Static / Fuzzy Sound in Speakers


Hello,

ive just installed my new system : Wadia 861 CDP plugged in directly to an Odyssey Stratos Amp via TMC Yellow Interconnects. My speakers are Audience Paris.

Well, when i switch on the Amp and the CDPlayer, i get this faint fuzzy sound coming from the speakers. Its like a continuous static sound you get from a TV set when theres a very bad signal. Its just there. I can still hear it when i start playing a CD when i stick my hear to the speakers, and i can certainly hear it when theres nothing playing, on both channels.

I really dont know where this sound comes from, and why im getting it. The AMP is brand new, so are the interconnects and the speakers. The CDPlayer is the only one thats been bought second hand.

Any ideas ?
badwisdom
You need to approach this in an organized way.

First, power everything off and disconnect everything from the amp except the speaker cables. Power on the amp. If you hear the noise then it's coming from the amp.

Next plug the interconnects into the amp but don't attach the cd player. Try again. If you hear the noise then it's the cables.

Next try the cd player without power it on.

Next power on the cd player.

Using this approach you should be able to locate the source of the problem.

Let us know what you find.

P.S. Remember to turn everything off when changing cables.
I had a similar problem with my Meridian 557 because I switched to XLR cable and left the RCA plugs blank.
After makeing up shorting plugs for the the RCA jacks
the noise went away. I still hear the slightest hiss but I would assume this is because the speakers are accepting
the signal from the power amp.
Ive checked piece by piece like you recommended Aragain.

With the amp only on, you can hear a faint noise. But you really have to stick your hear to the speakers in order to hear it. Very minimum.

With the cables on and no CDPlayer, no change.

When i power up the CDplayer, the fuzzy / snowy sound goes up noticeably.

However in checking with the other systems in my house (2) which are arguably less 'audiophile' than this one, i constantly hear this noise when sticking my ears to the speakers.

Is this a sound that every speaker makes when the power to the Amp and CDP are turned on ? Or should the speakers be dead quiet ?

Cheers
Have only auditioned a 850 (doesn't have the digital inputs of your 861) but it was dead quite. Does owners manual for the 861 recommend any shorting pins for the 861's inputs? Might also want to email/call Wadia Customer support. I wouldn't try shorting pins in your amp unless specifically recommended by your amp manufacturer.
Ok did some more testing and i am now puzzled.

I have a crappy Sony Integrated downstairs so i decided to use it in order to try and isolate the fault, as i was pretty confident it wasnt coming from the Wadia.

So i hooked up the integrated with the Wadia : and low and behold i was right, there was no fuzzy / snowy sound. Hmm.

I then decide to use the integrated as a preamp, and hook it up with the Odyssey stratos to see if the amp was the problem. Again, nothing, dead quiet.

The only time i had this surface low fuzzy / snowy noise was when i used the Wadia DIRECTLY into the Odyssey. I used the same cables each time, with exactly the same routine -> Amp and preamp first, Wadia last powered up. And as soon as the Wadia direct in the Odyssey made that clicking noise after booting up signaling that it was ready to go, that bloody surface noise poped up.

Where could this be coming from i dont know. But i know i cant stand that low surface noise.

Guess ill have to get my hand on a preamp :(

Cheers
Another thing to try...

See what happens when only one cable is connected to the cd player. If you don't hear the sound then this is probably what is called a ground loop problem.

It is suspicious that you have this problem in multiple systems in your house. This tends to point to something other than specific equipment - like the wiring in the house.

I am also curious as to your description of the sound as "static/fuzzy". Usually ground problems would be described as a "buzz". Static is the sound of a radio between stations, something like the sound of the ocean. A buzz is a different kind of noise.

There are inexpensive gizmos available at hardware stores that plug into an outlet and tell you if the outlet is wired properly. Would'nt hurt to find out.

The saga continues..
Ground loop problem ? What is that ?

I was wrong in my imagery anyway : the sound i am hearing is definitely what you would call Static.

Im not to sure, but if you put your hear real close to your speakers, when the system is on but not playing anything, shouldn't you hear just the tiny bit of static ? Or should it be dead quiet ?

Ill probably get myself those gizmos you talk about, but i still dont get it why it is worse when i plug my CDP directly into the amp, and not the other two cases (amp + pre + CDP, integrated + CDP ).

Cheers
Xav
One more test. Very gently spread your fingers and press in the speaker cone about 1/4 inch and release. If you hear any scrapping sound then you have a bad winding in that voice coil. Make sure you push evenly about the speakers center axis and not all on one side. Sometimes a bad voice coil sounds like electronic problems. Fuzzy sound would be in your mid range or tweeter, probably not the woofer.
I dont know what you call it in english, but the static is coming from the top part of the speaker. I know because when i put my hand on top of it the static fades.

I tried your test Keis,and couldnt hear the scrapping noise.

I still cant explain why this phenomenon is aggravated when i use my Wadia direct to the amp. I cant for the life of me understand the difference with using a pre or an integrated.

Could it be the preamp part of my Wadia causing this ? If so what does it mean ?

Cheers
Another thing to try...

See what happens when only one cable is connected to the cd player. If you don't hear the sound then this is probably what is called a ground loop problem.

It is suspicious that you have this problem in multiple systems in your house. This tends to point to something other than specific equipment - like the wiring in the house.

I am also curious as to your description of the sound as "static/fuzzy". Usually ground problems would be described as a "buzz". Static is the sound of a radio between stations, something like the sound of the ocean. A buzz is a different kind of noise.

There are inexpensive gizmos available at hardware stores that plug into an outlet and tell you if the outlet is wired properly. Would'nt hurt to find out.

The saga continues..
Sean? Sean. Sean!
From your experiments, it seems that *airborne* noise is being picked up by yr Wadia - and/or by the elec. circuit.

Do you have TV antennae, TV connections, plates, or similar a/video gear nearby? Try DISCONNECTING.

Also, OTHER (stock, anything) interconnects you can try?

It's indeed surprising that this noise disappears w/ the Sony, BUT surfaces elsewhere in the house.

When I had "static" noise, it came from caps or resistors (don't remember which) in my tube amp -- this is probably not yr case, as you have identical noise in other systems.

I think we need Sean & Co. Good luck!