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Old 18th May 2013, 11:26 AM   #1
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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Default Making sound card more quiet

I use sensitive speakers and my sound card is the noisiest link in the chain. It's not only white noise but something that sounds like shot noise. My wireless mouse also causes issues.

I assume that this isn't so much the card but other extraneous noises within the computer. This is a PCI card.

Is there some recommended way of quietening the supply rails and shielding the card?
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Old 18th May 2013, 12:43 PM   #2
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Remove card from computer and shield with metal dust bin.

Replace with nice quiet card, or external card.

Nothing is going to get rid of white noise that is worth your time and effort.

If speakers are so sensitive, no way are you making use of card's dynamic range. Perhaps rework gain structure.

What card are you currently using?
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Old 18th May 2013, 02:35 PM   #3
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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I'd probably say that the (white) noise floor has a good few -dB on the problematic spurious noise.

The gain structure is a little generous but I do play loud from time to time, and I don't think I'd want to ditch as much as would make it silent.

The card is nothing special. I swapped it in a while ago due to issues and forgot that I had.

My speakers are around 103dB@2.83

Do you think a more quiet PCI card can be quiet enough without shielding, and despite the computer/power supply?
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Old 18th May 2013, 02:59 PM   #4
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Don't think, try outboard attenuation. For loud just bypass. Also if this works, you can seek quieter, better card.

What is current card?
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Old 18th May 2013, 03:25 PM   #5
hpeter is offline hpeter  Europe
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noise with internal sound cards are to be expected, just think about how many switching supplies are on motherboard and cards/addon components.
even known names like soundblaster are not flawless
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Old 18th May 2013, 03:26 PM   #6
hpeter is offline hpeter  Europe
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noise with internal sound cards are to be expected, just think about how many switching supplies are on motherboard and cards/addon components.
even known names like soundblaster are not flawless
__________________
TASCAM US200 -> JJ ECC803/6L6 headamp -> Beyers DT990pro 250Ω # ..intrigued by screen drive & G1 FB sound
https://plus.google.com/photos/10110...12393782517569 ____ http://youtu.be/iL9809xtif4
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Old 18th May 2013, 03:30 PM   #7
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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It's an 8738 (cmi). I think I have a Creative gaming card somewhere. Do you have any experience with synchronous USB cards?
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Old 18th May 2013, 03:46 PM   #8
hpeter is offline hpeter  Europe
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in my life i did not owned much sound cards, i wrote based on info from others.
often usb soundc (cheaper ones). are usb1.1, they are limited to 16b/44-48k. some folks do diy soundcards, streaming i2s from such chip, and resampling to 96k or higher.

your card has very basic parameters, good idea to look elsewhere. integrated cards have similar quality
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https://plus.google.com/photos/10110...12393782517569 ____ http://youtu.be/iL9809xtif4
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Old 6th June 2013, 03:35 AM   #9
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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Visit a computer recycler. The two that I visited in the Big City had bins full of SB Lives and one Audigy 2 ZS, which I snapped up for $5 to have as a spare. To be honest, I'm not sure if I've ever used the analog I/O on the A2ZS, but I've seen some very impressive RMAA loopback measurements.

Another option: use an attenuator between the sound card and the speakers, or turn the gain down on the speakers and use the full output range of the sound card. Even horrid on-board sound should be almost tolerable if the gain structure is optimized.
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Old 6th June 2013, 03:49 AM   #10
Mihkus is offline Mihkus  Estonia
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I still havent heard good sounding soundcard for a very long time...
Im still waiting for my DAC but my old version was with PCM2706
I t sounded pretty good with OPA27GP as preamp...

When i had my old crystal card that sounded horrible due JRC4558...
I removed it and also changed supply filters to bigger and with lower ESR ones, removed the JRC and changed to LM5532 got some serious bass and it sounded wonderful until i bought new card... sounded good but still dumped in trash and bought DAC.
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