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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having a major problem with a high pitched beeping/cracking/hissing sound coming from my speakers. The sound starts about halfway through the Windows startup screen. The system is listed below:

CPU: Intel i7 920 D0

MOBO: Asus P6T

RAM: 3x2GB

GPU: Nvidia 260GTX

GPU: AMD HD5000

SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB

HDD: 2x1TB, 2TB

Sound card: Asus Xonar Essence STX

Wifi card

PSU: Corsair 750W

DVDRW

Case: Antec P183


The speakers are powered studio monitors (Adam A7x) and do not make the sound with any other source and I have even tried using the same wiring and power with the computer running but using my phone as a source to eliminate any local EMI source.


Thinking there might be a problem with my sound card, I tried the onboard audio controller and a Fiio E17 USB DAC. The problem persisted with all 3 sound sources.


Within the system I have removed all the hard drives, DVD drive, every PCI/PCIe card except 1 graphics card (have tried leaving both in the system in different slot). I have also disconnected all but the essential fans on my CPU, 260GTX, and PSU. So all that is left in the system is the CPU (stock speeds), 1 stick of RAM, SSD, and PSU. While I was in there, I thoroughly dusted everything, not that it was particularly dirty.


Windows 8 and all hardware drivers are up to date and there is no system instability.


However, when I opened the case and disconnected some extra fans, I noticed that I could hear the same buzzing noise that is emanating from my speakers even with my speakers disconnected. It sounds like it is coming from the CPU area of the motherboard. Thinking it might be a power regulating problem, I turned off SpeedStep in the BIOS and disabled all CPU power control in Windows. Needless to say, that didn't help either.


Also, I have noticed that if I hold down a key on my keyboard, the sound changes from a random collection of high pitched beeps, crackles, and hissing to a consistent, high pitched, high rate beepish sound.


It seems to me that it should be software based since it starts ate the exact same point about halfway through the Windows startup screen and does not start regardless of how long I leave the system in the BIOS settings. That leads me to think that its not just a capacitor charging and then complaining.


Any ideas?


Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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Are you using analog outputs? If so, that is most likely the problem. The ASUS P6T has digital outputs in both coax and optical SPDIF outputs. I recommend using them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will try connecting the computer to my reciever via hdmi out of the AMD video card this weekend to see if I can somehow get a signal without the buzzing. I did try a USB DAC which I thought should eliminate any noise generating within the system.


I would much prefer a solution to the buzzing that is also coming from my computer. Now that I know the computer is buzzing also, it is quite annoying when music volume is low or I do not have music playing. Also, switching to a digital out will require that I purchase additional hardware as the monitors are currently attached directly to the L/R RCA connections on my soundcard.
 

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the HDMI route will work. Your problem is the RCA outs. They are an unbalanced signal and susceptible to noises like you describe. The noise coming from the "CPU area of the computer" is troubling. Could it be the cpu cooling fan bearings? Does your receiver have spdif inputs? Coax or optical? If so, go from your motherboards spdif out to the spdif in on the receiver and then the receiver to the Adam A7x. What receiver do you have? If it has multiple HDMI ports, that is definitely the way I would go. Don't waste money on expensive HDMI cables from big box stores. You can get cheaper ones at monoprice that work just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I tried hooking up my desktop (desktop->hdmi->receiver-> preouts->RCA->Adam monitors) and did not have any problems. This is the only setup I have found so far to eliminate the buzzing. I am still a bit confused as to why the buzzing persists when I use a USB DAC. Perhaps everything that is powered through the motherboard is receiving the same noise signal. If this is the case, it is certainly concerning since my HDDS may also be getting the signal. I will try borrowing a multimeter from my lab to test the PSU to see if the noise is coming from it or being generated within the motherboard's circuitry. I am thinking probably within the motherboard with a software activated feature since the buzzing starts during the Windows Start screen and will not start no matter how long I leave the system idling in BIOS.


I just tried Knoppix and while I also got some of the same sounds, the magnitude was much less. In Windows even with music playing it is blatantly obvious. In Knoppix, if I play music, I can hardly tell except during quiet parts. Again, the buzzing started while Knoppix was loading. Perhaps one of the drivers that is loaded during startup is causing the problem. I am thinking the next step will be to uninstall drivers and see if there is any improvement.


Like I said I would greatly prefer to use the hardware I have. My receiver is located in a different room for my HT, so if it comes to the point where I need a hdmi out, I will need to purchase a receiver. Unfortunately, I do not have any optical cables to try that connection.


Any ideas?
 

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I remember once I had an analog setup that would buzz whenever the CABLE TV was connected. If I disconnected the cable from the system, buzz went away. Drove me nuts until I moved to a different house.
 
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