Chasing a noise in my DAC/AMP

What model are you having issues with?:
My PC (With RTX 3070 inside) via USB to Asgard 3 w/ AK DAC

Describe your issue with the most detail you can:
If I turn my Agard volume pot up to like 80% I can hear noise / hums that change frequency when I move my mouse or do anything on the computer. I guess my question is, do you think this noise comes through at listening levels which are around 30-40% volume?
So there’s a lot of noise inside my PC, there’s no doubt. My RAM cam hum sometimes, my CPU has a hum. And don’t even get me started about the constant coil whine in my RTX 3070.
My PC outputs via USB to an Asgard 3 via USB.
I purchased a Ifi Defender which removes the power portion of the USB, thinking I have a ground loop and this might fix it. Sadly it did not work.
So I’m thinking of upgrading anyways, my DAC and AMP. I’m wondering if going completely balanced will remove this too? If so that sort of throw a monkey wrench into my plan to get a Bifrost 2 and Valhalla 2.


If you’re looking to spend money, it might be worth it to try a card that outputs spdif.

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My motherboard can output SPIF via Toslink. How can I get that into my Asgard 3 which has RCA and USB inputs?

Here’s a link to the Asgard 3:

You are right, you would need a converter. I’m sorry, I always forget the all in ones from schiit only take usb.

80% seems like a lot of gain. Make sure your OS and player volumes are at 100%. Then, can you still hear that noise?

If you’re not 100% in OS volume, you’re reducing SNR and undesired artifacts can come into play when you’re cranking your amp up.

Probably not.

See if this thread can help you quantifying the noise:

Have you contacted Schiit support?

Hope that helps.

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Yep, everything is at 100%. I will check out the playback files and see if I can hear any sort of distortion.

So I did contact Schiit 3-4 months ago, I had it RMA for a transformer hum. It took the local supplier here 3 months to get me back my amp. The transformer still hums, haha. But I don’t think that’s the problem as the noise is coming from my PC…

Yea, I can’t really hear it until I get to -96db. So seems sort of fine. Those video files helps, thank for that.

I think I’m fine. It would be nice to have a completely dead silent setup. And that’s something I aim to do. I think I’d be a bit bummed if I spend $2k on a Amp / DAC combo and did hear some white noise. BUT as the same time I don’t want to be chasing ghosts and don’t really sweat this stuff that much, just want to get into my music and have some fun!

So it was simply nitpickiing (OCD)?

No worries. I’ve been through that myself. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Very easy to do in this hobby, haha.

I’m guessing though if it’s at -96db, it’s probably also at other listening levels. But between my tinnitus and aging ears, I can’t hear fart lol.

Even if it was at the -72dBS you should probably don’t worry about it.

I know it has been “measurement driven times”, but heck… Don’t take it to the extreme and never let that poison you. :wink:

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Agreed! Thanks for the help!

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Might be a grounding issue coming from the USB outputs on your motherboard, you can remove the ground pin on USB cable. Or easier get a ground isolator

Had the same issue on my latest DAC/Amp, some units have it removed inside the unit itself. For me the noise was more loud when the graphic card was in use.

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I’m having the same issue but with my speakers. It seems to be emi noise that is traveling through the video card to the cable to the dac/amp.

I get a hum through my fronts nd surrounds only when using the pc. After breaking everything down, my 2 channel power amp is picking up what seems to be static noise. I’m waiting for a couple of xlr to rca cables to see if that workrs. I saw a thread on avsforum that mentions the beringer 400 hum eliminator works and will try that out.

It’s very weird. Nether my denon receiver or my dx7pro with headphones picks it up. Only when I connect my amp to my front speakers.

Here is the thread for reference:

I’m using one of these and it didn’t seem to do anything.

Yea, much louder when the graphic card was in use.

Didn’t see your intro that you tried it, that sucks. Also getting a dac with optical input, then go with RCA to your asgard 3. Should eliminate the noise, and has helped many with humming problems.

It can travel with the power cable also. Im guessing all your gear is going trough the same wall Socket/fuse? Try and use an cable extender from another place in the house for your amp only.

Ah, ok! I will give that a go also.

Had/Have the same issue. Also with the Asgard 3. Titan video card.
I tried pretty much all the “ground loop” fixes, and am almost certain it is not that.
Tried multiple DAC’s, including optical on a separate circuit (and same) DAC. No joy.
Many days/months/dollars spent on trying to fix the issue. (It’s not horrible, as when listening to music or any audio, it’s not at all noticeable. It’s just annoying when volume is turned up, no audio is playing, and then hearing the noise of mouse movement or active web pages)
Through tons of research, I have come to the conclusion that it the EMI/RFI of modern high end Nvidia graphics cards is very poorly shielded, and is strong enough to be picked up by audio amps (not thru wired connections).
Josh Valour possibly had/has a similar issue here: The PC Build From Hell (I might need some help) - YouTube

Very interested in anyone else’s thoughts.

Thanks for much for sharing this. Sounds like we have the same exact issue, I too experience the noise when moving the mouse or active web pages.

It even came through optical? Good to hear about your experience with gear. As I was thinking of trying the Bifrost 2 or something, but want to fix this before I strat dropping big cash on gear.

I was thinking of just taking apart my computer an dputting it back together. But trying the DAC as I plug in piece by piece to see if any of my components introduct the noise.

Wow. That’s insane. And seems not worth it to fix if it is radiated from a graphics card.

Raspberry pi is cheap and silent.

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