Audio Distortion With and Increase in the length (NOOB)

  • Thread starter bkendra5
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I want to make sure I clearly identify myself as a noob.


I have taken a speaker wire and spliced it 4 times throughout the length of my house and inserted an 1/8" adapter on each splice.

The purpose of this is so no matter where I am at... (usually 1 of the four places) I can plug in either my laptop, phone or whatever other audio device to play throughout the house.

If you look at the attached file the arrows represent an input, the circles are amplified speakers and crooked line is the wire itself.

The problem I have is, since I've made this, it works ok but when its "loud" there is a LOT of static and makes it sound terrible. So I can't ever have my audio device past 90% volume.

My other problem is when there isn't anything playing there is a loud buzz like its grounded out... or not grounded out properly.

EXTRA INFO: My output devices are either a laptop, HTC EVO cell phone, or an IPOD. All experience the same results.

I was wondering if there was anything I could do to take care of these problems.
 

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  • #2
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well, I had a buzz in my speakers when I hooked up my TV and my computer to a receiver at the same time. Even with one of them being off. I don't know if this is related, but you could try to make sure if you have one device plugged in, keep the others unplugged.
 
  • #3
AlephZero
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It sounds like you have an "earth loop" which is picking up hum and other electrical noise from the mains wiring in your house.

You said you were using "speaker wire" to connect everything up. What you really need is proper shielded audio cable. That has separate wires to carry the signal (4 separate wires for two stereo channels), enclosed in a conducting shield which should be earthed to prevent any electromagnetic fields reaching the wires inside and creating hum and noise.

It is important that you only connect the cable shield to earth at exactly ONE point on the wire. In other words, you connect the wire shield to the body ONE of your adapter plugs, that will be permanently plugged in to one of your amplified speakers. If you are splicing cables together at the other adapters, you make sure the two cable shields are connected to each other, but NOT connected to the body of the adapter.

DON'T try to fix this problem by altering the mains power wiring of any of the equipment (e.g. disconnecting mains earth wires). Doing that could be very dangerous is any of the equipment develops a fault, even though it may get rid of your hum problems.
 

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