"White noise hiss" through speakers.

Hello fellow music lovers, I have a newbie question so be gentle with me. I replaced my Creek 5350 with separates. I’m now using a Belles 21A Preamp with a Musical Fidelity A308cr. When I used the Creek, I could turn the Creek up full volume, and with no source playing there was not a single hint of noise through the speakers. Now, with the Belles & MF there is a faint hiss audible at 2 feet or less even with the volume at zero. Needless to say when I turn the volume up (with no source playing) the “white noise hiss” increases noticeably. Is this normal with a high powered amp? The MF is 225 watts per.
The speakers are Spendor S9s.

Any input is appreciated, THANKS!
It may not be your MF power amp, (although it might be, as higher powered amps can have a bit of low level noise).

I suspect it is the Belles preamp, as it is a vacuum tube preamp. I believe you are hearing what is referred to as "tube rushing". It is normal, and should not be audible during all but the very quietest passages, like blank areas between songs.

Most people get used to it fairly quickly. Give it a chance to fade into the background, before you get too frustrated.

(FWIW, Unfortunately for me, this frustation from the tube rushing noise never went away. I eventually went all solid state to eliminate it. And to get solid state equipment that sounds as good as tubes, means spending a fair amount of money unfortunately!)

Good Luck and hang in there!
Both of the components you mention are preamps. Are you using a Belles 21A Preamp with a MF A300cr power amp? If so, the only thing that might be giving some hiss (if all else is basically OK) would be the tubes in the Belles preamp. You might want to contact Belles, or just try some other tubes. (What brand are in there now?)
I have experienced the same hiss to greater or lesser extent with various components. I think it's dependent on the component (usually the preamp in my experience) but I think it's also related to the environment (ie, how many noise sources you have in your room).

In my case I usually have this noise with most preamps I've used. Usually I don't notice it unless I have my ear near the speaker, but the Exposure RC21 preamp I use to have was quite noisy. I could hear the hiss from 2 ft away. In trying to find out if it needed repair, I found that it's typical of Exposure (though caps placed over the un-used RCA inputs supposedly reduces the problem). My Dared 2000A is also susceptible, but My Rega Hal preamp, which I play on the exact same system and in the same room as the Dared and Exposure is not. The Hal is dead silent, even with my ear pressed to the speaker.

Maybe others will have a more technical explanation . . . this is just my experience.

There's another thread titled something like "Quietest Premp you ever had" that may shed more light on the subject.
This drives me crazy. It is something of which every component has a little. I would switch out the preamp and see if it goes away, otherwise it is the power amp, which I used to own and found very quiet. I once bought an ARC LS 15 pre which is well regarded. It hissed much worse than thhe 150$ Carver that it replaced. It did other things better but I could not get over the hiss. My deale said that thit was prt of the design, to get the detail and imaging it needed a higher noise floor. I returned it. In the cases it usually the pre
Be sure to keep interconnects and speaker cables as far away from power cords as possible. This can cause the noise also. My system with my ear to the speakers is dead quiet with the volume at max. With my last preamp, a tubed ARC LS 16, there was some noise caused by the tubes but not enough to bother me as you had to be right next to the speaker with the volume way up. Please make sure your cables are apart as I had a noise problem from that before. Good Luck
Your Creek had a passive pre-amp stage. The gain in your active pre-amp is probably the culpit, and I think this varies from one active pre to another, as suggested above. When I had a Creek passive pre in my system, it was dead quiet by the speaker with the volume turned all the way up. Now, with an active pre, it is a whole different story with the white noise you are experiencing. However, with music playing in my system, even at loud levels, I don't notice it, in part because with the active pre in the system, I never need to turn the volume all the way up.
Arni hit the nail on the head. I just inserted the Creek in the line as a pre (it has "pre outs") and it is dead quiet when used with the MF. I now have to do some A - B comparisons to see if what I gain in sound improvements with the Bells is worth the hiss. The musician in me says I don't want that hiss, I want the "black nothingness" in-between the notes to be BLACK! lol.

Thanks everybody!
I have a c-j tube pre and c-j tube amp. My speakers (MG12/QR) are a bit less effiecient than yours, but when I have the volume up to a reasonable good level and I put my ear right next to the panel its dead quiet. That much hiss on your set-up is not normal.

Good Luck!*>)
Might simply be a case of too much gain when combining these two components-it can be made worse if you happen to have efficient speakers. Try the Endler or Rothwell online attenuators.
Without going into a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo, almost all of the "hiss/white noise" is contributed by the preamp. If the amp is the dominat contributor to the "noise floor", then take it back. It should not be.

High noise necessary for imaging?? A new level of crap from a hi-fi salesman. Ranks up there with the all-time worst.