Extremely high pitched whine with Amazon Fire TV and Yamaha receiver - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 57 Old 04-20-2014, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a new-to-me Yamaha RX-V730 receiver, which I only use for decoding surround sound. My speakers are Mackie HR624 (fronts) and KRK Rokit 8's (rear). Everything has been working fine until I got an Amazon Fire TV. Granted, the Fire TV is the first thing I've hooked up using optical audio and surround sound. 

 

I set the Fire TV to use the optical connection, and have it hooked directly to the Yamaha. When I play Pandora (and the Yamaha is in stereo mode) radio, it works totally fine. However, when I stream an HD video and the Yamaha is in surround mode, I get an extremely high-pitched whine from both right speakers, but ONLY when the media is paused. During playback there is no whine. In fact, when I hit pause it takes a split second for the whine to start. The only way to make it go away is by muting the Yamaha.

 

It's so high pitched that I can barely hear it, but my girlfriend can actually hear it from outside! Not only that, but the red "warning light" on my right Mackie HR624 comes on, and the attenuators kick on. 

 

What's the deal?

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post #2 of 57 Old 04-20-2014, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Nevermind, figured it out. I accidentally left on those tiny plastic protectors that are on the optical cable. Removed them and now it works fine. Maybe this could help someone else.

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post #3 of 57 Old 04-20-2014, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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The problem is back. Nothing has changed but all the sudden the same symptoms are back.
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post #4 of 57 Old 04-20-2014, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Also I noticed that the squeal goes away when I disconnect the optical cable.
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post #5 of 57 Old 04-20-2014, 11:03 PM
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Optical should be dead quiet. Maybe you damaged something. At least try another cable and/or port. Or use hdmi from fire to receiver.
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post #6 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 05:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikkenit2 View Post

Optical should be dead quiet. Maybe you damaged something. At least try another cable and/or port. Or use hdmi from fire to receiver.

 

I tried two other ports and had the same issue. This is the only optical cable I own. And the receiver doesn't have HDMI.

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post #7 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone?
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post #8 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 10:25 AM
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Try something else with an optical output borrow something if you have to in order to rule out which piece is bad AVR ,FTV or cable.
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post #9 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 12:42 PM
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Check to make sure the source is plugged into the same power circuit that your amps/speakers are.

Also if your receiver has a ground terminal make sure it is grounded to the outlets. (If you notice it only has a 2 prong power plug) If it doesn't have a ground terminal you are going to have to use a case screw to ground it and a cheater plug with the ground split out to tie to.

I had this same issue on my KRK 10-3's and Mackie MR8 mk2's. They need all components grounded to the same circuit. I used a belkin power conditioner as well to provide a common ground terminal to tie the receiver to....
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post #10 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 01:11 PM
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Optical should be immune to ground problems do to no physical connection as for data its light transmission.
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post #11 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

Optical should be immune to ground problems do to no physical connection as for data its light transmission.

Its not a ground loop issue. It is a reference ground issue.

The KRK's and Mackie's are true balanced devices and need a direct ground to be on the same circuit as the source components. The only way around this is if you are running a completely balanced system (balanced source, balanced receiver/mixer, balanced cables) because they carry a ground in the cable.
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post #12 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rush2049 View Post

Its not a ground loop issue. It is a reference ground issue.

The KRK's and Mackie's are true balanced devices and need a direct ground to be on the same circuit as the source components. The only way around this is if you are running a completely balanced system (balanced source, balanced receiver/mixer, balanced cables) because they carry a ground in the cable.

I doubt its either his opening post it works in stereo so something is happening at the decoding level since it rears its ugly head only on 5.1 or am I missing something.
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post #13 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

I doubt its either his opening post it works in stereo so something is happening at the decoding level since it rears its ugly head only on 5.1 or am I missing something.

Thats because the decoding circuitry for the surround in his source equipment has a closer relationship with the ground voltage. (op amps / logic processors, etc etc).
When he pauses the frame rate of the video being output goes sky high instead of the default 60 or 24 fps of a video.

This same thing can be heard with a HTPC when playing an older video game on a high powered graphics card. When the frame rate goes higher than the refresh rate of the display (>120hz) you are hearing the switching frequency generated by the video hardware.

I hear this on my Geforce Titan card when it starts rendering around 300+ frames per second. Grounding all my components to a common ground helped, but enabling vertical sync is the real fix.
I doubt the Kindle Fire has a v-sync option.... so the best thing you can do is to make doubly sure everything that can be is on a common ground.
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post #14 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rush2049 View Post

Check to make sure the source is plugged into the same power circuit that your amps/speakers are.

Also if your receiver has a ground terminal make sure it is grounded to the outlets. (If you notice it only has a 2 prong power plug) If it doesn't have a ground terminal you are going to have to use a case screw to ground it and a cheater plug with the ground split out to tie to.

I had this same issue on my KRK 10-3's and Mackie MR8 mk2's. They need all components grounded to the same circuit. I used a belkin power conditioner as well to provide a common ground terminal to tie the receiver to....

 

Right now everything has a floating ground. My house is old and most of the outlets are 2-prong, however I'm working on upgrading that. I guess I could disconnect all the powered speakers and plug in a passive speaker, and see if the noise goes away. I will say, from my limited experience running a recording studio, this does not sound like a typical ground problem, but I could be wrong. It sounds like a dog whistle.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post


I doubt its either his opening post it works in stereo so something is happening at the decoding level since it rears its ugly head only on 5.1 or am I missing something.

 

After more troubleshooting, it's not always in 5.1 when it happens, but it's ALWAYS when I'm watching video. The pandora radio app has not had this issue at all.

 

And now a new symptom has developed, a "pop" or "crackle" sound right when the high pitched squeal starts.

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post #15 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 01:31 PM
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A bad cap can cause this (pop and squeal) and usually I see this in old sub amps.
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post #16 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rush2049 View Post


Thats because the decoding circuitry for the surround in his source equipment has a closer relationship with the ground voltage. (op amps / logic processors, etc etc).
When he pauses the frame rate of the video being output goes sky high instead of the default 60 or 24 fps of a video.

This same thing can be heard with a HTPC when playing an older video game on a high powered graphics card. When the frame rate goes higher than the refresh rate of the display (>120hz) you are hearing the switching frequency generated by the video hardware.

I hear this on my Geforce Titan card when it starts rendering around 300+ frames per second. Grounding all my components to a common ground helped, but enabling vertical sync is the real fix.
I doubt the Kindle Fire has a v-sync option.... so the best thing you can do is to make doubly sure everything that can be is on a common ground.

 

This sounds like it has some merit. For a quick and dirty test, can I just disconnect all the powered speakers and plug in passive ones? Then the only two devices that require power are the receiver and Fire TV. For what it's worth, the Fire TV has no ground connection. 

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post #17 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

A bad cap can cause this (pop and squeal) and usually I see this in old sub amps.

But in relation to pausing the video?

 

...And in which device?

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post #18 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 01:42 PM
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Yea I know exactly what you are talking about, its not a low hum that a ground loop would cause.

A dog whistle is exactly correct. My KRK's even had the same issue.

Yea you can try using passive speakers as a test.

The issue is likely a combo of the powered monitors being balanced devices and the source rendering the audio at really high frame rates to match the paused video.


If your house has a floating ground, you can just plug everything into the same power strip and force your receiver to have a common ground with a wire from a chassis screw to a ground terminal on the power strip. (Try this only temporarily and wire it permanently to an outlet on the wall if this is a fix for your issue)
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post #19 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rush2049 View Post


Its not a ground loop issue. It is a reference ground issue.

The KRK's and Mackie's are true balanced devices and need a direct ground to be on the same circuit as the source components. The only way around this is if you are running a completely balanced system (balanced source, balanced receiver/mixer, balanced cables) because they carry a ground in the cable.

 

Come to think of it, I think the Mackies have no ground connection on the IEC socket. Not sure about the KRK's. I'll double check when I get home.

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post #20 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rush2049 View Post

Yea I know exactly what you are talking about, its not a low hum that a ground loop would cause.

A dog whistle is exactly correct. My KRK's even had the same issue.

Yea you can try using passive speakers as a test.

The issue is likely a combo of the powered monitors being balanced devices and the source rendering the audio at really high frame rates to match the paused video.


If your house has a floating ground, you can just plug everything into the same power strip and force your receiver to have a common ground with a wire from a chassis screw to a ground terminal on the power strip. (Try this only temporarily and wire it permanently to an outlet on the wall if this is a fix for your issue)

 

Okay sound like I have some more troubleshooting to do tonight. I do have 3 conductor wires in my house, so it shouldn't be a problem to just replace the outlets with 3 prong and have a true ground. 

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post #21 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 01:47 PM
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1.) Do you have another device you can use even if you have to borrow one from a friend to test the optical cable and input in your AVR?
2.) Can you take your FTV and hook it up to someone eles unit to check for noise?
3.)Its a process of elimination sometimes it can be as simple as a cable or sat ground since some boxes are connected to TV and AVR and impedance differential in grounds will cause weak components to suddenly exhibit noise as they get older do to their value ( part +/- tolerance) falling off.
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post #22 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bac0nfat View Post

Come to think of it, I think the Mackies have no ground connection on the IEC socket. Not sure about the KRK's. I'll double check when I get home.

Your right the HR264's only have a 2 prong power connector, the rockits on the other hand do. Are you sure its only the right speaker in each pair making the whine?


Also as both sets of speakers are high sensitivity.
Try moving the rca cables away from power cords and power lines in your walls. I know this sounds odd, but it has also helped with the same issue.
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post #23 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rush2049 View Post


Your right the HR264's only have a 2 prong power connector, the rockits on the other hand do. Are you sure its only the right speaker in each pair making the whine?


Also as both sets of speakers are high sensitivity.
Try moving the rca cables away from power cords and power lines in your walls. I know this sounds odd, but it has also helped with the same issue.

I thought it was just the right side because I could only hear it on that side, and only the right mackie speaker had the red light turn on. But my girlfriend can hear it clearly and she says it comes from both sides. To double check, I turned off both right speakers and she said she can still hear it.

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post #24 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac0nfat View Post

I thought it was just the right side because I could only hear it on that side, and only the right mackie speaker had the red light turn on. But my girlfriend can hear it clearly and she says it comes from both sides. To double check, I turned off both right speakers and she said she can still hear it.

Well, you have some troubleshooting to do, post back when you get the chance.
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post #25 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Just turned off ALL the powered speakers, and hooked up a passive speaker. I can still hear it through the passive speaker.

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post #26 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 03:39 PM
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So try grounding the receiver with a piece of wire and one of its chassis screws. See if it stops.
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post #27 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rush2049 View Post

So try grounding the receiver with a piece of wire and one of its chassis screws. See if it stops.

 

Just grounded the receiver (which required swapping the 2 prong outlet for a 3 prong) and that did not fix the issue.

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post #28 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 04:36 PM
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Theoretically you have a ground on components that are only 2 prong the neutral lug (wide spade) is internally wired on most as the ground also at your service all grounds and neutrals are tied together .
What you never want is more than one ground rod unless they are tied to the ground rod at your service.
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post #29 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by oztech View Post

Theoretically you have a ground on components that are only 2 prong the neutral lug (wide spade) is internally wired on most as the ground also at your service all grounds and neutrals are tied together .
What you never want is more than one ground rod unless they are tied to the ground rod at your service.

Yeah, the grounds and neutrals are tied together in my panel.

 

I just called Amazon tech support and though they were very friendly (and actually spoke English) they were not able to resolve my issue. They are escalating it to the product developers, and if they can't figure it out within 24 hours they are gonna send me a new unit. I have a feeling I'll end up with a new unit. It will be really interesting to see if the problem is still there.

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post #30 of 57 Old 04-21-2014, 06:57 PM
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Total BS!!!
Looks like Amazon just rushed the Fire TV box out too fast...
Didn't do adequate interoperability testing between other system components..
Send it back...

Just my $0.05... 👍😉
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