This is what 'Wit's End' looks like - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 33 Old 05-06-2020, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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This is what 'Wit's End' looks like

So I'm seriously at wit's end here.

The problem I'm dealing with is GPU induced buzzing in my home theater speakers. It is not coil wine.

To be fair, I am running a fairly complex system, and I dealt with some ground loop issues between the equipment early on that have since been resolved.

My system consists of the following:

HTPC Gaming Rig - I7 4790k (stock / no OC) cooled by Corsair H100i Pro, Gigabyte GTX1080 Windforce, 16GB Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP RAM, Samsung 500GB SSD, Thermaltake Core G3 case, Seasonic Focus SGX-650 PSU, ASUS Maximus VI Hero - Z87 MB

Windows 7 Pro Ultimate x64

Television - LG 65" OLED

Now for the complex part:

Speakers: 7.1 Surround Sound - Custom built fully active 3-way Left/Center/Right Speakers, (1) lilmike's Cinema F20 horn subwoofer, (1) dual opposed 20 cubic foot 15in Woofer sub tuned to ~11Hz (for the low-lows, lol), Dayton Audio B652 AIRs for back and side speakers.

Signal chain - PC HDMI Out --> Marantz SR5010 receiver --> Speaker DSP / Subwoofer DSP units --> Various Amplifiers as outlined below

The Marantz Left/Center/Right Preamp RCA Outs go to an Ashly Audio ne24.24m for DSP. The Ashly takes (3) inputs and outputs (9) signals to the amplifiers.

(7) outputs on the Ashly go to a Crown CTs 8200 for amplification of the Left Tweeter/Midrange, Right Tweeter/Midrange, and Center Tweeter/Midrange/Woofer

The remaining (2) outputs from the Ashly go to a Crown XLS 1502 for amplification of the Left and Right Speaker Woofers

The respective amplifiers are all wired appropriately to the Left/Center/Right speakers - I've been running them for about 5 months now.

The Marantz Receiver's Subwoofer output goes to a MiniDSP 2x4HD unit for DSP and then to a QSC PLX3002 amplifier for the (2) subs.

The system sounds very good, though I am changing out the Midrange drivers in the next couple days - not for this issue, for an unrelated sound quality upgrade.

The issue is the same as about a hundred or more internet forum threads - I have buzzing through the speakers when the GPU is active. The intensity of the buzz is greater when the GPU is heavily loaded. I also have the USB mouse scroll buzz.

When listening to music there is no buzzing.

When using KODI to watch movies, the buzzing starts fairly hot as the GPU ramps up (4k takes some power), but decreases when the GPU hits a semi steady state, and is at a low enough level that it is only audible during extremely quiet scenes.

Games are not playable. Rendering 4k even with V-Sync on taxes the GPU enough that the buzz is always present and so bad that you think you kicked a hornet nest.

The PS4 Pro over HDMI is however, dead silent with zero buzzing whatsoever. The Switch over HDMI is also silent.

I also have a perhaps related, perhaps not, issue with speaker pops and clicks anytime a major power draw happens in the house, e.g. HVAC, stove burners and oven, fan in the back bedroom, light switch in the living room, etc. This happens even with the PS4 and Switch, so may be unrelated.

Things I've tried to fix the buzzing issue:

My PC was originally in a Corsair Obsidian case running an OCZ 1000W PSU. Fearing it was the PSU, and wanting to downsize the case anway, I replaced both with the TT G30 and the Seasonic PSU.

Thinking it may be ground loop related, I rewired my RCA outputs from the Marantz to the Ashly DSP to the commonly accepted as correct unbalanced RCA to balanced phoenix plug per the Rane Audio wiring diagrams.

I have removed and reinstalled every device driver imaginable.

I switched my HDMI cable to an optical HDMI thinking it may be like going to optical SPDIF. I think the optical HDMI still has a ground connection end-to-end though, unlike SPDIF.

I have swapped every power cable and every interconnect in the system.

I have every electrical item on (2) big boy UPS units, both plugged into the same circuit. I plugged them into separate circuits and the problem persisted, plus my ground loop hum came back. I plugged just the PC into a different circuit with the same results.

I have a ground strap between the cases of every component in the system except the PC. This eliminated the aforementioned ground loop in conjunction with the UPS units being on the same circuit.

I have turned off various BIOS options, namely EIST and anything that throttles power based upon the advice from another thread that suggested that the ramping up and down of power draw may be causing a feedback loop.

Turned on/off V-sync in games and globally in the Nvidia Manager.

Changed Windows audio resolution/bit rate to every option available - 16-bit, 24-bit, 44.1 kHz, 48Khz, 96 kHz, 192kHz, etc.

Tried different combinations of power plugs in the two UPS units.

Tested the wall circuits - they are wired correctly.

Things I did last night that I have not had a chance to check:

After making sure the screws were tight from the GFX card bracket to the card, I ran a ground wire from the bracket to one of the motherboard screws. I was careful not to scratch the motherboard and made sure I didn't have any errant wire strands protruding around the screw head. I wouldn't want to scratch a trace and end up killing the MB.

I unplugged the HD audio from the MB, since it runs directly underneath the GFX card, just to rule out interference from it.

I replaced all the black oxide (possibly painted or black chrome) MB screws that came with the case with chrome (or zinc plated) MB screws in case they weren't conductive enough to ground the board properly. The previous case had the same issue, maybe not as profound, but it did, and all those screws were chrome.

I also ran a ground wire from one of the other MB screws to the case. I scratched off the paint so it should be making a solid connection.

The reason I did not verify results is it was super late (like 4:30am) and I had to be to work by 8:30am. I had DDU'd the GFX drivers and updated them prior to running the ground wires. I checked after the driver update and the buzz was still present, but only had the machine on for about 5 minutes. When I turned the machine on after running the ground wires, I did some quick checks, and thought it might be better on videos, but before I could start up DOOM, the screen blacked out on me. I unplugged and plugged back in the HDMI cable, and the screen came on. I fooled with it a little bit more and it blacked out again. Unplugged/plugged and checked GFX card and CPU temps and they were totally fine.

So I didn't have time to mess with it, but I think I need to roll back the GFX card driver. I am also going to reset the BIOS to default just in case I turned something off in there that is causing issues. Hopefully that solves the blackout issue, and I didn't bork something when I ran the ground wires.

Things I plan on doing if the above did not actually work:


Run optical SPDIF from the MB audio. This is a temp fix. Optical only supports 5.1 channel audio, and I want the full 7.1 my system is set up for.

Tie the PC case into the case grounds for the other equipment.

Replace the Motherboard. As much as I don't want to replace parts of an aging system, it currently runs everything I throw at it in 4K on Ultra or near Ultra settings. I figure I'm good for a couple years until the PS5 and Series X are being utilized to their potential, and then I might need to upgrade.


Any thoughts? Thanks for reading if you made it this far!
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post #2 of 33 Old 05-06-2020, 02:33 PM
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The problem is the ground loop between the HDMI and DSP USB cables. Thus completing the loop.
If you have shared Projector/TV/PCmon over the HDMI switching board that can also be a return path.

The solution is buying expensive: HDMI over single-mode fiber (Roughly $700 per HDMI cable.)
Alternatively optical USB cables on every A/V USB connection (still expensive, $1-200).

The "free" solution is: unplug all of the A/V related USB cables.
Keyboard and Mouse can be kept, but NAS's, DSP's etc if USB, might have to go...

Switching those over to CAT converters "might" work, but that's the last thing I'd test/try.
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post #3 of 33 Old 05-06-2020, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for reading my suuuuuper long post!


So regarding USB, the current items I have been using are USB wireless keyboard/mouse (Logitech combo on one receiver), Logitech F710 wireless gamepad, and currently have a usb to ethernet adapter for communication to the Ashly unit. I have unplugged them all and the noise persists. That is, the noise stops for a second while Windows disconnects the USB, but returns once the 'be-dunk' Windows sound happens. I definitely don't leave the MiniDSP plugged in, as it causes hellatious noises while making changes to the settings.


It seems like a lot of people have this issue, but most threads are either abandoned without solution, or the solution is something I have already tried.


The thread on the Nvidia forums died a couple years back, but ran for like 7-8 years with people discussing options, with no resolution. Any chance it might be Marantz related? Someone suggested it was an ASUS MB / Nvidia issue with poor shielding of the audio path on the GFX card and ASUS MBs tending to run major power pathways near the PCIe ports. However, a lot of those people also had various Marantz receivers, so someone also suggested that might be an issue with poor noise rejection on the Marantz side of things.
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post #4 of 33 Old 05-06-2020, 04:19 PM
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Go to your computer and disconnect the usb to the minidsp, now disconnect the audio out channel from your computer to your....?? Did it go away? Mine did.

My ground loop always came back when I was running tests. Took me a while to find it, mostly in my audio out (computer) but also some usb FROM MY COMPUTER. Even running a groin wire to my computer didn’t help, it did however get better when plugged into the same circuit which I couldn’t do.
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post #5 of 33 Old 05-06-2020, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophile75 View Post
Go to your computer and disconnect the usb to the minidsp, now disconnect the audio out channel from your computer to your....?? Did it go away? Mine did.

My ground loop always came back when I was running tests. Took me a while to find it, mostly in my audio out (computer) but also some usb FROM MY COMPUTER. Even running a groin wire to my computer didn’t help, it did however get better when plugged into the same circuit which I couldn’t do.

Yeah, the MiniDSP makes horrible sounds any time I have the USB cable connected, so I never have it plugged in unless I am tweaking settings. I disconnect for all testing and anything else. Makes for a lot of stand up / sit down when I am running sweeps, but meh, it is nearly dead silent when it is just running by itself.



What exactly do you mean by 'disconnect the audio out channel'?
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post #6 of 33 Old 05-06-2020, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewp29 View Post
What exactly do you mean by 'disconnect the audio out channel'?
I run an audio out from my headphone jack on my computer to my avr (rca) for REW to use and when I do my subs I move them straight to the minidsp for sub only testing. My headphone to RCA makes just as much noise as my usb FROM MY COMPUTER.
So I leave them in unplugged until I test, then I deal with a little noise.
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post #7 of 33 Old 05-06-2020, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophile75 View Post
I run an audio out from my headphone jack on my computer to my avr (rca) for REW to use and when I do my subs I move them straight to the minidsp for sub only testing. My headphone to RCA makes just as much noise as my usb FROM MY COMPUTER.
So I leave them in unplugged until I test, then I deal with a little noise.
Ah, I get what you are saying now. Agreed, when I am watching something or listening to music, or when I used to play games on the PC, I'd unplug everything unecessary for the task. It's definitely the graphics card in this situation though, I just don't know how to fix it. I haven't had a chance to get to it this evening as the girlfriend and I are playing the most recent God of War on PS4.

I was looking at HDMI to fiber converters, and I think I found one that'll do 4k 60Hz RGB but it's like $350. Still, if it is the only thing that will clear things up, it might be worth it in the long run.

I'm wondering now if I would get the same noise over display port. I have a cable that will do 4k 30Hz RGB, or 4k 60Hz 4:2:2 I believe. Maybe I'll try it and see, that is if I didn't screw any hardware up running the ground wires inside the PC case.
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post #8 of 33 Old 05-07-2020, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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So I removed and reinstalled the GFX card drivers last night, set the Bios back to default settings, and was still getting blackouts. So I thought maybe the optical HDMI I was using had been pinched at some point and had a fracture. I replaced it with a copper cable, and was still getting blackouts. So I removed the two grounding wires I had installed inside the case, and that returned things to the way they were before - no blackouts, but still the USB and GFX card buzzing. Just to check again, I loaded up DOOM and pulled every cable but the HDMI and Power - no change - buzz buzz buzz with the GFX card loading. Just a note, but the Optical HDMI does make a difference. The buzzing is quite a bit less with the optical compared to the copper. Still way too unacceptable, but way less anyway.



I didn't get to swapping the HDMI for a Displayport to HDMI cable, but I will do that tonight. I am not holding out hope that it will change anything, but I have the cable, so it is worth a shot. I will also ground the case to one of the amp chassis off the off chance that makes a difference.
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post #9 of 33 Old 05-07-2020, 08:43 AM
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Have you tried asking in the Home Theater Computer section? You may get more traction there.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophile75 View Post
Even running a groin wire to my computer didn’t help, it did however get better when plugged into the same circuit which I couldn’t do.
Taken in the wrong (right?) context, this comment is hilarious...
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post #11 of 33 Old 05-07-2020, 12:16 PM
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On a practical note, it may be time for an HTPC with liquid cooling. The GPU fans themselves may be helping with the distortion.
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post #12 of 33 Old 05-07-2020, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by johnson636 View Post
Have you tried asking in the Home Theater Computer section? You may get more traction there.

I have not. I may have to slim it down a bit though. I tried to tell the journey in its entirety, since I have read almost half the internet and tried pretty much everything most have recommended. I'll see if I can eliminate some fluff and give it a go over there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sigpig View Post
Taken in the wrong (right?) context, this comment is hilarious...

I have to admit, I chuckled when I read this too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sigpig View Post
On a practical note, it may be time for an HTPC with liquid cooling. The GPU fans themselves may be helping with the distortion.

When I built this machine 5-6 years ago (minus graphics card) I heavily considered a custom full loop liquid cooling solution, but the cost was pretty steep and the CPU all in one coolers were very close performance wise to a DIY loop. In the old case it would have definitely been possible. The new Thermaltake G30 is super slim, fits a full ATX Motherboard, and was pretty cheap. I went with it because I needed more toe in on my SEOS8 tweeters and the PC case was blocking any further rotation. And I didn't have to build a new system, just replace the case and PSU. I've pretty much shoe horned everything into my area at this point, but (2) 20 cubic foot sub boxes take up loads of space.


I have devised a plan. Somewhat against BTH's advice, I have ordered an HDMI to CAT converter, a couple short 8k (!) HDMI cables, a 3 foot CAT7 cable, aaaaaaaaand an EBTECH HUMX. All from Amazon, with free returns on the bigger ticket items. I looked at quite a few HDMI to Fiber extenders, but the cost in the end was just a little more than I'd like to spend at this point.



I am hoping the converter does the trick, and if that fails, the HUMX might work. If none of them work, I'll send the converter and HUMX back to Amazon. I normally wouldn't do that type of thing unless the product is actually faulty. With most things I expect that if it works and I don't actually use it, that's my problem, not the sellers. I have zero use for the HUMX if it doesn't work, since the 6A rating means I can't even use it for a single amplifier.



If neither of these things work, I'll likely bite the bullet and go the HDMI to Fiber route. What's the point of having a super fast GFX card if all you are using it for is rendering 4K movies? Any run of the mill passively cooled card can do that these days.


EDIT: FYI the HUMX will have the computer plugged into it. The 650W power supply shouldn't draw more than the 6A rating, so it should be fine. I had intially lifted the computer ground a few months ago to try to solve the ground loop hum, and it did. I didn't play any games on the PC at that time. Since the lifted ground did all kinds of weird power things to the HDMI due to the only ground for the PC being through the HDMI cable, I figured out another route to solve the ground loop.



Lifting the ground worked for quite a few people on the Nvidia forums, but I don't like the idea based on my previous experience with it.

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post #13 of 33 Old 05-07-2020, 04:25 PM
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I just changed a bunch of stuff out trying to chase down a GPU caused noise. I do use a minidsp. I do have some ground issues. The linked product below wasn't 100% effective, but enough of it went away that it's workable without having silly gain settings. My computer system is only 2.1 channel though.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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post #14 of 33 Old 05-07-2020, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewp29 View Post

The thread on the Nvidia forums died a couple years back, but ran for like 7-8 years with people discussing options, with no resolution. Any chance it might be Marantz related? Someone suggested it was an ASUS MB / Nvidia issue with poor shielding of the audio path on the GFX card and ASUS MBs tending to run major power pathways near the PCIe ports. However, a lot of those people also had various Marantz receivers, so someone also suggested that might be an issue with poor noise rejection on the Marantz side of things.
I have two ASUS ROG Z370-G mb's plugged into my Marantz 7705 and Motu's via HDMI and USB.

I only have a slight buzz during movies and only if I leave the Motu USB monitoring cable plugged in.
With that single cable unplugged my system is dead silent, even with it in place it's still mostly-silent during movies and 100% silent during music.

I upgrade all of the HDMI cables to optical, but they were the cheaper hybrid cables, which didn't really help much. I haven't tried the SM fiber yet but that is pure-fiber so it will galvanically isolate.
If you do buy the expensive SM fiber, make sure not to bend it tighter than 1.5ft per loop, re-splicing fiber isn't fun.

DisplayPort, HDMI and DSUB all have metal in it, so I'd expect zero change.
Cat cable also has metal in it but those generally contain better grounding topologies otherwise the whole planet's networks would break.

Running two computers might help.
A laptop dedicated to DSP USB hubs.
The other dedicated to HDMI/gaming/audio.

The wireless keyboard/mouse isn't the problem, if anything that's helping.
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post #15 of 33 Old 05-07-2020, 04:46 PM
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I'd start by disconnecting all HDMI inputs and outputs from the Marantz.

Then disconnecting all metal wires that run between that computer and your AV system. (USB/Cat/HDMI, whatever)
See if the problem goes away.

If it doesn't, then that isn't the problem.
If it does, then plug in one HDMI display and only one HDMI cable to the computer and see if it comes back.
Also try going from the computer directly to the display, bypassing the Marantz.

You have to find the problematic cable(s).

Once you've identified the 1 or multiple offending cables, ONLY then can you come up with solutions to mitigate those problems.
Trying random stuff and praying it does-stuff is kinda of backwards.

They do make wireless HDMI too, but it probably doesn't support 8K yet...

The problem with all of these converters and isolators is finding ones that don't degrade the signal in a bad way, a lot of them do unfortunately.
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post #16 of 33 Old 05-07-2020, 05:02 PM
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Once a hum gets into your Sources/DAC/DSP/Amps, it's game over.

Ideally you'd prevent the noise injection in the first place, rather than throwing a million grounding cables and isolators at the problem.

The grounding cables ARE the problem, and it's specific to Audio systems (because hearing is required), i.e. you can't hear electromagnetic interference if voicecoils aren't attached.

The noise comes from devices injecting current into the grounding system, and the audio system using that ground as the Audio Reference. It's supposed to be 0V... but it's NOT!

Actually it's the combination of grounding cables WITH interconnects. Remove either and the problem goes away. Well we can't do that because then it wouldn't work (no signal) or would be a safety hazard (ungood).

It could be as simple as your GPU injecting noise into the HDMI cable, or it could be various loops of metal between that HDMI cable and other cables (such as grounding pins or USB cables.)
Could be the known RCA to XLR shield/negative conversion problem.
If using multiple HDMI cables, it could be from that too!
If using multiple USB cables, again, from that too!
Anywhere a metal loop can be formed and thus the noise injected into the audio stream.

Cable boxes, dimmer switches and computers are the 3 main culprits but it's not only limited to just those.

It's a nightmare to identify and debug in a large complex system.
Simplify the system until the problem goes away, and add upstream and/or downstream components until the problem returns. Then avoid those connections until hopefully most of the system is re-assembled. Then focus on the problem connections.
It could upstream devices or downstream devices, or a mix of both! i.e. a nightmare...
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post #17 of 33 Old 05-07-2020, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Popovich View Post
I just changed a bunch of stuff out trying to chase down a GPU caused noise. I do use a minidsp. I do have some ground issues. The linked product below wasn't 100% effective, but enough of it went away that it's workable without having silly gain settings. My computer system is only 2.1 channel though.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I'm sort of stuck with the GFX card HDMI audio unless I want to run S/PDIF from the motherboard, which will be my last ditch effort since that will limit me to 5.1 channel audio, or 'simulated' 7.1 channel. I know that would work since pure optical isolates the audio stream. If I didn't have the S/PDIF option, I could run those adapters from the 1/8" jacks on the motherboard though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
I have two ASUS ROG Z370-G mb's plugged into my Marantz 7705 and Motu's via HDMI and USB.
I only have a slight buzz during movies and only if I leave the Motu USB monitoring cable plugged in.
With that single cable unplugged my system is dead silent, even with it in place it's still mostly-silent during movies and 100% silent during music.
What graphics card are you running? From what I gathered from the Nvidia forums the higher powered cards are the ones that have issues. In fact, people have gone through 3 generations of cards with the problem persisting the entire time. My previous card, a GTX770 did not seem to have the issue, but I didn't have 3 separate amps with DSP units and active speakers. I ran this setup initially with (3) balanced MiniDSPs, and the buzz was there, but less than with the Ashly. The Ashly, however has quite a bit more processing power and the noise floor in general (when it isn't buzzing like a mofo) is extremely improved with the Ashly. If I can get this GFX card issue sorted, I will be totally content with things for awhile. Well, except subs, one always needs more subs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
I upgrade all of the HDMI cables to optical, but they were the cheaper hybrid cables, which didn't really help much. I haven't tried the SM fiber yet but that is pure-fiber so it will galvanically isolate.
If you do buy the expensive SM fiber, make sure not to bend it tighter than 1.5ft per loop, re-splicing fiber isn't fun.

DisplayPort, HDMI and DSUB all have metal in it, so I'd expect zero change.
Cat cable also has metal in it but those generally contain better grounding topologies otherwise the whole planet's networks would break.
I was pleasantly surprised at the difference I heard last night after I switched back to the optical HDMI cable. It was quite a bit better, even if it was still pretty bad. Watching movies/tv shows on the PC is totally doable, it's really the gaming that has me so kerfluffeled. The cable I have is just a cheapish hybrid cable as well. I looked at the Single Mode Fiber converters, which looked nice, but your talking >600-700 bones when it is all said and done, and that's using the cheapest converter out there. Some of the converters I looked at were upwards of $1500 for just the TX/RX boxes, fiber not included.

This is mostly because I need 4k 60Hz RGB or 4:4:4. If I was running 1080p or 4k 30Hz, the options are quite a bit less costly.

Those are my thoughts on the different cable types as well. I thought maybe on the off chance that the DisplayPort had better shielding on the card, however unlikely, it might be worth trying. I have the DP cable already, so no harm done if it doesn't change anything.

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Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
Running two computers might help.
A laptop dedicated to DSP USB hubs.
The other dedicated to HDMI/gaming/audio.

The wireless keyboard/mouse isn't the problem, if anything that's helping.
That's the thing though, I don't keep my DSP plugged in when I am gaming or watching videos. I only plug the Ashly in for testing since it doesn't honk and squeal like the MiniDSP does when it is connected. The MiniDSP sounds like someone having a heart attack in a movie, complete with thumping heart beat, anytime it is plugged in. So I just measure, plug it in and make changes, unplug it, measure again, rinse and repeat.

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I'd start by disconnecting all HDMI inputs and outputs from the Marantz.

Then disconnecting all metal wires that run between that computer and your AV system. (USB/Cat/HDMI, whatever)
See if the problem goes away.

If it doesn't, then that isn't the problem.
If it does, then plug in one HDMI display and only one HDMI cable to the computer and see if it comes back.
Also try going from the computer directly to the display, bypassing the Marantz.

You have to find the problematic cable(s).
When the Marantz is off and the passthrough is to the TV, the television speakers have no issues with videos. I have not tried it with gaming. Well, maybe I did a little bit the other day. I turned off the Marantz to reset it, while in the DOOM main menu, and the TV speakers were up. When the TV came back on due to the Marantz passthrough, the main menu sounds were present. I did not make note that it also had the buzzing, but I really didn't leave it like that for long.

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Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
Once you've identified the 1 or multiple offending cables, ONLY then can you come up with solutions to mitigate those problems.
Trying random stuff and praying it does-stuff is kinda of backwards.

They do make wireless HDMI too, but it probably doesn't support 8K yet...

The problem with all of these converters and isolators is finding ones that don't degrade the signal in a bad way, a lot of them do unfortunately.
At this point, I am fairly convinced it is not a cable feedback issue (grounding or otherwise). Since the PS4 and Switch are crystal clear that suggests the problem lies with the PC or combination of PC and Marantz. Even with the PC still on, and playing PS4 or Switch, there is no issue. I am pretty convinced this is an EMI shielding issue with the Graphics Card since the buzzing is only present when the card is under load, and it varies as the load varies.

I'm not necessarily just trying random things to get the issue to go away. I've tried some random things that someone in a forum said fixed their own issue, but most of those were likely ground loop problems, and they didn't require the purchase of items, just changing configuration. The threads where the noise is consistent when the GFX cards are under load are either abandoned without resolution, S/PDIF was the solution, or lifting the computer ground was the only thing that worked. One guy solved the problem with HDMI to HDBaseT extenders, so I thought it worth a chance. The HumX I think stands a decent chance of working, as there are reports that it works for these types of issues, though none with enough details to know whether the issue was really a ground loop or a graphics card issue.



Initially, the optical HDMI was the only purchase that was a 'if it works, great' type of thing, but it did have the bonus of being a rock solid cable with zero audio or video dropouts at 4k 60Hz 4:4:4. My other 18Gbps rated HDMI cables all had random but rare audio and video dropout, so hey, 47 bucks for an optical HDMI that solved that was worth it IMHO. Too bad I had to buy a 5 meter cable when I only really need a 2 meter one. No one really makes short optical HDMI cables except the boutique brands, and a single 2m cable would cost more the the cheaper ones at 40-60m.


There are a ton of people with way less complicated systems that have the problem, with top-tier Nvidia graphics cards mostly. Some systems as simple as PC/Receiver/Speakers/TV, though most do have a separate amplifier even if it is just a powered subwoofer. I've read a couple threads where Radeons were in the picture, but not nearly the amount where Nvidia cards are causing the noise.

I looked at wireless HDMI as well as HDMI to Bluetooth converters, but the cost for 4k HDMI 2.0 is similar to HDMI 2.0 to Fiber. If I am going to spend that kind of money, I rather be wired. It was a good thought though, something I didn't think about until I was looking at HDMI to Fiber today.
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post #18 of 33 Old 05-07-2020, 07:23 PM
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The buzz during graphics intensive work happened no matter what, and my hdmi goes straight to the monitor -no audio, just vid only. Audio out was from the audio card, ditched that, now from the USB to a DAC. Didn't matter, buzz/noise continued. The whole system is susceptible to noise. When the landscaper came and was operating his leaf blower (gas engine) on the other side of the wall I have my equipment up against, I got interference through the speakers. The main system does not have this issue, it's definitely computer related. I do have a higher end nvidia card. Noisy buggers.

I just swapped from using two crowns (one for NHT's, one for the subs) to using powered monitors and one crown... same noise. Dropped a parasound pre-amp and went with a little digital pre-amp. Same noise. It's the computer and/or ground issue. The little bugger I linked made most noise go away but it's not ideal. Sigh. It works, and noise is very low right now, but the whole operation is frustrating. Best of luck.

It didn't work on my current system, but on my last system disabling some processor options in the bios killed the noise, it was power saving something or other. Oddly, putting power saving options back ON (instead of full performance 100% always/all/everything) in Windows 7 DID help with the noise on this one. Frustrating.
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I'm not an expert on this but I'm thinking it could be power related as well. When the GPU kicks in it starts using a lot of juice. Do you have the PC and the Marantz plugged into the same UPS? You might try eliminating the UPS and plugging the PC and the Marantz directly into the wall as well.

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post #20 of 33 Old 05-08-2020, 11:57 AM
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I have only skimmed this but didn't see it mentioned, have you tried using a cheater plug on the power cable to the PC to lift the ground? I certainly wouldn't advise this as a permanent solution but just temporarily to check if it has any effect on the noise. I'd remove any ground strapping you have applied before testing this.
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post #21 of 33 Old 05-08-2020, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Popovich View Post
The buzz during graphics intensive work happened no matter what, and my hdmi goes straight to the monitor -no audio, just vid only. Audio out was from the audio card, ditched that, now from the USB to a DAC. Didn't matter, buzz/noise continued. The whole system is susceptible to noise. When the landscaper came and was operating his leaf blower (gas engine) on the other side of the wall I have my equipment up against, I got interference through the speakers. The main system does not have this issue, it's definitely computer related. I do have a higher end nvidia card. Noisy buggers.

I just swapped from using two crowns (one for NHT's, one for the subs) to using powered monitors and one crown... same noise. Dropped a parasound pre-amp and went with a little digital pre-amp. Same noise. It's the computer and/or ground issue. The little bugger I linked made most noise go away but it's not ideal. Sigh. It works, and noise is very low right now, but the whole operation is frustrating. Best of luck.

It didn't work on my current system, but on my last system disabling some processor options in the bios killed the noise, it was power saving something or other. Oddly, putting power saving options back ON (instead of full performance 100% always/all/everything) in Windows 7 DID help with the noise on this one. Frustrating.
I totally feel your pain! Glad you got yours to a relative minimum. That's where mine is at currently with movies/TV only, and if it remained that level when playing games, I'd have chalked it up to 'it is what it is.' Mine is also susceptible to any large power draw in the house. My girlfriend sleeps with a fan on at night, so on Saturday nights when she heads to bed (she works early early on Sunday), she flips the fan on and I hear a 'click, pop,' and the low level noise gets just a tad bit louder. It is a blower fan, since it moves more air for the dB level. It probably pulls more juice than a standard box fan, but it is the only way I can also sleep in the bedroom with the fan on. We had one go out, and I grabbed the big wire frame fan from the garage - big mistake. I had dreams I was in the back of a twin engine Cessna with a bunch of caged chickens and Short Round yelling, "OH NO DR. JONES!" Lol.

You know what - after resetting the bios to default the other night, that would have enabled the power saving features, but I didn't change my Windows Power Plan, so it is still not allowing things to throttle down to a lower power state. I should try enabling those again to see if I can get the level even lower for Movies/TV. Hmmmm, thanks for that, I wouldn't have considered changing those back after I initially set them to always on/100% to combat the initial ground loop problem. Since the ground loop is pretty nonexistent with the PS4, it might be just harming the noise with the PC on.

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I'm not an expert on this but I'm thinking it could be power related as well. When the GPU kicks in it starts using a lot of juice. Do you have the PC and the Marantz plugged into the same UPS? You might try eliminating the UPS and plugging the PC and the Marantz directly into the wall as well.
It took some jockeying of plugs in the 2 UPS units to get to a combination that didn't add noise to the initial ground loop issue, but I had that thought last weekend as well, and checked. Sure enough, the Marantz and PC were on different UPS units. So, at the risk of reintroducing the ground loop, I plugged them both into the same UPS. Thankfully, this did not bring back the ground loop, but it did not help the GFX card noise either. So I tried plugging the computer directly into the wall on the same circuit, which also didn't help the noise. Then I tried plugging the computer into a different circuit altogether by running a long 12GA extension cord. BAM, Ground Loop City! So I plugged the computer back into the UPS.

I have not however tried plugging both the computer and Marantz directly into the wall. I can definitely give that a try!

It is definitely when the GFX card is pulling a lot of power. Some suggested that running the PSU on the ragged edge with power draw might have something to do with it, but when this all started I was running a very nice OCZ (PC Power and Cooling Manufactured) 1000W PSU. I thought the PSU might be going out, and I wanted a smaller case anyway, so I downgraded the PSU to a 650W SFX (Small Form Factor) Seasonic so I could change my case to a Thermaltake G30, which requires a small form factor PSU. 650W should be plenty, considering TDP of the GTX1080 is 180W, and I am really only running the GFX card, SSD, CPU/CPU cooler pump, and (5) 120mm fans.


On a side note, something I have always wondered. I know S/PDIF only supports 6 audio channels, but why has no one explored running dual, or even triple S/PDIF for expansion of the number of channels supported? You could run 2 or 3 optical lines in a single jacket and output them with either 3 plugs or a triple combo plug. If 3 individual plugs, one could just run 3 separate cables or a combo cable. S/PDIF is cheap and on everything these days, and we have processors that handle gobs of discrete channels, so it really wouldn't be difficult or that expensive to implement. I know HDMI at 48Gbps (8k) can handle an insane amount of discrete channels, so it might be obsolete already, but optical noise rejection is always a desirable trait. But I've always wondered why consumer fiber based products have not become commonplace.
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post #22 of 33 Old 05-08-2020, 04:19 PM
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I assume you've already tried running a ground wire between the PC and the Marantz chassis, with no success.
(Optionally with re-grounding it on one or both sides.)

My Motu's can do optical ADAT over SPDIF optical wires, in PCM mode they drop to 2ch instead of 8.
Most computers can only do PCM and I'd imagine most pro-gear doesn't support PCM (you'd have to read your manual.)

Both of mine are ultra-low power systems. M.2 SSD and i7 8700 fan-less and GPU-less. Hovers around 20w, all CPU.
I use integrated graphics on both systems currently. That can do 8K youtube, and I don't use either of those devices for BD or streaming. They are DSP, web and music only.
Gaming on the integrated GPU is horribly low framerate. But I don't "need" gaming.
Good thing I didn't bother buying an RTX card yet I guess... I definitely don't want any noise injecting into the AV system!

I leave all of the cables connected to my Motu stuff 24/7/365, no noise issues to be found when changing settings on-the-fly.
72 channel Motu rig was ~$7000 with tax, shipping and supporting equipment, it's not for everyone but worth every penny IMO...
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post #23 of 33 Old 05-09-2020, 06:53 AM
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I had the exact same issue. The GPU fans have nothing to do with it. My setup is single outlet->all devices with no UPS.
I only have noise in my Subwoofer, which is connected to a pro amp. My solution was pretty simple.
I got noise when either the miniDsp was connected via USB or my amp was connected via HDMI (with all other cables but the power cables removed).
When I cut the ground from the PC, the noise disappeared completely, even with the miniDsp always connected. I have cut open the power cable and snipped the ground wire.
The alternative would've been an optical HDMI cable which is around 100$ for a 10ft run and having the miniDsp disconnected or using another optical cable there.

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post #24 of 33 Old 05-11-2020, 07:29 AM
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Did your Humx come in yet? Interested to see if that makes a difference. Try it on the receiver first.
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post #25 of 33 Old 05-11-2020, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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GOOD NEWS EVERYONE - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth


So I received the HDMI to HDBaseT extender unit. Since it was Mother's Day weekend, I did not have much time to mess with things, but I did get a chance to install it.

I hooked it up, booted the machine, and initially did not get an output. I switched the EDID dipswitch from RX to TX, and still did not get output. The RX/TX option pulls the EDID info from either the receiving end or transmitting end, not that that's important, just a quick explanation. I unplugged the HDMI cable and plugged it back in and finally got the desktop to come up. Just to make sure I could reboot the machine and get video again, I did. It did not show the MB splash screen, but did come back up once it got into Windows.

So, first test, open KODI and see if the mouse scroll and mouse over filename actions produce the same buzz. Hmmmm, well the buzz is still there, but very much reduced. Okay, I can deal with that. Let's play some videos. So I started up a movie, and right away, I noticed a huge reduction in the background buzz, in fact it was dang near silent. Yes, this seems to help quite a bit. I closed KODI, and uh-oh, the video signal dropped. I unplugged the HDMI and plugged it back in, and it came back up. Alright, so there are some HDMI handshake issues I'll have to figure out at a later date.

Second test, load up DOOM. The video dropped again. Unplug and reinsert HDMI, still nothing. Plug HDMI cable directly into machine - video comes back, complete with the horrible buzzing sound. Exit to desktop, try again, same results. Frustration level is starting to rise, but the reduction in buzz in KODI was uplifting enough I thought I'd keep at it.

Well, maybe it's just DOOM. So I open Little Nightmares to check. Everything loads correctly, and the buzz is very low level. Low enough that even my anal-retentive self might be able to deal with it. Just to make sure it was a fluke with DOOM, I loaded up Jedi Fallen Order. Everything loads fine, but, maybe it was just psychosomatic, it seems like the video quality is slightly degraded. When panning the camera, something just wasn't right. So I checked the game's video settings, reset a few things, and checked again. Hmmm, still something is off. Maybe it was just that particular landscape, because I moved my Jedi to an area with a bit more atmospheric content and switched back and forth between extender/no extender. If there was a difference, it was slight enough that it was of no consequence.

Then I got on the ship, the game started a cut scene, and dropped the video again. So I decided maybe it was just that particular unit, which was one of the cheaper extenders on Amazon, and perhaps the higher priced Monoprice units would not have problems. It helped enough that I would be willing to put a little more money into it if it would solve the handshake problems.

Before I called it quits, I decided I needed to play around with the chassis grounds a bit. I have a ground strap that connects all the amps/receiver/Ashly DSP, and I had tried grounding the PC case to the Marantz receiver prior without success. FYI I do know what the definition of insanity is...

I plugged the HDMI directly into the video card, and loaded up DOOM for maximum buzz. I cut a length of speaker wire long enough to reach from the PC to all the equipment, attached one end to a PC case screw, and started touching the other end to various housings. Nothing changed until I touched the Ashly DSP. Not a huge change, but noticeable. So I unscrewed the other ground strap screw, and sandwiched it under. The reduction in buzz was a little less even! I pulled the PC end from the case screw, and touched it to the GFX card mounting plate...


DEAD SILENCE


I attached the wire to one of the GFX card standoffs for the DVI plug, and just out of curiosity, and ran the ground to the receiver. Still buzzing. Touched it to the Ashly, dead silence.

Don't ask me why, as the original ground strap ties all the wires together as well as every chassis, but it only ends up with dead silence if I ground the video card to the Ashly DSP. I know all the housings are grounded well to each other because if I remove even 1 of them the 60Hz ground loop comes back.

I still believe it is EMI interference from the GPU, but it manifests in the grounds, so it is still a grounding issue.

The moral of the story is: Electricity is a fickle mistress, misbehavior is her forte, and sometimes crow CAN taste good.

I cancelled the order for the HumX, though Amazon being wacky these days, they already told me twice they could not cancel it, even though it has not shipped and is not supposed to be here until Friday. They initially said next day delivery, and then changed it to over a week out after I had made the purchase, which is really getting annoying. If you say it will be next day, it had better be next day or at most 2 days, don't lie to me and change it after you have my money.

If they send the HumX to me anyway, I might try it with the PC and/or receiver to see if it does anything without the ground wire hooked up. I am sending the HDMI extender back - it has handshake issues anyway. If it did not have issues I might keep it just in case I need to run a remote HDMI signal in the future.
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post #26 of 33 Old 05-11-2020, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by drewp29 View Post

I plugged the HDMI directly into the video card, and loaded up DOOM for maximum buzz. I cut a length of speaker wire long enough to reach from the PC to all the equipment, attached one end to a PC case screw, and started touching the other end to various housings. Nothing changed until I touched the Ashly DSP. Not a huge change, but noticeable. So I unscrewed the other ground strap screw, and sandwiched it under. The reduction in buzz was a little less even! I pulled the PC end from the case screw, and touched it to the GFX card mounting plate...

DEAD SILENCE
Glad you sorted it, I had this same issue for MONTHS.

I have sorted it the same way, we even have the same exact CPU and GPU. Kodi with MadVR rendering would cause some hectic noises through my speakers.

In my case, the most reduction in noise cam from grounding everything to the marantz phono ground wire on the back of the processor. PC, Power Amps x3, AV Processor. I even ran ground wires all the way back to the PC GPU, cut up a power cable too and lefr only the ground pin active, ran that to the chassis inside etc...

In my case I had tried everything, PC on the same circuit, nothing connected except the HDMI, even on mute the noise would happen.

I solved mine the same way, cut a long speaker wire and start jamming it into everything in my rack to see when the noise reduced
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post #27 of 33 Old 05-12-2020, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by drewp29 View Post
GOOD NEWS EVERYONE - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

I plugged the HDMI directly into the video card, and loaded up DOOM for maximum buzz. I cut a length of speaker wire long enough to reach from the PC to all the equipment, attached one end to a PC case screw, and started touching the other end to various housings. Nothing changed until I touched the Ashly DSP. Not a huge change, but noticeable. So I unscrewed the other ground strap screw, and sandwiched it under. The reduction in buzz was a little less even! I pulled the PC end from the case screw, and touched it to the GFX card mounting plate...


DEAD SILENCE


I attached the wire to one of the GFX card standoffs for the DVI plug, and just out of curiosity, and ran the ground to the receiver. Still buzzing. Touched it to the Ashly, dead silence.

Don't ask me why, as the original ground strap ties all the wires together as well as every chassis, but it only ends up with dead silence if I ground the video card to the Ashly DSP. I know all the housings are grounded well to each other because if I remove even 1 of them the 60Hz ground loop comes back
would you mind sharing a diagram, or even some pictures of your ground wires between equip. it's hard to visualize over the descriptions just where and how these wires are mounted, secured, etc.

glad you got it figured out. I had the dreaded HDD hum going through my subs (using a udac8), I dismantled my entire rig and had it running on cardboard, cut and modified USB cables, still an issue. in a last ditch attempt during my 'im giving up and putting it back together' I put the sata power cable into a different port on the psu, silence

it's a fickle bitch for sure
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post #28 of 33 Old 05-12-2020, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javs View Post
Glad you sorted it, I had this same issue for MONTHS.

I have sorted it the same way, we even have the same exact CPU and GPU. Kodi with MadVR rendering would cause some hectic noises through my speakers.

In my case, the most reduction in noise cam from grounding everything to the marantz phono ground wire on the back of the processor. PC, Power Amps x3, AV Processor. I even ran ground wires all the way back to the PC GPU, cut up a power cable too and lefr only the ground pin active, ran that to the chassis inside etc...

In my case I had tried everything, PC on the same circuit, nothing connected except the HDMI, even on mute the noise would happen.

I solved mine the same way, cut a long speaker wire and start jamming it into everything in my rack to see when the noise reduced
You couldn't have told him this like a week ago? lol
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post #29 of 33 Old 05-12-2020, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javs View Post
Glad you sorted it, I had this same issue for MONTHS.

I have sorted it the same way, we even have the same exact CPU and GPU. Kodi with MadVR rendering would cause some hectic noises through my speakers.

In my case, the most reduction in noise cam from grounding everything to the marantz phono ground wire on the back of the processor. PC, Power Amps x3, AV Processor. I even ran ground wires all the way back to the PC GPU, cut up a power cable too and lefr only the ground pin active, ran that to the chassis inside etc...
Sounds like we tried pretty much the same things! One thing that was surprising was that the internal grounding of the motherboard and graphics card that I tried actually caused problems with the video card output. I was really glad when I removed those that it went back to normal. I also found it odd that just simply tying into my grounding strap only maybe reduced the noise 10%, but running the wire from the graphics card to the DSP unit removed it completely. I'm not an EE, but I know at least a little bit about electricity, and that still doesn't make sense to me. Essentially, typing into the ground strap should have tied the graphics card to the DSP, and it sort of did, but wasn't enough I suppose.

Quote:
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would you mind sharing a diagram, or even some pictures of your ground wires between equip. it's hard to visualize over the descriptions just where and how these wires are mounted, secured, etc.
In my case, my amps/DSP sit 1 shelf above the receiver in my entertainment center. There are 2 stacks. The left stack is the Ashly DSP on top of the QSC PLX3002. The right stack is the Crown XLS1502 on top of the Crown CTs 8200. There is an approximately 6 inch gap (in the middle) between the two stacks where the MiniDSP 2x4 HD sits. My ground strap is individual wires connected to the individual unit housing screws, of all four mentioned, which terminate together with a crimp connector. The opposite side of the crimp connector has a single wire that runs out the back and down to the receiver. It terminates at a housing screw on the receiver. Now I have a wire that runs from the graphics card back plate to the same screw that attaches the grounding strap on the Ashly DSP.

.................._________________________________________
................/.................................................. ...........................\
Ashly DSP__________.....________Crown XLS1502 ...........Graphics Card
...............................|....|
QSC PLX3002_______\.../_________Crown CTs 8200
.................................\../
..................................[] -- Butt Crimp Connector
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...............................Marantz

Quote:
Originally Posted by jevchance View Post
You couldn't have told him this like a week ago? lol
Lol, no worries. I think Javs had a thread on here that I read, but I've been through so many it is hard to keep track. It may have been the thread that convinced me to tie all the amps/etc. housings together with speaker wire to get rid of the 60Hz ground loop hum.

Last edited by drewp29; 05-12-2020 at 10:21 AM.
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post #30 of 33 Old 05-12-2020, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if my diagram in the above post shows up correctly, the forum text box formatting is really odd, and likes to remove things or add lines all willy nilly like.
I wish it didn't change your post formatting at all. Certain things like adding blank lines between paragraphs is annoying. I know they think they are making things more readable, but I format my posts specifically, and it forces me to preview my post and then remove lines, etc. Trying to do diagrams like the above is particularly hard, as even the final post doesn't look like the previewed post, so you have to edit it a million times until it posts 'sort of' how you want it.
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