RCA cable quality effects on sound and noise

ZKR

Honorable
Mar 12, 2012
35
0
10,580
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Hey guys

I have a Rotel RA-971 Amplifier with B&W speakers (both 12 years old).
Connected to a motherboard (Asus Z77) Realtek onboard audio.
I have a "siffing" noise, like electricity noise, hearable when no sound and on high volume.

Would mid quality RCA cables affects the sound quality and eliminate the noise?
Would it increase the life expectancy of my equipment (the Amp needs contacts renewal every 3 years).

Appreciate any help
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
Yes, it's electronic noise. AKA Johnson noise, thermal noise, shot noise.
The solution is quieter, better equipment.
are you sure that its not the amplifier? do alternate sources cause the same hissing noise? if yes, its the amp (well at least partway the amps fault).

if no, it could be that you are getting alot of noise from the onboard soundcard. buying a discrete (pci or pcie slot) sound card would likely make an improvement. they would have less electrical noise.

also it may be possible that you are picking up electrical noise from low quality unshielded cables depending on what you have nearby. going with a shielded cable might offer some improvment.

or it could be a little of all 3 and they just add up to produce hiss. its not uncommon to have some hissing when you turn the volume knob up to really high levels (not sure what you mean by "high".... ie deafening or just comfortably high..)
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
Yes, it's electronic noise. AKA Johnson noise, thermal noise, shot noise.
The solution is quieter, better equipment.
are you sure that its not the amplifier? do alternate sources cause the same hissing noise? if yes, its the amp (well at least partway the amps fault).

if no, it could be that you are getting alot of noise from the onboard soundcard. buying a discrete (pci or pcie slot) sound card would likely make an improvement. they would have less electrical noise.

also it may be possible that you are picking up electrical noise from low quality unshielded cables depending on what you have nearby. going with a shielded cable might offer some improvment.

or it could be a little of all 3 and they just add up to produce hiss. its not uncommon to have some hissing when you turn the volume knob up to really high levels (not sure what you mean by "high".... ie deafening or just comfortably high..)
 
I agree that the noise is probably from the PC. If you are happy with the sound quality then try lowering the volume on the PC and turning up the Rotel. Better cables will do nothing to eliminate this noise but won't hurt the sound quality.
If you want to improve the sound quality and get rid of the noise then using an outboard USB DAC is the way to go. Many to choose from. Check out Cambridge Audio.
 

ZKR

Honorable
Mar 12, 2012
35
0
10,580
0
Ok, I have a new PC now, Asus p8Z77-V LX motherboard with an on-board realtek sound card.
Replaced the old crappy cables too, but with the same lowest quality cables (just longer).

Electronic noise has been reduced dramatically, unnoticeable till 80% volume.

If I disconnect the plug from the card and just let it rest in the air - noise. Of course not a problem but just to acknowledge the sound card has a great effect.

Thanks for the answer ppl
 
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