Hi, I’m new to the forum.
I purchased a mu-so 2 1,5 years ago, then a QB2 for the kitchen, and -muso’s being the gateway drug was not a joke- now just got an atom HE. I am not a headphone user, I took the HE because it was a good deal on an open box and liked the potential upgrade possibilities.
Got a pair of hifiman sundaras to go with it -unbalanced cables for now-, and some active speakers that never made it home, because of the supply chain issues.
Now, the placement is not ideal, I’ve got a huge number of cables, wi-fi router, media server, the mu-so 2, all close together behind or below the tv, so I’m open to interpret these problems as interferences that a tidier setup would eliminate. Also, the electric installation is 40-50 years old so also a possible cause of noise. The atom HE, just like the muso, is wired to the router.
My doubts could very well a case of ignorance on my end, but I hope you can pull me out of it. I can’t help but noticing a hiss in some songs (not all), white noise, which make me wonder to which extent the noise is already in the recordings, or caused by the mu-so, or atom, or the jungle of cables behind them. In my there are some specific cases where noises (crackling etc. ) are embedded in the song to make it sound more vintage or whatever, but normally we should get perfectly clean tracks from a SNR perspective. I started thinking there was something wrong with the new gear, so I made some tests.
This is what I perceive:
Gotye – Somebody that I used to know. Very noticeable hiss from 0s throughout the whole song. Hiss is there in atom HE with the sundaras, from the listening position, also clearly audible through the muso when playing stand-alone, also when playing through muso 2 as amp and atom as pre (analogue input). Now I switch to spotify on my cheap mobile with cheap earbuds and away from the tv area: hiss is there. Is this a production technique then?
Other song examples where I noticed the same behaviour as above over the various equipment: Leon Bridges-Motorbike, Nils Frahm-Says
What’s your opinion, do you hear the same as I do? I lean towards deliberate production technique on Gotye’s and Leon’s tracks, bad recording on Nils?
Fleetwood Mac – Dreams 2010 remaster. Yeah that shouldn’t be really happening, clean production is expected there. The only difference here is that the noise through the muso is noticeable in near field, not so much in the listening position. Audible also through spotify on the cheap mobile.
In all cases pausing the reproduction results in no white noise.
On some other songs, I notice the noise but associated to other instruments, and not before (of after) that, usually it’s drums and vocals. It’s like a ghost image of the sound that follows right after the original one but is made of white noise.
I’ll provide an example which is actually not a song, noticeable in the spoken intro only, then disappears when the tone starts.
Audio check – 30Hz – 10 Db.
So, where do you think the problem might lie, are there tests you would suggest to rule out some causes? After testing my gear I think it’s pretty consistent across all devices (mu-so, atom), so I don’t think it’s particularly tied to the Atom + Sundara’s (I got pretty nervous with this after the first listening sessions). The recordings? God forbid: my hearing?
Some other tracks sound clean with a black background, so that makes me think it’s not interference, as it should show on any song I guess.
Some of those tests I ran unplugging not strictly necessary cables from the back of the Atom and also deactivating the wi-fi on the router: it didn’t get better.
So this is spoiling a bit my experience, as soon as the noise appears I get obsessive about it and it ruins my listening sessions.
Disclaimer: Don’t take any of those songs as my actual taste!
Thanks in advance for your help.