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Humming Noise After Amplifier Install

H2OBoy

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I recently had a Clarion XC2410 amplifier installed at a local boat service center. The first day out on the water I noticed a humming sound coming through the speakers. The sound is the same with or without the engine running. I had the installer look at it again this weekend and could not pinpoint the issue, other than the possibility of the speaker wires picking up some noise. He explained that only the low input connects via RCA adapters and the high input connects through the speaker wires directly.

He is going to get into it further this week, but is there anything specific he should be looking for? I have seen the posts regarding sound suppressors, would that work for this issue? Any help is appreciated as I am far from a stereo expert.
 

bigblank69

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? so your using both low inputs and High Inputs?
 

H2OBoy

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No, only high. He mentioned that if the high had RCA's there was a lesser chance of getting the noise. Not sure if this the case but sounds plausible.
 

bigblank69

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Well it sound like you have a ground loop in the system somewhere... Does your HU not have RCA connections?
 

H2OBoy

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Well it sound like you have a ground loop in the system somewhere... Does your HU not have RCA connections?
Yes, the HU has RCA's but the amp only has RCA connections for low input. The installer is actually going to try to use the RCA's and connect on the low side to see if we get any sound. He is concerned that all we will hear is bass using those connections. Worst case I my just purchase a different amplifier that has RCA's for high input.
 

bigblank69

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Your installer is an idiot, find a new one... unless your RCA's are specifically for a subwoofer, they are full range. HI Vs Low for inputs into an amp specifically reference the voltage going into an amp, not the frequency. I have never seen RCA's (Outside of those designated SPECIFICALLY for a subwoofer), that has been low frequency only.
 

adrianp89

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I think there might be some confusion. Either way I doubt that is his problem. I have a humming noise and cannot pinpoint the source... well haven't tried too much lately. Pretty sure it has been there since delivery of the boat, just adding the speakers/amplifiers made it more audible. I have yet to try a ground loop idolator since it is more of a band-aid, but may try it out as a simple solution. Amp/speaker install is about as textbook as it gets.
 

Mainah

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Hi level ins are the likely culprit in this situation. In case someone else finds this I have also helped two other members with a similar symptom caused by installing the amps in the battery compartment where running 4 awg power and ground to the helm for the head unit and other accessories fixed the issue. The power wire going to the headunits from the factory is barely adequate. When amps are added especially a lot closer to the batteries the circuit is shorter and stronger for the amps. By giving the headunit a robust connection this will eliminate the issue in a boat.

Ground loop isolators are just transformers that break the rca audio reference to ground where the interference is coming from and clean it up. I far prefer eliminating the interference.
 

adrianp89

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Hi level ins are the likely culprit in this situation. In case someone else finds this I have also helped two other members with a similar symptom caused by installing the amps in the battery compartment where running 4 awg power and ground to the helm for the head unit and other accessories fixed the issue. The power wire going to the headunits from the factory is barely adequate. When amps are added especially a lot closer to the batteries the circuit is shorter and stronger for the amps. By giving the headunit a robust connection this will eliminate the issue in a boat.

Ground loop isolators are just transformers that break the rca audio reference to ground where the interference is coming from and clean it up. I far prefer eliminating the interference.
Hi-level signal is much less susceptible to introduce noise into the system. But running new power for the head unit is a great start to figuring the issue out.Another trick I read was to power the amps from battery switch instead of the battery. Didn't do anything for me but read it worked for others.

If the installer is truly dumb there might be some underlying install errors as well.
 
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bigblank69

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If his installer thinks that RCA's are only for bass, he likely is not a good installer and there is an issue with the install somewhere, whether its the Hi-Low adapters or elsewhere. I would check the power and ground wires and see how he ran them.
 

GTBRMC

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If his installer thinks that RCA's are only for bass, he likely is not a good installer and there is an issue with the install somewhere, whether its the Hi-Low adapters or elsewhere. I would check the power and ground wires and see how he ran them.
Have to agree with this. I installed a very similar amp in my SX230, a Clarion 1410 - these are very simple amps with very clear, concise, and useful manuals that cannot be misinterpreted this way (plus an experienced installer of any ability would already know the way the RCA connections work). In addition, if the paper manual is not available, an electronic version is easily found online.

I suggest to OP to give installer one crack st solving the issue. If that doesn' work... likely best to cut your losses and find someone more qualified to fix it. It is likely something simple.

Link to download manual in PDF form:
http://www.clarion.com/us/en/user-support/product-manuals/index.html?pdf=/us/en/pdf/XC2410_manual_EN_.pdf

Edit to add: I was very pleased with my XC1410... clean, efficient power that sounded great running four Polk db651 in-cockpit speakers
 
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Jaylex

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Hi level ins are the likely culprit in this situation. In case someone else finds this I have also helped two other members with a similar symptom caused by installing the amps in the battery compartment where running 4 awg power and ground to the helm for the head unit and other accessories fixed the issue. The power wire going to the headunits from the factory is barely adequate. When amps are added especially a lot closer to the batteries the circuit is shorter and stronger for the amps. By giving the headunit a robust connection this will eliminate the issue in a boat.

Ground loop isolators are just transformers that break the rca audio reference to ground where the interference is coming from and clean it up. I far prefer eliminating the interference.
I have this same issue, its faint when the system is on, but I do notice that when I turn on my courtesy and/or Navigation lights the hum gets much louder.

@Mainah are you saying that running a new power and ground for the head unit cures this...my amps (4 of them) all are mounted in the Helm.

Be nice to fig this out.

Thanks!!
 

Mainah

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If amps mounted in the helm then just wire the ground from the headunit to the ground run for amps.
 

swatski

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I recently had a Clarion XC2410 amplifier installed at a local boat service center. The first day out on the water I noticed a humming sound coming through the speakers. The sound is the same with or without the engine running. I had the installer look at it again this weekend and could not pinpoint the issue, other than the possibility of the speaker wires picking up some noise. He explained that only the low input connects via RCA adapters and the high input connects through the speaker wires directly.

He is going to get into it further this week, but is there anything specific he should be looking for? I have seen the posts regarding sound suppressors, would that work for this issue? Any help is appreciated as I am far from a stereo expert.
Does it matter if the blower is on or off?
Check if the noise goes away when you turn the blower off, before going too crazy.

--
 

SeaPSea

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I rewired my amp and speaker connections this year and just started to get noise as well. I only have noise when I run my blower fan. Swatski what does that tell you?
I have 4 gauge running from the battery switches all the way up to the helm. Any ideas?
 

Julian

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Hi level ins are the likely culprit in this situation. In case someone else finds this I have also helped two other members with a similar symptom caused by installing the amps in the battery compartment where running 4 awg power and ground to the helm for the head unit and other accessories fixed the issue. The power wire going to the headunits from the factory is barely adequate. When amps are added especially a lot closer to the batteries the circuit is shorter and stronger for the amps. By giving the headunit a robust connection this will eliminate the issue in a boat.

Ground loop isolators are just transformers that break the rca audio reference to ground where the interference is coming from and clean it up. I far prefer eliminating the interference.
I have a hum in my system too...always have. Now you have me wondering if it is the stock power wires for the stock polk amps....hummm (yeah...just like that! LOL)

I think this will have to be a post bimini hum hunt. That said, the wire they connect the amps with is pretty sizable...and is a very short (2-3 foot run)....
 

Mainah

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I have a hum in my system too...always have. Now you have me wondering if it is the stock power wires for the stock polk amps....hummm (yeah...just like that! LOL)

I think this will have to be a post bimini hum hunt. That said, the wire they connect the amps with is pretty sizable...and is a very short (2-3 foot run)....
Stock wire for the amps is likely fine. Stock wire for the head unit is more likley the issue.
 

Julian

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Stock wire for the amps is likely fine. Stock wire for the head unit is more likley the issue.
OK...time to dig out a wiring diagram and see if I can find that little F'r....LOL The head unit is the one on the wall near the battery, or the swim deck remote? Or both?
 

Mainah

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On the wall for your model.
 

swatski

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I rewired my amp and speaker connections this year and just started to get noise as well. I only have noise when I run my blower fan. Swatski what does that tell you?
I have 4 gauge running from the battery switches all the way up to the helm. Any ideas?
I don't know exactly, but I have given up fighting it. I just turn the blowers off, may rip those out anyway.

My system right now is basically working great (for me in the boat, not trying to "entertain" the neighborhood) with the blower off and the engines off. Engines give me a tad of hum/whine, but barely audible at idle, and not at all at speed.
Blowers are the main offenders, I hate them - those things are loud AND basically useless in these boats, come to think of it.

Whine is what comes through an audio system usually because of inadequate cable gauge, audio cables run next to power cables, power wires throwing off EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference) and being picked up by a badly shielded audio cable, tape head or other wiring that may be susceptible.
I'm sure I have all of the above in my boat...

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