DAC USB Hum


I’ve had my Innuos Zen Mk3/MHDT Orchid DAC setup in my system for 30 days or so and I’m very satisfied with this combo. The Zen is USB only. Just noticed today that I’m getting a slight hum from the DAC and it goes away when unplugged. No hum through my speakers when connected just the DAC. Any help with eliminating the hum is appreciated.

cetla416

It’s a shame that DACs still don’t have galvanic isolation. Meaning, there is often metal to metal through which can cause both analog and digital effects. It’s rare to see this from a streamer though, the usual culprits are PCs.

In your case you have an analog one and the fix is cheap, you need a USB isolator, though not all DACs work with them.  Usually, they don't need to be powered, but in some rare cases the DAC won't recognize the input unless there's a DC voltage so you may need to get a separate supply:

 

https://amzn.to/3QQM3oL

Some DACs do have galvanic isolation but they are at the higher end of the scale. One company is making DAC’s from Panzerholz  and other wood with inertial filters. I also use a USB isolator by Wyred 4 Sound. Just for extra protection. https://www.lessloss.com/echos-end-p-218.html

A DAC is not a streamer. A few DACs have built-in streamers - not this one.

What is a "slight" hum?

Does it show up in the analog downstream during a listening session? Is it a recent phenomenon?

Hum is a grounding issue.