Why do my speakers hiss?!?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by james e m, Apr 29, 2002.

  1. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2001
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I have my reciever up to round 75db I can hear a hiss type sound coming out of my speakers. It's only noticble when there is a quite part in the DVD or when I hit pause. The best way I can describe it is that it sounds like "dead air". Why does my speaker do this?

    James

    I have Paradigm speakers and a Sony 5ES reciever.
     
  2. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Real Name:
    Michael
    Hey James!
    Just some questions.... How is your DVD player connected to your receiver (digital or analogue?). Do you hear the hiss only when in DVD mode or always? Does it make the hiss when the output is totally flat (bass/treble set to zero, no fancy DSP modes or EQs). Does changing any of those make a difference to the hiss?
    It's quite possible that what you're hearing is just the noise floor of the amp. You might want to take a look at this regarding shorting RCA plugs to help reduce the noise floor (NOTE: be sure to use this ONLY on analogue inputs). I haven't tried it myself (yet) but it's worth a shot.
    - Mike
     
  3. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Jeff Lam
    It's not your speakers, it's your amp. Most amps have some noise. Usually the noise starts going away when you get into the high priced amps.
     
  4. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2001
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mike, I have my dvd player hooked up with a digital optical cable, but I also get the hiss when I play my cd player (which has an anologue connection). I'll mess around with the eq to see if it makes a difference. Thanks for that link by the way. That noise is just so annoying! Whenever I hear it my attention goes right from the movie to the noise. It's very distracting.

    James
     
  5. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2001
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    I played around with the eq a bit on the 5ES and it does make a difference when all the eq settings are at 0. So does that mean I have to sacrafice the sound I like in order to get rid of that his?

    James
     
  6. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2000
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    0
    James,

    Sometimes you can begin to make that noise/hiss go away by cleaning up the power delivery (at least it's worked for me in the past).

    Probably a balanced power type device, maybe from BPT, would be a relatively inexpensive way to get into it. (relatively, as in less than $1K). There are other solutions as well though.
     
  7. SteveRS

    SteveRS Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 1999
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    0
    Try a power line conditioner/surge protector with EMI/RFI noise rejection.

    I was able to lower the noise floor in a HT system with the Monster HTS2000.

    If you are able to exchange the receiver you can try to find one with a lower noise floor.

    I had severe hiss with a Sony TA-E9000ES pre/pro and returned it for one with very little at max volume.
     
  8. MiltK

    MiltK Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you using halogen lighting with a dimmer? Make sure there are no dimmers on the same circuit. I eliminated a very loud buzzing coming from my speakers by changing floor lamps to one that uses standard bulbs. Evidently the triac device used by dimmers may cause ground loops.
     
  9. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 1999
    Messages:
    6,017
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you talking about the Treble and bass settings?

    Because I've never heard a 5es hiss before.
     
  10. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Real Name:
    Michael
    Well I just tested it out on my yammie htr-5450. There's hiss when I turn it up but it's pretty quiet compared to any audio that might be playing. In otherwords, it doesn't bother me. However, if I turn down the treble the hiss dies down. If I turn it up the hiss gets louder. I guess you had the treble up a bit? Or perhaps EQed it so that high frequencies were boosted?

    I then tested it with this two channel Adcom amp I had borrowed from a friend. I cranked the volume to max and there was absolutely no hiss or hum or nothing. Wow. It's a shame I had to give it back. Oh well. That's what paying for quality gets you.

    - Mike
     
  11. KonradN

    KonradN Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2000
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    0
    i think the hiss comes from all the processing of the 5es. anyways i had a sony db receiver before and turning the eq and bass boost off, significantly reduces the noise floor.
     
  12. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2001
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I messed around with the eq and found out that the "noise" is reduced if I turn down the bass on the speakers. Right now I have every speaker set at Bass: +10db, Mid: +5db, Treb: +5db.

    It sucks because I enjoy a lot of bass and I would have to turn the bass down to reduce that hiss. I really don't want to listen to music or movies with all the eq settings at zero, is there anything else I can do? I do have a Brickwall surge protector which is supposed to do some noise filtering, but that doesn't seem to help. Would the noise go away if I used an amp with the 5ES?

    James
     
  13. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    0
    bass +5

    Volume +5

    something like that to compensate?
     
  14. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    857
    Likes Received:
    0
    I used to have a sony es receiver, and I found that alot of the his came from the dsp board of the sony. Here is a simple test as to the origin of the hiss. Play a dvd, cd, or whatever, pause the selection, and turn your volume all the way up. If you hear the hiss, then stop and turn off the dvd/cd/etc. player. If the hiss lessens, then you know the origin. If it stays the same, which it probably will if you are using a digital (toslink/coaxial) connection, try using an analogue connection. Turn the volume up again to see if you get hiss, then use the analogue pass through option, and see if the hiss lessens. On my old sony receiver, this made almost all the hiss go away. The rest of the hiss probably came from RF noise of the fact that I was using a noisy power outlet. Sometimes a power conditioner, like one from MOnster or MIT, will get rid of the hiss and lower the noise floor.
     
  15. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 1999
    Messages:
    6,017
    Likes Received:
    0
    James,

    If you like to add that much in the eq to your speakers then perhaps you have other issues you are trying to compensate for by using the EQ.

    I've never found myself using the EQ ever on any reciever because if something sounds bad it is probably in my sub or speakers.

    Be kind of like bumping up your LFE level to compensate for a crappy subwoofer.
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    I had some hiss when turning my amp up to rediculous levels REF+20!! (no source playing). When I added my power conditioner, a Panamax 4300, there is now no background noise at all, even at full volume. There is still a bit of noise with various soruces, but that is fairly normal and will vary not only with source, but also source material. You are amplifying not just the good stuff, but the bad stuff too.

    I agree with Shane, I do not add any EQ at all. If it doesn't sound good flat, EQing will not fix it. With a receiver of the level of the 5ES, EQing should not be necessary at all.
     
  17. Dan Da Silva

    Dan Da Silva Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2001
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a Sony DB-940 and the only way I get it not to hiss is playing it in A.F.D (Auto Format Decode) mode. If I play it in any of the DSP modes I get a very noticeable hiss.
     
  18. Rutledge

    Rutledge Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    James,

    Wow, +10,+5,+5. That is some serious eq there. I will have to agree with the other posters, you are compensating for a deficiency, or you like your music over the top.

    Maybe you should step up to some speakers that go deeper or are boosted in those frequencies.

    Try putting all of your tone controls at 0db, select a input and turn the volume control up to the 12 o'clock. You shouldn't be hearing much hiss with the Sony.

    When I was in high school one of my friend's dads had a system with a 24 band equalizer, all of the bands were at +12.

    With the volume control at 3 it would run you out of the room. I asked him why he didn't put everything a 0db and just turn the volume up higher. He didn't like that idea much.

    I have the Sony DA 333ES and it doesn't hiss. Of course everything is flat.
     
  19. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2001
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the advice guys. I can't believe that nobody really uses their eq settings! So everybody just leaves the eq settings to bass and treb. on 0? I just think my speakers sound better with the eq. I know my speakers (Paradigm) and receiver are of quality. I know that using no eq does lessen the hiss, but the speakers don't sound the way I want them to. I'm not sure what to do.

    James
     
  20. Steve Zimmerman

    Steve Zimmerman Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2001
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    0
    James, there is a LOT of misinformation in this thread. First of all, good amplifiers (I don't mean receivers or prepros here) do NOT create hiss. All they do is amplify a signal. If that signal has noise in it then they will amplify the noise so that it becomes audible.

    If (1) you hear the hiss even when the DVD player is paused and (2) you're sure it's a high-pitched whispery hiss and not a hum then your problem is almost assuredly caused by your receiver having a signal-to-noise ratio that is too low compared to the efficiency of your speakers.

    You can try using different cables, a power conditioner, placing a bag of sand on top of your DVD player, or whatever other strange remedy you want, but if the signal-to-noise ratio of your receiver is too low compared to the efficiency of your speakers then you are going to hear a hiss.

    --Steve
     

Share This Page