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jalapeno

RP-150M tweeter hiss?

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I'm using these speakers on my desk with SMSL A2 amp. I'm getting a hiss out of the tweeters that is a bit too loud for my taste, because it gets annoying during quiet night time. It does not get louder when I turn up the volume, it remains a steady low volume hiss that becomes unnoticeable when I increase music volume.The hiss is there when nothing is playing and when anything is playing. It's also there even when I disconnected any input signal. As soon as I turn on the amp, the hiss starts.

 

I've got conflicting advice about what could be causing this, so I decided to come here. Some said these speakers are very sensitive and make the amp's noise floor more noticeable, others said the amp is defective. I'm using 14 gauge oxygen free copper wire with banana plugs.

 

Anybody else getting hiss? What could be causing it?

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I'd say it's almost certainly a matter of the sensitivity bringing out the noise. A lot of amps have a bit of noise but since most speakers aren't so sensitive, it's usually not that audible. Whenever I look for new equipment, I like to see if I can find folks' impressions with Klipsch speakers for that reason

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32 minutes ago, jalapeno said:

I'm using these speakers on my desk with SMSL A2 amp. I'm getting a hiss out of the tweeters that is a bit too loud for my taste, because it gets annoying during quiet night time. It does not get louder when I turn up the volume, it remains a steady low volume hiss that becomes unnoticeable when I increase music volume.The hiss is there when nothing is playing and when anything is playing. It's also there even when I disconnected any input signal. As soon as I turn on the amp, the hiss starts.

 

I've got conflicting advice about what could be causing this, so I decided to come here. Some said these speakers are very sensitive and make the amp's noise floor more noticeable, others said the amp is defective. I'm using 14 gauge oxygen free copper wire with banana plugs.

 

Anybody else getting hiss? What could be causing it?

My guesses:

  • The hiss is coming from the power amp part of the SMSL A2, i.e., from beyond the volume control.  That's why it does not get louder when you turn up the volume, and why it does not get softer when you turn it down (but becomes more noticeable).  .
  • The manufacturer of the SMSL  probably doesn't expect you to use a speaker as sensitive, or with as good a tweeter, as you have.  Many desktop speakers have cone tweeters that are treble deficient, therefore hide most of the hiss.
  • Moving the speakers farther away might help.
  • Are you close to a real brick and mortar dealer?  If so, consider explaining the situation to that person and getting a better amp that you can return if it hisses.  If you got the SMSL from a place like Amazon, they may take it back for credit.  You will hear hiss, though, if you are very close to a good speaker.

 

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Yeah I have a month to return my amp to amazon for a refund, which is what I might end up doing.

 

Do you guys have any recommendations for an amp that I should get for these speakers which will minimize the hiss? I could go up to $200 in price if it's worth it, also would be a plus to have line-level subwoofer output, I plan to buy a sub for these speakers.

Edited by jalapeno

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I'd look at the Emotiva A-100 for that price. That should push them very well, especially for desktop listening. I just got an A-300 for my Heresies and it's excellent, noise floor is quiet and it's very, very nice to listen to. It doesn't have sub outs though, it has RCA jacks labeled 'Output' but I think they might be passthroughs so you wouldn't want to plug a subwoofer in there!

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Make sure you purchase an amp that specifies S/N.  As chriswhotakesphotos stated, if the Heresys don't have his with the A-100 (as long are you are within a foot), that sounds like a good option.  110 S/N A-weighted should be reasonable though if you are in very close proximity to the speakers, any noise will show up.

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First make sure the hiss is not noise from the computer or another source. Move the amp as far away from sources of noise as possible. This will probably fail but it's worth a try. Most likely it's the high gain of the amp and a high noise floor. You'll probably find that a lower power amp (with less gain) has a lower noise floor. 

 

Here's a little additional info:

https://www.upscaleaudio.com/pages/idle-hiss

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If the his was from the computer, typically it will change with volume.  A reasonable rule of thumb unless it is hum, if hiss stays constant from just turn on, it is most likely not from an upstream component.  It is though good to isolate out by unplugging the upstream component just to make sure that doesn't have some weird interaction with the amplifier.

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Two components can have the same S/N ratio with different spectral characteristics, so be sure to get return privileges.

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Yes, in general, a higher S/N ratio is associated with lower perceived noise.  The trouble is that two units that have the same S/N ratio, with the same weighting, can sound like they have a different amount of hiss.  If two samples of noise are measured and have the same average SPL, but one has a noise peak where the ear is very sensitive (e.g. 2K Hz to 4K Hz) it may sound louder than a sample with a noise peak at 500 Hz, or 10K Hz.  You should make sure you can return any amp you buy, since the speakers are quite close to you (most computer speakers that are listened to at close range have treble roll off). 

 

 

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