Phono Hum/Buzz + Headphone noise


#1

Hi community! I’m new here. Loving my Sprout but having one annoyance–

I’m having a couple of hum/buzz issues with my Sprout and was wondering if anyone has found a solution to this yet.

HERE THEY ARE:

  • (WITH LOUDSPEAKERS) When selecting VINYL input I get very noticeable hum+ dirty buzzing which gets more pronounced as gain is increased. Zero noise on the other inputs, except ANALOG, where I get a slight bit of noise with the gain cranked.

I made a video of the “event”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deZrVpdCq5c

  • (WITH HEADPHONES) I get a buzzing throughout all inputs when wearing headphones. Gets worse as gain increases.

I’ve tried isolating the usual hum culprits but to no avail. The noise occurs with nothing plugged into the device.

Any suggestions or advice? Should I send to PS Audio for repair?

Thanks!

Alex

Thanks


#2

I have the same problem with mine. My original Sprout had the same buzz on vinyl. I sent that one back because the Bluetooth didn’t work.

I was hoping the second Sprout they sent me wouldn’t buzz. But it does. I think they all do. Something to do with the high gain the phono stage needs to boost the signal.


#3

Hi -

I have the exact same problem the OP describes with the Vinyl input, but also with all other inputs, to lesser degrees of annoyance.

I’ll detail below what I experience with each input with both speakers and headphones, and with each input connected / disconnected.

Sorry for the length and detail. Just hoping this might prompt someone (or PS Audio) to chime in with suggestions.

NB: The effects are more pronounced with headphones. I’ve noted any differences with headphones below, but generally headphones are unlistenable as hum and white noise is much louder whether inputs are connected or not.

Inputs:

  • Vinyl: SL1200 turntable (with ground wire internally grounded)
  • Digital: Connected to TV, but unused (I use analog for variable out)
  • Analog: Connected to TV
  • Bluetooth: iPhone

My Sprout is connected to KEF LS50 speakers.

All inputs connected (no audio is playing):

Vinyl Input
Speaker:
  • No audible noise at 0% gain. Increasing gain you hear low frequency hum all the way up to 100% gain.
  • White noise is audible at about 50% all the way to 100%
  • NB: Playing vinyl doesn’t affect the hum or white noise, it just takes a back seat to the music.

Headphones:

  • Hum present at 0% gain and volume of hum is consistent to 100% gain.
  • But white noise increases in volume as well a lower frequency hum becomes more present.
Analog Input

Speakers:

  • A negligible amount of white noise at lower levels.
  • Hum present from 0% and gets louder as you increase gain to 100%. Small clicking sound heard at 100%

Headphones:

  • White noise more noticeable.
  • Hum is higher pitched.
  • Quiet hum at 0%, gets louder as you increase gain.
  • At 80% gain higher pitched hum is loudest, then it gets quieter when up to 100%, but lower frequency hum still present at 100%.
Digital Input

Speaker:

  • Very low hum at 0%, increases to louder higher frequency hum at 80%, then quieter at 100%. Lower sounding hum present at 100%

Headphones:

  • Same as speaker, but more pronounced.

Bluetooth Input

Speakers:

  • Very low hum at 0%, increases to louder higher frequency hum at 80%, then quieter at 100%.
  • Lower sounding hum present at 100%

Headphones:

  • Same as speaker, but more pronounced.

All inputs disconnected:

Vinyl

Speaker:

  • Similar behaviour as described above when input is plugged in, but hum and white noise is much louder (except at 0% a hum/white noise is present).
Analog

Speaker:

  • Low hum increasing to 100%.
  • Not as loud as when input is plugged in.
Digital

Speaker:

  • Similar behaviour as described above when input is plugged in.
Bluetooth

Speaker:

  • Similar behaviour as described above when input is plugged in.

Additionally I also:

  • Stepped through the I How-To that PS Audio posted about Ground Loop hums to no avail.
  • Purchased ground loop isolators for the digital, and analog channels which did not resolve anything.
  • Added ground loop isolator to vinyl input and it ends up creating a loud squeal and amplifies the buzzing
  • Purchased a Hum-X and it too did not solve the problem.
  • Completely isolated the unit to a different room, different power source. No change in problem.
  • Noticing that there is a bit of static/buzz when switching between inputs, almost like the gain pot is dirty.
  • Noticing the hum sounds different between analog and vinyl (different frequencies)
  • The hum is variable over time on the Analog input. When unit is left on in analog, sometimes the hum gets more noticeable. If I completely unplug the TV and plug it back in, the hum ‘resets’ to it’s original state (low hum).


#4

I have the same exact symptoms as described above. I have seen comments that this is normal behavior and responses from PS that this may be normal and no comitment to rectify or say it should be performing differently. I haven’t seen anyone state theirs is silent or exhibits less static/hum on this forum. I personally don’t think this should be normal behavior at its price point. I did love it at first and still do other than the noise has increased or I am noticing it more. It is very noticeable for sure and obstructs music. I can understand some noise on the vinyl setting but the digital and analog really should be close to silent.

Marc


#5
mwalt said

I have seen comments that this is normal behavior and responses from PS that this may be normal and no comitment to rectify or say it should be performing differently.

I'm new to the forum here and just bought a Sprout. So PS has official stance is the humming is normal even on a digital input???

Can someone from PS clarify this? I’ve owned cheap equipment that was dead silent on a digital input. Hard to believe this should be considered “normal” for a $500 integrated coming from a company that specializes in power/signal audio equipment.


#6

Some level of hum/noise can be expected but not enough to be noticeable. If you’re hearing an unacceptable level of buzz even on the digital input then there might be something amiss. Can you contact us?


#7

Hello,

If you are having an issue with your Sprout please contact PS Audio via email at customerservice@psaudio.com.

Be advised that we’ll need the unit’s serial number and your contact information.

We will be happy to assist you.

Best,


#8

I’ve experienced both these issues too.

With headphones I noticed that it is not the same with all models I own…

My SOL Republic Mastertracks is impossible to listen paired with Sprout… Buzzing all the time even with volume at zero.

The Denon MM400 sounds smooth and no noise. I think that there is something wrong with the Mastertracks…

About the phono preamp hum, it was noticeable even at 35/40%.

Then I decided to craft a custom ground wire, picked a good RCA cable.

Also I decided to change the cartridge (don’t know if this helped too…) but now things improved dramatically!

Now I get slight hum noise above 75% and perceivable only around 80%, both values that I’ll never use in my life… I barely go above 50%