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Thanks for all your input. In fact my tuner is out being repaired which is how I notice the difference in sound. I think it's a matter of RF which is leaking from tuner input into the rest of the preamp. I think it's not resolvable unless I actually unplug the tuner's interconnects from the preamp.I would leave the tuner plugged into ac when not in use but left off and unplugged from preamp. I'm hoping this would be my solution. Any thoughts or advice?
Yes for sure better gear will help. RCA connections share ground. XLR is a better option.
Glad to see you don’t buy into the idea that your gear is so resolving that simply the proximity of the tuner will affect it. There are many tin toilers here who believe that detrimental effects on the music from extraneous factors like cables etc. indicates their gear is highly resolving (instead of realizing that something is faulty with the setup).
This happens all the time. The cause is usually noise from a digital source contaminating the rest of your system. I don't know what kind of tuner you have, but you're options are to get a higher quality tuner, a PC like the JPS Digital AC, or a power conditioner that isolates the outlets from each other.
If you call Cable Company and explain your problem, they'll know what to send you (demos that you can try first to make sure a product fixes the problem).
Mitchb 4-14-2017I'm not sure that unplugging the interconnects from the preamp will help, although it might. I see in your system description that your MD-106T tuner is located immediately below your Pass X-1 preamp, and it therefore seems very conceivable to me that the tuner may be radiating RFI into the preamp's circuitry through the air.
When you get the tuner back it may be informative to plug it into the AC and bring a portable battery powered AM radio close to it, with the radio tuned to an unused frequency and its volume control set to a position you would normally use. If you hear a lot of noise from the radio when it is brought close to the tuner and/or close to the connectors on its rear panel, even when the tuner is turned off, it would say that the key to a solution may be to relocate the tuner.
Good luck. Regards,
"...system sounds much better when my streamer is unplugged.."
Really? Can you please elaborate on how are your components physically organized, e.g., one on top of the other, on a rack, etc., particularly the streamer? Also, some specifics about the streamer would be helpful, e.g., WiFi or hardwired, etc. I just find it real intriguing to hear that sort of experience.
" I just find it real intriguing to hear that sort of experience."
Just to give you another example, I had the same type of problem when I bought a cheap mass market player (Sony 9000ES) to try SACD. When the Sony was in the system, my other components took a noticeable hit in SQ. The fix was a JPS Digital AC powercord and an ESP line conditioner.
I understand the noise from televisions, particularly plasma design, etc., affecting the signal but haven’t experienced any difference when using the CDP with or without my Node2 streamer on or off. Maybe its because I have set the Node2 several feet away from the rest of the system for optimal WiFi reception. I was also strongly encouraged to get a much better/insulated power cord and plugged into a power conditioner using a dedicated 20 amp circuit. But I’m assuming we are talking about noise that is being transmitted "over the air" and picked up in the audio path.