Static

I have a tremendous problem with radio interference in my house. My KRK studio monitors blast KMXS 103.1 so loud that I can hear it over music I am actually playing through the speakers. It’s so loud that it’s about the right volume for listening to the radio at work in an office.

The interference is definitely worse on one side of the house, and significantly better about 15 feet away. Unfortunately my place isn’t that big so I can’t move my stuff. Cell reception here is also bad, and Clearwire only works in one corner of the house – the customer service reps said they’ve never seen interference so bad.
Does anyone know how to help with this? It’s been driving me crazy for 2 years, and I’m about to call the FCC.
– My power and signal lines never cross.
– I rent, and so can’t insulate the walls.
– I use a standard american 3-pronged 120V connector, and all electronics are grounded to the wall.
– Ferrites on the signal lines inside the powered speakers don’t help.
– The interference is only high frequency, and is directly affected by moving signal cables and power bricks.
I’ve only found a quite cable layout once, and as soon as I moved something I lost it. It’s near impossible to find again. So frustrating. I used to like listening to The Police..
By | 2008-11-28T20:06:00+00:00 November 28th, 2008|Uncategorized|7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Ira Pfeifer December 1, 2008 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Are you using unbalanced, unshielded cables (e.g. basic RCA cables) to plug in your KRKs?

  2. Patricio December 1, 2008 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    Nope, I’m using balanced XLR cables.

  3. Ira Pfeifer December 1, 2008 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Hmm, odd. When you say that “ferrites on the signal lines inside the powered speakers don’t help”, do you mean on the input (low-voltage) lines or the speaker cables between the integral amp and the speakers themselves? Could be that you’re picking up the interference on those short speaker cables, as they’re usually unshielded.

    Is there any difference in interference between sources? If you plug an ipod directly into a KRK with a very short cable, do you get the same interference as you do with the XLR cables from your computer’s audio interface?

  4. Patricio December 3, 2008 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    I think I put them on the signal lines, just right before the circuit board.

    The interference is progressively worse with longer cables, and some sources (namely my xone:3d) are much worse. Moving the power cables has the most effect though.

  5. Ira Pfeifer December 3, 2008 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    OK, so the fact that it’s different between input sources points to something external to the speakers.

    Because of the power cable tie-in, it kinda sounds like grounding issues to me. And those would only be exacerbated by XLR cables, since they connect a common ground. I assume the KRKs and Xone use grounded power cables – have you tried ground lifting those? Or ground lifting your XLR cables? Power cable ground lifts (i.e. 3-prong to 2-prong adapters) only cost a few bucks at a hardware store, could be a cheap experimental fix.

  6. Patricio December 3, 2008 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    I haven’t heard of a ground lift. I’ll have to look into it.

  7. Ira Pfeifer December 3, 2008 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    All it is is a simple device that disconnects the third pin in either a power cable or XLR cable (or you can open up the cable and snip it yourself, but that’s usually not as good an idea). Many DI boxes have them.

    Usually you use them to combat 60Hz hum, but sometimes there can be RF pickup in the common ground of an audio or power system.

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