Low buzzing through speaks

Hello All,


Need some serious help here. So I just (upgraded?) from a Marantz AV8802A to a McIntosh MX122 preamp. I also just got brand new Revel Performa3 speaks all around (5 channel setup). I disconnect everything from the Marantz and then into the McIntosh, connect the speaks and I have a faint buzzing through all 5 speakers (that was not there previously). I have everything plugged into a Furman Elite 20pfi power conditioner which is plugged into a dedicated 20 amp circuit. My power amp is a Simaudio Titan HT200 5 channel. This is not going through the Furman but directly into the other outlet on the same 20 amp line. I even tried plugging the Sim amp into the Furman to see if that helped-no change faint buzz is still there. I have unplugged just about everything, and the buzz is still there. It is very faint and does not get louder when I turn up the volume. Again it is faint and you have to put your ear up to the speaks to hear but it is definitely there. I have tried so many things and nothing gets rid of it. It is not my cable box (I did have that issue previously with the Marantz but as soon as I unplugged the coax from the box it went away so I just bought a coax loop eliminator connected the cable to that and noise was all gone) as I unplugged that and started there.


Any help would be so sincerely appreciated????


Do you have an old home? You may have some "DC offset" issues with your AC.

Emotiva makes a CMX-2 (?) at around $150 and it fixes it.

Amps with toroidal transformers tend to pick it up more.

Thanks @ianrmack  for replying. My home is older, built in 1974. But that buzz was not there previously. I checked out the Emotiva piece, but how would I integrate that with the Furman Elite? I have 2 powered subs, my preamp, my DAC, cd player, cable box, Brennan B2 (this is how I listen to music as I have all my cd’s ripped to this unit), DVD player, and an Audioengine B1 blue tooth plugged into the Furman?

I’ve talked to the folks at Crutchfield and Emotiva and they basically said if it’s that low and you can’t hear it from the listening position to just live with it as it’s not something worth going crazy over. You really have to put your ear within about 4-6 inches of the tweeter to hear it…🤷‍♂️

Thank you @russ69, but how as they are coax? I don’t have a way to connect it between amp and preamp?

I also just got brand new Revel Performa3 ... My power amp is a Simaudio Titan HT200 5 channel.

If the Titan is more than 15 years old, there could be a possibility the power supply filtering capacitors causing the noise.

You can disconnect all the input cables from the Titan, power it up and see if you can still hear the buzzing noise.

Thanks @imhififan It is more than 15 years old but I sent it to Simaudio for “calibration and cleanup” last year and she came back squeaky clean. They actually said she was in better shape than most-though they said they don’t see many of them because they “overbuild their amps”. I’ll give that a shot. Like I’ve been told it’s a minimal buzz that you really have to get your ear up to within a few inches of the tweeter to hear, but it wasn’t there before so that’s why I’m totally perplexed. 

I should also mention that when I switched out the Marantz for the McIntosh I totally switched up my setup which means cables and power cords are all intertwined. This also might be causing it im told? It’s always been spaghetti ills but now IC cables and power cords have changed logistics…

If you've got IC's and PC's crossing over each other that's your problem.  Clean up the cable nest and the problem should go away.

Thank you @jackd! I’m going to try that tomorrow AM, and also try unplugging the IC’s from the Titan as @imhififan suggested. I’m really hoping it’s “the nest”😂 which it truly is great call on that one😂!


I have a Shunyata Alpha 20 amp power cable on the Titan and all Transparent Plus XLR IC’s from the Titan to the McIntosh so it’s not like I’ve skimped there…That’s actually the reason I wanted to move the location of the preamp because I could not get at the back where it was before so I moved it to the top of my Entertainment center. But that obviously changed the cabling around. So maybe that is the ticket🤞🏻!


just want to take a minute and really thank all of you who have taken the time to reply👍🏻! You guys are awesome!



Your thought process of wanting to get the processor to the top is a good one in theory though as it will have to most cables coming in and out it increases the chance for power and signal cables crossing.  Though a royal pain in the ass the only way to likely to get the problem under control will be to remove all of the cables and start over again grouping the two types into two groupings and using something to keep them somewhat bundled so they don't stray.  I just it myself in two racks and it was a process. 

Try disconnecting the Audioengine B1. Take it out of the system completely and see it the buzzing has stopped.

this may be causing a grounding issue.

Not to point out the obvious or anything, but you didn’t have this issue with the Marantz, but do with the Mac, sooooo, it is the mac. Many others have documented this, take a look and Jay’s audio lab on YouTube, or Shane Lee’s Trinnov reviews, both had this issue with some (pre)amps, Shane specifically calls out Mac. 

My guess is that you are connected to a cable tv and or an internet cable and are getting ground issues. They are spooky. Might use a cheater plug on the Mac to see, and if it helps, then I would suggest a hum buster transformer plug for the Mac or else put a ground loop transformer in line with the cable (latter has worked best for me, they are about $15).



Echoing the above, try "a cheater plug on the Mac to see, and if it helps".  To eliminate the same in my system I installed a Jensen Iso-Max VRD-1FF 75 Ohm Inline Digital CATV Isolator Hum Eliminator between the internet cable and Xfinity cable box and it worked like a charm.

Hello All,


So I cleaned up "the nest" (still getting a kick out of that one @jackd) this morning as best I could and removed the Audioengine B1 (great call and thank you @plumptonvinyl I had my suspicions on that one as well) and reconnected and, buzzing still there 😫! Thank you @imhififan I did remove all the IC's from the Titan, powered up and no buzz. So I know it's not the Titan-another good call to try-thank you! No change. @fredrik222 thank you and yes the obvious was always in mind and actually sent an email tom Jay's Audiolab to seek their advice and waiting to hear back. Figure it has to be the McIntosh. Didn't want to believe it because I just dropped 4K on it, but it is what it is now. 


So I'm down to 4 options:

1. Go back to the Marantz and try to resell the McIntosh (not likely at all to do this).

2. There is a product called the Hum-X that I could maybe try plugging the McIntosh into and then either plugging that in to the Furman Elite (kinda seems weird but could work, no?) or going to a different outlet altogether as both circuits on the dedicated 20 amp line are taken. Providing the McIntosh doesn't draw more than 6 amps as that is the max on the Hum-X. Need to call McIntosh to get the current draw for the 122. I can't see that being more than 6 amps though. Really this is my last true option.

3. Reach out to the church and have them send a priest to get rid of this thing (sorry have to keep my sense of humor it's all I have left).

4. Live with it. A few have suggested this as it's such a faint buzz that can only be heard with ear close to tweeter and certainly not audible with anything playing. Some have said to be thankful it's such a low level buzz and I know it could be worse.


Again I wangt to thank you all for taking your time to try and help, all suggestions have been great. Please if you have any others I'm still not quite ready to give up just yet. But after the Hum-X (if that is doable and viable) I think option 4 will be the end result by default...

@kingbr here is the Shane Lee video I mentioned. Relevant section is about 5 minutes in “noise floor”, 


Thank you so much for providing this video @fredrik222. This is referencing the power amps from McIntosh/Trinnov though? Does it stand to reason the preamps share the same issues/characteristics?

I would assume so, but I am certainly not an expert on gain matching, or McIntosh. 

Regardless very insightful and I sincerely appreciate all of your advice/support-so thanks man👍

I had the same issue with my amps.  I tried everything and even hired an electrical engineer to come out and test everything.  I bought the $79 Ebtek HumX - problem solved.  You are not supposed to plug your Power conditioner into HUM X.  The amps direct to HumX to the wall outlet

Thank you @willgolf! Just read your reply went right to Amazon and ordered it! So you mentioned you used this on your amps, but I know my issue is my preamp. What I’m going to do is either plug the McIntosh into the Hum-X and then plug the Hum-X into my Furman Elite, or plug the McIntosh into the Hum-X and then go to a different wall outlet thus separating the McIntosh from the circuit altogether. Someone suggested I try going direct to the wall outlet with the McIntosh. I figure trying that with the Hum-X might do it🤞🏻!

Thank you so much for this reply! Great to hear it solved your problem! Hopefully it’ll do the same for me. Otherwise St John the Evangelist down the street will be getting a call😂

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On that note; I have been waiting for this to come up, I live in SoCal in the SDG&E jurisdiction just by the way. I have never had a  type AB Amp that didn't buzz and now I have a type D that is quiet as as a a night full of stars for no apparent difference in set up. I also had an old beach house that would cause my Krell 2250 to Buzz Loud when it was off when the Mr. Coffee came on in the kitchen. good Morning sunshine. THAT SYSTEM CONSISTENTLY BLEW DRIVERS AND EVENTUALLY FRIED THE POWER CONDITIONER DURING A T- STORM. Some of this hi-end equipment is touchier than the Manufactures would have us layman believe. peace out

Back in my radio days we designed a very nice control room. Then the engineer laid all the mic lines on top of the data lines. I was the only person who could hear the problem, therefore it didn't exist. 

I'd try a trial separation, or, if it's not a big deal, unhook everything, add back a line at a time. It's a great opportunity to dust & polish also.

Great replies @tkhill ​​​​@strawj! I used the opportunity when I relocated a few things when I introduced the McIntosh to clean and dust-another great call on this thread! You guys truly are awesome! And my Hum-X will arrive Thursday so tomorrow I try plugging the McIntosh into a separate outlet direct and see if that makes the buzz go away. Next step if that doesn’t work is to unplug everything 1 at a time from my Furman Elite. Then plug everything back one at a time to see if it in fact maybe isn’t the McIntosh. But I have already unplugged several components including the 2 subs and the cable box and that didn’t change anything. So I’ll go all the way in tomorrow.


I did disconnect all my XLR IC’s from the Titan amp and there was no buzz so I know it’s not the power amp. My IC’s are all Transparent Plus so I know they’re solid. I really am almost convinced it’s the McIntosh but we’ll dig a bit more tomorrow…


Thank you all once again for supporting and going on this journey with me👍🏻!

It's the Mac preamp.  Happened to me too.  The only solution was to go with another preamp.  

@wanganui  Thank you very helpful! nI just tried my last resort-the Hum-X and nothing! Buzz/hum still there...


Try another you mean other than McIntosh? Are they all prone to this?

The first step is to determine what type of buzz you are hearing: Is it ground, DC, or just the Mac itself. If the buzz is in the speakers or subwoofers,  it is usually some type of ground issue. You should check the outlet with a polarity tester to make the sure there is a proper ground: Next disconnect the modem/router if hard wired. If the buzz is still there, the you can disconnect the mac and see if it goes away: If it is ground issue, a ground loop isolator will usually work, most conditioners do nothing for ground or DC issues from my experience. Also, from my experience in install and sales, most issues are the equipment picking up something either electrical or in the ISP and then passing it through the speakers. So if you send the unit in for service, there is high probability of a no problem found diagnosis.

Thanks @jb1. I don’t think it’s a ground loop. I have literally tried everything. I unplugged everything one component at a time and buzz/hum still there. The only time it went away is when I disconnected all the IC’s between the Mac and my amp. So I know it’s not my amp (only the speaker cables were connected to the amp at that point). It has to be the Mac. Someone else above said they had the same problem and it’s the Mac…it’s definitely livable as you can only hear it when you put your ear within a couple inches of the tweeters. And you cannot hear it while anything is playing🤷‍♂️. That said just knowing it’s there I just can’t seem to get my head around just living with it, but I feel short of selling it, I’ve tried everything that’s been suggested and then some-including taking it to a Mac service center but to your point I’m not sure that will do anything😔…

Just wondering...am I correct in understanding that when all XLR’s are unplugged between the Sim and Mac, there is no buzzing? If that is the case, if you reconnect just 1 of the 5 XLR cables, does the buzzing return? If so, in all speakers?

Just for the heck of it, I would also trying connecting the grounds on the rear, between the the Sim and Mac (with any piece of wire you have laying around), and see if that changes anything. Try this with and without the XLR's connected. 

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Thanks for replying @dpop and great call. I thought of disconnecting the XLR cables 1 by 1. Have not tried that. But yes when I disconnected the XLR's between the Mac and my amp (everything else was connected at this point to the Mac and all the speaker cables to the amp), the buzzing was gone. My cables are Transparent Plus XLR's and they are under 2 years old so I figured it could not be the cables (and again taking into account the buzz was not there with my previous processor). But what else do I have to lose at this point? I will give that a shot. Again thank you for taking the time to respond and help😀

I see that both the Sim and Mac have 3 prong AC plugs. I don't think anyone has suggested it yet, but another suggestion is to temporarily (just for test purposes) lift a ground on one of the units (either the Sim or Mac), with the XLR connectors connected, and listen for the buzz. You can accomplish this by using a 3 prong to 2 prong AC adapter (hopefully you have one laying around, otherwise Home Depot or any hardware store has them). For this test, the only two units connected (with any inputs or outputs connected) should be the Sim and Mac, and nothing else. 

I actually tried the Hum-X which essentially is the same as using a cheater plug. It didn’t work, still had the him. Whilst I didn’t try the cheater plug specially, the fact that the Hum-X didn’t work leads me to believe the cheater wouldn’t have any effect. 

How would I connect a wire between the grounds on the amp and Mac? I don’t really see anywhere on either to connect a wire?

I know my post will not help you, but I have the same exact issue you are having. I tried everything that you did but the buzz does not go away. As it is only when you get your ear close to the speakers you can hear it, Eventually I decided it is not worth the anguish and I listen to only music, and it sounds great. Just my two cents. 

@couger4u Thank you so very much for this reply! Honestly man it does help, more than you know. I had my very first “true” listening session this morning with my new speaks semi broken in (and the first session with the Mac quarterbacking the system) and like your experiences it sounded magnificent. It honestly made me forget the buzz was there. Because like yours, it is very faint and cannot at all be heard anywhere except ear to tweeter from 2 inches out and in. Fortunately my listening spot is much further out, LOL!

I just feel/felt my OCD needed to be sure I tried everything I could and honestly I really am there. Sure if I come across anymore suggestions I’ll try, but in the meantime I’m going to get back to focusing on the sound. Honestly thank you for this reply. Empathy and just knowing I’m not alone and that there are others who were able to move forward with this issue helps immensely! Sure I’m OCD, but I think adding the 5 brand new speakers at the same time as introducing the Mac gave me such high hopes and when the very first thing you hear is a buzzing, it’s like, well you know…


Thank you @couger4u…sincerely my friend..

You know I also had a Leviton whole house surge protector installed last year as well. Then a week later had the dedicated 20 amp circuit for the HT rig…I figured I’d be safe as kittens from any outside dark forces trying to infect my rig😂🤷‍♂️…


How would I connect a wire between the grounds on the amp and Mac? I don’t really see anywhere on either to connect a wire?

Looking at the on-line manuals, there’s a GND screw/connection on the back of each of the units. Connect a wire to each (from one to the other).

Thank you again for all of your time @dpop! So just like a normal speaker wire between the 2? No experience with this kind of thing? 

So just like a normal speaker wire between the 2?

Correct, but I'm still very interested in hearing the results of the other tests I mentioned.

Whilst I didn’t try the cheater plug specially, the fact that the Hum-X didn’t work leads me to believe the cheater wouldn’t have any effect. 

Sorry, I can't agree with that @kingbr  - two different concepts. If it were me, I'd still try the cheater plug. You really have to eliminate all options here. I think they're only like $3.  

Hi @dpop so give the cheater a try, I actually had ordered one on on Amazon but the Hum-X arrived first so once that didn't work, I didn't bother trying the cheater. But I'll give it a try. One thing my amp is a C19 20 amp connection, I'm thinking trying the cheater on that would not be a good idea?


@dpop I can't not thank you again for taking the time to help me here. Thank you...I'll try the cheater on the Mac...


One thing my amp is a C19 20 amp connection, I’m thinking trying the cheater on that would not be a good idea?

I did notice that in the manual diagram (that it had a 20 amp IEC connector on the rear), but it didn’t sink in. Thanks for pointing that out. Is the wall plug also a 20 amp plug (with one of the flat blades turned 90 degrees)? I’m just trying to eliminate either the Mac or Sim from an earth connection, so yes, applying it to the Mac should accomplish this.

So I just tried the cheater on the Mac and buzz still there (I tried going direct to a different wall outlet with the cheater and then using the cheater into the Furman with the Mac). Yes the wall plug is a 20 amp dedicated circuit. That is where the Furman and Simaudio amp are plugged into. The Mac is plugged into the Furman (as is every other component). The receptacle does have the 90 degree slots but both plugs (the amp and the Furman do not have the 90 degree plug, the Furman original cord did but I use a Shunyata 20 amp plug instead of the Furman stock cord). But I've used this Shunyata from the get go with the Furman and never had an issue until introducing the Mac...


So I just tried the cheater on the Mac and buzz still there

OK, good to know. Still waiting to hear if 1) buzz is in all speakers with just one XLR cable connected 2) any difference when ground wire is connected between GND terminals on Mac & Sim, with and without XLR cables connected.

@dpop So everything else is connected in the system like always (no ground wire connected), I disconnected the first 4 XLR's from the Mac leaving just 1 XLR between Mac and amp connected and buzz is gone??? What does this mean???


Thank you again (broken record but can't not keep saying it)...

@dpop  So as each balanced interconnect is plugged back in the buzz comes back in that particular speaker/channel. So it seems it is somehow connected to the XLR inputs?


I disconnected the first 4 XLR’s from the Mac leaving just 1 XLR between Mac and amp connected and buzz is gone???

Very interesting. OK, let’s stay on this path for a moment. From my understanding, and just so I’m 100% sure here, you’re saying with one XLR cable connected, there’s no buzz in any of the speakers, yes? If that’s the case, I would also try using that exact same cable, and plug it into all of the inputs and outputs you use when connecting the Mac to the Sim. When doing this, does this produce the same result(s) - no buzz? I would also recommend trying that same scenario with each cable, one at a time (I know this is probably a lot of work, but what we’re doing is seeing if all cables produce the same result). It might not be a bad idea to help identify which cables are which. Maybe a sticky-note (or something like it) could temporarily be affixed to each cable for identification purposes.

I’m also wondering if as each XLR cable is reconnected (when using all of them), does the buzz increase a little bit more in volume level as each cable is plugged in (or when the buzz is heard, it always remains at one volume level)? Also, is it safe to say that when the buzz is heard again, as each cable is plugged in, the buzz is directly attributed to the corresponding channel and speaker only?

Sorry for all of the questions, but this is the only way I can diagnose this, without physically being there.

@dpop so the only reason I didn’t hear the buzz with the 1 cable plugged in was because it was the rear and I didn’t listen to that one speaker. As I plugged the 2nd rear in that’s when I caught on that as soon as the XLR cable is plugged back in the buzz comes back in that particular speaker/channel…