Buzz? Make the buzz stop, please.


New member
I have the typical "my soundcard is buzzy" problem. I am using a Guillemot Maxi Home Studio 64 with daughterboard. I have dinky computer speakres hooked to the mainboard speaker minijack. I have 2 RCA cables hooked up to the daughterboard, connecting to my stereo.
These RCA cables are noisy, despite being monster brand top of the line RCA cables.
I guess i need a 'balanced' cable system of some sort, but I'm a dumbass about this stuff.

Can someone offer some help?

I'm assuming that you're playing the output of your soundcard through your stereo system and that you hear a hum or buzz in the audio coming from the soundcard.
It's probably not the fault of the cable. Most likely a ground loop. This is caused by the computer and the audio system being grounded at different points in your house electrical system. Unbalanced RCA-type connections are unfortunately very sensitive to this condition.
If you can, try connecting the computer to the same electrical outlet as the stereo, using a 3-pin extension cord, just as a test. If the buzz goes away or becomes less loud, you likely had a ground loop. If this is the case, you could put isolation transformers in the audio path. Jensen Transformers makes a great device called Iso-Max that's designed for home theater use.
I believe Sescom makes a similar device, too.
Good luck.
You are right about your assumptions.

I already tried hooking it to the same outlet (well, the stereo and computer are both plugged into the same UPS -- not actually the same outlet).

Really, I do not want to drain my UPS battery powering my speakers in event of a power failure). So I had the computer plugged into a 'battery backup' plug on my UPS, and the stereo plugged into a 'surge protection only' plug.

BUT.. for testing purposes.. I will try this and see what happens.

But I think for sure I will need a piece of hardware, or balanced cable (do those exist for RCA??) to solve this problem.

Thanks for the advice. Anyone else have anything to offer?? :)