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Hi all,

I am very new to audio!
Seeking advice for my PC desktop setup, primary uses are going to be for movies, games and wanting a high clarity/detailed music listening experience.

 

Requirements: 

- I've previously used studio monitors and they produce an ear piercing constant screech that I couldn't deal with anymore. Aiming to minimise that to an almost unaudible hum from 1ft away would be ideal. 

- Must be compatible with a sub i have lying around (Klipsch SW-350)  (pic below)

 

Speakers of interest: 

- Klipsch R41/51M

- Klipsch R-41/51PM

- triangle br02

- kef x300a

- wharfedale diamond 9.1

 

I'm not sure if the above statement regarding hissing will exclude the active bookshelves? But the ones I previously had were 8" so... 

However, I believe if i go the passive route (cheaper speakers as well) I'd have to look for an amplifier - what suggestions do you guys have? 

And what would connectivity look like between the PC > Bookshelves > Sub?

 

The powered model configuration looks very simple - however i'll mention again, skeptical of hiss. 

 

Cheers!

 

synergy-sw-350-0b2-klipsch.jpg

R-51PM_GM_Inputs_large@2x.jpg?v=15712655

 

Edited by chewstation
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2 hours ago, Bengineer said:

Go listen to some. Unplug the source and listen for hiss. 

I wonder if the environment will have an impact on what I hear. For example  an audio store showroom versus my home with PC/Graphics card whining away next to it :/

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Yeah it does. But there is a lot to consider.

 

First and foremost, active speakers with their built in Amps can have a hiss that you can't get rid of. So if you can at least hear them with no source connected, you can get an idea.

 

Good clean power into the speaker can help, but won't eliminate that hiss.

 

Everything else is controllable. Hiss from dirty USB power from your PC is mangeable and you can eliminate it. Hiss from the inherant design of the speaker you can't.

 

 

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Ah gotcha. The last pair of monitors I had only had a faint hum and very minor hiss with no audio source when setup away from my PC. when I brought it upstairs and setup on my desk the noise was too much. And that’s still no audio signal. 
 

If I had known it would scale that bad I wouldn’t have bought it :(

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This thread is surprising to me.   I did not realise that powered monitors suffer from problems with noise so much. Is it perhaps a lack of shielding?   Good "computer" speakers with in-built amplifiers and sub-woofers that I have used did not have noise problems.

 

I think it will help to distinguish between hiss, and computer noise pickup, and  hum pickup, i.e. what is the type of noise, as that will help find and eliminate the cause.

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If it changed from one powerpoint to the other than it is susceptible to the power it recieves. That is mangeable, power conditioners / better powerboards etc can help there.

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1 minute ago, aussievintage said:

This thread is surprising to me.   I did not realise that powered monitors suffer from problems with noise so much. Is it perhaps a lack of shielding?   Good "computer" speakers with in-built amplifiers and sub-woofers that I have used did not have noise problems.

 

I think it will help to distinguish between hiss, and computer noise pickup, and  hum pickup, i.e. what is the type of noise, as that will help find and eliminate the cause.

Good computer speakers definately do too.

 

It's purely to the way they implement the amp and shield it.

 

Most suffer from it to some degree. Some you can hear from 1m away, some need to be 30cm away.

 

Then on top of that if you don't feed them a clean signal, it shows. My USB input from the PC was very noisy on some amps. Changing to the front USB port helped (runs on a different power rail), adding in a iFi iDefender did the job, broke the power rail on the USB to the DAC. I then fed the DAC a separate power input.

 

Interestingly, same PC, no conditioners. USB straight into the Questyle CMA Twelve. Dead silent.

 

 

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So is an external amp eg topping pa3 going to be less susceptible to noise compared to an active monitor? 
 

I had a pair of edifier 1855db that were dead silent. So I was surprised the presonus E8s were so troublesome 

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Generally yeah. As the amplifier isn't inside the cabinet.

 

I have a pair of Edifiers about 15 years ago, horrible hiss. Returned them for the Harmon Kardon soundsticks, which you could only hear the hiss with your ear to it. My KEF LS50W II you can only hear the hiss with your ear against the driver. From 80cm away, nothing.

 

All comes down to quality of the speaker design, how clean the power in, the DAC signal and a pinch of luck. They *all* hiss, it's just at what distance do you hear it.

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It still sounds to me as though your "hiss" is my "noise".  Hiss is wide bandwidth white(ish) noise.  Buzzes and high frequency stuff coming from being too near a computer, is noise. I mean, yes they all make "noise"  it is just useful to make the distinction.

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8 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

As the amplifier isn't inside the cabinet.

 

An amp inside a speaker cabinet can still be built with a metal enclosure for shielding.  Typical plastic or wood speaker cabinets won't make much difference.

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32 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

Then on top of that if you don't feed them a clean signal, it shows. My USB input from the PC was very noisy on some amps. Changing to the front USB port helped (runs on a different power rail), adding in a iFi iDefender did the job, broke the power rail on the USB to the DAC. I then fed the DAC a separate power input.

 

Ground loops when using PCs and laptops with externally powered devices can be troublesome and allow the noise to be much worse as you describe.   All depends on which devices are grounded, or double insulated and ungrounded, and how you combine them.  Same problems happen when using a PC to record music.

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I recently just got a pair of Adam A5X and they are active.

 

There is some hiss, but if I keep the volume controls on the monitors to moderate db I cant hear the hiss from my seated position about 1 metre away.

 

In day to day use, the hiss basically is non-existent.

 

As far as I know, all active monitors at least have some hiss.

 

Maybe you should consider "passive" speakers if you don't want hiss.

 

I am pretty sure the Kef LS50 passive version was silent when I had them paired with a Peachtree Nova, but I sold them off as I didn't want to do the whole integrated amp thing.

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Any opinions on the speakers I have listed? Looking to get something this week :) 

 

topping pa3 on the way at the moment 

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4 hours ago, bruc3 said:

As far as I know, all active monitors at least have some hiss.

 

 

Why?  Most are just class D amplifiers in a speaker box.  Should be silent.

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15 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

 

Why?  Most are just class D amplifiers in a speaker box.  Should be silent.

 

Ok, I am probably wrong then, I was basically just parroting what I have been reading on line, and also every active monitor I was considering earlier seemed to have someone reporting hissing so assumed it was just the nature of active monitors.

 

 

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I had a very annoying background hiss when I had a pair of Fostex active speakers plugged in to a decent PC soundcard (3.5mm on the card to RCA on the speakers).

 

Added a DAC that runs from the PC USB to the DAC and RCA's from DAC to speakers and ALL FIXED!

 

So it can depend I think....

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30 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

 

Why?  Most are just class D amplifiers in a speaker box.  Should be silent.

Find me an active speaker that doesn't.

 

I have $4000+ KEF sitting here and its audible at like 15cm, maybe 30cm in a quiet room.

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8 minutes ago, Mr_B said:

ALL FIXED!

 

So it can depend I think....

 

Silent even with your ear held up against the speaker? lol

 

 

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Yeah, source related hiss/static is separate issue. That would present itself on any revealing or sensitive gear.

 

Nothing plugged in buy the power hiss, thats the killer :P

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1 hour ago, Mr_B said:

I had a very annoying background hiss when I had a pair of Fostex active speakers plugged in to a decent PC soundcard (3.5mm on the card to RCA on the speakers).

 

Added a DAC that runs from the PC USB to the DAC and RCA's from DAC to speakers and ALL FIXED!

 

So it can depend I think....

 

 

Yes, so it NOT the active monitors that are hissing.  It is noise being introduced from the noisy soundcard.

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2 hours ago, Bengineer said:

Find me an active speaker that doesn't.

 

I have $4000+ KEF sitting here and its audible at like 15cm, maybe 30cm in a quiet room.

 

Behringer MS20

If the analog input hisses, use the optical link and onboard DAC.

30 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

 

Yes, so it NOT the active monitors that are hissing.  It is noise being introduced from the noisy soundcard.

 

Remember the olden daze when we had CRT monitors!?

 

THEN you'd really get some weird stuff going on..............in both direction!

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7 hours ago, Bengineer said:

My KEF LS50W II you can only hear the hiss with your ear against the driver. From 80cm away, nothing.

 

Super impressive that.

 

And confusing why some of the biggest pro audio studio monitor makers still haven't solved this. 

 

JBL, KRK, Neumann, Dynaudio, Adam Audio all had audible hiss from 1m away - the models I demo'ed anyway.

 

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I know right. What's more impressive is they aren't for nearfield. So the need to ensure low hiss wasn't there!

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14 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

I know right. What's more impressive is they aren't for nearfield. So the need to ensure low hiss wasn't there!

 

They are very versatile. Great for nearfield and can be used further back with a pair of subwoofers properly integrated and sound overall like massive floostanders.

 

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16 hours ago, aussievintage said:

 

 

Yes, so it NOT the active monitors that are hissing.  It is noise being introduced from the noisy soundcard.

 

Most likely yes, though could have also been due to the cable run which I changed with the introduction of the DAC. Obvious point is that if you have noise, changing the way you source or run audio can potentially clean it up. Likewise for ground loop issues etc.

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17 hours ago, Bengineer said:

I know right. What's more impressive is they aren't for nearfield. So the need to ensure low hiss wasn't there!

What makes you say that? Their "sweet spot" is very wide per their impressive off-axis response, and can be EQ'd for one's specific speaker placement relative to their desk and wall.

Edited by h2oxide
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