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post #1 of 26 Old 05-15-2011, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright, hello AVS Forum. I've been registered here for a while, mostly lurked around since then. I've currently got a decent setup (in my opinion) in my room, but it probably isn't up to snuff to where it could be, and I've got a new addition of equipment that I will be replacing/adding to my system, so I need some guidance.

Here is what I have:
Current:
2x Sony SS-MF515 speakers
2x Nakamichi bookshelf speakers (could be the S-1As, not sure though)
Scott A1610 receiver
Aiwa TS-W60 Subwoofer
Kenwood KE-205 Equalizer
Kenwood CD Changer + Sony Dual Tapedeck (not important to me, hardly ever use due to playing everything from my PC or PS3)
Olson HF-600 Meter Unit

Basically, the CD changer and tapedeck are hooked up as well as a line running to my PC (long set of RCA cables) - I hook these straight into my PC or PS3 and get sound that way. To me, it sounds good most of the time, though I do notice specific problems with some things. I don't think it is really setup in any surround sound type of fashion, and I don't even believe I have the L/R channels setup exactly how they should be (as in speaker placement wise).

My room (where the setup is/will be) is roughly 12 ft (142") by 11ft (130") with a closet roughly 29" deep and 69" wide.

What I have ready for installation/whatever:
2x Crystal Audio THX-10 subwoofers
2x Acoustic Research TSW-610 speakers
2x Advent Mini Advent speakers
2x Advent Baby Advent II speakers (oddly enough, smaller than the minis)
Epicure M4 Pre-amp
Epicure M1 Amp (I'm assuming, as it doesn't specify on it but pics show the same thing)
Soundcraftsmen RP2215-R equalizer
Mitsubishi DA-M10 Meter Unit

Now not all those were hooked up together, the Advents were just lying around, but the rest was. From what I see, that Epicure combo is pretty nice/sought after from what I read from a small thread. My father, who passed all this down to me after he passed away, built this system for himself as sort of his "dream system" after he gave me the older one (above). He was really into audio, probably an "audiophile" by his classification, and really loved music, especially jazz and rock (countless CDs, vinyls, tapes, etc.)


So basically, I have all this stuff, and I don't know where to begin or what to do. Currently, I think my setup right now is good, but even with what I have could be a lot better. This new setup seems really nice, though the equipment definitely dated from what we know now. I've got things through my head - like I want to get a surround sound setup going with an 5.1/7.1 system if possible. This equipment seems high quality, but since he really enjoyed music (and movies + TV shows, tons), it was really built more for the sound instead of what we have today as traditional surround setups. Not that I exactly know what I'm saying here, so that is why I ask for help! Money isn't exactly an issue, and I work at BB, so if I wanted to buy a order a new receiver or something like that I wouldn't have much of a problem.

- Tristan
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post #2 of 26 Old 05-15-2011, 10:09 PM
 
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What I would do...

Buy a receiver with pre-outs...

You have a choice of using the M1 as "main power" and let a receiver run the center and surrounds. The M1 has better power than ANY under $2000 receiver, might as well use it.

Advents have always sounded good. Find another pair of "towers" from the same era as the Baby/Mini and use those as your surrounds. Advent also had a center for them currently...and it won't be too tough to find.

The other choice of the M1 is to use it as a 2nd zone amplifier, your call which way you use it.

The pre-amp, I'd keep that just for posterity in case you ever want to sell the M1.

The "older stuff"...

Scott A1610. It is nice but has no "value". There is a guy asking $94 for one on Ebay...at least $60 too much.
The Sony and Nakamichi speakers...Can you use them in a 2nd/3rd zone situation? The Sony are another..."probably sound good, but you'll never sell them"(set of 315 on Ebay with an opening bid of $25, no takers). Nak was never known for anything but their tape decks.

The equalizers and meters...who knows. Olson doesn't have anything on Ebay. The Mits, there is one on Ebay for $200 on a 20 some-day auction...
You might find somebody that wants an EQ.
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post #3 of 26 Old 05-22-2011, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post

What I would do...

Buy a receiver with pre-outs...

You have a choice of using the M1 as "main power" and let a receiver run the center and surrounds. The M1 has better power than ANY under $2000 receiver, might as well use it.

Okay, so basically using the M1 to power the whole system - basically I won't need a receiver with actual power, just something that actually has inputs? Pre-outs, from Googling and seeing a thread here, basically means what I typed, the external receiver (M1) powers it while the other provides inputs?

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Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post

Advents have always sounded good. Find another pair of "towers" from the same era as the Baby/Mini and use those as your surrounds. Advent also had a center for them currently...and it won't be too tough to find.

Will it not be good to use the Acoustic Research floor standing speakers? I mean, mixing and matching shouldn't matter as long as they are rated the same ohm wise and all, correct? How about the subs I have, are those both quality? I probably will use the Crystal Audio ones, not the current AIWA I am using.

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The other choice of the M1 is to use it as a 2nd zone amplifier, your call which way you use it.

The pre-amp, I'd keep that just for posterity in case you ever want to sell the M1.

Okay. What exactly are zones? I assume it has something to do with surround and sort of like channels...or not at all?

New to this (mostly), so trying to learn. I would love to get a 7.2 receiver though and get a real nice setup going.
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-11-2011, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, so I went and got the rest of stuff out of storage, and I was right, there is another M1 amp, more tapedeck/cd player equipment, and two more AR speakers. Really want to get a good setup going here, if only for music, that'd be fine as I use my 7.1 Logitech headset for my PC.
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post #5 of 26 Old 07-11-2011, 08:33 PM
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"Zones" are exactly that - different zones of independent audio and/or video, as in different rooms (they don't have to be bound to a room though); your processor generally determines how many zones you can have (however this isn't concrete).

As far as the speakers, impedance ("ohm wise") doesn't matter for matching unless the amplifier chokes with things mixed (shouldn't), so do whatever suits your space and taste. Grab a receiver with multi-channel preouts and multi-zone (if you want it or need it), hook the amplifiers up for the appropriate channels (I'm not sure that they're better than "any under $2000 receiver", but I also don't know how much power they're supposed to be putting out (And how much yours will actually put out, after however many years of age)). An example of a suitable receiver here that should also be sold at Best Buy (so you can go and look at it) would be the Yamaha RX-V867, the RX-A700 is very similar but I'm not sure if Best Buy sells that model. There are also models from Onkyo, Denon, and Pioneer in that rough price range that will offer pre-outs. Sony doesn't offer anything in their non-ES catalog currently that has pre-outs (which is a real shame), but if you're interested you'd need the STR-DA3600ES (or higher), which Magnolia should have (along with some nicer Denon models).

Basically you'll be dumping all of the EQs, meters, preamps, etc (I don't care or want to know what you've done with them - sell them, recycle them, etc; if you decide to dump them in a field or put them in the trash then you shouldn'tve had them in the first place) - the AVR will handle all of that internally (and probably better/easier) - keep the power amps, speakers, and subs, and all should be good. You can probably hook up at least two, if not all three, with a modern AVR (depending on how they're able to be connected this may be incredibly simple).

Regarding 7.whatevernumber, it doesn't exist - it's 7.1 with multiple subwoofers (they aren't drawing from discrete channels and generally draw the same signal or very nearly the same signal (some AVRs/preamps will "split" their bass management for stereo, so all left channels go to "left sub" and the same for right, but LFE is still sent to both as if it were one)), and in general 7.1 itself doesn't exist (almost all content is 5.1 and upmixed/remixed to 7.1 by the receiver) - so if you don't have the space or budget for 7.1, ignore it (it isn't "bad" but you won't be missing anything with the vast majority of content, especially from DVD and cable/satellite - once you go over 7.1 however, it can get somewhat "nuts" (9.1, 10.1, 11.1, and so on are generally proprietary to the respective equipment manufacturer, with the exception of Pro Logic IIz and Audessy DSX (which still represent remix/upmix schemes, not content encoding)). With a pair of quality stereo power amplifiers I'd probably consider 4.x (if your space is small enough), or 5.x if you really want the center channel (or your space is larger), 6.x/7.x if you have the equipment and space (some newer Blu-ray titles are 7.1, and there's some 6.1 content on DVD and Laserdisc that can be played back on 7.1 arrays, your PC can also output 7.1 from games if it has proper hardware and your receiver accepts 7.1 analog multi-ch input). The reason the subwoofer thing matters is that you can go ahead and connect all three if everything allows it (again, it depends on how the subwoofers are able to be wired in), it may or may not be "good" in your space (you may have artificially inflated bass response centered on a given frequency, or you may just waste a ton of power and gain nothing). Some fancier receivers labeled as 7.2/9.2/11.2 will do bass management independently on their sub preouts, which is a nice feature (it helps integrate multiple subwoofers more easily), so keep an eye out as you review user's manuals and spec sheets.
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post #6 of 26 Old 07-23-2011, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the posts guys. Tore apart my setup earlier today, mixing and matching stuff now. Might have something done by the end of the weekend, may be looking into getting a new receiver for ease of use. Thanks again, and I'll keep this updated if anyone is interested (doubt it).
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post #7 of 26 Old 07-23-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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Actually...we will notice. We like when people come back and say "I took some of the advice and did_______"
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post #8 of 26 Old 07-23-2011, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post

Actually...we will notice. We like when people come back and say "I took some of the advice and did_______"

Well, just to get everything setup so I have something, I'm using one amp for the left speakers, one for the right, and running an AUX line through the pre-amp to my PC. No equalizer, subwoofer, or anything else. I'm not exactly sure how to hook up the subwoofers. The have one coaxial connection coming out of them, so not exactly sure what to do there.

Also, the connection from my PC has some sort of electricity through it...basically, when I unplug it, it feels tingly. I don't think this is normal, and not sure what it could be. Only thing I could think of is audio was still running on my PC and it is just current running from that. Either way, I saw a small spark when plugging them back into the pre-amp. Just want to be safe.

I've got a Panamax 1000+ and 500DBS surge protector / line conditioner. Since I've never used either before, I've got a few questions. 1, where do I plug the things into? Always on, on by master, etc? Why are there two plugs coming out - obviously the main to the wall, but where does the "master connector" go?
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-24-2011, 01:20 AM
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Wow, you should absolutely NOT have sparks coming from any output on a PC, nor should any of those outputs feel "tingly" - I'd say check your connections, check your cables, and consider getting a different PC.
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post #10 of 26 Old 07-24-2011, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Nothing is wrong with my PC.

When I play music through the cord (which is a 30ft RCA cord BTW), no current or anything is there. When plugging into aux on pre-amp, there are small blue sparks, only 1 or 2, that seem like arching. When I remove the plugs, they are tingly, like the received current from the pre-amp and are now electrified for a little bit, however after a few seconds they are fine.
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post #11 of 26 Old 07-24-2011, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright, I'm getting a good amount of feedback, especially at half to full volume on the pre-amp. I tried two different RCA cables, same thing. I did try a different RCA cable with the PC, and didn't feel the tingly sensation after I unplugged them, so I'm thinking the one long cable could be bad. As for the pre-amp, currently this is how I have it hooked up (not my pic):



I have the amps plugged into the left (1/4 jack to coaxial) and right power amp plugs. I've used both of them (red) - should I just be using one? My though process was since there are two amps powering two channels, I just run them off both plugs. Correct or doesn't matter or wrong?

As for the blue, that is where my PC is plugged up. I had white left right red. Getting lots of static plugging from 3.5mm jack on PC to those, same as I did with my last setup and I was fine. I've got the speakers with GLS banana plugs into the speakers and the plain speaker wire into the receiver -- on that note, should I be using plugs there? The main reason I was thinking no is that the cover is barely able to close with the wire running to the pre, these would make it unable to close. They are in there now, but loosely hooked in, a slight tug would make them fall out. Since the wire is of low gauge, I don't believe I'd be able to thread it through the whole at the bottom of the plugs either.

For the subs, can I hook both into the tape monitor ports (tape output, correct?) and use them that way? Since they too have a single coaxial running off, would I hook them the same way I do the amps to the pre?

I've got that pre + 2 amps hooked into the Panamax 500DBS surge protector/line conditioner, NOT into the two that say "always on" (since there are three plugs and I'm not sure what would go there).

What am I doing right/wrong/horribly?
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post #12 of 26 Old 07-24-2011, 09:45 PM
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The amps are being used for mono, or not (I'm not familiar with the brand, so you'll have to fill in what their capabilities are - are they designed to run one or two speakers).

From the pic, I can't quite read the lettering next to the "to power amps" section - is it L/R 1 and 2, or 1/2/3/4? If 1/2/3/4 you probably need to configure the outputs, if L/R 1/2 you just use the first or second set (but what you've done wouldn't matter either, both left and both right are identical).

I would say "no" to your subwoofer scheme, for two reasons:

- It's a full level signal, so you have no volume control for the subs (read: they would be VERY LOUD all the time),

- Unless the subs have a crossover built-in, you don't want to send a full level signal to them (it will sound bad).

Do the subs have "high level" inputs and outputs? If so, you can wire them between the power amplifiers and the speakers, and the set the crossovers up that way (this means you have volume control over the subs and they will blend better with the speakers).

Regarding the sparks/tingle/hum etc - again, this should not happen, period. If different cables solve the problem, use the bad cables as scraps for other projects or recycle them. It sounds like your issues are either caused by interference or bad cabling, if not both.

From the PC side, what's the volume output level set to? Do you know anything about the gain settings on your Encore, and have you set them for any specific sensitivity?
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post #13 of 26 Old 07-25-2011, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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For the amp it is:
L 1 R
L 2 R
So as you say, I'll either plug them into the same or leave it if it doesn't matter.

The amps have the ability to power 3 sets of speakers, 3 left 3 right. They have a 1/4 jack output to the preamp, and then an output for a scope display. Other than that, only volume and fuse.

The subwoofers have one input - a coaxial one. They do have a volume control on them as well.

What could be interfering with the system that I'm missing? Hopefully not my PC?

The volume output is set to 100, but the music level was lower. I have no idea about the encore settings, or specifically what that means, and haven't set any sensitivity.
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post #14 of 26 Old 07-25-2011, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarrasdeamor View Post

For the amp it is:
L 1 R
L 2 R
So as you say, I'll either plug them into the same or leave it if it doesn't matter.

I'd probably use all of "one" or "two", simply for posterity, but what you have is still correct.

Quote:



The subwoofers have one input - a coaxial one. They do have a volume control on them as well.

That isn't a volume control, it's a gain control, you cannot connect those subwoofers to a straight line level and expect to use them with your other equipment. You need a pre-amplifier with subwoofer outputs, or something that will act as a crossover to help integrate the subs - the Velodyne SMS-1 would probably work, although it may be worth more than what it's being connected to.

Quote:


What could be interfering with the system that I'm missing? Hopefully not my PC?

Well, you insisted your PC was flawless, so there's not much troubleshooting I can walk you through. It absolutely should not be arcing or sparking, but as you've said - there's nothing wrong.

Quote:


The volume output is set to 100, but the music level was lower. I have no idea about the encore settings, or specifically what that means, and haven't set any sensitivity.

Sensitivity = gain controls, I can see an entire row of them on the preamp in the picture. Do you have an owner's manual?

Try setting the PC output volume to somewhere around 50%, what happens?
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post #15 of 26 Old 07-26-2011, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert View Post

That isn't a volume control, it's a gain control, you cannot connect those subwoofers to a straight line level and expect to use them with your other equipment. You need a pre-amplifier with subwoofer outputs, or something that will act as a crossover to help integrate the subs - the Velodyne SMS-1 would probably work, although it may be worth more than what it's being connected to.

Just curious, why is it labeled volume control then? How was it hooked up before? Really wish my father had of written up a schematic on how he had all this hooked up. I'd get an actual receiver before I went with a device like that, just seeing the price.



Quote:


Sensitivity = gain controls, I can see an entire row of them on the preamp in the picture. Do you have an owner's manual?

Try setting the PC output volume to somewhere around 50%, what happens?

When the PC volume is 50, the hum is still there, just obviously lower. There is both a high pitched hum and a low pitched one, as one goes away moving treble volume low, one when moving bass volume low.

Because the equipment is so old and rare, no, I don't have a manual. I have one for the amp, but only articles and such about the pre.

BTW, the volume on the amps is set to half for each channel.
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post #16 of 26 Old 07-26-2011, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Bought a new sound card, new cable (red+white audio + connector for 3.5mm), still the buzz and hum from the PC. Hum even comes when PC audio is down 100%. When you depress the AUX button (to turn off source), it goes away. It does go up when I turn the amp volume up as well, but I suppose that is just because it is feeding a louder signal in, therefore outputting a louder signal.

Taking the cords out the pre, they still feel tingly. Plugging them back in, as I get closer to the pre, as in them touching the metal, the tingle gets bigger. Somehow, current is running through the wires. I don't know what would cause that, and never noticed it on my old setup which worked fine.
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post #17 of 26 Old 07-26-2011, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarrasdeamor View Post

Just curious, why is it labeled volume control then? How was it hooked up before? Really wish my father had of written up a schematic on how he had all this hooked up. I'd get an actual receiver before I went with a device like that, just seeing the price.

It's the same thing as volume controls on other subwoofers - it assumes the subwoofer is connected to a source that has volume data/control of its own, and it allows you to adjust the final output of the subwoofer. You would use both in tandem to configure the system, and use the master device's control when done.

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Originally Posted by Guitarrasdeamor View Post

Bought a new sound card, new cable (red+white audio + connector for 3.5mm), still the buzz and hum from the PC. Hum even comes when PC audio is down 100%. When you depress the AUX button (to turn off source), it goes away. It does go up when I turn the amp volume up as well, but I suppose that is just because it is feeding a louder signal in, therefore outputting a louder signal.

Taking the cords out the pre, they still feel tingly. Plugging them back in, as I get closer to the pre, as in them touching the metal, the tingle gets bigger. Somehow, current is running through the wires. I don't know what would cause that, and never noticed it on my old setup which worked fine.

If I'm reading this right, sounds like the issue is in the preamp, not the computer. Have you tried any other inputs on the preamp?
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post #18 of 26 Old 07-27-2011, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I tried the tuner input and the issue was the same. Still the feedback. Also tried pressing all the controls on the front (different gains I guess? Like 75hz and such) - nothing.
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post #19 of 26 Old 07-28-2011, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarrasdeamor View Post

I tried the tuner input and the issue was the same. Still the feedback. Also tried pressing all the controls on the front (different gains I guess? Like 75hz and such) - nothing.

I don't know what the controls on the front are, but hz refers to frequency, you're probably changing crossover or other filter settings.

If you have just the pre-amp and amp hooked up to your speakers, no devices connected, no antenna connected, and pick an input that isn't the tuner, do you get the hum? If so, the hum is within one of the components or is a result of their interaction together.

If the above still produces hum, unplug the preamp, just have the amp and speakers, still hum? Then it's the amp, if not, it's the preamp.
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post #20 of 26 Old 07-28-2011, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert View Post

I don't know what the controls on the front are, but hz refers to frequency, you're probably changing crossover or other filter settings.

If you have just the pre-amp and amp hooked up to your speakers, no devices connected, no antenna connected, and pick an input that isn't the tuner, do you get the hum? If so, the hum is within one of the components or is a result of their interaction together.

If the above still produces hum, unplug the preamp, just have the amp and speakers, still hum? Then it's the amp, if not, it's the preamp.

If I take the pre-amp out of the equation, just the speakers themselves have a bit of feedback off the amp. However putting the preamp on there, it gets louder, then louder when the AUX switch is depressed. The Tape 1 + 2 don't make the buzz (only the slight feedback from just amps, like when disconnected from preamp), neither does the tuner. The phono 1+2 and the aux do though.
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post #21 of 26 Old 07-28-2011, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarrasdeamor View Post

If I take the pre-amp out of the equation, just the speakers themselves have a bit of feedback off the amp. However putting the preamp on there, it gets louder, then louder when the AUX switch is depressed. The Tape 1 + 2 don't make the buzz (only the slight feedback from just amps, like when disconnected from preamp), neither does the tuner. The phono 1+2 and the aux do though.

So if you connect the PC to one of the Tape inputs (leave the Phono jacks alone), everything works?
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post #22 of 26 Old 07-29-2011, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by walbert View Post

So if you connect the PC to one of the Tape inputs (leave the Phono jacks alone), everything works?

Nope, when sources are plugged in it still has the same feedback.
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post #23 of 26 Old 08-01-2011, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Well damn, maybe it is my whole house. Though i never really heard it before (as much as now), I plugged in the two Sony floor speakers, Scott AMP, and AIWA sub downstairs to the TV, and they have static/feedback in them too.
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post #24 of 26 Old 08-02-2011, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarrasdeamor View Post

Well damn, maybe it is my whole house. Though i never really heard it before (as much as now), I plugged in the two Sony floor speakers, Scott AMP, and AIWA sub downstairs to the TV, and they have static/feedback in them too.

There is going to be a degree of noise from any amplifier, that's just par for the course. I'm guessing that what you keep calling "feedback" is actually an audible hum, which may or may not be simply the amplifier's noise floor. It could also simply be the age of the components, especially if they weren't put together like battle-bots back in the day, it isn't surprising for pots, faders, caps, etc to age and become noisy.
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post #25 of 26 Old 08-04-2011, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright, well for now I suppose it is tolerable as it isn't like I have the volume even halfway up. I'm assuming there is a way to eliminate all noise, for thousands of dollars, lol. These were supposedly very well built amps, I suppose the pre-amp too, and I'm not sure these were ever re-conditioned or not.

Anyways, I think I'll be looking into getting a new receiver. At the current state, I see no way to hook up my subwoofer(s) that makes sense to me, and I'd love to get a digital signal to handle the sound from my computer as well as PS3.
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post #26 of 26 Old 08-04-2011, 02:23 PM
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When I play music through the cord (which is a 30ft RCA cord BTW), no current or anything is there.

Then there would be no sound.

If you're getting arcing and 'tingles' from your PC then there is a problem with it.
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