Ground loop woes, s/pdif questions

February 6, 2011

Yesterday, while still getting aquainted with the ESU1808, i wasn’t paying too much attention to background noise. However, I was still aware of  a ground loop caused by the laptop which was particularly evident when the monitor levels were above 12Oclock. Today i investigated further.

Maybe I had fresh ears, but it seemed worse this morning. Although I knew the source was the laptop, I thought the solution might be in the cabling. So I switched around a few balanced/unbalanced connections. Interestingly, the FS1R was a major contributor to the ground hum.  Even so, unplugging the laptop always killed the hum, so I knew I had to deal with it.

Step one was to go out and buy a power conditioner / surge protector strip with in-built interference filter. No improvement.

Step two…. I ‘lifted the ground’ on the laptop plug and – voila – problem solved. Must find a safer alterative.

Next I checked the s/pdif connection from the XL-7 into the 1808. Input is detected and the signal is surprisingly strong. Only problem – ASIO4ALL doesn’t recognize the s/pdif inputs or outputs of the 1808 😦

This could be because the digital switch is in the ESI control panel, and not on the hardware. Need to work on it….mail sent to ESI support.

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