From junior high frequency noise

I bought your company Junior in Beijing. Before connecting the active speaker (m-audio, bx5 d2), the sound volume will appear “white noise”, then did not care, that is the quality of the speaker.
Today I ordered the burmester 911mk3 arrival, with B10 speakers. After the connection, the noise is still present.
I put the junior as a pre-amplifier connected 911. Whether it is silent or adjust the volume to the minimum problem still exists.
I try to replace the cable, the replacement power problem still exists. According to my observation noise should come from high frequency. Because B10 above the high-frequency speakers noise, the bottom of the low frequency is no problem.
Hope to get your reply.

It’s not clear to me if you are talking about mostly reasonable sound with too much background noise or mostly noise with too little (or no) music.

If you have more noise than you’d want but otherwise things are working fine: Do you know about the 20dB attenuator feature of the DAC? It’s purpose is to lower the noise by 20 dB for systems that are more sensitive. It also lowers the signal by 20dB but for sensitive systems that may not be a problem. You can read about it in the manual. You can access it on the screen by walking to the page that lets you select “High Level” or “Low level”. You can change the current setting with the remote by pressing the “DAC Level” button (or on older remotes the “Filter” button .)

thank! Use this method already!

Call or email support.


My DS Junior connected directly to my BHK 250 amp (with nothing plugged into Junior) emits a high pitched hisss. Turning on the attenuator setting lowers the hiss a little, but it’s still present. It is loud enough to hear during quiet passages in music.

On Tuesday I received my BHK Signature Preamp. I didn’t want to pass up giving it a trial since PS Audio’s 30 day return policy is a no brainer. The hiss noise is gone, now that I connected the DSj into the Preamp (all balanced XLR). I’m very happy with the improved sound quality and volume control with the Signature Preamp. I can listen at lower volume without loosing any “dynamics/resolution/punch”. I just wish the DSj would sound this good by itself. It would’ve saved me $$$$. I suppose this is one reason why preamps haven’t become obsolete yet. Unfortunately, this is a high price to pay since I don’t have any other gear to run though the Preamp. Now I need some new toys audio gear to put those inputs to good use.

So, back to the original issue. Is the hiss noise a “defect” (some tiny component being out of spec) or does the design of the DSj include a high noise floor.

DSD inherently has more noise than PCM and there’s a balance between noise and transparency - if too much noise is filtered off of the top end the sound becomes more closed in, there’s less air, etc. If not enough noise is filtered it becomes intrusive into the listening experience. The ear/brain is excellent at filtering out uncorrelated noise (white noise) and conversely noise correlated with the other material or colored noise is quite objectionable. Repeatedly over time people praised changes in the DS which include (perhaps implicitly, a few times explicitly) less filtering.

I’ve taken as my minimum noise free dynamic range for the DS the EMM Switchman preamp and EMM DAC8 (or DAC6) which together were used for most of the early SACDs. My rational is that if people aren’t (in general) complaining about the noise free dynamic range from SACDs then the DS and DS Jr should be fine. Still there are systems where I can clearly hear noise that I’d find objectionable - some people prefer systems with more headroom and others with less. With any input (not just a DS) I have way too much headroom in my system and I can clearly hear noise if I get close enough to the speakers, but I don’t hear it at the listening position and it doesn’t detract from a good listening experience. Other people certainly will make different choices - especially, say, horn based systems used with sensitive amps.

Tho dynamic range of the DS (the noise floor of the DS compared to full level listening material at full volume) is high enough to allow the noise at low levels to not be a problem for most people. But having a system where the DS’s volume has to be significantly lower than 100 for normal listening will probably involve more noise than many would like. Some have added inline attenuators in between the DS and their preamps to better balance the dynamic range of the DS to the rest of their systems.

Also there are also systems with reasonable components that don’t react well to ultrasonic noise - if having linearity to, say, 100k wasn’t a part of a systems’ design that’s not necessarily a fault, but it may not be an ideal system for the DS (or other DSD based DACs.)

My first reply in this thread was lost when I posted it and I now see that when I rewrote it I forgot to ask what DS volume setting was being used for normal listening.

Ted, I’m not sure if your question about volume setting pertains to me or not, but I’ll answer anyway. With the DSj directly to BHK 250, my normal level was 40-50 (with no attenuation set). With attenuation, the hiss would diminish but volume level would go to 90 and it still wasn’t too loud. The weird (but good) thing is, now with the Sig Pream, there’s no more hiss (absolute silence). If I understand correctly, this has to do with the fact that the DSj volume is now set to 100?

A few notes about the DSj and the BHK Signature Preamp:

The DSj has a frustratingly slow volume change speed using the remote. The Signature amp is much better (faster).

When using the DSj without the Sig preamp, connected to Roon (Bridge II) and using the remote, skipping songs was unreliable. It would take 3-4 button presses for the DSj to respond. Now that I added the Sig preamp, skipping songs in Roon is quick and reliable. Is this a known/designed behavior?

P.S. Came home from work (left gear burning in), and it sounded sweeter than last night. I’m even listening to music I thought I didn’t like because it sounds so good now.

The remote control response times are better in the next release (they were driving me nuts too.)

In general if you are listening around, say, 80 - 100 on the DS you won’t have a noise problem. Some people really like the sound even down below 40, I’d expect that using numbers around 40 most of the time wouldn’t work for many. The 20dB attenuator lets you use a volume setting 40 above not using it and that works well for many. There are still some systems that with no attenuator are too loud (e.g. too much noise in quiet spots) but with the attenuator are too quiet (even a 106 volume setting isn’t dynamic.) For them using, say, a 10 dB attenuator outside the DAC usually works.

When I bought the first of my two DS boxes I too was driven nuts with hissing from the speakers… I was then using singled-ended interconnects. I tried the 20 dB and it helped tame the hiss but killed the dynamics … I ended up building a few L pad attenuators - various configurations - I ended up with two inline attenuators that worked well in “MY” system… 10K series and 6.8K shunt… 10K series and 4.53K shunt… I ended up using the 10K - 4.53K… ( Of the ones I built using 10K in series sounded the best !! ) I later on changed the amplification to fully balanced and by doing so I had no more issues with hissing and the performance also greatly improved. With the rest of the equipment I was using back then the hissing was never an issue when the music was playing, and it never degraded the music: - it just was too intrusive and annoying between tracks or when the system wasn’t playing music …

On my second ( big system ) I must say I was dubious when thinking of buying the BHK preamp because the DS fully balanced and direct to the BHK 300s was so incredibly musical and a joy to listen to; I initially thought the addition of the BHK preamp would ultimately degrade the performance - but no it didn’t - it elevated the performance greatly. If at all possible I would use balanced interconnects every time…

I have a few other excellent PCM DACS that are all dead quite - but musically waaay inferior to the DS…