I know this doesnt help much but my JC-3+* is dead silent.
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It's possible that you've got some RF in your listening room, and it is being picked up by any of the cables you've tried for connecting the two units. To support this hypothesis, you could try moving the two JC units as close to each other as possible and using very short cable. Or you could try a cable that is very well shielded. (I like Goertz cables, but if memory serves they are not so well shielded.) Along the lines of what Sfall wrote, it is also possible that either the output of the driving unit or the input of the driven unit is not internally configured in true balanced mode, because I would have thought you would hear at least an improvement when connecting with balanced cables. On the other hand, sometimes RF defies logic, owing to its very high frequencies.
Thanks for the responses! I've been in a back and forth with Richard Schram at Parasound who graciously answered my support e-mail question himself on a Sunday. First class company.
I think I may have an internal issue on the box itself as I've tried every test scenario I can think of and a few that Richard suggested. It's still under warranty (as I bought it from an authorized dealer), so I suspect the next step will be to send it in.
Have you tried using your amp, ASP or DSP, JC2 with the LX521's while playing a cd or digital file?
If so, does the noise still appear?
I have the same preamp, with the Linkwitz ASP and Orions, and there is a very low level noise just barely audible within a foot of the speakers, which I've traced to the ASP.
I just realized I never followed up to this thread. I sent the unit to Parasound and they tested it and it met spec. Absolute first class warranty service. There was nothing wrong with the unit. It turned out to be the amps. I was using Emotiva XPA-5 Gen 2 amps. I upgraded to the ATI AT524NC amps, and all the background hiss I was hearing disappeared. Perhaps the synergy between the JC-3+ and the Emotiva wasn't great. I've since fallen back in love with the JC-3+ and have no plans to do anything with it.