As the title says, there is a loud whine from speakers when I am not playing an audio track on my PC. The PC has a stereo output to a Yamaha AX-590 (yes, it's old) amp that goes into two SB-CR77 Technics. Only thing that stops it is turning off the amp or playing some audio. What could this be?
Computers are notorious for creating various types of electronic noise. When you use the internal sound card of the computer a lot of this electronic noise will be sent out on the audio cable and can picked up by the amplifier.
The only way I know of to get rid of this is often to use an external sound card connected to the computer through USB. And this is not necessarily guaranteed as the sound cards do differ.
Sometimes you may reduce the electronic noise from the computer using a sound cable that has filters or an isolation transformer. A search on Amazon or similar for "ground loop isolator" gives some suggestions although I have not used anyone of them and cannot make recommendations. (Technically the whine you hear is probably not ground loop noise, but the solution can be the same as for that).
Had the same issue here with a PC and AX-590. Solution was simple in my case.
Here's what I tried:
- Replacing speaker wire.
- Removing the clutter of power sockets, moved everything into just 1 power socket.
- Buying new high-quality RCA > 3.5mm jack cable.
- Removing devices on the same power socket to see if it was caused by another device.
Still, there was this super annoying static hiss that went up by down when moving the volume knob. It was driving me mad... Then I connected my phone to the 3.5mm cable and tada no issues, so I started looking at my PC.
Plugged the headset that I have in the AX-590 headphone jack directly into the PC. Same annoying white noise. I then started disconnecting all cables and found the culprit.
It was a cable going to the monitor to be able to use the USB ports on the monitor. Removed it since I don't use them anyways and even when I move the knob to max volume no noise at all, it used to be audible at like 30% volume. I have no idea why this started acting up all of a sudden, but I don't care. The noise is gone! And I can enjoy quietness when I am not playing any music :D
Hope this helps someone.
I know it's been almost a year since OP asked this question but incase anyone else comes across this with the same problem and no solution in sight let me share my experience and it most likely will help but it may not. No need to buy anything extra as long as you are confident the signal cables (RCAs) are in good condition and not picking any EMI. So in my case I got a few different accessories in my stereos circuit being a hifonics bass processor and a tube line driver/preamp and I did two things. I made sure the case of both my add ons and did'nt do anything to my receiver. I took the processor and preamp nd opened them up exposing the PCB inside and since both of them are 12v input I took a wire and soldered it to the negative( - ) terminal on the PCB and daisy chained each case section that was aluminum and I sanded a small screw size spot taking of any paint and I put them both back together then I soldered a wire from the case to the outer ring of the female RCA end and my static noise went away right way. and it use to be only heard at low volumes or if the receiver was on but the TV was off.