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Focal Alpha 50 Noise
Old 4th October 2015
  #1
Deleted User
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Focal Alpha 50 Noise

I just bought a pair of Alpha 50s. really nice sound for price point - but I have a buzz/hum sound from each speaker when powered on. Anyone else get this?

It's not computer/interface related as the noise is there even with nothing plugged in.

Could be power supply related, but doubt it as I haven't had this with other monitors - primarily a pair of CMS 65s.

Is this just how the Alphas are? If it were a fault, I'd be surprised I'd be unlucky enough to get it on both monitors.

It's fine with a bit of volume up, you don't notice it, but with nothing playing it's annoying and I can still hear it a low levels - I have to increase the volume to get over it.

Also, what I'd consider fairly loud 'hiss' from the tweeters. I expect some air, but this is quite loud.

Anyone else? Or any Focal people?
Old 4th October 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Hi
Kindly read the zillions of threads relating to 'hissing' or 'buzzing' monitors. Make some of the 'tests' that have been suggested then decide.
Many of the threads are on the Geekslutz part.
Matt S
Old 4th October 2015
  #3
Deleted User
Guest
Thanks Matt,

Yep I've read the trillion other posts - well as many as my brain can take anyway

I'm asking this because:

- I've tried other power sockets.
- I've tried unplugging everything else on the same electrics circuit.
- It happens when connected to interface with balanced cables AND when nothing is connected to the monitors - nothing at all!
- Neither noise increase with volume increases.
- Neither noise increase with changing gain/sensitivity from 0dB to +6dB.
- Neither noise are affected by +ve or -ve shelving EQ on the rear of the speaker.
- My old Focals didn't suffer from the issue.

I'm asking specifically if other Alpha 50 users have experienced this - and specifically if it's just an Alpha 50 'self-noise'.

If it is I can maybe live with it. But if no one else experiences this and there are no reports of similar 'self-noise' from other users then there must be a fault and I'll exchange them.

If any Alpha 50 owners can comment???

Thanks
Old 4th October 2015
  #4
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Mine are still breaking in, in the iso room. They've been running for a few days now while I wait for a new speaker switcher to arrive. When I unplug the source material, I hear no hum, but if I put my ear within 6" of the tweeter, I hear hiss. I don't think I'd hear it from 3' away. (Thank you, tinnitus. )
Old 4th October 2015 | Show parent
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan ➡️
Mine are still breaking in, in the iso room. They've been running for a few days now while I wait for a new speaker switcher to arrive. When I unplug the source material, I hear no hum, but if I put my ear within 6" of the tweeter, I hear hiss. I don't think I'd hear it from 3' away. (Thank you, tinnitus. )
Thanks Uncle Duncan.

Yeah the hiss is kind of a secondary issue to the buzz/hum, it doesn't bother me too much.

But the hum/buzz does. Even though you can only hear it fairly close up and at low volumes - because I monitor close up and at fairly low volumes generally.

Without sounding weird - if you put your ear inside the bass port, with nothing connected, just power on, do you still not hear anything, no buzzing or humming?

I'm starting to think it may just be the sound of the amplifier working??? I don't think it's coming form the cones - sounds more like it's coming from inside the cabinet.
Old 4th October 2015
  #6
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Putting my ear up to the port, I hear nothing but the ocean. ("Port" get it?)

Actually, I hear silence in the port. If I put my ear up the the speaker cone, I hear the hiss and a bit of a low hum. The low hum is in tune with F# but it's so quiet, I don't think I would hear it from 3' away unless I was 40 years younger and had never ridden motorcycles with no mufflers or worked with chain saws. I'm assuming you have the +6 db switch off?
Old 5th October 2015 | Show parent
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan ➡️
Putting my ear up to the port, I hear nothing but the ocean. ("Port" get it?)


It's is the same with +6dB or 0dB

Last edited by Deleted User; 5th October 2015 at 07:12 AM..
Old 5th October 2015
  #8
Lives for gear
 
uncle duncan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Some people say they mix better if there's some background noise. It forces them to make sure everything in the mix is audible.

You could record the buzz sound and send it to Focal, or to the vendor, and see what they say. For example, stick a mic up in front of the speaker and record a snippet of music with your quiet mix setting and then stop the music so the buzz is in context.

Last edited by uncle duncan; 5th October 2015 at 08:56 AM.. Reason: buzz
Old 5th October 2015
  #9
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DirkP's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
No buzz or hum on my 240 Volt Alpha 50s.
Old 5th October 2015
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
sl4zhz's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hi,

I have a focal alpha 80 and have the same buzz / hum sound on one of the speaker,
luckly I can get a replacement.
so there are many defect of focal alpha
Old 7th October 2015
  #11
Deleted User
Guest
Went back to the dealer today and checked another set of 50s, and a set of 65s and 80s and they all have exactly the same buzz - it's the amp inside the shell. Honestly won't be an issue for most people and I'd still recommend them - but in my listening environment it just bugs me so I returned them.

Now looking for a replacement - not a huge amount in that price range:

Tannoy Reveal 802s are same price - could be a maybe - sounded quite nice in the shop - which I wasn't really expecting from Tannoy.

Tested some Adam A5x - beautiful high end, but no power on the low end at all.

Adam A7x were really nice - but an extra £400!!!

They had some used Dynaudio BM6A MK3 for £345 each - lovely sounding but not huge amount of power in the bass compared to the others.

Also tried some Genelecs that were way out of my price range that sounded beautiful!

So not sure??? Any ideas?

I may just need to get over the quiet buzzing and stick with the Focal Alphas!!!

Last edited by Deleted User; 7th October 2015 at 08:25 PM..
Old 3rd January 2016 | Show parent
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sl4zhz ➡️
Hi,

I have a focal alpha 80 and have the same buzz / hum sound on one of the speaker,
luckly I can get a replacement.
so there are many defect of focal alpha
Your new monitor don´t have any hiss/hum..? I have a pair and they have,and I try more at local stores and I think they also have the sound, Im still thinking to return them becausa I already have it one week.
Old 3rd January 2016 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryo ➡️
Went back to the dealer today and checked another set of 50s, and a set of 65s and 80s and they all have exactly the same buzz - it's the amp inside the shell. Honestly won't be an issue for most people and I'd still recommend them - but in my listening environment it just bugs me so I returned them.

Now looking for a replacement - not a huge amount in that price range:

Tannoy Reveal 802s are same price - could be a maybe - sounded quite nice in the shop - which I wasn't really expecting from Tannoy.

Tested some Adam A5x - beautiful high end, but no power on the low end at all.

Adam A7x were really nice - but an extra £400!!!

They had some used Dynaudio BM6A MK3 for £345 each - lovely sounding but not huge amount of power in the bass compared to the others.

Also tried some Genelecs that were way out of my price range that sounded beautiful!

So not sure??? Any ideas?

I may just need to get over the quiet buzzing and stick with the Focal Alphas!!!
Presonus Sceptre or Eve Audio! I tried the Alpha too boom box very coloured speakers.If u look perfect build quality Genelec and Neumann are the best in my opinion!
Old 25th June 2019
  #14
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highvoltage's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have Focal Alpha 65s and i have the exact same hum and pretty audible hiss even from my listening position about 1 metre.
It's absolutely not an issue when there is anything playing, but if there is no signal the humming is on the verge of being annoying.
I can live with it but i'm not happy about it.
Old 4th February 2021
  #15
Here for the gear
Solved Buzzing/Hum Problem

Hey everyone,

I solved the problem unplugging my Ethernet/Lan-Cable. Buzzing is gone, hope it helps you too.

I am using Focal Alpha 65.

---
if you want to support my music <3 linktr.ee/karmakind
Old 4th February 2021
  #16
Lives for gear
 
highvoltage's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Mine is solved too, but it's stranger.
Mine had the noise no matter if it was connected to an interface or not.

Bought an RME babyface FS, connected the speakers to it, and the noise is gone. And now the noise is gone even if i unplug them. WTF?
It's like the Babyface cured the speakers.
RME for the win.
Old 5th February 2021
  #17
Gear Head
 
I have an old electrical system in my apartment and my focal alphas also produce some hum/hissing when idle. I am using Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 Gen 3 with a desktop PC plugged into the same power strip. So do you think it has something to do with the interface? I am pretty sure the hissing is in part related to the missing volume knob of the speakers. Although I am not sure the faint hum can be eradicated at all. Any thoughts?
Old 19th February 2021 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Head
 
Hey there may I ask which audio interface were you using before? I am still experiencing the idle hum issue with focusrite scarlett 4i4 gen3. The hum is there even without any cables plugged in. So if an interface lowers hum, I am guessing it must be because of the lack of volume knobs and gain staging.
Old 19th February 2021
  #19
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Such noise/hum is typical for cheap class AB amps. It separates cheap, budget monitors from expensive ones. It has nothing to do with power socekt, power line, audio interface, cables etc. Flawed by design
Old 19th February 2021 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Head
 
Are you positive that it has something to with amp classification? I have Adam Audio T7Vs which have almost zero hiss and hum issue with cheap class D amps. Alas, they are not comparable to Focals in terms of sound quality, but I think or want to think that there is something else in play here.
Old 22nd February 2021 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
highvoltage's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cltd ➡️
Such noise/hum is typical for cheap class AB amps. It separates cheap, budget monitors from expensive ones. It has nothing to do with power socekt, power line, audio interface, cables etc. Flawed by design
It's not true in this case, cause mine are totally silent now.
Old 22nd February 2021 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
highvoltage's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by aslutforgear ➡️
Hey there may I ask which audio interface were you using before? I am still experiencing the idle hum issue with focusrite scarlett 4i4 gen3. The hum is there even without any cables plugged in. So if an interface lowers hum, I am guessing it must be because of the lack of volume knobs and gain staging.
I used an RME HDSP PCI soundcard, connected to A Behringer ADA8000. So it was a very cheap interface.

Now im using the RME Babyface PRO FS. The sound quality diffrence is astounding, plus the noise is gone.
Old 22nd February 2021
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Hi
All inputs, either mic or line MUST be 'terminated' with either a resistor (if you are making noise 'tests') OR with whatever source it would normally 'see' (such as a mic on a mic input or some gear with line output as appropriate).
Leaving an input 'open' will almost always result in excess noise. To expect 'silence ' with no input termination is unreasonable.
This is not excusing monitors (the subject of this thread) that hum physically or 'electronically'.
It has been possible to make amplifiers that don't hiss or hum NOTICEABLY for well over 40 years so there is no real excuse.
Matt S
Old 22nd February 2021 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Head
 
Well I currently have two weird issues.

1) There is always a hum, regardless of xlr is connected or not.

2) When Ableton is open, an audible buzzing sound starts along, which is not there when browsing, or listening to Spotify etc. The weird thing is, when I choose "power saving" mode from Windows' power plan options, the buzzing stops. When I choose balanced, the buzzing comes and goes, and again when I choose "high performance", the buzzing is always there.

I have never encountered such an issue before. The culprit is most likely the high noise floor caused by no volume knobs, and there high gain levels, and old power system of my flat. I will send them to repair, to see if there is in fact something wrong with them.
Old 22nd February 2021
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Hi
You have 2 issues going on there. The hum being one and the other noise when you have the computer plugged in.
They need different remedies.
Matt S
Old 22nd February 2021 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Head
 
Hopefully I will get to the bottom of these issues. I am suspecting hum might be related to the led power light of Focals, as it is most noticeable at the lower sides/front of the cabinet. I am pretty sure the technical service will say both of them are "normal" and send them back to me to live with these annoying bugs. Hope that they will surprise me.
Old 22nd February 2021
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
LEDs have absolutely nothing to do with hum.
Matt S
Old 22nd February 2021 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Head
 
Faulty transformers maybe?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
Here for the gear
 
alpha 50 noise

I did not expect speakers costing 400 euros to have this problem.

I use these monitors for my PC, and I usually have them at very low volumes, and there is a hum coming out of the speaker when the speaker is activated.

When you turn on the speakers it doesn't sound, but when you emit some sound from the computer they activate, and that annoying buzzing sounds, which continues to sound even if you disconnect the audio cables behind the speaker, so the problem is not the audio source, it's the speaker itself.

I bought the speakers in two different stores and both have the same problem.

I am thinking of selling them, as I do not think there is any miracle solution, it is probably a lack of care of the manufacturer who was not careful with this.

Do you recommend any PC speaker that has no noise?

If someone prefers I can speak Spanish

Thanks
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