Whizzy noise from internal HD when playing Qobuz tracks?

Still getting used to new 1.8 rel looks and layout, but overall happy with it.
Running ROCK on a NUC 7I5BNH which I fitted in an Akasa fanless case, storage in internal mechanical Seagate ST2000LM015 Barracuda 2TB. The NUC is USB connected to the DAC, at 2m distance from listening spot.
At very low (night) listening level with quiet music, I can distinctively hear a whizzing noise (at high pitch) coming from the hard disk when a streamed (Qobuz here) track starts, lasting a couple of seconds, then at every new beginning of following tracks.
Happens only with streamed tracks, regardless if imported in my library or not.
Playing tracks I personally imported in my library makes the usual noise of a mechanical disk repositioning its heads, and it’s not bothering me, or spoiling the listening experience.

Now, can anyone explain what could be the cause of this? What’s going on with the disk when a streamed track vs a library track is being played?
Is anyone else noticing that? I’ve never been aware of that before, apart the usual mechanical noise. Could it be that, because of age, I became more sensitive to that frequency? …

It crossed my mind to get an internal SSD disk and migrate the storage in there. But price aside, I know SSD speed to be an overkill solution for audio requirements and I’m not thrilled from the idea of doing all over again, as I moved the storage three times already, upgrading from 1 to 2 TB external USB drive, then to the current internal 2TB drive.
But, if that’s the only solution, any recommandation for a (not so fast but) reliable and lasting 2TB internal SSD?

How do you know it’s coming from the disk? Couldn’t it be coil whine from the main board, since that’s been reported in the past.

thank you @Marin_Weigel ,
I supposed it comes from the disk, thinking it was the only moving part, not knowing of the issue you describing.
I need to do more research about it but it does make sense, as the noise is of a completely different nature from what the disk makes.
Has it been discussed here? Any solutions?

It’s caused by not tightly enough wound coils in the on-board switch mode power supplies.
They do start to resonate under certain load conditions causing the whine you hear; no easy fix for that, and returning the hardware because of that is mostly not warranted for.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and yes it’s been mentioned here, I think it’s even been a nucleus in one instance…

thanks, I’m seeing the first reports online…

I wonder if flooding the coils with silicone or similar glue would damp the damn thing (once I find out which one it is) and stop it from making the noise … Some boutique guitar amp manufacturers use to do it in their point to point handmade amps on most components to avoid resonating and avoid shorts.

I also wonder if this started happening from Roon 1.8 rel, as I never heard it before and if this puts more load and strains on some of the components than previous releases. I see in the PC world is linked to graphics boards and such when stressed from CPU intensive loads (but I’m in no way a gamer or PC Win guy).

Sure is that after so much tweaking, once you think you’ve reached a good compromise and start relaxing, here is new pitfall in the way … a neverending story …

and moreover… why this is happening only with streaming content and not with tracks from the library ?

Can’t answer that, but if at all, I would use thermally conductive two component resin glue, since you want a very hard connection to the coil core and no heat build-up; it’s not that easy to fill all the voids though, that’s why they usually use vacuum infusion for the purpose…and that’s where DIY usually ends…


On a second, more accurate test (preamp in mute, silent room, iPad as remote and getting my ear next to the NUC’s Akasa case) I’m kind of sure the whiz is coming from the HD (Seagate ST2000LM015 Barracuda 2TB), because it starts at the very same time and every time of me pressing play or skip to next track with Qobutz tracks (imported or not), lasts for a second or two then stops. With tracks imported in Library sound is the regular mechanical HD sound, pointing its heads to the right sector.
The whiz is very similar in pattern as the HD’s normal sound, but at a very higher pitch and less mechanic.
According to logic, my head tells me this hasn’t got much sense, as I’d expect that nothing is being written on the Storage when you stream and/or import a Qobutz (or Tidal, for the matter) track, it should only the database on the M2 SSD to be affected, right?
But yet… I don’t know how exactly Roon system works at this level…

I’m now reseraching if there’s any history of Seagate Barracuda doing this type of noise …

Playing from storage would cause read rather than write cycles - or am I missing something?

sure… I’ve got mixed up
If nothing gets written, nothing to read…

Still wondering what’s phisycally happens (if anything) to storage when importing a track from a service (Qobuz or Tidal)

If you’re listening to a stream, nothing on your music drive
If you add a stream to your library, nothing on your music drive.
Only the database on the Roon core system drive should be written to with the metadata for that stream…hmmm

Does it do this if you use any DSP or upsampling from a local file? That would put strain on the CPU.
The Nucleus had coil whine for a while and they retuned the RoonOS for Nucleus to reduce it. May have just turned back how fast the CPU could work. Danny discussed it during the time, but I don’t recall details.

that’s what I guessed, according to logic, but I’d like to hear a final word on this from the Roon people, in order to narrow the possibilities on why this is happening

thanks @grossmsj Scott, but with this Zone (NUC connected USB to DAC, for my ‘critical’ listening) I always use the ‘lossless’ path with no DSP involved, more following the theory less is better, than else.
Then I use Volume leveling and Crossfade only when listening to Zones involving Airport Express bases (sometimes grouped) for casual listening.

Also, I remember an indicator of strain put on CPU cores , like 32x or such, appearing when I used many conversions or elsae in a chain, but I haven’t noticed this lately, and absolutely never when in lossless path.

So I’m inclined to rule out the strain on CPU as a cause of this noise. I’m pretty much convinced it’s coming from the Hard Disk, doing what I don’t know, as it happens ONLY when a streamed track is being played.
Most weird (and puzzling) behaviour …

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You do know, that the higher the number, the lower the strain?
So, no number displayed means that there’s more than 100x the needed computing power available.

sure I do,
so no number no strain ! :slight_smile:

that rules out CPU stress

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tested again, it’s definitely coming from the drive. It’s the same pattern noise of the hard disk (positioning the head or such) but, and ONLY with streaming tracks, at a much higher pitch, turning into a whiz