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nolan
2007-05-03, 06:35
I've just received an pair of Audioengine 5 speakers in the UK (purchased from Ecodigital)

I'm very happy with the appearance and sound quality when playing but I have a niggling issue in that the speaker housing the amplifier emits a faint buzzing sound which is noticeable when between tracks or when not listening to anything.

The buzzing is not affected by the volume control on the speakers and doesn't seem to be coming from the driver units, more like it's coming from the amplifier circuit. It is also the same whether a squeezebox or iPod is plugged in (or nothing plugged in at all).I can hear it from my desk about 6' away so it's an annoyance when not listening.

Has anyone else heard this, is it likely to be a faulty unit or some kind of environmental issue?

It's a full UK unit btw and was supplied with a UK plug and preset to 240v.

I've mailed Audioengine to get their thoughts but thought I would see if anyone had experienced similar. They would be pretty much perfect if it wasn't for this one issue!

Kyle
2007-05-03, 07:24
I also sit about six feet away from my speakers in an office setting. I have never noticed a hum. Of course, my office is not absolutely quiet. If I put my ear against the speaker, I can hear a faint hum that I cannot detect from a foot away. There is also a very faint hiss from the drivers when your ear is very close, especially the tweeter on the speaker that contains the amp, but in my office setting, I have never noticed it. The hiss does increase with the volume, so I suspect you either have a faulty unit or some sort of external interference.

mflint
2007-05-03, 08:05
Ooh, that's interesting. I certainly wouldn't expect that load a hum.

I ordered the very same yesterday, and from Ecodigital too. (Chose Ecodigital because of their efficiency in handling the order for my first Squeezebox)

Hopefully it'll arrive tomorrow, so I'll have a listen over the weekend and report back.

Matthew

mortslim
2007-05-03, 08:27
The amplifier in your speakers is generating mechanical noise because the transformer inside the amp is vibrating from the electricity and the vibrations have not been properly dampened. A line conditioner won't help because it is coming from the amp, not the current. That is why you hear it at any volume setting. It is more noticeable of course when your room environment is quiet. It is constantly there even when music is playing so it is affecting the quality of the music too. Audible mechanical noise is a general indication that the speaker is not the best quality.

A good quality powered or active speaker won't have this noise.

I don't understand why I have seen several posts about these particular speakers. You won't find them at a musical instrument store that caters to professional audio engineers.

There are plenty of very good quality powered or active speakers on the market. Go to a large musical equipment store, like Guitar Center, or online at Musicians Friend, Zzounds, Sam Ash, American Musical Supply and Sweetwater. Search for powered or active speakers and reference monitors or near field montors. Smaller powered or active speakers are in the category of reference monitors or near field monitors and they are used by audio engineers to mix down sound tracks. You can't get better than that. Larger powered or active speakers (10 inch woofer and higher) are in the category of public address or PA speakers.

The speakers at the retailers I mentioned are not the powered multimedia computer speakers you find at your big box outlets like Best Buy. I am talking about speakers used by audio professionals who demand the best.

Engineers don't get caught up with hype. They use their speakers to make a living. They want the best quality, and quality requires quiet speakers.

mortslim
2007-05-03, 08:50
I read up on the speakers at the beginning of this thread and I have confirmed my assumptions. Those speakers use 1/8" inputs and are marketed for ipods.

The speakers I suggest you check out use 1/4" balanced inputs or XLR inputs (for the highest quality audio signal). For your squeezebox, you can get an rca to 1/4" adaptor to plug in.

Audio engineers use source material these days at 24 bit/96 khz and above. Their needs are more demanding than the compressed music found on an ipod.

Kyle
2007-05-03, 09:02
I read up on the speakers at the beginning of this thread and I have confirmed my assumptions.

Interesting that you would make assumptions on speakers you have never heard based (in your first post) on no facts at all and (in your second post) on the size of the inputs. The build quality of these speakers is quite good. I suggest you audition a pair before you lump them in with cheap ipod or computer speakers.

azinck3
2007-05-03, 09:02
I read up on the speakers at the beginning of this thread and I have confirmed my assumptions. Those speakers use 1/8" inputs and are marketed for ipods.

The speakers I suggest you check out use 1/4" balanced inputs or XLR inputs (for the highest quality audio signal). For your squeezebox, you can get an rca to 1/4" adaptor to plug in.

Audio engineers use source material these days at 24 bit/96 khz and above. Their needs are more demanding than the compressed music found on an ipod.

I, too, am a bit skeptical of speakers marketed to the Ipod crowd, but I've heard too many good things about these speakers to dismiss them out of hand. Historically, you're right that pro connections tend to indicate better equipment, but there's no reason to jump to the conclusion that "because it has consumer-grade connections it's crap". Why couldn't a company build a great, pro-grade monitor then stick a mini-stereo connector on it for convenience and to sell more units?

In the same price range I'm probably more prone to pick up a pair of Behringer Truth B2031A's (a LOT of speaker for the money) or perhaps some Yorkville YSM1P's but these don't fit into every decor or situation.

And besides, I've heard plenty of "pro" powered monitors that sounded lousy (low-end stuff from edirol, tannoy and roland, for instance). You start looking at the good pro stuff and you're easily double the price of the audioengines.

Craig
2007-05-03, 09:14
I've not noticed any hum from mine either but the power led faded away to nothing in the first few weeks.

Craig

nolan
2007-05-03, 12:07
Thanks for the replies so far.

I went for the Audioengines as this they are for an additional Squeezebox in an office room where I wanted something compact that would sound reasonable and I have seen some very positive reviews of them.

I don't expect them to be as good as my main Squeezebox setup which features a Mission Cyrus 2 + PSX and Quad 11L2 speakers.

I too was slightly dissapointed when I discovered they only featured a 1/8" jack input and I would rather they also had phono plugs so save using an adaptor to atatch the squeezebox.

I am happy with the sound quality for the price but one thing I can't stand is any kind of hum so it looks like I'll be contacting the retailer tomorrow so see if they are prepared to swap them or offer a refund.

Thanks Kyle for the feedback, it's good to hear they don't all do this and the noise is distinct from the hiss heard with the volume at max.

I'm mailed Audioengine themselves but they haven't got back to me. I'll see what the Ecodigital have to say tomorrow.

The service from Ecodigital was superb btw - ordered at lunchtime and received the speakers the next day so they can't be faulted so far :)

mortslim
2007-05-03, 12:10
For those audiophiles who want the cleanest sound possible when connecting to powered speakers, I found a little product that balances the signal when converting from rca to XLR.

It's from ART (Applied Research & Technology) and called the Cleanbox (not to be confused with the Cleanbox II).

It's sold at the retailers I previously mentioned.

mortslim
2007-05-03, 12:17
one thing I can't stand is any kind of hum

If it is a line induced hum, then the Cleanbox II will take care of it. If it is a noise internal to the amp, you have a defective amp if no one else with the same product has this problem.

peter
2007-05-04, 05:02
azinck3 wrote:
> I, too, am a bit skeptical of speakers marketed to the Ipod crowd, but
> I've heard too many good things about these speakers to dismiss them
> out of hand. Historically, you're right that pro connections tend to
> indicate better equipment, but there's no reason to jump to the
> conclusion that "because it has consumer-grade connections it's crap".
> Why couldn't a company build a great, pro-grade monitor then stick a
> mini-stereo connector on it for convenience and to sell more units?
>

I agree with the scepticism. People have been making excellent speakers
for decades and the models made for iPods and PC's are not the greatest.
I started out using active PC speakers in my bedroom and they hissed and
hummed too. Quite unacceptable in a bedroom, not a huge problem next to
a PC.

> In the same price range I'm probably more prone to pick up a pair of
> Behringer Truth B2031A's (a LOT of speaker for the money) or perhaps
> some Yorkville YSM1P's but these don't fit into every decor or
> situation.
>

I have a pair of B2031A's in my living room and they work very well
IMHO. Minor gripes:

- Automatic power on is unfortunately useless, I've used AmpSwitch to
fix that.
- Noticable pop when switching on

> And besides, I've heard plenty of "pro" powered monitors that sounded
> lousy (low-end stuff from edirol, tannoy and roland, for instance).
> You start looking at the good pro stuff and you're easily double the
> price of the audioengines.
>

I've also got a pair of B2030P (the smaller passive version) powered by
a T-Amp in my bedroom and kitchen. They sound wonderful in the bedroom
but not so great in the kitchen (due to room acoustics). At 180 EUR per
set (150 for the Behringers and 30 for the amp) that's a great solution.
The T-Amps are always on and produce no hiss or hum.

Regards,
Peter

Mark Lanctot
2007-05-08, 14:24
Could it be a ground loop? I've had a set of computer speakers develop a ground loop through some sort of internal defect.

At any rate, if it's an internal ground loop or a mechanical buzzing, return it to the dealer. It's defective. You should be able to tell the difference by squeezing or putting weight on the affected speaker. If the buzzing changes tone or volume or stops outright, it's mechanical, caused by an improperly-secured transformer.

And for the record, I have also seen many good reviews of the Audioengines, primarily on this forum - and the people on this forum usually know good speakers.

yyy
2007-05-19, 10:17
I am fixing a pair of YSM1Ps as I'm writing this. I found a response to this problem on another blog. I tried the recommended fix and it seems to have solved the problem.

Here's the link: http://homerecording.com/bbs/archive/index.php/t-171344.html

And here is the response to the problem:

MisterRob
09-30-2005, 06:55
Yep, I tried the basics, and it is definitely something wrong inside the amp. I sent an Email to Yorkville support yesterday. I posted here because I have little faith in tech-support (as, with other companies I have found tech-support to be extremely unhelpfull and slow) so figured they would not help me with an answer. Yorkville, however, seems to be both helpful and fast. I got a response in under an hour that read as follows:

It is fairly easy for a service technician to rectify the problem. All that is required is that capacitor "C5" ( which sits right beside the volume control) should be replaced with a short circuit (a piece of bare wire will work perfectly). I can assure you that the noise will never return after C5 is shorted out.

Given the quickness of the response, and the fact that the Email looked like a cut and paste job, I suspect this is a common problem with the YSM1P's. I have written back to find out why this problem would only have shown up as the speakers got older (as the previous owner says he never had the problem). I am still waiting for an answer from Yorkville.

I have no particular elctrician skill, so I may have a friend who is a bit more knowledgeable about such things than I take a crack at doing this, but it seems like a fairly simple fix.

Anyway, figured I'd post it in case another YSM1P owner has the same problem.

Thanks for the response, I'll let you know if this works.