DAC and amp noise
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:36 pm
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Location: Vernon, BC, CA
I'm sure you already have it setup like this but just to confirm the obvious. Is the Stellar DAC volume set to 76? At 100 it has a +12dB output, not sure if that would create an undesirable effect with the integrated.

"With the volume set to 76 the Stellar Gain Cell DAC is a line level device. With the volume set 100 the Stellar Gain Cell DAC produces an output of +12dB. Bear this in mind when turning up the volume."


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 Post subject: Re: DAC and amp noise
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:26 pm 
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Location: Comox, BC, CA
James_W wrote:
I'm sure you already have it setup like this but just to confirm the obvious. Is the Stellar DAC volume set to 76? At 100 it has a +12dB output, not sure if that would create an undesirable effect with the integrated.

"With the volume set to 76 the Stellar Gain Cell DAC is a line level device. With the volume set 100 the Stellar Gain Cell DAC produces an output of +12dB. Bear this in mind when turning up the volume."


I have the Stellar set at 25 ... I'm using the Sonneteer for volume control rather than the DAC ... if the amp volume is set too low it's not going to produce good sound ... so I've started with low volume on the DAC and slightly higher volume on the amp.


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 Post subject: Re: DAC and amp noise
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:37 pm 
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It's my understanding that the Stellar should be set to 76 volume when being used as a standalone DAC. I've emailed PS Audio to confirm. Your issue is more than likely not DAC related but you never know. I've had what you describe occur with some amps in the past and like you stated in the post it was a ground loop issue.


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 Post subject: Re: DAC and amp noise
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 12:54 pm
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Location: Dodge City, NB, CA
mber wrote:
James_W wrote:
I'm sure you already have it setup like this but just to confirm the obvious. Is the Stellar DAC volume set to 76? At 100 it has a +12dB output, not sure if that would create an undesirable effect with the integrated.

"With the volume set to 76 the Stellar Gain Cell DAC is a line level device. With the volume set 100 the Stellar Gain Cell DAC produces an output of +12dB. Bear this in mind when turning up the volume."


I have the Stellar set at 25 ... I'm using the Sonneteer for volume control rather than the DAC ... if the amp volume is set too low it's not going to produce good sound ... so I've started with low volume on the DAC and slightly higher volume on the amp.

If you are amplifing a tiny signal it gives any available noise a chance to be heard ( this is why LOMC's require a quality pre amp ).
Your're probably way ahead to set the DAC at the recommended 76 than to use 25 which is a very small signal.

Oh, and by the way. Try plugging the DAC into an outlet that's on a different breaker.

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 Post subject: Re: DAC and amp noise
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:17 pm
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Location: Riverview, NB, CA
I’m not familiar with your DAC but I have an Alabaster and it is silent. Which line input are you using? IIRC, the direct inputs have a different gain than the other 2. I’d try the DAC set as James suggests and then try a different input if the issue persists. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: DAC and amp noise
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:29 am
Posts: 500
Location: St.Catharines, ON, CA
Are you using fancy esoteric type interconnects?

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: DAC and amp noise
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:25 am
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Location: Comox, BC, CA
KJT1 wrote:
mber wrote:
James_W wrote:
I'm sure you already have it setup like this but just to confirm the obvious. Is the Stellar DAC volume set to 76? At 100 it has a +12dB output, not sure if that would create an undesirable effect with the integrated.

"With the volume set to 76 the Stellar Gain Cell DAC is a line level device. With the volume set 100 the Stellar Gain Cell DAC produces an output of +12dB. Bear this in mind when turning up the volume."


I have the Stellar set at 25 ... I'm using the Sonneteer for volume control rather than the DAC ... if the amp volume is set too low it's not going to produce good sound ... so I've started with low volume on the DAC and slightly higher volume on the amp.

If you are amplifing a tiny signal it gives any available noise a chance to be heard ( this is why LOMC's require a quality pre amp ).
Your're probably way ahead to set the DAC at the recommended 76 than to use 25 which is a very small signal.

Oh, and by the way. Try plugging the DAC into an outlet that's on a different breaker.


Thanks James,

Will try both suggestions!


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