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Equator D5 making white noise: self-noise or problem?
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Zero32
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#1
29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
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Equator D5 making white noise: self-noise or problem?

So I recently bought a pair of Equator Audio D5 studio monitors for my first ever pair of monitors and I absolutely love them. Two days after getting them, though, I noticed that when they're on they produce a faint white noise/hiss that's audible when your 1-2 feet away from them. When turning the monitors on, I get a "click", then the hiss starts.

This noise remains constant even when the sensitivity is turned all the way down. In fact, the noise is there even when the monitor is only plugged in and turned on to a power source, with no other cables going into it. Also, the noise is quickly oscillating (it sounds almost similar to the fan on my laptop).

Is this hiss normal for the monitors or is it something to be concerned about? I feel like I've tried everything to try and isolate the cause (even plugging the monitors into different outlets around the house) and the hiss remains constant.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Last edited by Zero32; 29th December 2012 at 08:35 PM.. Reason: Forgot a detail
#2
29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
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IM863 is offline
Just bought a pair myself and I'm experiencing exactly the same thing. Scoured the internet and not found any solutions. Emailed Equator a few days ago but not heard back yet. I'm actually pretty happy with the way they sound and my ears don't register the hissing when I'm playing music through it. However, I'm sitting with them pretty close and for mixing I can see it getting a little irritating.

Did the same tests as yourself. Only other thing I could think of was maybe something to do with the 230v setting with 220v plugs (I'm in the UK) and that maybe the pulsing was the AC? But a look at a few forums suggested that this shouldn't be a problem. So, still clueless!

Previous to these I've owned a Blue Sky Media Desk 2.1 which cost around the same price and if I remember correctly I had to put my ear up to the cone to hear the self noise on those, so I'd say it's a problem.

Any help appreciated +1!

Last edited by IM863; 29th December 2012 at 10:08 PM.. Reason: Left out a detail.
#3
30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
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tribedescribe is offline
I also own a pair of d5's and to be honest the hiss is there but I have to put my ear about 6-12" away from the speaker to hear it. It so faint that at 2-3 feet away its so silent, I cant really hear it over my my macbook pro and apogee ensemble which emit more white noise than the d5.

It kinda sound like a guitar amp but way way softer. If thats what you are hearing with your ear up to the speaker, I would say thats normal and nothing that you would ever hear while mixing. Although I do recall hearing this noise when I first bought them, it might get better with more use?
#4
30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
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IM863 is offline
I've only had them a week, and the noise began the second day of turning them on, so seems more like a fault to me. I'm sitting about 24" from mine so I think we're all getting it at around the same level.

There's a user review on the SOS forum by a Guy Johnson, worth checking out. In his most recent post there he says they've started doing the same thing and he's had them for a while longer, so I'm a bit worried they might actually get worse with more use.

I think if I knew what was causing it and if there was some DIY fix to improve them I'd be a bit happier. For £350 though, it's a little disappointing. Especially after all the rave reviews.

Last edited by IM863; 30th December 2012 at 02:26 AM..
#5
30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
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IM863 is offline
Link to the SOS thread: (Sorry, won't let me post it. Easy enough to find though)
Zero32
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#6
31st December 2012
Old 31st December 2012
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IM863, just read that review on SOS, and Guy Johnson's description of a "quiet 'shh-shh-shh' pulsing 'pink' noise sound at about 280 bpm" fits my problem pretty much exactly. I've also e-mailed equator but have yet to hear back from them.
#7
31st December 2012
Old 31st December 2012
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hopeless_opus is offline
So is the noise bad enough that any of you are going to return them?

I returned a set of HS50m's last year due to the self noise. I was thinking of trying the D5's, but I can't stand noisy speakers. I still have an old set of KRK rp5's at home, they aren't the greatest sounding speakers, but at least they're quiet.
#8
1st January 2013
Old 1st January 2013
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IM863 is offline
@hopeless opus, I'm not sure yet, need to get more info before I decide. Are the speakers noisy by design or have we bought duds? If they're faulty then I'll be returning them. If its poor design then I'm a bit worried that they'll start acting out in other ways. I need to hear from other owners. And Equator. I mean the least I expected was that they be quiet. No mention of any noise in the reviews I saw...

The Media Desk I bought was second hand - should I expect this kind of thing when buying new at the same price?

@zero32 Yeah, exactly the same here!
#9
2nd January 2013
Old 2nd January 2013
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No way am I returning these speakers. They have revealed so much detail I could not hear before at a unbelievable price. Nothing touches them unless you spend $1000 or more. Personally the noise is so minor I do not notice it and its completely inaudible when music is at the lowest level. It's as loud as my laptop or computer with the fans running on low. (YMMV) I wonder if some of you guys have a power issue or conflict that is making the sound louder?
#10
3rd January 2013
Old 3rd January 2013
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No noise in mine after a year. I hope equator writes you back. It would be the only flaw on some flawless monitors...
#11
4th January 2013
Old 4th January 2013
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I've owned the D-5's for almost a year now, and the right monitor seems to have a weird phasing type thing going on. I didn't notice it until I bought a new Mic that seems to make it a little more obvious. Plugged my old mic in, and it was still there, but less noticable. Anyways this thread got my attention, since the described pulsating noise may very well be what I'm hearing. Gonna buy n try new cables first, then if its still there then I suppose a few of us are going to see what Equator Audio's customer service is all about.
#12
4th January 2013
Old 4th January 2013
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hiko is offline
Had the same issue (fluctuating hiss) pop up a few days after receiving these as well.

I was able to fix it by swapping out power cable that goes into speaker.

Since then, i've also put these speakers on an power line conditioner. No problems now for several months.

As long as the hiss is not significantly greater from one speaker vs the other, there shouldn't be a problem with it.
#13
5th January 2013
Old 5th January 2013
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Evan Barry is offline
I was set to jump on a set. Now i am going to wait and see 2 things;
1) What the issue is
2) Equators customer support
#14
6th January 2013
Old 6th January 2013
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IM863 is offline
Heard from a guy called Marty from Equator on Thursday and was able to fire emails back and forth for a while. I was told that the noise is probably just the monitor's self noise. He said to expect some self noise from anything outputting 50w each. Just been thinking the satellites on the Media Desk were 55w though, but the Media Desk was more expensive, so that's fine.

When I asked why it was oscillating though, he told me that sounded like an unstable power source... He recommended I try it on a different circuit. I've tried that, no difference. I swapped the power cables I was using just in case there was an issue with them, but that hasn't made a difference either. He also recommended a power conditioner or even an upscaled power strip. Not really prepared to fork out for a power conditioner, just for a pair of monitors. I'd be out at least another £100. Anyone know what an 'upscaled power strip' is? I've googled and not found anything.

Again, no issue with the Media Desk on the same circuit, so maybe these speakers sound good, but are noisy and unstable? Can't have everything at that price I guess. As long as they don't act out I think I can live with the hissing. Still not a 100% on the actual cause though. Interestingly, there's a review on Amazon that mentions they had a bad production run at some point. Maybe we got some of those, who knows.
Zero32
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#15
10th January 2013
Old 10th January 2013
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For an idea of the customer support I'm getting, I first sent an e-mail to Equator on December 27 and got a reply on January 3rd. I sent a response the same day and am still waiting to hear back from them. I'm not exactly impressed.
#16
10th January 2013
Old 10th January 2013
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I have a set of D5's. No noise.
Every few sessions though, the left will suddenly act as if there's a low pass on it cutting down to about 5k.
Turning it off and back on usually alleviates the problem.

But like an above poster said, the things are so amazing otherwise, especially for the price, that any other monitors are out of the question.

About the customer support, I'd cut them a little slack. They're obviously a small operation. When I called to see when they would ship, Ted (company founder) answered the phone.

I would call them.

I know this thread is highlighting what seems to be a more than isolated problem, but for those of you who do not have d5's yet and are considering buying them: DO IT NOW. THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!
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#17
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
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been working on ns-10's today at studio i pick up sessions at. been two weeks that ive been mixing on the d5s in my studio. then i come in today and holy cow. i seriously thought there was a phasing issue with the ns-10s. i even asked an engineer in another room to come in and see for himself. he thought it was fine. i moved my head around in front of the monitors and the crossover from the tweeter being 6 inches from the woofer was blowing my brain up. i know this will piss a lot of ns10ers off, but i dont think i can mix on ns10s anymore (at least this particular pair). the d5's have shown me a freq/crossover flatness that ive never heard before and i didnt know how drastic it was until i heard the ns10s after using the equators for a good minute.
#18
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
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dergit is offline
I've just set up mine a few minutes ago and I'm instantly blown away by how they sound... at first they felt a bit like a downgrade from my Alesis Monitor One MkII simply because they're like half the size but immediately after trying them out on a mix I did last week, I was very happy with my purchase.

The oscillating hiss is there, however... I've tried different power cables with no result... I guess I'll wait a few days to see how annoying I find it and then make a decision.

It would be a shame to let them go, though...
#19
14th January 2013
Old 14th January 2013
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cul de sac is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero32 View Post
For an idea of the customer support I'm getting, I first sent an e-mail to Equator on December 27 and got a reply on January 3rd. I sent a response the same day and am still waiting to hear back from them. I'm not exactly impressed.
There's a very high probablity that they were taking a break over the xmas/new years period. I doubt an operation that small has enough staff to answer the phones and reply to emails 365 days a year.
#20
14th January 2013
Old 14th January 2013
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Personally, I wouldn't be too annoyed at a small company taking a week to get back to you between Christmas and New Year's...

Regarding the noise: I'll re-arrange my power plugs and see if it goes away. This is long overdue either way as my current system is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

That said, I left the speakers at home running with Pink Noise at 70dB to "burn them in" while I'm at work. Fingers crossed!
#21
4th February 2013
Old 4th February 2013
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so... any updates?
#22
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
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Well, I've had them for three weeks now and ran white and pink noise through them for a day each at 70dB. Also, I bought a proper multi-plug for my desk as the old setup was a hazard waiting to happen.

The noise is still there. It is much quieter now and it's not a problem whilst mixing at all but I will switch them off in between... When I'm browsing forums etc, and there's no music running through them it does bother me a little bit. No worse than the hum my Alesis M1s had but still a tad annoying.

I will keep them, though.
#23
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dergit View Post
Well, I've had them for three weeks now and ran white and pink noise through them for a day each at 70dB. Also, I bought a proper multi-plug for my desk as the old setup was a hazard waiting to happen.

The noise is still there. It is much quieter now and it's not a problem whilst mixing at all but I will switch them off in between... When I'm browsing forums etc, and there's no music running through them it does bother me a little bit. No worse than the hum my Alesis M1s had but still a tad annoying.

I will keep them, though.
Any word from Equator?
#24
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
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Metalliac is offline
I'll chime in!

I just got back my equators that I sent to Hand in Hand (Equator's UK Distributor) because the other speaker was making weird noises. The faulty speaker was replaced with a new one and sent to me with the other speaker left as is. The customer service at both Equator audio and Hand in Hand was great and they responded swiftly to my questions.

Seems to me that the random noise burst problem is indeed gone, but I can still hear the pulsating sh-sh-sh that many forum members have have been describing. I guess it's just a "feature" that you need to accept to live with these speakers. Here's one tip: One could logically think that the noise would be minimal with the sensitivity knob at the least sensitive position. There's actually a point between the minimum and maximum that has the least noise, because it's not growing linearly. Fiddle with the Sensitivity knob to find the best place for it noise-wise!
#25
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface View Post
Any word from Equator?
I haven't mailed them about it as it seems to be normal behaviour judging by this thread and others...
#26
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dergit View Post
I haven't mailed them about it as it seems to be normal behaviour judging by this thread and others...
That would be the first thing I would've done, horse's mouth, that sort of thing.
#27
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
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Fair point... I've sent them an email now but I won't be sending in my speakers...
#28
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
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Johnny Plant is offline
I can also hear the noise if I get close to the tweeters, must have to do with the dsp, but it isn't an issue otherwise, I guess it is a "feature" of these monitors.

I DO have a different problem and I'm wondering if I have faulty monitors, I've read many reviews, and everybody talks about the definition, clarity, etc., being able to hear things that you weren't, but with mine that's not the case, there are things that disappear or almost disappear when I switch between the D5s and my krk v6 mkII, yamaha msp5 or digidesign RM1. This is particularly evident in the high mids and highs, things just disappear.

I am aware of the price differencd, but given what has been said of the D5s, I'm wondering if my pair is faulty.

Do any of you find them VERY subdued in the mid-high/high frequencies? Cymbals sound like cymbals on the other monitors, but with the D5s they sometimes disappear or sound strange, artifficial.

Regards,

Johnny
#29
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
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By the way, I've tried all boundary settings and it hasn't really helped.
#30
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
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I don't know if they need further "break-in", I've had them for a few months now, but I don't really listen at very high volumes. Still I've heard the tweeters get tamer as time goes by, not the other way around.
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