speaker cable static sound

Can anyone help with a technical question:

I am using audience au24 speaker cables ( I believe they are unshielded) and there is a tv nearby. The problem is that even when the tv is not on or even plugged in I sometimes get a mild static sound coming out of one of the speakers. The weird thing is that its only out of the right speaker even though the tv is equidistant to both speakers. The other weird thing is that the static sound does not immediately happen when I turn on the amp but comes after a few minutes and will often just go away and then come back and then go away.

I have tried lifting the cables off the ground and moving around the monster ac outlet strip. No, none of the audio equipment goes into the ac outlet strip nor do they even share the same wall outlet.

I like the speaker cables but maybe I should get a shielded cable? Any recommendations. I currently used purist interconnect dominus between amp and preamp and use the emmlabs dcc2 as preamp and dac with their cd transport. My speakers are Wilson Watt Puppy 7's.


I really don't think it's the speaker cables, although Lloyd Walker and others make RFI-killing doohickeys you can put across your speaker terminals. And Purist Audio's Dominus and Venustas (even Musaeus) have enough Ferox shielding to keep out any RFI, so you might want to audition a pair.

But I honestly think the problem is elsewhere. When this does occur, does it occur across several sources (or is the EMM stuff your only source)?
Have you swapped the speaker cables (left to right) to see if the noise moves? If it does, it may be the cables. If not, it's something else.
Not sure if you have tubes or not but could be a leaky or bad tube . I would (as mentioned) try flipping your speaker wires. If that doesn't work ,remove your speaker wires and try some cheapo lamp cord and see if the noise continues.My guess is its not the speaker wire though....
1) If you suspect the speaker cables, slightly raise the volume when the static occurs, and wiggle all the offending channel cable connections while listening for instant changes (both speaker and amp locations). Not much can happen to "standard" speaker cables except poor or deteriorating terminations.

2) As mentioned previously, swap cabling at the speakers only to negate any speaker-related issues. If still from the right speaker, investigate that speaker.

3) COMPLETELY swap the interconnect cabling between the preamp and amp. If the static moves, it's that "right" interconnect cable. If unchanged, swap ONLY the IC connections at the amp. If static moves to the left, it's NOT the amp.

4) Reconnect these IC's back to original configuration, and perform this exact same excersize with the "source" to preamp IC's, thus attempting to eliminate any preamp-related issues. Option: If your "source" has a volume control, bypass the "preamp" and connect it directly to the amp's input.

By now, you should have the "problem" item identified. None of your other listed remedies would confine itself to a single chnl of audio playback (including TV), nor shielding of speaker cables be required. Your scenario sounds like intermittent electronics.

You can e-mail me for futher assistance, and will be glad to help.

thanks for the advice, I will try today the various tests.

I began to notice the static on right speaker only after changing the speaker cables from nordost to audience so that is why I suspected the speaker cable (especially since au24 unshielded sppeaker cable).

I have already tried a different ic between preamp and amp and get same right channel static so I know the problem is not the ic going into the amp.
The intermittent nature of the problem makes me think its either something in amp, like a switched power supply, or you are getting some EMI. Any chance the "right" speaker cable is running near something like in-wall power line for a heat pump, water heater or something else that switches on and off? You might try simply re-routing the speaker cable, since those kind of EMI effects should drop off at 1/d^2, where d is the distance...
Any chance you had a drier or dishwasher going when you heard the buzzing? or flourescent lights on? My background gets noisier when more things are on in the house, even with my UPC.
I have now tried a different speaker cable and switching the interconnect but still have the same problem.

The right speaker is not near a switched power supply.

I have tried slight changes in the routing of the right speaker cable without success.

Maybe the problem is that for the tv and video components I am using a monster video outlet strip and again the tv is closer to the right speaker than the left. However, none of the audio equipment goes into the monster video strip nor do the audio equipment go into the same wall outlet as the video equipment.



Just to be clear, did you CROSS (not swap) the interconnect cables into the amp (left into the right chnl.)? If the static moves to the left speaker, it's not the amp or speaker cable location, thus pointing to either the preamp or source. Bypass the preamp if possible, as mentioned earlier.

I cannot bypass the preamp because my preamp is also my dac and the transport does not have volume control.

There is also no preamp to source cables that are left channel right channel. They only are digital cables that control the data and clock

I did just cross the ic cable not completely swap them. But again I had previously used the valhalla nordost cable and was experiencing the same problem.

The problem began when I switched speaker cables in January 2006 from Nordost Red Dawn to Audience Au24 speaker cables.

Sorry if this responce comes through again, but didn't think it took.

Anyway, the IC cable crossing was to inject any right chnl static into the left amplification and speaker. If static continues from the right chnl, and you've exchanged the speaker cables as stated, the only remaining items are the amp's right chnl and speaker.

Switch the speaker cables at the amp, and if the static moves to the left speaker, it's your amp. If unchanged from the RIGHT speaker, there the problem lies.

If the static DOES move from the amp's IC cable crossing, it's your source/preamp.

Keep us posted...
Red Dawn is not sheilded, as speaker cables should not be anyway. What happened when you took out the cables you suspect as being faulty and dropped in something different, like a zip cord or anything else, or did I miss that you actually tried that?

I did try changing the speaker cable to a purist speaker cable that I was borrowing and got the same static.

HOWEVER, I just tried last nite a different outlet strip for the video component and got no static even when I put the tv on. I will keep trying this older outlet strip to see if the problem was with the monster video outlet strip. It seems weird that the outlet strip which is older and cheaper might solve the problem but hey its worth a shot.

Metro, if the outlet strip idea of mine does not continue to work......I will try the other thing you suggested that I boneheadedly did wrong.

Thanks Guys For the Help!


p.s. I contacted LAMM and they are going to analyze the problem too . They believe however that the problem is not with the single tube in each of the mono hybrid amps


Sorry that I'm not familiar with all your audio equipment.

Are both amps plugged into the same wall outlet, and/or outlet strip? If so, it's beyond my 40 years of electronics how malfunctioning strip protection circuits could single out any "matching" components plugged into it.

Anyway, you could also try running both amps into the same wall outlet directly, and the remaining components from another outlet (via extension cord) for testing purposes. My feeling is that your problem will return, but please continue with any recommended diagnosis.
Sadly, the static did return....am awaiting the advice of Lamm and Metro04 I will also try your other idea that I blew but ran out of time today so will try tomorrow.
it's going to be either the amp or the speaker.
also contact wilson audio for advise.
I think when you switched speaker cables from Nordost to AU24 you could have shorted something momentarily. Do you remember if your amp was off when you changed the speaker cables?
Well I found the area of the problem

I switched the left speaker cable to go into the right side amp and right speaker cable into the left amp and the static moved to the LEFT SPEAKER.

So there must be something happening with right mono amp since its the only variable that switched the static to the left speaker.

Its weird though that it only happens on occasions and comes and goes intermittently.

Its only a little static too .......strange........Hopefully Lamm won't need the amp back


Well done! Pending any simple diagnostic advice from LAMM, at least try swapping the tubes between the amps (individually if applicable). Other than that, there are just too many internal components that could cause this intermittent problem, and hard to diagnos without basic test equipment. You could pop the covers to look for obvious loose or damaged (burnt, etc) components, but would still require repair.

Sorry, but good luck...
Thanks Metro04 for everything......