Faint speaker white noise with BHK 300s/BHK pre normal?

There is a faint white rushing noise from my Focal Kanta 3s. Left channel slightly audible inches from speaker. Right channel slightly more audible approx 1 ft from speaker. Inaudible when music is playing.

Is this normal for tube/hybrid equipment like the BHKs? In addition to BHK 300s and BHK pre, I use a tube modified Modwright Oppo Sonica DAC. Tubes are NOS Telefunken RCA and Siemens.

Had a similar issue with my previous Audible Illusions L3A linestage. My tube guy suggested the following which successfully reduced the noise floor - though not to silent.

“A flake of cathode material may have migrated into the grid of the tube. Try removing the tube and tapping it firmly on a table top, then reseat it and burn it in for 12 hours and the noise should be gone.”

I did this to all my tubes but still hear the white noise, albeit faintly. Is this a characteristic of tube/hybrid vs solid state which is dead silent?

My BHK Pre in combo with my BHK 300’s has a faint hiss from my left channel at idle. The more efficient your speakers the more evident the hiss.

Thanks. My new Kanta 3s substantially more efficient that my previous Harbeth m30.2s.

Perfectly normal within a foot of the tweeters as in your situation you have the tube noise from three components compounded. The difference in the efficiency of the two speakers is exactly why it is more evident.

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Thank you!

I don’t think I have ever heard a “dead silent” amplification chain on reasonably sensitive speakers. Your mileage may vary. But ever system I have ever designed or been a part of, and certainly the BHK amps and preamp, have a small amount of hiss (white noise)
when you put your ear to the speaker. It’s normal. I would probably miss it were it not there.

Thank you, Paul.

This is one of the virtues–if you see it that way–of solid state. With my tube (BHK) preamp, it’s there and normal. With my solid state (Pass) preamp, it’s dead quiet.

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I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent the past couple of years to reduce the inherent noise

I have the pre, with M700, they are next to silent as expected.

When I started I could hear noise from my seat but only just when the world was very quiet. Now I have to be within 2" to detect it at all.

No noise, just music

Tubes, cables, power, isolation, damping, absorption all working together to reduce it to the point that the subtle differences between sets of ‘matched’ tubes becomes apparent

My cat doesn’t notice. Maybe if I had a little more noise, she would stop sleeping on my BHK Pre. (dammit) :smile:

BHK300’s in system with Audio Research LS28 (hybrid) preamp & Focal Sopra No.2 loudspeakers. No white rushing noise whatsoever coming from either speaker in the system. Doesn’t seem normal, especially if one side is louder or more audible than the other. BHK’s (850 hours) LS28 (2,900 hours) & Sopra No. 2’s (2,600 hours) are all well broken in.

Not that it should be a factor in this situation but cables are TARA Labs RSC Air Evolution 8 foot speaker & 2 XLRs: LS28 to BHK’s & Sony SCD-XA5400 SACD/CD player to LS28.

Set to any input with no music playing, BHK300’s with Audio Research LS28 preamp volume control set my preferred listening level, dB reading at listening position (9 feet) is 34. With the meter right up against the Sopra No. 2 tweeter it’s 35db. Midrange & woofers are 34.2db. No variation between left & right speakers. Ear must be right up against tweeter to hear anything, which is a very slight hiss with no variation.

Actually, my old Marantz hd-amp1 is completely silent even at the highest volume output, as long as I use it’s digital input.
My, much better sounding, Stellar s300 and GCD pairing produces a faint hiss.
Maybe because of the lack of interconnects?