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Jason Jenkins
buzzy speaker
on Sep 18, 2014 at 5:01:01 am

So I have a half decent basement video editing studio and thanks to thunderbolt technology I've moved all my noisy external drives into a closet. The only noise generating item on the desk is a whisper-quiet Mac Pro. It's perfect... except my left hand audio monitor (speaker) makes a crackly, static noise all the time. It's not loud, but the studio is quiet enough now that I can hear it. It's not coming from the cheap behringer mixer, because I can pull the xlr cable and still hear the noise. I've plugged the offending speaker into several different outlets, including on a separate circuit. I've switched the left and right speakers and the noise still comes from the leftmost one. I've swapped power cords, moved the power cord so it doesn't touch any other cables, power cycled the speaker, shut down the router, etc.... I don't know what else to try. The speakers are Studiophile BX5's. Any ideas would be welcome!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Richard Crowley
Re: buzzy speaker
on Sep 18, 2014 at 5:11:55 am

If the "leftmost" speaker always produces the noise even when you swap them, then it can't be the speakers, can it?

It is not clear exactly what piece of gear is FEEDING the signal to the left and right speakers. It seems most likely THAT piece of gear is the culprit.

Perhaps if you better explain the signal path in detail, we could be of more help to you. Model numbers, types of cable, etc. are all valuable details.


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Jason Jenkins
Re: buzzy speaker
on Sep 18, 2014 at 5:42:55 am

[Richard Crowley] "It is not clear exactly what piece of gear is FEEDING the signal to the left and right speakers. It seems most likely THAT piece of gear is the culprit."

Hi, Richard:
That's the weird thing; even when nothing is connected, except the power cord, the static is there. There is nothing left to troubleshoot! I don't know what to think...

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Richard Crowley
Re: buzzy speaker
on Sep 18, 2014 at 5:54:58 am

Can you make a shorting plug so the input isn't "flopping out in the breeze"?

Is the power cord long enough that you can move the left speaker physically to the right side (while powered up and operating)? Does the noise gradually diminish as you move it to the right, or does it suddenly disappear?


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Jason Jenkins
Re: buzzy speaker
on Sep 18, 2014 at 6:25:49 am

[Richard Crowley] "Can you make a shorting plug so the input isn't "flopping out in the breeze"?"

I'm not sure how to do that.

[Richard Crowley] "Is the power cord long enough that you can move the left speaker physically to the right side (while powered up and operating)? Does the noise gradually diminish as you move it to the right, or does it suddenly disappear?"

I slid the left speaker over, right next to the right speaker, and the noise is gone. So what the heck is it picking up over on the left? Do I need to wrap it in lead shielding?

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Jason Jenkins
Re: buzzy speaker
on Sep 18, 2014 at 6:43:09 am

I finally made the connection! My Panasonic cordless phone & base station were sitting on the lower tier of the desk, 18" below the left speaker. I moved the phone to a different spot in the office and no more crackling speaker!

I thank you Richard. My OCD thanks you! Good night.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Richard Crowley
Re: buzzy speaker
on Sep 18, 2014 at 1:12:32 pm

Good show! Congratulations on identifying and resolving the problem.

We all sometimes forget that all those cool wireless gadgets we use are actually TRANSMITTING digital noise into the air. And that is NOT good for most audio equipment. It would be better to put transmitters like that in another room.


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