Buzz/Hum in Studio Monitors

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by odinsride, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. odinsride macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #1
    I am experiencing some buzzing/humming in my new Studio Monitors.

    I have the Yamaha HS50M's, connected to an Mbox2 with Monster 1/4" speaker cables. The Mbox2 goes directly to my MBP via USB.

    My problem is that whenever an application has focus that uses sound (such as Pro Tools, Quicktime, etc), the buzzing occurs. If I close the application trying to use the sound interface, the buzzing goes away. It's a somewhat high-pitched buzz/hum but not very loud. Definitely noticeable though if no other sound is coming through the monitors.

    This happened on my Macbook as well before I got the MBP.

    Anyone have ideas on how to get rid of the problem?
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    i'm assuming these aren't actually speaker cables...

    are these balanced or unbalanced cables? they should be balanced. also -- monster is overpriced crap, for the next time you need to buy cables.
     
  3. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #3
    I'm not sure what they are - the guy at Guitar Center (where I bought it) told me that's what I needed. They were labeled as speaker cables. I'm not sure about balanced/unbalanced though.

    What brand would you recommend and where should I buy cables? Also how can I tell if what I'm buying is balanced or unbalanced?

    Thanks
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #4
    balanced 1/4" cables have 2 bands at the end, like this:
    [​IMG]

    unbalanced ones only have a single band, like this:
    [​IMG]

    for cable brands, in general, Hosa is crap, Monster is overpriced crap, pro-co is moderately-priced okay quality. there are all sorts of quality cable, and GC carries Mogami now. it's pricey, but good stuff. i end up having redco.com do a lot of my cabling, and typically it's their own name brand i have them use. that's good stuff, and at decent prices.

    for your purposes, pro-co is fine, though.

    regarding the buzzing, is it also coming over the headphones?
     
  5. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #5
    I definitely have Unbalanced cables then. That's probably the problem. Using Headphones on the Mbox2 I get no buzz at all.

    Thanks for the help
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #6
    yeah, you should go yell at the GC guy. and let his manager know he shouldn't be let near customers. :)
     
  7. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #7
    Another thing I have a question on - My monitors have XLR input. Would it be better to go with a 1/4" to XLR cable or 1/4" to 1/4" cable? Would I notice any difference? Is one better than the other?

    Thanks
     
  8. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #8
    One more question, sorry for asking so much!

    When I'm looking at these sites for cable I notice they're categorized as Speaker Cables or Balanced Cables.

    Wouldn't I want speaker cables since I'm hooking them to my monitors? Or should I just go for Balanced Cables?

    I'm just a little confused...thanks
     
  9. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #9
    they should be the same quality. but if you're going to be getting a new cable anyway, yeah, i'd go 1/4" to XLR.
     
  10. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #10
    I went to GC today and picked up a pair of Mogami 1/4" to XLR male balanced cables, they work great - the buzz/hum is gone. Thanks for your help zim
     
  11. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
  12. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #12
    Background:
    You do not have speakers, you have powered speakers. So you are not connecting a speaker, you are connecting an amplifier.

    Therefore you don't want speaker cables, because the signal you are sending from the MBox (preamp) to the Yamaha's amplifier input, is a line level signal, not a speaker signal.

    Speaker wire can be simple unshielded lamp cord, because it carries a considerable amount of power, and any interference is completely overwhelmed by the high signal level.

    Line level signals, however, require a shielded cable because they are tiny in power and are easily interfered with. A line level signal can be sent either with an unbalanced or a balanced cable, as long as both devices agree.
     
  13. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #13
    That makes sense. So powered speakers would be the same concept as a guitar combo amp (amp + cab all in one).
     

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