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Can anyone help me to get over the crackling noise present in my CEC TL53Z cd player. I bought this CD player from Taiwan four months back.

Recently when playing a CD, it has developed crackling noise through the speakers. In order to be sure that the problem lies in the CD player, I swapped the cd player with my Marantze cd player. Through Marantze the crackling noise was present. Additionally, I checked all the peripheral equipment including the plugs and interconnects and found nothing abnormal.

The other observation was, when I used the optical out-put CEC during play back the crackling noise was not present. When switched over to the balance output or the RCA phono output the crackling noise appears.

I hope great DIYAudio freiends can help me to find a solution to over come this problem.
Joined 2007
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You say the TL53Z crackles.

Then you say you swapped for Marantz... and you say "Through Marantze the crackling noise was present"
so that means it's something other than the CD players.

Start again and be clear what you mean :)

If you mean it's just the TL53 that crackles, then does it do it on both left and right phono outputs ?
I am sorry, I have given you a wrong information. When I swapped CEC with Marantz CD player, the crackling noise was not there. Similarly, when I use the digital optical out of CEC TL53Z via an external dac the crackling noise disappeared. Then half way during playback I changed the output to balance XLR, then the crackling noise was present from both the channel. Through Phono RCA also the same noise was present.

Does this mean, the CEC's DAC's analog circuit has some problem?

Please advise me, how should I get this rectified
Joined 2007
Paid Member
So are CEC advising these two caps will correct the problem ? or have you already done that and the problem remains.
Your link goes to GMail home page. You can post the pdf ? if that's what it is using the advanced button on here, or post a .jpg of the DAC using the same.
For both channels to be affected might mean the problem is before the DAC's... it's very hard to say without seeing it and checking a few things.


I am attaching the image, I hope it will be clear.


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    Image CEC.png
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What you say is when the noise affects the both channel, the problem may be before the dac. As I said, through digital out put (SPD/IF) via external dac it was working perfectly. No cracking nosie. When I play through the analog out puts (XLR or RCA) the problem persists.

Does that mean it is in the analog side of the dac. I am not an expert, I need your kind advise.
It seems you are saying crackle is same in both left & right channel outputs. Therefore, the fault must either be BEFORE the PCM1792 dac chips, or in the power supply.
I think the power supply is the first place to look for trouble. Since the player, sadly, uses a switchmode power supply(and god knows how they get away with having a large SMPS unshielded & right next to the audio circuitry), there is considerable 'stress' on the electrolytic capacitors in that supply, as they need to deal with very large amounts of 100kHz noise. Unless you can find a schematic, or can otherwise identify which capacitors are involved with the supply voltages for the dacs & output stages, and since the crackling noise is very unlikely to indicate and capacitors bulging or leaking(i.e., the cap causing the fault will quite certainly have a completely normal appearance), the only efficient way to eliminate caps as the cause of the problem is to simply replace ALL of the electrolytic caps in the output side of the SMPS power board, preferrably with Nichicons. There is a smaller chance that the crackling may be caused by a bad diode or regulator IC/transistor in the supply, but caps are more likely.
Hi Stephensank,

I appreciate your kind reply to my CEC TL53Z issue. Does this mean CEC's recommendation on replacing two condensers or capacitors on the DAC ( as shown) will not help me to get over the crackling noise. Since you say that the problem lies in the switch mode power supply's electrolytic capacitors. Correct me if I am wrong, this player was purchased three months ago and has been used less than 100 hours. In such condition, can the electrolytic capacitors get corrupted so soon?.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Hi Stephen,

Further to my earlier email, kindly note that when I use the digital output of the player via an external DAC, the crackling noise is not present. When switch over to analog outputs such as XLR or standard RCA, the crackling noise appears. This crackling noise appears few seconds after playing a CD.
If the player is that new, then it is perhaps more likely to be a 'just plain defective' diode, transistor or IC in the power supply. But it could as llikely be a 'defective choice' of brand of capacitors in the supply.
If you have or can borrow an oscilloscope, you could very easily look for noise on each of the lines coming from the supply, which might correspond with the crackling. It would then be a simple matter to trace that line back into the supply circuits to find & replace the suspect component/components.
If the crackle had a chance of being cured by the installation of those two 47pf caps near the dac chips, you would have to hear a different crackle in left channel versus right channel.
As to the absence of crackle at the digital output, this does help in confirming, almost certainly, that the signal processor chip is OK, and that, if the fault is not in power supply, the only remaining area is the digital filter chip & it's 'support' components. The quiet digital output does not, however, eliminate the supply as possible fault, since the supply has, no doubt, separate voltage feeds for the output stages & dac chips, apart from the feeds for signal processing & etc.

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for your quick reply, I do really appreciate your kind support. I will let my technician to note your valuable input before checking the cd player.

Correct me if I am wrong, does this mean CEC's suggestion to change the small capacitors near the dac will not eliminate the crackling noise according to your experience. Kindly advise.
Joined 2007
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As these two caps are easy to replace I think you have to go along with that and see if it cures the problem... the manufacturer is obviously aware of some issue to suggest these.

If that's no good, then as it's only 3 months old I think you should push for a replacement machine.

10 minutes with an oscilloscope would reveal a lot I think.
CEC TL53Z Crackling issue

Hi Stephen,

Elliot Sound has given ground loop and associated noise problems on SMPS.

I have pasted part of the article:

Electrical safety cannot be over emphasised. Hum is damn annoying, and everyone wants it gone. There is no good reason to sacrifice one for the other, since safety and hum-free operation can peacefully co-exist with care and the right techniques.

As I have said several times, make sure that you find out the legal requirements in your country, and don't do anything that places you at risk - either from electrocution or legal liability. Neither is likely to be a pleasant experience.

Where the mains is noisy (apparently a common occurrence in the US), use of a dedicated mains filter is useful to prevent mains noise from entering the system. This will generally be unnecessary if the supply is well designed (especially if an electrostatic shield is used on the transformer), but this is often the exception, rather than the rule.

The use of 'specialty' mains leads (unless fitted with a proper filter which will be in the form of a box in line with the cable) is unlikely to solve the problem - regardless of claims made by the manufacturers or reviewers (see The Truth About Cables, Interconnects and Audio in General for my comments on these - this article made a lot of audiophiles very unhappy, but advertising hype does not negate the laws of physics).

The (relatively) recent trend to use switchmode power supplies in consumer equipment, along with double insulation, has created new problems. All SMPS use small (allegedly) "fail-safe" capacitors to the chassis, which is not earthed. Use of these caps means that the chassis floats at roughly half the mains voltage, but the impedance is very high. This poses two risks ...

Equipment input circuits may be damaged if double insulated appliances with an SMPS are connected while switched on. This is covered elsewhere on the ESP site. Such failures are the result of the half mains voltage being present on the chassis (and therefore the internal circuitry). Connection to earthed equipment may cause a large instantaneous current to flow.

Switchmode supply noise and any high frequency noise on the mains now flows in the shield of the interconnect. This is not really an earth loop as such, and the result is more likely to be a harsh (grating) hissing sound. It is quite distinctly different from normal thermal noise, and is also more intrusive.

It might be possible to reduce this noise by installing a heavy earth strap that joins each chassis. Strictly speaking, this may be completely illegal, but the rules for double insulated appliances in many countries are often stupid, and fail to address reality. Almost all modern systems will have a mixture of earthed and double insulated equipment, and any rule that states (for example) that "double insulated appliances must not be earthed" is instantly broken when the interconnects are installed. Needless to say, without the interconnects there is no point having the gear in the first place, because there's often no other way to get the signal from one unit to the other. Optical fibre is one method of course, and completely eliminates any possibility of an earth loop.

I will be replacing the capacitors as CEC recommended. If this did not work, can the harsh or crackling noise is due to the above. Connecting two equipments with different grounding concepts.

Give me your ideas.


Hi Mooly,

Good Morning!

Thanks for your quick response. Connecting headphone output is not clear. Let me give me more details of my equipment

CEC TL53 Z is connected to a Classe CP60 pre-amplifier via XLR and Phono RCA
Also, I have connected the CEC player via optical output to Musical Fidelity X-Dac V3 to Classe Pre-amp CP60.

As I said before, the problem of crackling noise is present when outputting the signal via XLR and Phono not via optical output.

It appears there is no headphone output on the CEC player, hence your suggestion of connecting via headphones is not possible. Please tell me if there is another alternative.


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