question-circle Presence of "Digital Noise"???

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ArthurDaniels Posted 1 year 4 months ago
#23707
Hi Gang,

I have encountered a weird problem. While playing a recording from my computer (Lossless FLAC file) at a reasonably loud volume setting, I began to notice some background noise. The noise was noticeable at times of little sound from the music being played.

The file I was playing was an ADD recording, so my first presumption was that I was listening to tape noise from the original analog tape. To confirm that suspicion, I played a pure DDD track from a Telarc recording - but, to my surprise, I also heard the same type of noise during quiet passages of the DDD recording.

To make a long story short, I conducted a number of tests to eliminate various pieces of gear in my system. The test results clearly demonstrate that the noise is present in the original recordings. My tests included going back to the CDs from which I transferred the music to FLAC files - the noise is present.

From my tests, I am confident that none of the devices in my setup are introducing the noise. My tests also confirm that my speakers are not the issue.

If I reduce the overall volume level, the noise level becomes practically inaudible. Because much of my listening time is spent at lower volume levels, I would not have noticed this noise at those lower levels. Also, if the music is loud, the noise is difficult to hear at the higher volume listening levels.

Since classical music has large and sudden dynamic level differences, the noise can be heard at brief intervals. Of course, once noticed, the noise becomes an instant distraction, even if only at brief intervals.

To further complicate the problem, I have some ADD and AAD recordings which do not exhibit the noise so far as I can tell. However, every DDD recording I have sampled so far has the same type of noise. The noise seems louder on some DDD recordings than on others.

The noise does not sound like "tape rumble". The pitch of the noise is a bit higher than tape rumble. The noise has more of a "white noise" or "pink noise" character. When a recording has a few seconds of silence at the end of a piece of music, the noise is present until the recording ceases. Then, total silence.

I confess that I don't have any idea what I have encountered. So, I have constructed this post to inquire if any of you have had similar experiences or if any of you can duplicate my findings.

I'm looking forward to response and/or suggestions.

Thanks,

Art
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ArthurDaniels Posted 1 year 4 months ago
#23709
Update:

I suspected that the source of the "digital noise" I am hearing might be induced from either the fan from my Music Laptop, or possibly from my external HD which contains all of my music files.

To test these possibilities, I selected a music source in which I could clearly hear the noise, then loaded the original CD into the CD/DVD changer which is part of my music setup. Next, I stopped the external HD, while leaving the laptop fan running. Then, I played the music file from the original CD using the CD/DVD player. The noise was still present. Then, I shut down the Laptop. Again, I played the cut from the CD via the CD/DVD player. The noise was still present.

At this point, I can only conclude that the noise is endemic to the CD itself. This possibility is supported by the fact that the noise level is variable from one CD to another and is inaudible on some CDs. It does not seem to matter whether the CD is an ADD or DDD recording - I have detected the noise in both types and silence in both types.

I am finished with my tests. I have no more ideas to try and I am convinced that none of my equipment or cabling is responsible for this noise. My listening solution is to turn down the volume when I encounter the noise to drop the noise below an objectionable level.

I would still like to have comments from anyone else who has experienced this condition.

Thanks,

Art
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WayneWilmeth Posted 1 year 4 months ago
#23710
Bro Art, that is worriesome.
Troubling.
At first I thought you were saying it was only on DDD material. That would have been interesting and a puzzler.
I remember in the old days that someone convinced at least some of us that DDD was the superior CD and I remember looking at the back of a CD before buying to be sure it was. IF I am not mistaken Flim and the BBs always came out on DDD discs, and the sound was pretty incredible. But a LOT of the "digital glare" discs were also DDD.
Now people are going back to the old Analog tapes and making DSD copies that are superior sonically.

But now you are saying it is with any kind of CD. Can you give us a few examples so we can try to match your results, replicate the problem on our own systems? That might mean quite a few discs before some of us have the same disc.

Have you tired a Blu Ray disc? I would bet you dollars to doughnuts the noise is not on them.
God Bless,
Wayne
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ArthurDaniels Posted 1 year 4 months ago
Last edit: 1 year 4 months ago by ArthurDaniels. info_outline
#23712
Hi Wayne,

With respect, I believe that is would not be fruitful for us to try to nail down specific CDs. When I first noticed the noise, I was listening to an ADD Erato CD of Don Juan by Gluck. Then, I listened to a Telarc CD of Bach Organ Works by Michael Murry (DDD).

If you want to try to hear the noise, find a CD with very quiet music or, preferably, a CD which has tracks which remain active for a few seconds after the music stops. Put your ear next to the top of your Triton Ones and listen for a static-like background noise. You probably won't hear it unless you raise the volume level a bit.

The best way I can describe the noise is to compare it to what noisy LPs sounded like - not scratches or pops, but a steady noise.

If you hear the noise at the end of a recording, you will certainly notice when the track actually ends - the noise will totally disappear and you will have silence.

I don't know what to make of it. Based upon my experiments, I believe it to be endemic and not representing equipment failure. Maybe the Triton's high-quality tweeter simply exposes endemic noise.

I am not concerned about it. Right now, I am listening to a DDD CD at a reasonably-high (for me) room volume and not hearing any noise at my PLP. So, if I could walk over to the speaker and hear it, I don't care. If I cannot hear it at my PLP, then all is well.

I have done some internet research, but found nothing conclusive.

Currently, I do not have a Blue-Ray player connected to my music system. I have only one music BR disc and I have ripped those files into my music system storage.

Thanks for your interest.

Best,

Art
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WayneWilmeth Posted 1 year 4 months ago
#23715
Sorry Bro Art, I cannot replicate what you are hearing.
You said it is only when a disc or file is PLAYING, right? When you are not playing anything, there is no noise? And you don't have tubes anywhere in your system, they give tube noise (some times a little bit), but that would be there all the time, any 'system' problem would be there all the time.

I have not tried to reproduce the noise you are hearing by going up to my speakers and listening, to me there is no point in that. IF I can't hear it from my seat, then it would not bother me at all. BUT I think I understand from you that you feel the same.
And it is HOT summer here, so ceiling fan or A/C noise is in play, to isolate that out of my listening tests I am using my custom in ear monitors (that isolate my surrounding environment, no competition from background, noise floor). But that does mean it has to be files and not discs I am playing. You said you hear this on FLAC rips from discs right? That is what I am listening to, even the old RCA shaded dogs, I just don't hear noise.

BUT, I have tinnitus, so there could be noise that is masked in my ears. IF that is it, or in any case, sorry, I cannot help.
Happy non noisy listening,
God Bless,
Wayne
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ArthurDaniels Posted 1 year 4 months ago
#23717
Hi Wayne,

I agree - if you cannot hear any unwanted sounds from your PLP - then, whatever might be there is of little to no consequence.

In my case, once I discovered the noise, my curiosity compelled me to try to isolate the source. I was pleased to discover that, whatever the noise source, it does not appear to arise from my audio gear or setup.

Best,

Art
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