What is Windows7 doing to my sound? - diyAudio
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Old 30th May 2012, 10:34 AM   #1
Atilla is offline Atilla  Norway
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Default What is Windows7 doing to my sound?

I've been using a Bantam DAC - BantamDAC Overview (PCM2702) for a while, to play music from my mac when I need to. It's a good enough and easily portable device and generally works just fine.

However, I recently used it on my Windows 7 machine. The amount of noise it produces is absolutely horrible. To be clear - it's a high-pitched, hissing noise which appears when there's sound output *only*. As when using it with the mac - there's no noise at all when I'm not playing anything.

What on earth is Windows 7 doing that messes the sound output out? Has anyone experienced similar problems? How do you deal with that?
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Old 30th May 2012, 11:59 AM   #2
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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It sounds like the PC is noisy electronicly, nothing to do with Windows as such.

Last edited by marce; 30th May 2012 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 30th May 2012, 12:04 PM   #3
Atilla is offline Atilla  Norway
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Well, the Bantam has some reasonable filtering and my PSU is decent. We're talking use in conditions in which the power lines aren't under heavy struggle - no GPU activity, CPU in power-saving, underclocked mode, etc.

Furthermore, I've got an Auzentech Bravura card running as well and it doesn't seem to have any noise issues whatsoever.
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Old 30th May 2012, 12:06 PM   #4
SY is offline SY  United States
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I'd look at the Bantam card since you say you have no issue with the Auzentech. I've been using a laptop with 7 and (once I figured out how to turn off the wireless card) and the combo with two different external DACs (one USB, one Firewire) has no noise problem at all.
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Old 30th May 2012, 12:15 PM   #5
Atilla is offline Atilla  Norway
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I might have another Bantam board somewhere, but I'll need to wire it up first.

I suspected it could software related somehow as it still works absolutely noise-free on the Macbook, when I connect it there.
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Old 30th May 2012, 12:31 PM   #6
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Software dosn't make noise hardware dose. It sounds like an EMC issue, either the PC or the wireless interface. Thesecond soundcards PSU may not filter out noise as well as the other one.
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Old 30th May 2012, 12:35 PM   #7
Atilla is offline Atilla  Norway
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I'm very sure I've had terrible results with sound cards with the wrong configuration/drivers in the past but this little dac doesn't require any, so it should have been fine.

I'll take it with me and test in on other systems to see how it behaves. That should identify the cause, I guess.
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Old 30th May 2012, 12:52 PM   #8
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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To rule out hardware issues you can boot a linux live cd (ubuntu, debian) and test your usb DAC in a different OS. It should run out of the box, no additional drivers required.
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Old 30th May 2012, 12:57 PM   #9
wazzy is offline wazzy  Zimbabwe
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Greetings, to be honest i have experienced the same kind of issues with certain machines as well, it is possible that there is an earth issue, is your laptop and the amp/ sound system you are connecting to all on the same power strip? I played around with the earthing scheme in my amp and now no longer experience the noise issue, sometimes plugging your laptop or what ever into a different power point than everything else is on makes a big difference. give it a go and let us know.
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Old 30th May 2012, 01:40 PM   #10
Atilla is offline Atilla  Norway
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All good ideas, thanks. I'll test it around and I'll let you know how it turns out.
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