Streaming Issues; Need Assistance.

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JLasher22443

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So as the title of the thread states, I'm having some issue with Streaming in my theater. Two issues to be exact.

First Issue: When streaming from my AppleTV 4K there is a hum/buzz that comes on every once in a while during the streaming. It's very low but audible. Almost like when a cell phone is placed too close to a speaker kind of sound. It lasts for maybe 15 seconds and goes away. During a movie I may hear it 2 or 3 times.

To give more context to this subject I just upgraded my entire network to Ubiquiti and there is a Cat6 Cable pulled into my Theater and its plugged into a UniFi Switch Flex Mini. It provides network to AppleTV and Mac Mini in my audio rack. Now I've seen and read where some Audiophiles use Fiber into the room and media converters to remove possible issues of network noise. I've also see where crazy expensive switches are purchased like the EtherREGEN at $700 up to a $5000 JCAT. And Innuos just announced another product the PhoenixNET. I'm happy with fixing my $29 Switch Issue instead. LOL

So my need for help is some insight in to what others here do for their streaming and network into their rooms. I'm looking into the Fiber option and already have some Clip-On Ferrite Cores coming in from Amazon to mess with first. They cost me $10.99. But was wondering what others here think or use and if anyone else possibly had this issue in their setups?

Second Issue: Streaming music with my Mac Mini and Chord Qutest using Roon. I've enjoyed it thus far but recently became a little frustrated and disappointed after a few changes to my TT Setup. Before they were kind of close in sound quality with the TT beating it out slightly. Well after upgrading my Cartridge, Phono-stage, and interconnects to Nordost Heimdal2 XLR's, it's now a no comparison. Like the Vinyl is so superior in sound over streaming its ridiculous. Which makes me think my Streaming setup has an issue or it needs some kind of change to better perform.

I've tested with multiple records and streaming of the same songs on Roon using Qobuz and/or Tidal. First thing that is noticeable is the volume level. When listening to my TT I can turn the volume up to 45 on the BHK and it gets me to 90db which is plenty high for me and the sound quality is unbelievable. If I want those same db levels while streaming I have to turn the BHK up to 65; All while testing with my Extech 407736 Sound Meter. That just doesn't seem right to me? Next is quality in the music itself. The stuff I hear on vinyl compared to streaming is amazing. Like just in the recordings on vinyl you hear everything; not so much on streaming. The sound stage and placement of instruments on Vinyl is so much more prevalent over the streaming.

So my question is; to get closer to my vinyl sound quality what should I be considering? I can't switch to XLR because the Chord doesn't have them. Thought of moving to another DAC that does XLR out or maybe even a i2S connection. Maybe there is nothing that can be done and I just need to settle. Thoughts?
 

amey01

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Frist Issue: It is unusual and strange. Happening a few times over the length of a movie is odd......could point to a power issue. Maybe the power supply is failing. Trying wi-fi is the easiest way to eliminate any issue coming over a network cable. But to me it sounds more like a hardware issue with the AppleTV or its power supply.

Second issue: I don't think you're going to hear any appreciable difference trying to pursue XLR. Firstly, I'd be checking the configuration........spend some time with the Roon docs to ensure you are getting bitperfect output - make sure all transcoding is turned off, or if you do need transcoding that it is doing so in a lossless way. And make sure the Mac is configured correctly......including all volume controls are set to MAX or BYPASS. If you are using digital volume control somewhere in the chain, then that's sure to destroy your resolution, so make sure all volumes are bypassed.

You haven't said how the Mac is connected to the DAC......USB?? That is what you should be using, as if you're using the crappy built-in Toslink output you won't have the bandwidth for high res.

Perform a bitperfect test to make sure.
 

JLasher22443

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Frist Issue: It is unusual and strange. Happening a few times over the length of a movie is odd......could point to a power issue. Maybe the power supply is failing. Trying wi-fi is the easiest way to eliminate any issue coming over a network cable. But to me it sounds more like a hardware issue with the AppleTV or its power supply.

Second issue: I don't think you're going to hear any appreciable difference trying to pursue XLR. Firstly, I'd be checking the configuration........spend some time with the Roon docs to ensure you are getting bitperfect output - make sure all transcoding is turned off, or if you do need transcoding that it is doing so in a lossless way. And make sure the Mac is configured correctly......including all volume controls are set to MAX or BYPASS. If you are using digital volume control somewhere in the chain, then that's sure to destroy your resolution, so make sure all volumes are bypassed.

You haven't said how the Mac is connected to the DAC......USB?? That is what you should be using, as if you're using the crappy built-in Toslink output you won't have the bandwidth for high res.

Perform a bitperfect test to make sure.
Thanks Amey01 I was hoping you would jump in here. Yah I didn't think about the WiFi swap because I always read cabled was better for streaming. But I'll give that a try.

Mac is connected via USB. I also looked in the settings and changed a bunch of stuff to try and make it louder but no luck. Even purchased the $9.99 Bitperfect App for the Mac mini. You can see I'm getting MQA by the indicator light on the Chord. And the Midi settings change per format. Also I streamed for probably 2 hours last night and did not get the noise with Mac mini plugged into the same switch. Which tells me its probably what you stated; the AppleTV.

The sound quality from this streaming setup is amazing and I love it. Just wonder why I have to turn the volume up so high on the BHK. I was reading the Chord Manuel and was wondering if you thought it was possible the Variable line level output that I can change from 1v RMS to 2 and 3. Am I not sending the right voltage over to the BHK possibly. Or would that not effect volume level?

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amey01

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Thanks Amey01 I was hoping you would jump in here. Yah I didn't think about the WiFi swap because I always read cabled was better for streaming. But I'll give that a try.
Cabled is better when that option is available. And I doubt it'll make a difference........but worth trying if you suspect anything coming over the network. Highly unlikely.


Mac is connected via USB. I also looked in the settings and changed a bunch of stuff to try and make it louder but no luck. Even purchased the $9.99 Bitperfect App for the Mac mini. You can see I'm getting MQA by the indicator light on the Chord. And the Midi settings change per format. Also I streamed for probably 2 hours last night and did not get the noise with Mac mini plugged into the same switch. Which tells me its probably what you stated; the AppleTV.

The sound quality from this streaming setup is amazing and I love it. Just wonder why I have to turn the volume up so high on the BHK. I was reading the Chord Manuel and was wondering if you thought it was possible the Variable line level output that I can change from 1v RMS to 2 and 3. Am I not sending the right voltage over to the BHK possibly. Or would that not effect volume level?
Sounds like config is probably okay then.

If the Chord has configurable output, then yes - input sensitivities do need to be matched. Not sure what your preamp requires.


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zigman

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This could be your UniFi mini for the noise related issues. I have found some of their lower cost switches actually carry noise in the cable. Have you connected it to the wall or is powered by PoE?
 

JonFo

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No direct experience with the UniFi Mini switch, but plenty with TP-Link 24 and 8 port switches.
The media room Apple TV 4Ks is connected to a TL-SG108 switch, which itself is cascaded from the TL-SG1024 switch. The HT Apple TV goes direct to the 1024.
Zero issues either way.

No need for fancy, expensive switches, just well-designed and made stuff. I always look for metal cases for networking gear.

Now I've seen and read where some Audiophiles use Fiber into the room and media converters to remove possible issues of network noise
As a guy who actually uses fiber media converters, I can say they are overkill to isolate audio. I use them to 'air gap' my router (and rest of network) from the cable modem. Lots of lightning in my area.
But, if you have a very long (>200 feet) run, then do use them.
 

spkrdctr

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I don't deal with 80% of what this thread represents but if you have a variable line out then you absolutely need to move up the voltage for the BHK. It should be no lower than 2 volts and if needed you can easily go to 3 volts. That will make a huge difference in your overall volume. Get that output voltage up! Well, at least set it it high so you can know that it is not a problem. Let us know what happens after you move it up. You can't hurt anything. It is all audio user proof! :)
 

LJSki

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In reference to your first issue. It sounds like you have the same issue I do. I have my amps powered on all the time, and while everything else is off, you can randomly hear the brief random noise coming from the speakers. In my case it's a very low volume set of pulse like sounds, mainly coming from my right speaker, but faintly audible in the left. I've encountered these before in other setup's as well. In my case, I'm pretty sure it's wireless/cell signal noise coming from my router, and bleeding into the cables at some point. ...I'm in a rental house at the moment, and in a temporary setup so I haven't bothered to try to fix. In a previous house, it took re-routing cables (keep audio, power, and data all separated, no parallel runs), and separating power outlet groups, etc... until it finally went away. Just takes a lot of trial and error. I doubt any of your equipment is at fault.
 

JLasher22443

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This could be your UniFi mini for the noise related issues. I have found some of their lower cost switches actually carry noise in the cable. Have you connected it to the wall or is powered by PoE?
I've got it powered by POE off of a USW-16-POE.
 

JLasher22443

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Thanks everyone for the replies. I've been out of town this weekend and got home late last night. I'll do some messing around today with the output voltage and see if that changes the Volume level. The BHK states it has a Sensitivity level on the Unbalanced of 1.3V/33KΩ. So we will see.

As for the noise and possibly cables being to close together; the network cables only cross or get close to any other cables at the unit itself. I have everything routed completely away from each other. And since I don't hear it coming over the MacMini and Chord while streaming for hours. That leads me to believe its the AppleTV like Amey01 stated. Also my VPI and Phono Stage are at the top of the rack above both and I don't pick up the noise while playing Vinyl.

So since I believe we have narrowed it down to the AppleTV 4K; should I just replace it or does anyone know of modes that could reduce or eliminate the noise. I know that sounds stupid but I had to ask. LOL
 

JLasher22443

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I don't deal with 80% of what this thread represents but if you have a variable line out then you absolutely need to move up the voltage for the BHK. It should be no lower than 2 volts and if needed you can easily go to 3 volts. That will make a huge difference in your overall volume. Get that output voltage up! Well, at least set it it high so you can know that it is not a problem. Let us know what happens after you move it up. You can't hurt anything. It is all audio user proof! :)
That was it. Moved it up to the 3V RMS and now its at the same volume level as the VPI for 80db listening. Thanks!
 

JLasher22443

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So if I had my cell phone on a table in the room next to me and the antenna was facing towards the 15A's could that produce the sound. I watched movies last night and had my phone in another location and did not get a noise. Think it's just a coincidence?
 

zigman

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A $29 switch powered by POE would be where I would first start troubleshooting next time you have any issues. One thing you could try first is plugging it into the wall with their power plug to avoid POE. Second thing is if you have any other switches laying around you could swap out for temporary testing.

The other thing that could be happening is what you are saying, somewhere one of your cables may not be insulated well and picking up the noise from your phone or other interference and carrying it into the system. I definitely would not recommend invest in audiophile grade ethernet switch for HT use for now, this could be a simpler issue.

I have a full Ubiquiti setup myself, Dream Machine Pro, Switch 24 POE, Switch Lite 8 PoE (computer gear + powering APs), Flex Mini, HD AP, Flex HD AP, and others. I found with audio my Cisco switch with external power supply was better performing than some of the Unifi 8 port switches I tried out. It's all about noise and interference really, the rest is just data in my opinion. UI focuses on low cost high turn over devices, which brings enterprise features obtainable to SMB and prosumers. I had an older 8 port POE UI switch connected to a patch panel and a smaller UI camera on the other end connected to the jack. Just out curiosity I used a EMF meter to measure noise on the cable and I was surprised at how much the meter picked up. I swapped out the switch to the 24 POE and almost all of the noise disappeared. YMWV with their gear for A/V. :)
 

JLasher22443

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A $29 switch powered by POE would be where I would first start troubleshooting next time you have any issues. One thing you could try first is plugging it into the wall with their power plug to avoid POE. Second thing is if you have any other switches laying around you could swap out for temporary testing.

The other thing that could be happening is what you are saying, somewhere one of your cables may not be insulated well and picking up the noise from your phone or other interference and carrying it into the system. I definitely would not recommend invest in audiophile grade ethernet switch for HT use for now, this could be a simpler issue.

I have a full Ubiquiti setup myself, Dream Machine Pro, Switch 24 POE, Switch Lite 8 PoE (computer gear + powering APs), Flex Mini, HD AP, Flex HD AP, and others. I found with audio my Cisco switch with external power supply was better performing than some of the Unifi 8 port switches I tried out. It's all about noise and interference really, the rest is just data in my opinion. UI focuses on low cost high turn over devices, which brings enterprise features obtainable to SMB and prosumers. I had an older 8 port POE UI switch connected to a patch panel and a smaller UI camera on the other end connected to the jack. Just out curiosity I used a EMF meter to measure noise on the cable and I was surprised at how much the meter picked up. I swapped out the switch to the 24 POE and almost all of the noise disappeared. YMWV with their gear for A/V. :)
Thanks. I'd agree with you 100% if only it did the noise while streaming music from the Mac Mini plugged into the exact same switch. That's why I now think its coming from my cell phone or some other area and not the switch. But I could put back in the Netgear Switch or even swap the USW-Lite-8 out from the office and see if it happens. I just think if it was the switch I'd get the noise from the Mac Mini as well unless the Chord Qutest is isolating it or something. Or the BHK maybe? Because AppleTV is HDMI straight to Marantz. I could plug the network cable directly into the AppleTV from my US-16-150W and see what happens also.

My plan is to mess with it more tonight and this weekend to see if I can recreate the sound again by placing my cellphone like before and wait. Sooner or later it's going to be found. Thanks everyone for the help.

Also while listening to Vinyl I have yet to hear the sound. So that tells me its not in my two channel setup right? If Streaming and Vinyl produce no sound it has to be in the AppleTV or Marantz. Like if it were a cable going to my 15A's or the McIntosh, I should hear it with music listening? Which leads me to believe it's definitely something in the HT Setup.

Zigman have you gotten into the Protect yet with UI? I've been switching out most of my Security Cameras which are Frontpoint Security to UI. So far I'm loving the change. I've got 2 more and the front doorbell yet left to do.
 

amey01

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Thanks. I'd agree with you 100% if only it did the noise while streaming music from the Mac Mini plugged into the exact same switch. That's why I now think its coming from my cell phone or some other area and not the switch. But I could put back in the Netgear Switch or even swap the USW-Lite-8 out from the office and see if it happens. I just think if it was the switch I'd get the noise from the Mac Mini as well unless the Chord Qutest is isolating it or something. Or the BHK maybe? Because AppleTV is HDMI straight to Marantz. I could plug the network cable directly into the AppleTV from my US-16-150W and see what happens also.

My plan is to mess with it more tonight and this weekend to see if I can recreate the sound again by placing my cellphone like before and wait. Sooner or later it's going to be found. Thanks everyone for the help.

Also while listening to Vinyl I have yet to hear the sound. So that tells me its not in my two channel setup right? If Streaming and Vinyl produce no sound it has to be in the AppleTV or Marantz. Like if it were a cable going to my 15A's or the McIntosh, I should hear it with music listening? Which leads me to believe it's definitely something in the HT Setup.

Zigman have you gotten into the Protect yet with UI? I've been switching out most of my Security Cameras which are Frontpoint Security to UI. So far I'm loving the change. I've got 2 more and the front doorbell yet left to do.
Hang on - how is this Apple TV connected to an amp? Does it go via a DAC. If so, how is it connected to the DAC?

If it is somehow connected a DAC (via any means), you are saying that the AppleTV (or switch) is somehow modifying the digital data stream. That is drawing a very long bow!! I would go as far as to say that that is simply not the case.

So the noise issue will be coming from an analogue device somewhere. Given all the grounds are interconnected, it could be any device. You can specifically isolate the AppleTV by using an optical connection.
 

spkrdctr

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After reading these posts. It is liking reading a foreign language. Wouldn't it be easier to just buy a $79.00 Audiovox boombox and be done with it?

OK, that is my morning humor for today.........sitting here with my coffee getting into trouble! I hope you do get it all working exactly like you want it. Good Luck!
 

JLasher22443

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Hang on - how is this Apple TV connected to an amp? Does it go via a DAC. If so, how is it connected to the DAC?

If it is somehow connected a DAC (via any means), you are saying that the AppleTV (or switch) is somehow modifying the digital data stream. That is drawing a very long bow!! I would go as far as to say that that is simply not the case.

So the noise issue will be coming from an analogue device somewhere. Given all the grounds are interconnected, it could be any device. You can specifically isolate the AppleTV by using an optical connection.
No the AppleTV is only connected via HDMI to the Marantz and a network cable. It doesn't connect to the Analog setup at all except it uses the Furman in the same rack for power and the network switch. The power is isolated from the power running the Marantz and Amps in the main cabinet up front. Source rack uses Furman Elite-15i and the Amp cabinet uses Nordost QB8.

So like this.

AppleTV -> HDMI -> Marantz -> Amps
VPI -> Gold Note->XLR to BHK -> Amp
MacMini -> USB to Chord -> RCA to BHK -> Amp
 

zigman

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Thanks. I'd agree with you 100% if only it did the noise while streaming music from the Mac Mini plugged into the exact same switch. That's why I now think its coming from my cell phone or some other area and not the switch. But I could put back in the Netgear Switch or even swap the USW-Lite-8 out from the office and see if it happens. I just think if it was the switch I'd get the noise from the Mac Mini as well unless the Chord Qutest is isolating it or something. Or the BHK maybe? Because AppleTV is HDMI straight to Marantz. I could plug the network cable directly into the AppleTV from my US-16-150W and see what happens also.

My plan is to mess with it more tonight and this weekend to see if I can recreate the sound again by placing my cellphone like before and wait. Sooner or later it's going to be found. Thanks everyone for the help.

Also while listening to Vinyl I have yet to hear the sound. So that tells me its not in my two channel setup right? If Streaming and Vinyl produce no sound it has to be in the AppleTV or Marantz. Like if it were a cable going to my 15A's or the McIntosh, I should hear it with music listening? Which leads me to believe it's definitely something in the HT Setup.

Zigman have you gotten into the Protect yet with UI? I've been switching out most of my Security Cameras which are Frontpoint Security to UI. So far I'm loving the change. I've got 2 more and the front doorbell yet left to do.
Interesting, makes it a little easier to isolate your issue since it's on the HT side. Does it happen when you watch a Blu-Ray (Xbox) as well and is the sound coming from all channels? Looking at your setup, I would assume you have HT Passthrough setup on the BHK for your 2ch. Would be interesting to see if the L/R has the noise as well, otherwise you can pinpoint the issue to the center/surround channels. Otherwise it's probably source related, maybe the Marantz. In my opinion the probability is low that it will be the AppleTV.

You have great cables they should be good for interference mitigation. I do not have experience with Nordost power cables, but if you are using the same type of cables across all your analog gear then that is definitely not it.

I do have the new NVR and a few cameras. I have love / dislike relationship with the whole setup. I will PM you later with my thoughts. :)
 

JLasher22443

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So I'm 99% sure the noise is gone. Was definitely the switch. Replaced it with the original switch I had in there a Netgear Nighthawk SX10. Haven't heard the sound yet so I believe its gone. Thanks everyone for the assistance.
 

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