Snap, Crackle, and Pop
Dear Raven Heads....Just recently my Nighthawk has developed an occasional cankerous snap, crackle, and pop hum buzz upon start up. I always have the volume completely down on start up. (Old habit) This began about a month ago. I thought I was hearing things but it is becoming louder and more than occasional. Nothing else has changed. Same everything....any ideas? My wife said, "Hey, whats going on with THAT?" I'm not sure. It never happens while playing. Sound is still perfect. Both channels are same volume. Imaging is stellar per usual. Going to try and recheck all power, interconnects....
I would check to see if any of your tubes are lose.
How old is the amp? Does it happen in both channels? As mentioned above. Shut it down to cool then remove and reseat all the tubes.
Hi, this is James at Raven. Please contact me and I will help you get this resolved.
Yep... This is going to be tube related I bet. Sometimes it is also tube-socket related where I had to reseat the preamp tubes. A simple fix I suspect.
Dear Raven Heads.....Snap, Crackle, Pop is GONE. James C. called me and made several suggestions. So, I tried the easiest. He suggested replacing some tubes. First, up front sat a pair of my beloved Brimar 50's Black plate (CV4024). Out they went and were replaced by some 60's Mullard Copper plate Charcoal anode. Instant cure. I hate to admit it but there must have been a problem with the Brimars from the start. OR....I just like the Mullard sound ALOT better. I won't bore you with aural descriptions of the improvements but its BIG. Thanks James C. for the personal help. Surprisingly, my vinyl playback has been so transformed I've let the CD's get dusty. And as Rave Dave says, its so fun to swap tubes out. New sound all around. Much more bass, separation, slam....sorry, couldn't help but say something about the sound transformation!!! Thanks Raven Audio..you guys are beyond super.
Just an update on "snap, crackle, and pop".....all's well and staying well. I feel sure a bad Brimar tube was the culprit. Got the upgrade to "Blackhawk-ish" and got a big sound improvement overall. Also, from day one my hyper efficient Klipsch Lascalas always picked up a annoying hum that at my super morning or late night listening levels was frustrating. (around 62 db) After recently upgrading my fuse to a QSA blue, (huge sound quality improvement, placebo effect?), I reconnected back to the 8 ohm speaker taps and quickly was reminded WHY I had gone to the 4 ohm outlets! The hum became obnoxiously audible again. Returned to the 4 ohm out and viola! the hum is almost gone again AND more importantly its presence has slipped beneath that point where it is distracting. So....if you own one of these crazy efficient Klipsch Heritage use 4 ohm outputs, the quality is perfect, volume unaffected, and the only hum you'll hear will be you humming along enjoying the finest integrated amps in the world!!! Raven Audio Rocks my world. (with jazz mostly).
That's a little odd and it seems like you are compromising by having to use the 4ohm tap for an 8ohm speaker. I've owned the Nighthawk and now the Blackhawk 3.1, I've always been able to use the 4ohm or 8ohm taps depending upon the speaker's recommended rating. Also in my experience I have found whenever I tried the 4ohm tap on an 8ohm (or greater) speaker, the resulting sound was somewhat closed in. When using the 8ohm, it was more open and natural. Maybe Raven can comment?
In his case its a problem in the home power supply vs. a highly sensitive (101db) speaker pair. Still, it's quite a rare occurrence. Most of the time our amps, in most homes, are silent over-performers. Also, routers and some streamers can interfere with tube (and other) amp circuits. Many times new owners have called in and we have had them relocate their routers and voila! the problem is gone. I have leaned over my system with a cell phone in my shirt pocket and heard noise generating from it. Routers are pretty bad noise generators.
My turntable also picks up my cell phone... go figure!
However! The newest generation of Avian Series amps have a completely new style anti-ground loop circuit. The result is a deeper soundstage, and a MUCH quieter background.
We never stop trying to make each aspect of these amps a little better - when we figure out that we can, especially if it is out of the sonic circuitry. One thing we will never want to do is change the way these amps perform sonically. They are at the top end of the scale in this price range, and have been for many years. After this last change... who knows if we can ever even go further~! The last step was pretty game changing.
Update on Snap, Crackle. Pop....and hum.....All's well here with absolutely zero snap, crackle, or pop. It apparently was that bad Brimar tube. (And earlier routers, modems, cell phones, phone bases, etc) My Klipsch Lascalas are rated at an unreasonable sensitivity level of 104 dbs at 1 watt. Even with touchy touchy speakers, let me hasten to say using these speakers with Raven Audio is a marriage made in audio heaven! (Added SVS SB-2000 Pro sub. Lascalas need bass help) Confession time: To complain about the level of hum is so nitpicky as to be insulting. (Sorry Raven Dave) (But remember, often we ARE audiophiles because we ARE those people) However, not one visitor who has sat in the sweet spot EVER said anything about noticing any hum. (Except me) Happily I discovered the 4 ohm taps are quieter and sound excellent. (Hum only on the right side) But what I'm sad about is after mentioning the hum, many have questioned this and have had hesitancy about the Raven line. I feel terrible about that. Because: KEEP THE MAIN POINT THE MAIN POINT (after all) .......THIS FREAKING AMP IS GETTING MORE REAL DAY AFTER DAY!!!! WHY? Who knows? Break-in? I run it about 25 hours per week +-. Tube arrangement has been untouched for about 3 months. Got new QSA blue fuse a month or two ago. (Very Noticeable) BOTTOM LINE: These amps are able to reproduce music so lifelike, so utterly human, so non "stereo" sounding you may conclude as I did, (wait for it) never in my wildest dreams did i ever imagine I could have my own super system for so little cash! Thanks again Raven Team !!!! Your efforts and sacrifice are truly appreciated!
Bees buzz and transformers hum....that's just the way life is....Its all my fault due to an obscene mismatch of a tube amp and Klipsch super too efficient Lascalas speakers. "Its just physics" was the Mad Scientist's answer as to why I had a bit too much hum running through my system. BUT HERES THE BIG NEWS!!!! One day I laid my hand on top of the metal box which encases those transformers. The hum from the unit stopped. The slight buzz through the speakers remained however the direct mechanical hum coming from the amp itself was gone. SUCCESS! But how to keep my hand there while I sat in my chair? A BRICK! (With felt feet) SUCCESS AGAIN....but when I sat down I realized there seemed to be less hum overall and not just directly from my integrated. AND SOMETHING ELSE WAS CLEARLY NOTICABLE. The sound quality was MUCH better! I asked myself if the hum and vibration wasn't causing blurring of the sound due to the tubes getting their little brains shook out of them. Indeed, with vibration removed the clarity was radically enhanced in every aspect of the musical reproduction. I just thought you might want to know. Solid clay brick with four felt feet painted gold color now available for $49.99. (LOL)
My fellow Raven Heads...Now I'm just feeling guilty. This Nighthawk/Blackhawk modified is sounding so good for so long day after day month after month I fell like I need to send more money to Raven Audio! The quality is so crazy good my wife marches in and sighs and wonders how long I can just feed one CD after another into my Audiolab 6000 transport? The 3-D soundstage and transparency is indescribable. I trust every one else is likewise so content the forum is abandoned. No complaints, no questions, no need to 'advise'....My error in mismatching 104db sensitivity speakers with Raven tubes can be improved upon I'm told but darn if I'll part with this baby for a day to "improve' it!!! (Guess its not that bad after all) lol Maybe some day when I'm hiking the Appalachian Trail. Thanks Raven!! Super durable and pleasurable amazing piece of technology.