Audible computer noise over network when using Powerline Adapters - Aqua La Voce S2 + Ampsandsound SE-84

Have you tried changing the tubes? Failing tubes can make scratching noise like static…

Do you have a multimeter? Disconnect the powerline network adapter from your streamer and measure the static voltage between the ground plane of your music server and the ground plane of the powerline network adapter. If it is above a couple of volts you have a grounding problem. This might get less with reversing the power cable into the socket (in countries where this is possible) If there is a voltage between the ground planes you get all kinds of grounding issues, in simple words current going the wrong way. Like others advised, get rid of the powerline/ethernet adapters first, most if not all of them behave pretty badly. You are using a single-ended tube amp which has a power supply rejection ratio (PSSR) of close to nothing by nature of design, maybe 3 to 6 dB at most. That doesn’t mean they can’t be quiet but they need care with setting them up in a system, especially the input triode is pretty prone to pickup EMI from improper ground planes, many guitarist and sound engineers know all about this. Tube Guitar amps always need some more attention when setting up on alive stage for the same reasons.

Since this issue is related to the DAC/Amp itself, even with Roon not in the mix, thread has been moved over to #audio-products

I wish. Unfortunately I don’t have another amp nor resource to borrow one.

Yes, I’ve tried many tubes. The noise remains consistent with all of them

It’s not in the tubes themselves, it is the circuit around them.

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Well, this post will probably wrap this up. It is definitely the powerline adapter. I just received an isolation transformer that I was hoping would fix the problem (as of the time I received it, problem was still unknown. Assumed to be dirty power). It actually suppressed a lot of noise, but not all of it. So really more of a band aid than solution. The a-ha moment came when I simply unplugged the powerline adapter completely from the wall. In all my troubleshooting, I hadn’t done that before. Don’t ask me why since it was the simplest thing to try (I think I assumed it was dirty power or an equipment issue as many of you did). But as soon as I did that, noise gone. Long story short, it could be the general powerline adapter technology, or just this one (TP-Link AV2000) but obviously they have the potential to be problematic. However, I have read other audiophiles who use these and have good results, so it looks like it may be a case-by-case basis, depending on house wiring variables. In fact, I used another set of adapters in a different house and didn’t have any noticeable issue. YMMV.

I spent around $200 for the transformer. I suppose I should return it and use that money toward a decent MESH system. Thanks all for the troubleshooting help. :+1:

BTW, I googled “TP-Link AV2000 Powerline Adapter noise” and got this result top of page – exactly what I was experiencing. Someone else posted a YT video showing same (also with my exact unit, so perhaps there is something going on with the TP Link)

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@noris you may want to amend the title of this thread to include the term ‘powerline adapter’ so others that might run into the same issue can find it easily.

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Hi @tholt,

I’ve just amended “powerline adapters” to the title, glad that you resolved the issue to the adapters and have a good idea of how to address it further!

I use a powerline adapter similar to yours with no issues. What works for me is to plug everything in thru the filtered socket on the adaptor. I do have an amp and pc’s plugged into a different wall thru filtered ups’. Just no issues at all. TP link has a utility to monitor the device’s performance that may be helpful.

Hi @Clark_Mobley, it actually might be the specific model that I have. I say this because I’ve read other accounts online of people using this adapter and experiencing the exact same thing (a crackling, staticky sound). It likely (or solely) has to do with the house wiring as well. I’m located at the extreme opposite of where the router is, so I’m going through lots of wiring and probably through the circuit breaker as well, probably worse-case scenario. I do use the filtered socket on the adapter to plug into – on both ends.

Does the utility monitor measure noise? I’m doubtful but I’m game to give it a try to see if it sheds any light. Is there a link to that?

FYI I’ve also used powerline adapters (in another house) with no issues, so I know they can work.

I found the TP link utility. Useless. It wants me to connect my computer directly to the powerline adapter. I don’t use them that way. They carry ethernet from router to my music server. The utlility dodesn’t seem to recognize them just being in my LAN. Doubtful it would help with my issue anyway.

Just checked mine, not as useful as my old trendnet utility which won’t work with these adapters. I can run it from my pc upstairs with the audio gear. Router is downstairs and I am going thru a circuit breaker. All good, knock on wood. I did add a Netgear Nighthawk router for it’s powerful wifi for other devices. My rasbpi roon endpoint uses ethernet though so the homeplug stays.

I had issues with tplink ones above av500, they all interfered with my phono stage. AV500 was ok, when I used a mains filtering block from Tachims I got from Amazon. But if you can I would ditch them and go for s decent WiFi solution or hardwire, they are nasty things powerline adaptors.

I was digging through some old boxes full of network cable and stumbled upon some cheap powerline adapters an ATT tech gave to me – for free. Decided to sub them in for the TP Link. Work brilliantly. No noise. It’s the TP Link.

Imagine how happy I am solving the problem for free! :100:

Hi @tholt, congratulations on solving this !

I did not literally write it, but I indeed meant to say : remove the power line adapters entirely. I assumed that you did that, without result. CrystalGipsy had already give you the golden clue, it seems :slightly_smiling_face: :

The adapters that I had the same trouble with, were Devolo branded by the way, also with 500 in the model number. Perhaps this extends our list us suspicious models :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks @Marco_de_Jonge. Man, that was a frustrating endeavor. I wish I had thought of simply unplugging the TP Link sooner in my troubleshooting. I think mentally I was thinking, ‘but that is your internet, that has to work!’. Anyway, I firmly believe something with the TP Link is bad. I’ve since tried two other adapters from two different companies – no noise.

However, I still intend on researching wifi mesh as a solution to see if sound quality can be improved vs powerline adapters. With that in mind, if I can find a reputable brand that delivers a solid wifi signal to my audio system, can I assume that the sound will be the same with any other wifi brand that does the same? Or can different wifi mesh systems actually sound different? If that’s true, I might consider leaving this hobby entirely to keep my sanity… :crazy_face: :woozy_face:

Haha, well…you live, you learn…:slight_smile:

I have promised myself, to never again engage in discussions like those (although I forget that, more often than I like to admit :slight_smile: ).
My own stance is : the type of network doesn’t matter, as long as it puts through all your data packets in time, and without errors (meaning : with no drop outs). In practice, that is any decent network.

Someone else may have a different opinion, and that’s fine with me. It’s not something that’s worth discussing (for me).

Remember that it was not the network or the data carried over it itself, that caused the trouble here. It was pollution on your power line (indeed caused by the power line adapters, which is what they should do by design if I stretch it a bit,but not related to the data connection itself).

Thanks Marco. I just ordered an Orbi tri-band mesh system. Seems like others here and elsewhere have had good luck with that model in their audio systems. Looking forward to trying it!

Perhaps my last update here, as the original issue (noise) has been identified as coming from the powerline adapters. I tried the Orbi mesh system and it worked great. The only issue was that my modem is a modem/router combo unit, so if I understood the correct way to deal with this, I set my modem to do an IP passthrough, which allowed the Orbi system to function correctly.

However, I was able to find a simpler and much cheaper solution – just using a wifi extender. Bought one on Amazon for $60 and it works great! I never thought an extender would work with how far away I am from the router, but I was wrong. Getting great speeds and I believe better sound quality than I ever had with any powerline adapters. I use one of the ports on back of the extender to connect my server to.

This whole experience has taught me a couple things – powerline adapters can definitely negatively affect SQ, and wifi can be a viable (and actually superior) solution. I guess it’s good to try both if you can and determine which is best for your setup.

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