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Hum/Buzz From Speakers

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Old 12-18-2008, 08:12 PM   #1
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Default Hum/Buzz From Speakers

I just noticed my speakers outputting a slight buzzing sound. Now I'm afraid there's a ground loop. Everything is connected to a surge protector, so my first thought is the coax connected to my VIP722 DVR. My surge protector does have coax input/output. Do you think connecting the coax to the surge protector would eliminate the hum?

Any other ideas? The PS3, VIP722 and Xbox are all connected to the receiver via HDMI and plugged into the surge protector.
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PS3, Xbox 360 & Wii
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Boston Acoustic 100 Watt 8" Powered Sub
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:28 PM   #2
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Plug your 722 directkly into the wall socket and see if that resolves your issue, it has for many. I recommend NOT screwing the coax into the surge protector.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response. I will try plugging the 722 directly into the wall. Any reasoning why that has worked for people? And, out of curiosity, why do you suggest not plugging the coax into the surge protector?

I think I may have resolved the issue, for the most part. I was checking all my cables and noticed I had the Xbox 360's power supply directly behind my center channel. The power supply always outputs a hum/buzz. On a whim I moved it beneath the cabinet and the buzz vanished from the surround and front speakers except the front left.

I checked the speaker cable and noticed the cable had become tangled up with the sub's cable. I moved the wire down the other side of the shelf to avoid the sub, moved the sub a little further from the wall and speaker cables and no more buzz from the front left.

There is still a very, very slight hum when the receiver is on and set to an input actively outputting sound, but it does not increase with the volume like before. I'll try moving the 722's plug to the wall to be safe.
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Living Room Setup:
Philips 42" PFL7422D/37 (DVE Blu-Ray calibrated)
PS3, Xbox 360 & Wii
VIP722 HD DVR (Dish Network)
Sony STR-DG820 AV Receiver
Boston Acoustic Horizon MCS 100 5.1 Speakers
Boston Acoustic 100 Watt 8" Powered Sub
Harmony 550 Remote
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:30 AM   #4
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If it is a ground loop caused by the coax, I'm not sure of the recommendation of not plugging it into the surge protector. I had thought that this is exactly what solves the ground loop problem.
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:44 AM   #5
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Since the Dish boxes send not only signal but power down the coax, many problems have been reported when plugging the power and/or coax into a surge protector. In fact, Dish Network specifically states do NOT plug the equipment into a surge protector.
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:47 AM   #6
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Currently the coax is running through the surge protector and I don't see any problems. I planned to see if the buzz would return if I changed it back tonight.

I'm curious L2W thinks about coax through surge protectors though.
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Living Room Setup:
Philips 42" PFL7422D/37 (DVE Blu-Ray calibrated)
PS3, Xbox 360 & Wii
VIP722 HD DVR (Dish Network)
Sony STR-DG820 AV Receiver
Boston Acoustic Horizon MCS 100 5.1 Speakers
Boston Acoustic 100 Watt 8" Powered Sub
Harmony 550 Remote
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loves2Watch View Post
Since the Dish boxes send not only signal but power down the coax, many problems have been reported when plugging the power and/or coax into a surge protector. In fact, Dish Network specifically states do NOT plug the equipment into a surge protector.
Interesting. I'll change it back just to be safe and see if the buzz returns. Thanks for the information.
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Living Room Setup:
Philips 42" PFL7422D/37 (DVE Blu-Ray calibrated)
PS3, Xbox 360 & Wii
VIP722 HD DVR (Dish Network)
Sony STR-DG820 AV Receiver
Boston Acoustic Horizon MCS 100 5.1 Speakers
Boston Acoustic 100 Watt 8" Powered Sub
Harmony 550 Remote
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism87 View Post
Currently the coax is running through the surge protector and I don't see any problems. I planned to see if the buzz would return if I changed it back tonight.

I'm curious L2W thinks about coax through surge protectors though.
If you read my last post you would find that Dish does not recommend it and I agree. For the reason that putting something else in the signal path can/will cause problems.
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Loves2Watch View Post
If you read my last post you would find that Dish does not recommend it and I agree. For the reason that putting something else in the signal path can/will cause problems.
Yep. I saw it after I returned to thread from posting. Just a case of bad timing.

thanks for the advice. I'll definitely take it off the surge protector when I get home. I'm fairly certain it wasn't the issue anyway as the noise still persisted after changing the coax connections. It seems to have been the two issues I stated in a previous post (speaker wire and Xbox power supply).
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Living Room Setup:
Philips 42" PFL7422D/37 (DVE Blu-Ray calibrated)
PS3, Xbox 360 & Wii
VIP722 HD DVR (Dish Network)
Sony STR-DG820 AV Receiver
Boston Acoustic Horizon MCS 100 5.1 Speakers
Boston Acoustic 100 Watt 8" Powered Sub
Harmony 550 Remote
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism87 View Post
Yep. I saw it after I returned to thread from posting. Just a case of bad timing.

thanks for the advice. I'll definitely take it off the surge protector when I get home. I'm fairly certain it wasn't the issue anyway as the noise still persisted after changing the coax connections. It seems to have been the two issues I stated in a previous post (speaker wire and Xbox power supply).
I agree. Have you tried plugginf the XBox power supply into a different receptacle?
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Loves2Watch View Post
I agree. Have you tried plugginf the XBox power supply into a different receptacle?
I'll have to try that. There is still a slight interference after plugging in the VIP722 into it's own outlet, but it's definitely improved from before.

I'm going to do my best to separate the power cords from everything else with some wire management and bring in a surge protector to try what you suggested.
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Living Room Setup:
Philips 42" PFL7422D/37 (DVE Blu-Ray calibrated)
PS3, Xbox 360 & Wii
VIP722 HD DVR (Dish Network)
Sony STR-DG820 AV Receiver
Boston Acoustic Horizon MCS 100 5.1 Speakers
Boston Acoustic 100 Watt 8" Powered Sub
Harmony 550 Remote
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism87 View Post
I'll have to try that. There is still a slight interference after plugging in the VIP722 into it's own outlet, but it's definitely improved from before.

I'm going to do my best to separate the power cords from everything else with some wire management and bring in a surge protector to try what you suggested.
Excellent. Let me know how it all works out.
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Old 12-21-2008, 03:19 PM   #13
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Currently the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, receiver and TV are all plugged into the same surge protector. The surge protector shows the outlet is properly grounded. The VIP722 is plugged into a separate outlet.

The picture doesn't show any signs of interference and the speakers have a clean sound. However, when the receiver and a sound source is on you can hear a slight hum, but only if you put your ear very close to it.

The hum does not appear to increase with the volume and is not anywhere near noticeable from any listening position, so I think the problem is basically solved.

Is it normal and/or OK for a slight hum to be present like this?
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Living Room Setup:
Philips 42" PFL7422D/37 (DVE Blu-Ray calibrated)
PS3, Xbox 360 & Wii
VIP722 HD DVR (Dish Network)
Sony STR-DG820 AV Receiver
Boston Acoustic Horizon MCS 100 5.1 Speakers
Boston Acoustic 100 Watt 8" Powered Sub
Harmony 550 Remote
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism87 View Post
Currently the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, receiver and TV are all plugged into the same surge protector. The surge protector shows the outlet is properly grounded. The VIP722 is plugged into a separate outlet.

The picture doesn't show any signs of interference and the speakers have a clean sound. However, when the receiver and a sound source is on you can hear a slight hum, but only if you put your ear very close to it.

The hum does not appear to increase with the volume and is not anywhere near noticeable from any listening position, so I think the problem is basically solved.

Is it normal and/or OK for a slight hum to be present like this?
I believe it to be OK but for me, I would have to find what it is and resolve it. Separating the power wires from the speaker and audio wires is a very good idea. It still could be a ground loop hum and I would continue to search for a solution.
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:48 PM   #15
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I agree. I will take your advice and continue to search for the problem.

I do think I know what the problem is though. I've read dimmer switches can cause ground loops and there is one right above the outlet on the same circuit. Unfortunately, the same goes for each outlet in the room. If that is the situation, I'm not sure how to resolve it.

According to the same articles replacing the dimmer switch with a better one is the solution, but what about a power conditioner?

I will continue to check the wiring and do what I can there, but is a power conditioner something I might want to consider?

Edit: I shouldn't say power conditioner. I was thinking more aong the lines of a UPS. I actually happen to have one, but I'm not 100% sure it's still functional. It's an APC 1000VA.
__________________

Living Room Setup:
Philips 42" PFL7422D/37 (DVE Blu-Ray calibrated)
PS3, Xbox 360 & Wii
VIP722 HD DVR (Dish Network)
Sony STR-DG820 AV Receiver
Boston Acoustic Horizon MCS 100 5.1 Speakers
Boston Acoustic 100 Watt 8" Powered Sub
Harmony 550 Remote

Last edited by chrism87; 12-21-2008 at 06:36 PM.
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