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Help! I can hear my computer's components through my DAC!

MrEWhite

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So let me go through my setup:
1. APC Surge Protector
2. Three prong power cables powering my Topping A90 & PC
3. Micro USB cable powering my Schiit Modius through the USB port on my PC, connected to the Topping through RCA cables (balanced ones coming in the mail soon)

Through this setup, if I have the volume up to where I'd usually listen to it with my HD6XXs, the noise is much more faint, but definitely audible. But, if I turn the volume/gain up to high levels and just mute the PC completely (like, dangerously high levels imo), I can hear noise from my PC loud and clear, which will vary under load. But with my HD 800S (don't have them currently), this noise was much more audible at lower volumes over the amp's balanced output. I tried plugging in the DAC through a Schiit Wyrd and it didn't help. Is there anyway to fix this issue? I know I could use the optical out on my motherboard, but for DSD over DSD64 (which I'll listen to on the Topping D90SE I'll be getting next week), I can't use optical, so I'd prefer to have this issue fixed instead of worked around with optical.
 
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MrEWhite

MrEWhite

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Personally, I had a Benchmark dac and a JDS Labs Element, but the first time I ever got an adequately noise-resistant dac/headphone amp was when I got a Motu M2, which is also a microphone interface. Just my two cents.
I'm getting a Topping D90SE next week (should've gotten it this week, grr...), would that fix it?
 

DWPress

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If you're handy you could try dissecting a spare USB cable and cut the black and red power leads coming from the computer to Modius so it's just data coming through. Or you could feed it via optical cable if your computer has that output.
 
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MrEWhite

MrEWhite

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If you're handy you could try dissecting a spare USB cable and cut the black and red power leads coming from the computer to Modius so it's just data coming through. Or you could feed it via optical cable if your computer has that output.
The optical cable would work for now, but when I get the my D90SE next week, I'll want to use DSD, and I can't do that through optical, I think. Also, I'd just generally like to fix this issue with the USB noise that's been plaguing me for quite a long time.
 
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MrEWhite

MrEWhite

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Does anyone think if I get a Hum X ground loop isolator for the DAC (the D90SE, if it has this), and the amp, that it would solve this?
 
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MrEWhite

MrEWhite

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Balanced connection eliminates ground loop.
Ah, that makes sense. Yeah, when I get my XLR cables, I'll give that a shot and post back. I might just buy a cheap pair of Cable Matters ones on Amazon to tide me over till the ones I ordered from Schiit come
 
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MrEWhite

MrEWhite

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Just to test, I tried out this with some electrical tape and, surprisingly, it worked! No noise. So, that does show it's a ground loop issue, so the XLR cables should solve it, right? And, if it doesn't, something like this should, right?
 
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DWPress

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I had a similar problem with a Topping D10 first generation. Since it was bus powered I created a cable like this:

IMG_5821.JPG

But you've already solved the problem with the tape, just take an xacto knife and cut the ground and power. No need for the iFi.
 
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