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Thread: BSS DSP fan noise, especially for M2 setup

  1. #1
    Member sebackman's Avatar
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    BSS DSP fan noise, especially for M2 setup

    Dear all,

    There has been much discussion on DSP solutions for M2 clones and other setups. After having tried many different DSP units I do recommend using BSS units as I believe that their algorithms are superior. They are reasonable priced on the second hand market and very flexible. Not mentioning that for M2 cloners you can just dump the original downloaded JBL DSP file straight into them.

    But this was not to be a fire speech over use of DSP, but fan noise reduction .

    For those of you having looked at using BSS units and may have shy away due to the fan noise there is salvation.

    The older line of Motorola based units Soundweb 3008-9088 and their offspring all have one 5v 40x40mm exhaust fan at either side.

    The newer BLU16 & BLU80 also has one exhaust fan, while the bigger BLU160 and BLU800 chassis have 4 fans, two on each side. I have not had BLU100 or BLU50 units so I don’t know about them.

    In all of these chassis there are Sunon 40x40mm fans that are pretty high rev and do make considerable noise.

    There are many fan manufacturers that would be able to sell replacement fans and my favourite brand is Papst. They do make wonderful quality fans in all shapes and sizes and they do provide detailed specs so you know what you get, including credible noise specs.

    However in these BSS units I have successfully replaced the original fans with silent Noctua computer fans. I thought they only provided 12V fans but Eureka, Noctua actually do a 40x40mm 5V fan that can be ordered on the internet..

    http://noctua.at/en/products/fan/nf-a4x10-5v

    The Noctua fans come in a complete kit with mounting HW. They are 3-pin configuration but here we only need red and black leads, the yellow can be cut. The cables are covered with shrink sleeve towards the contact and that will have to come off to get to the leads.

    The simplest way is to cut away the Noctua contact and move the original BSS contact from the Sunon fan and just connect them (color on color) using the included cable joints in the package.

    As the original Noctua contact is three pin and actually fits the BSS mother board, an alternative is to change the pin configuration in the supplied Noctua original contact so it matches the original BSS pin out. This is done by using a small screwdriver to gently press on the side of the black Noctua contact to release the actual metal contact and pull it out backwards. Remove the yellow contact (cut it off) and move the red lead to the “yellow” position so the centre is empty and the red and black is on each side. Please see attached picture.

    On the BLU160 and BLU800’s I used two Noctua exhaust fans (right hand side by the Power supply) and just disconnected inlet fans on the left side. In these the fan contact is different so you will need to use the original BSS contact and cut the cables to join the old BSS contact with the new Noctua fan.

    I had my BLU160 (to be used with Compact Monitor) connected on idle for 2 days with just the two Noctua exhaust fans running and there was absolutely no heat build-up. And considerably less noise.

    A word of caution ! If the BLU160/BLU800 units are used in a very tight space, limited access to fresh air, heat build up from other units or in a warm location each owner needs to check that two exhaust fans are enough to keep the units cool. When I took the lid off mine after 2 full days the chips were not even felt warm when I put my thumb on them.


    I know that Mr Widget in a different thread mentioned that they sometimes run BSS units with all the fans disconnected and the lid of and that should beperfectly fine.

    This alternative is a rather cost effective alternative and it may be more soothing for the mind knowing that the brain in your multi thousand dollar system is not totally exposed to mother nature.


    Kind regards
    //RoB

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    Last edited by sebackman; 05-14-2016 at 08:37 AM. Reason: Correction
    The solution to the problem changes the problem.
    -And always remember that all of your equipment was made by the lowest bidder

  2. #2
    Member sebackman's Avatar
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    Some more pictures

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    The solution to the problem changes the problem.
    -And always remember that all of your equipment was made by the lowest bidder

  3. #3
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    Thank you very much for this information!

  4. #4
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Great to see this. I had put those exact units on my "wish list" about 2 weeks ago.
    at ~$13-14/fan I hadn't decided to pull the trigger yet. Nice to see a working example!

  5. #5
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    On the BLU160 and BLU800’s I used two Noctua exhaust fans (right hand side by the Power supply) and just disconnected inlet fans on the left side. In these the fan contact is different so you will need to use the original BSS contact and cut the cables to join the old BSS contact with the new Noctua fan.
    Concur/completed on BLU-160 and 120. Thanks RoB!
    Subjectively quieter. Measurably, different spectrum (less intense peaks above main ~500Hz "tone", which was also ~4-5dB lower). I'm ignoring the obviously worn BLU-120 fans which seem to have led a harder life and were a bit squealy.

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    What temperature are you reading after a couple of hours of use?(You can read the temperature in the control panel in london architect).

    I'm using a BLU160 for my M2s and recently installed the Noctua fans mentioned. I installed 4 but added a resistor which slowered the fans. My temp-reading is 49c after some after of use, which is near the upper threshold according to the manual. I think I will remove the resistors.

    Can you refresh my memory regarding stock air-flow. Is it taking cold air in at the power supply and sucking the air out on the other side? Or how is the direction of the fans?

    Would it help with the temperature to remove the lid from the unit or would that just make it worse as the air is not directed the same way?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Don C's Avatar
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    All of my fan were blowing into the case. There are exhaust vents at the back. I think that i's OK to unplug two of the fans if you are not using AEC cards.

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    What is the temperature of your BSS units after running for a while?

    I have had mine run in the rack for three hours with 4 Noctua fans where the ones near the PSU run full speed and the ones on the other side run half speed. The fans are still noisy but better than the stock fans.

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    According to BSS spec, max temperature is 50 degrees, and I am reading 48 on mine... Don't know if I should be worried or if it is okay.

    What temp are you guys reading?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Don C's Avatar
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    This is with just one of the stock fans connected on the right side, both left side fans disconnected, and with the heatsink mod.
    This temperature is a lot cooler than what I recorded in the "experiments" thread, mostly because I moved the DSP from sitting on top of the Bryston amp to its own shelf. Also its cold here today.

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  10. #10
    Member sebackman's Avatar
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    Several versions seem to exist

    Dear all,

    In the BLU16 and BLU80 there is only one fan and that blows air out of the box. I have changed to Noctua fans in all my units, as per above.

    Please note that I have NOT used any of the rev limiting resistors that comes with the fans, they are all connected direct to the 5v from the main board.

    In the BLU160 there are 4 fans and there seems like there are two verions. The one I have blows aír out of the box. I have replaced two fans by the power supply with Noctua fans blowing out of the box. The two others are still there but not connected. They are also mounted to suck air out of the box. I have not had any problems.

    I did talk to a friend with a new BLU160 and it appears that the fans in that unit blows air into the box.

    It is easy to spot as there is a marking on the fan indicating rotation and air flow.

    The BLU100 and 102 I have both have 4 fans blowing into the box and there I have not changed any fans yet.

    My BLU800 has the same configuration with 4 fans blowing into the box.

    I would suggest, especially if you go with only two fans in a BLU100, 102, 103, 160 or 800 to mount them to blow air out of the box and to mount them by the power supply. The other 2 can be left in the box but disconnected.


    ****IMPORTANT****
    I you do use the unit in a tight rack, warm environment or a room with limited ventilation please keep original fans or make absolutely clear that the reduced air flow is enough to keep your unit cold. Otherwise there is a possibility that your gear will be damaged. Please also remember that there is additional heat build up in the units that have AEC HW processing onboard.
    ****IMPORTANT****



    When I had the box open I did put a self adhesive passive copper cooler on the dsp chips. Please se picture below. Don't know if it helps at all but it looks the part :-) . These coolers fit perfect and are for cooling memory chips on computer graphics cards.

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    Kind regards
    //Rob
    The solution to the problem changes the problem.
    -And always remember that all of your equipment was made by the lowest bidder

  11. #11
    Senior Member Don C's Avatar
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    I was looking at the specs of the BSS Blu-160 recently just from curiosity. I thought I'd record the chipset data because it doesn't seem to be available anywhere online.
    On the input board, the A/D converter is a Cirrus CS5381.
    On the output board the D/A converter is a AKM AK4396VF.
    These should be exactly the same in any of the JBL SDEC models, such as the SDEC 3500 4500 or 5500.
    I'm curious as the whether the Blu-100 and Blu-50 use the same chips. I don't have any of those to look at though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don C View Post
    I was looking at the specs of the BSS Blu-160 recently just from curiosity. I thought I'd record the chipset data because it doesn't seem to be available anywhere online.
    On the input board, the A/D converter is a Cirrus CS5381.
    On the output board the D/A converter is a AKM AK4396VF.
    These should be exactly the same in any of the JBL SDEC models, such as the SDEC 3500 4500 or 5500.
    I'm curious as the whether the Blu-100 and Blu-50 use the same chips. I don't have any of those to look at though.
    I know that the BOB and BOB boxes use the same converters as the cards for BLU160 (at least according to BSS). It doesn't answer your question though, but thought it could be relevant

  13. #13
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    BLU-100 a/d and d/a: TI PCM4202 and PCM4104
    16 to 24-bit, 216KHz max

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  14. #14
    Senior Member Don C's Avatar
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    TI, AKA Burr-Brown. Looks like they have good specs.
    Thanks for posting that.

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    Who knows which converters in old BSS BLU-80 ?

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