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Old 01-26-2013, 09:33 PM   #1
talbers23 talbers23 is offline
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Default Bowers & Wilkins Speaker buzz

Hello All,

I just got my new speaker set up and have a question about a possible issue in my system. I purchased the Bowers & Wilkins 805 diamonds and the matching htm4 diamond center. What I'm noticing is a hum or buzzing sound out of the mid range on the left and right. All 3 tweeters have a faint static sound to them. I'm using a Marantz AV7701 for a processor and an Emotiva XPA5 for the amp, Audioquest King Cobra 1m unbalanced interconnects. This happens when nothing is on. The XPA5 is plugged directly into a Panamax 5300pm as well. Any ideas?

I should also note that I have a pair of Bowers & Wilkins cm12's running and get no noise like this from them.

Last edited by talbers23; 01-26-2013 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:37 PM   #2
talbers23 talbers23 is offline
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The noise did diminish quite a bit when the treadmill 2 floors up was no longer in use, making it impossible to hear this noise from 4'. I thought the Panamx was supposed to make the power "clean."

I guess what I question now is, is this normal and can I harm my speakers?
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talbers23 View Post
The noise did diminish quite a bit when the treadmill 2 floors up was no longer in use, making it impossible to hear this noise from 4'. I thought the Panamx was supposed to make the power "clean."

I guess what I question now is, is this normal and can I harm my speakers?
Sounds like a grounding issue.
Projector: JVC X55r, Screen:120" DNP Supernova 2.3 gain
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talbers23 View Post
The noise did diminish quite a bit when the treadmill 2 floors up was no longer in use, making it impossible to hear this noise from 4'. I thought the Panamx was supposed to make the power "clean."

I guess what I question now is, is this normal and can I harm my speakers?
Any electrical motor, anywhere between you and the breaker, is a pain. Air conditioners and refrigerators are especially troublesome.

The usual way to suspend interruption on the circuit is to isolate it with an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). Power goes into the UPS, charges a battery, and equipment power comes from the battery. This is not going to be practical for you since you're trying to fuel an XPA-5 and other high current gear.

This may or may not work for you, but you might want to get a long, heavy extension cord and try various circuits in your place. Plug the Panamax in it, and test various wall sockets, just to see if any make less (or no) noise. At least you'll know it's the input power.

It could be that blasted treadmill, or someone's refrigerator or something. Some unit is buzzing along right at the same 60Hz as the wall current, and the Panamax will have a hard time dealing with that - it's actually suited for much faster and bigger spikes or dips than you're seeing.

Good luck, I know it's frustrating. Your gear is probably just fine.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:25 PM   #5
Gremal Gremal is offline
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Agreed. It's not dangerous to your gear, and you may have a ground loop issue you need to isolate. Doing so is well worth your effort--it just requires some serious trouble-shooting on your part. I would also avoid the Panamax products and get a PS Audio power plant. I'm using the P5.

Congrats on your L/R/C diamond speakers, by the way!
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:02 AM   #6
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Buzzing and hum are not necessarily the fault of your speakers or equipment. Usually, it means something else is causing it.

Read the Ground Hum & Ground Loop Isolators thread.
HT Room: Panasonic PT-AE8000, Epson 1080UB Proj., Mitsubishi 65" Diamond Series HD TV, Yamaha-RX-A3010 Rec., CinePro 6-Ch. Amp. (350 W/Ch, 8 Ohm), Proton D1200 Amp., Behringer EP4000 & EPX3000 Amps., Oppo BDP-83, Sony BDP-S790, Audio Technica Tuntable, Mitsubishi S-VHS, 2 Def. Tech. Super Towers w 15" subs, 1 Def. Tech. Center & 1 Martin-Logan Center, 2 Def. Tech. Surr. & 2 PSB Surr., 2 Cadence Presence, 2 Bose 901 Rears, 2 Modified HSU 12" Subs, 1 ED DIY 12" Sub, 1 ED DIY 15" Sub, Velodyne SMS-1 Subwoofer Equalizer, DirecTV HD, Monster HTS 5000 & APC H15 Power Conditioners.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:16 AM   #7
talbers23 talbers23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gremal View Post
Agreed. It's not dangerous to your gear, and you may have a ground loop issue you need to isolate. Doing so is well worth your effort--it just requires some serious trouble-shooting on your part. I would also avoid the Panamax products and get a PS Audio power plant. I'm using the P5.

Congrats on your L/R/C diamond speakers, by the way!
Thank you. Stunning speakers.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:18 AM   #8
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I played around for a decent part of the day. I ended plugging the amp into a very heavy duty extension cable and no matter what outlet I plugged it into, even different breakers I still got the hum. I moved speaker wire away from power cords too. Last thing I can think to try is to ground my amp to one of the panamax conditioners.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:31 AM   #9
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Spent about 5 hours on this over the past 2 days. I've gone as far as only having the amp hooked up to the speakers, no processor at all. Is it possible that this is being caused by a to much power from my amp? It's a 200 watt per channel amp and my speakers are max 120. I've also tried grounding the amp to the processor, then amp to processor to panamax with no resolve. I'm also still confused why this is much more apparent in the right speaker, then left and barley noticeable in the center. Is it possible new speaker wire would help? I plan on upgrading soon but am out of money because of the speakers so it may be a while on that.

Thanks again for all the suggestions so far, I appreciate the help.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:33 PM   #10
talbers23 talbers23 is offline
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I called Emotiva and explained to them all the trouble shooting I had done to this point. At the time I had everything unhooked except for the amp plugged in by itself and speaker wire to speakers. They had me switch the amp from unbalanced to balanced for all 5 channels and the noise went away. They immediately said it was an amp issue and gave me an RA#. I have to pay to ship it back, roughly $50 but it will be fixed and shipped back for free.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talbers23 View Post
I called Emotiva and explained to them all the trouble shooting I had done to this point. At the time I had everything unhooked except for the amp plugged in by itself and speaker wire to speakers. They had me switch the amp from unbalanced to balanced for all 5 channels and the noise went away. They immediately said it was an amp issue and gave me an RA#. I have to pay to ship it back, roughly $50 but it will be fixed and shipped back for free.
That's awesome news man! I know the noise would drive me absolutely nuts especially on gear that nice!
Living Room: TV: Samsung LN55A950 AVR: Denon AVR 2809CI Blu-Ray Player: Oppo BDP 93
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talbers23 View Post
I called Emotiva and explained to them all the trouble shooting I had done to this point. At the time I had everything unhooked except for the amp plugged in by itself and speaker wire to speakers. They had me switch the amp from unbalanced to balanced for all 5 channels and the noise went away. They immediately said it was an amp issue and gave me an RA#. I have to pay to ship it back, roughly $50 but it will be fixed and shipped back for free.
Wow. That's a first for me, especially with the treadmill upstairs...good news, man.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:12 AM   #13
talbers23 talbers23 is offline
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Wow. That's a first for me, especially with the treadmill upstairs...good news, man.
Do you mean its a first for you hearing this issue or a first that Emo is fixing it?
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talbers23 View Post
Do you mean its a first for you hearing this issue or a first that Emo is fixing it?
First time I've heard about unbalanced inputs freaking out the sound - I was dead set on getting an Emo 5-channel, but now I'm leaning against it, as I don't really need it. Glad they're fixing it.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:20 PM   #15
talbers23 talbers23 is offline
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First time I've heard about unbalanced inputs freaking out the sound - I was dead set on getting an Emo 5-channel, but now I'm leaning against it, as I don't really need it. Glad they're fixing it.
I'm not sure that its that common of an issue where I wouldn't buy one of the amps. I do however have a bad feeling that they'll get it and say everything fine though. I'd be lying if I said otherwise. Not really sure where I'd go if I didn't use the Emo. I have a processor so I'm stuck needing an amp.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:31 AM   #16
talbers23 talbers23 is offline
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FedEx picked up the outer box from Emotiva today. Hopefully I'll be able to ship the amp this week yet. I will post how things go. Not sure why but I have a fear that the amp will get to Emotiva and they will say nothings wrong even though they walked me through the trouble shooting.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:16 AM   #17
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I don't know why people love Emotiva so much. There are much better amps out there. But it's good that you figured out the cause of the noise and at least the company is standing behind its product--at least if you pay shipping.
EyeSpeech: Speak Your Eye
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talbers23 View Post
FedEx picked up the outer box from Emotiva today. Hopefully I'll be able to ship the amp this week yet. I will post how things go. Not sure why but I have a fear that the amp will get to Emotiva and they will say nothings wrong even though they walked me through the trouble shooting.
Time for an upgrade
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:43 PM   #19
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I don't know why people love Emotiva so much. There are much better amps out there. But it's good that you figured out the cause of the noise and at least the company is standing behind its product--at least if you pay shipping.
People love them because of their price/performance.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:37 AM   #20
talbers23 talbers23 is offline
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I was actually looking at 2 different amps recently but I'm not sure on them. I know I don't need a ton of power, 120 watts per channel or more will do just fine. I was looking at the Matantz mm7055 or the Anthem pva5. It would take me a bit longer to afford the Anthem and it lacks balanced inputs but I'm not sure that matters. Any other suggestions? Anyone personally use either?
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