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Richvibez

Audiophyte
So I’ve been using JBL 305 since last April and I have no problems with hissing/cracking. I’ve always used my MSI laptop to record music which always works flawlessly . Since the Apollomkii runs thunderbolt I had got a expansion card which is a thunderbolt ex3 for my desktop so I can record music on my desktop but there’s a loud hissing noise especially when I move my mouse or when my gpu is under load. I’ve tried to plug my desktop into a separate outlet then my Apollo and my monitors, but still buzzes. Any recommendations?
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Electromagnetic interference is getting into the signal. Your Apollo isn't filtering it out. I would try another DAC.
 
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Richvibez

Audiophyte
Thanks Shadyj!
Any DAC you would recommend since I don’t think I have one. Also I forgot to mention I’m using TRs 1/4th balance wires to connect my monitors to my Apollo.
 
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Richvibez

Audiophyte
Also I feel like it’s my desktop, since I don’t have this problem when I have my Apollo connected to my laptop.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
That's strange. Something isn't confining the electromagnetic noise in your desktop very well. It may be a component in your computer. One thing I would try: make sure the signal cable is away from the computer. Pull your Apollo as far from your computer as you can and make sure the signal wires are away from the computer.

If that doesn't help, the noise of the computer is being carried through the lines somehow.

If you are looking for an alternative audio interface, the MOTU M2 or M4 are not expensive and very well built.
 
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sterling shoote

Audioholic Field Marshall
So I’ve been using JBL 305 since last April and I have no problems with hissing/cracking. I’ve always used my MSI laptop to record music which always works flawlessly . Since the Apollomkii runs thunderbolt I had got a expansion card which is a thunderbolt ex3 for my desktop so I can record music on my desktop but there’s a loud hissing noise especially when I move my mouse or when my gpu is under load. I’ve tried to plug my desktop into a separate outlet then my Apollo and my monitors, but still buzzes. Any recommendations?
Before you alter the current connection arrangement, check that the driver is properly adjusted for both input and output.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
So I’ve been using JBL 305 since last April and I have no problems with hissing/cracking. I’ve always used my MSI laptop to record music which always works flawlessly . Since the Apollomkii runs thunderbolt I had got a expansion card which is a thunderbolt ex3 for my desktop so I can record music on my desktop but there’s a loud hissing noise especially when I move my mouse or when my gpu is under load. I’ve tried to plug my desktop into a separate outlet then my Apollo and my monitors, but still buzzes. Any recommendations?
So, the hissing began after you added the expansion card?

Re-read the instructions and check the levels in setup. If possible, find a way to play some music without it- if the levels are set properly, you shouldn't hear so much hiss.

Check the specs, too- if the Signal to Noise ratio isn't high (above 85dB), it's likely that the expansion card is the source.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
What gain settings did you choose in pc and on speakers? You might be able to adjust levels so that the hiss isn't so prominent. How far away from the speakers do you sit?
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
So, the hissing began after you added the expansion card?

Re-read the instructions and check the levels in setup. If possible, find a way to play some music without it- if the levels are set properly, you shouldn't hear so much hiss.

Check the specs, too- if the Signal to Noise ratio isn't high (above 85dB), it's likely that the expansion card is the source.
Since he is hearing stuff like mouse movement, I would wager the interference is coming from the PC. The sister card to his Apollo was recently measured at ASR and found to have extremely good SNR.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
What gain settings did you choose in pc and on speakers? You might be able to adjust levels so that the hiss isn't so prominent. How far away from the speakers do you sit?
Good point. Make sure the digital levels are all maxed out, then turn up the analog levels up to the point where hiss is heard. All software volume levels should be at 100%. So the program volume should be at full as well as whatever mixer is being used in the operating system. The gain levels of these systems are best adjusted at the DAC or better yet the amplifier.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Since he is hearing stuff like mouse movement, I would wager the interference is coming from the PC. The sister card to his Apollo was recently measured at ASR and found to have extremely good SNR.
Believe it or not, that is how internal ground loops in computers identify themselves. I had a similar problem with my last HTPC build. As you know I'm totally obsessional about ground plane architecture. So I double checked everything. My son had persuaded me that a microcenter brand power supply would be fine, and they were well reviewed. Anyhow I took it back and exchanged it for the highest quality power supply they had for sale. I installed that power supply and the problem was solved. The microcenter power supply was a POS.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Believe it or not, that is how internal ground loops in computers identify themselves. I had a similar problem with my last HTPC build. As you know I'm totally obsessional about ground plane architecture. So I double checked everything. My son had persuaded me that a microcenter brand power supply would be fine, and they were well reviewed. Anyhow I took it back and exchanged it for the highest quality power supply they had for sale. I installed that power supply and the problem was solved. The microcenter power supply was a POS.
That is odd. The kind of interference he is describing is much like the electronic noise that you can hear on pretty much every motherboard analog 1/8" jacks. Suprising to hear that it is coming through the audio interface though. If it's a ground loop, I suppose the electronics are modulating it somehow.

As for PSU's, if you want to know which are the good ones, the gold standard PSU reviewer is Tom's Hardware. Amazing depth into which they probe the PSUs. There is this guide in their forums which talk about which brands are decent and which to avoid. It has this to say about Microcenter's house brand, Powerspec: "The Powerspec units sold by Microcenter are a mixed bag. Some of them are fairly decent using the same platform as the Sirfa High power Astro lite platform, so not total dumpster fire type units, but not particularly good either, and some of their units are simply garbage and should be listed below in the DO NOT USE category, but I'm leaving them out because there are really no reviews of them and since there are a few units from them that are ok-ish, I'm giving them a "use at your own discretion but buy a better model if you can" grade.

Even a gray label Corsair VS unit would probably be an upgrade from one of those Powerspec models, and a CXm or 2017 CX would, almost certainly would, without any doubt.
"
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
That is odd. The kind of interference he is describing is much like the electronic noise that you can hear on pretty much every motherboard analog 1/8" jacks. Suprising to hear that it is coming through the audio interface though. If it's a ground loop, I suppose the electronics are modulating it somehow.

As for PSU's, if you want to know which are the good ones, the gold standard PSU reviewer is Tom's Hardware. Amazing depth into which they probe the PSUs. There is this guide in their forums which talk about which brands are decent and which to avoid. It has this to say about Microcenter's house brand, Powerspec: "The Powerspec units sold by Microcenter are a mixed bag. Some of them are fairly decent using the same platform as the Sirfa High power Astro lite platform, so not total dumpster fire type units, but not particularly good either, and some of their units are simply garbage and should be listed below in the DO NOT USE category, but I'm leaving them out because there are really no reviews of them and since there are a few units from them that are ok-ish, I'm giving them a "use at your own discretion but buy a better model if you can" grade.

Even a gray label Corsair VS unit would probably be an upgrade from one of those Powerspec models, and a CXm or 2017 CX would, almost certainly would, without any doubt.
"
Yes, this was a real learning experience for me. I was really pusselled and did a lot of research. I found that ground loops in computers do not generally present as hum, but modulated hiss. What is diagnostic apparently is if moving the mouse modulates the noise. In my case it did. I did a lot of testing, and came to the conclusion the ground loop was due to the grounding internal to the PSU. It was.
 

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