Ambient Noise Level: How Quiet is Quiet Enough?

Zeotrope

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Feb 12, 2021
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High efficiency horns are a challenge if you want super quiet. My friend Howard had horns in the 104db or so range. His electronics were not that good. There was a whole lot of noise. As in loud hum.
Yes, hum is likely due to ground issues. I had to try a few different settings on the Zeel pre and amp to eliminate hum.
My horns are about 104dB as well - only +1dB of noise at the listening position at listening volume, vs. the noise when the system is off. But, I went a bit nuts with the preamp and amp. The Kondo Japan M77+Souga are very quiet. The Zeel combo is not much quieter, maybe 0.5-1dB (although I didn’t measure, just a guess).
 

Kingrex

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Feb 4, 2019
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Kondo or Dartzeel. Do tubes have the magic? Do you use one over the other for particular music?
 

rando

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Sep 22, 2019
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i must be crazy

I think
the room can be quit but what noise is imbedded in the sound when played
is perhaps more the issue to fix. i think a well made SS amp and pre have a lot less noise
then tubes do
but there is still the source
and if it’s vinyl or tape even more noise
I think a SUT is best for phono.
but the amount of gain is massive
digital like it or not had the lowest noise floor if paired with SS

I'll admit to teasing you just a little. :)

While to me your description sounded positively infirm in the sense of being well suited for a libraries aims of filling in unknown spaces or voids. There is no doubt in my mind your reaction was healthy. The domestic environment is about that which contributes life and not to the abject removal of it. There would be cause for alarm if visitors to your home started having the type of symptoms you described.

I think there is an often neglected genetic makeup of ambient sound that can be easily lost through intrusion of synthetic objects in the listening space. Including light sources. Music playback in the dark rarely elicits complaints of negative impact on SQ.
 

Zeotrope

Well-Known Member
Feb 12, 2021
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Kondo or Dartzeel. Do tubes have the magic? Do you use one over the other for particular music?
I love Kondo Japan products and the Souga 2A3 amp in particular is a personal favourite of Masaki-San. It sounds great - very musical, draws you in. Vocals especially are sublime…

But as nice as it is, after hearing the DarTZeel, there’s no going back. The Zeel amp and pre have all the benefits of tubes, without the drawbacks. On top of it, the dynamics and lack of phase shift are very impressive. More low end and crystal clear highs, wider sound stage… everything is just better. But they cost more…
Kondo list prices are just that - and they are massively inflated. Negotiate hard if you are buying Kondo Japan.
 
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Kingrex

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I’ve read several reviews of the Dueland CAST caps that cite a reduction in noise floor as one of the benefits: copper foil + paper is quieter than metallized plastic foil.
“The Duelund CAST external crossovers were astonishingly quiet compared to my stock internal crossovers, which allowed music full of color and life to emerge from preternatural background quietness. The purity of sound gave real dividends in terms of musical nuance, low-level dynamics, natural timbral textures, and vivid chordal tonal colors, that made the music breathe with life and emotion during listening sessions.”
“The Duelund components in my crossovers made much more of a performance improvement than I had thought possible, from the increased transparency in the high & low frequencies, to the increased sense of space & articulation in the bass region, to the oodles of natural detail, and their noticeably quieter background.”

I’m sure this is not specific to this brand only, although the DueLand CAST series are widely regarded as the best of the best. It seems to stand to reason that if you replace the stock/cheap crossover components with differently made components, noise will decrease.
After proper room treatment, crossover upgrades are the next most important change we can make, in my opinion. Of course, neither are as sexy as buying a new piece of gear or a new speaker…
I have played with capacitors on crossover. I have very much heard sonic changes. I don't know that any reduced hum type noise.

I very much noticed relocating the crossover from the frame to a remote stand reduced a whole lot of blur. Much more relaxing and sense of calm. That probably did reduce noise as the feedback loop was broken.
 

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
1,235
849
200
I love Kondo Japan products and the Souga 2A3 amp in particular is a personal favourite of Masaki-San. It sounds great - very musical, draws you in. Vocals especially are sublime…

But as nice as it is, after hearing the DarTZeel, there’s no going back. The Zeel amp and pre have all the benefits of tubes, without the drawbacks. On top of it, the dynamics and lack of phase shift are very impressive. More low end and crystal clear highs, wider sound stage… everything is just better. But they cost more…
Kondo list prices are just that - and they are massively inflated. Negotiate hard if you are buying Kondo Japan.
Thanks, I agree a lot on the Dart. Once in my system I noticed how much midrange bloat my 845 has. So much so I will either scrap them or rebuild them as a different circuit. The Dart is very clean and musical. I wish I had never gone the SET route. Its the thread here that lead me down that road. Of course, if I had not, I would not know. Now I do. Yet I still harken for tube. Not sure why.
 

Zeotrope

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Feb 12, 2021
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I have played with capacitors on crossover. I have very much heard sonic changes. I don't know that any reduced hum type noise.

I very much noticed relocating the crossover from the frame to a remote stand reduced a whole lot of blur. Much more relaxing and sense of calm. That probably did reduce noise as the feedback loop was broken.
The easiest and among the lowest cost upgrades most can do is to pull out the crossovers from inside their speakers and upgrade the components. Yes, DueLand is very expensive, but you don’t have to spend that much. Most speakers use ultra-cheap crossover components, so spending $10 instead of $0.10 on a resistor will give you benefits.
Humble Homemade Hifi will happily build you a new crossover and discuss component options. Probably the best few hundred dollars you can spend on a system.
Even an ultra high-end speaker probably won’t have $10k+ worth of crossover components… something to consider.
 

Kingrex

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Feb 4, 2019
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This is my stock crossover. I feel PAP does a good job selecting components that perform well for the $
 

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