Dwarf gain/signal issues, hiss, audible radio

Hi @jon, so today I received the ungrounded plug from amazon and ran some tests. First of all I tried the new, ungrounded plug with my existing setup without any input. So, nothing plugged into Dwarf. The signal chain was just Dwarf>Apollo Twin. I used my test pedalboard with nothing on it. The noise level remained the same. I tweaked the output level but the noise remained consistent with the other power supply, unfortunately. I’m going to test more with that later, including levels, etc. but I’m initially a bit bummed out that this low-level noise is still there.

Radio test: I brought the Dwarf to several other wall plugs in the house and tried it with headphones and both the stock psu and the new, ungrounded one. In all locations the radio was audible, with both power supplies. Various radio stations came up depending on the orientation of the Dwarf/cables, including the power cable, but radio was consistently there. Has anyone else reported this issue? This can’t possibly be expected behavior… I am going to try to bring it to a different location entirely and try again, though it may take a couple days.

Mostly I’m bummed about the noise that’s still evident when I use balanced cables from the outputs into my Apollo. I’ll keep tweaking, but with the results today I’m not optimistic.

As an aside, with nothing plugged into the Apollo Twin, there is no noise, so I can rule out the interface itself as a source of the noise.

Dang, that is quite the bummer :confused:

Was really hoping the power supply would have helped with the noise at least.

Your report about the radio coming through is the first time I have heard of, and I’m wondering if maybe there is something larger happening with your unit altogether.

Hopefully someone from the MOD team can get some better answers to you regarding this issue.

Are you connecting to the gui at all, and if so, through bluetooth or USB?

Have you tried out the noise reduction feature in the dwarf menu?

I still can’t get over the radio coming through, I tested mine and I don’t hear anything other white noise at max gain.

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Thanks @Elk_wrath , I’m not connecting to the gui at all, I have tried the noise reduction feature with no audible effect.

I’m at a bit of a loss, so testing it at a friend’s place is the only real remaining thing I can think of to try. I’ll let you all know what happens when I do that.

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Not really and that is really surprising.

No, it’s not. Testing it in a different location would be great. Please let us know your findings.

I understand the frustration, but this is not really a reason to rule out anything. The noise may be actually produced by the combination of both devices. Probably the Apollo has a grounded power supply and that is enough to create the ground loop with the Dwarf even when you have an ungrounded power supply on the Dwarf.


Well, the new power supply is actually marginally cleaner, especially if I only have dynamics plugins on the Dwarf rather than any compressors running on the Apollo Twin… It’s at a level I can work with. Still haven’t had the chance to test the headphone out anywhere but here, hopefully soon I’ll be able to do that. Luckily this will only be my residence for another month, I do feel like the building power here is suspect, not that it’s much better back in Cali, where if I turn the bathroom light on the noise goes wild lol…


Hey mate!

Glad to hear you’re making some headway!

I’m still not sure about why you are getting radio interference, I cannot replicate your issue for the life of me.

Not sure if that can be remedied with a warranty claim or not, tbh not even sure if there is a warranty lol

I’m not saying your device has a defect. It just sounds like a really unique issue

One thing I’d really recommend if you don’t have one, is a power conditioner.

I use 4 of these in my set up, mostly because I have a lot of Wall warts.

This seemed to help with some of the noise in conjunction with the new PSU.

Also the new firmware coming up should have a noise gate feature iirc which may help with the issue.

I’m close to silent with my dwarf now using the conditioner and PSU, and I’m excited to see what the new firmware brings to the table.

Hope all is well,

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Update!!! We’re in NYC for a couple days, and I am not getting radio interference on my headphones!!! So that’s a win. The headphone out is still noisy as heck though, I know it’s mostly intended for monitoring purposes, but I’m wondering if it should be quieter, and there’s something wrong with my unit (not really a big deal, but weird) @jon, so now that there’s no radio, I’m at least approaching what is considered normal operation, but do other units have a lot of noise with headphone monitoring? Again, this is with no inputs or outputs on the Dwarf. Anyway, I’ll be testing it again at some point in Maine, and then back to Montreal, but in a different location— so I’ll be able to get a sense of whether it persists. @Elk_wrath I have a couple of those Furman power strips back in Cali, so eventually I’m hoping that it will be a mostly clean chain, or at least manageable! Thanks all, will update more as I move around.


Just a thought - in the location where you are getting the radio interference are you close to a radio transmitter? Also SOLVED! - Can Headphones Pick Up Radio Waves: Detailed Breakdowns

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I don’t think so, but I’m not positive— the stations changed depending on the orientation of the Dwarf and the headphone cable, but maybe! There was also a lot of construction in the neighborhood, and it was an older building so whatever “clean” power means, I don’t think I had it… anyway we’re going to be in a different spot in Montreal in about a week so I’ll get to test it again. I’m pretty sure it’s more likely to be the Dwarf than the headphones themselves, as I checked them with one of those mini Trace Eliot Elf amps and they were quiet. Based on that link you posted, I wonder if my unit has a “faulty solder joint” or something like that, as even without the RFI, I’m still getting an extremely noisy (essentially unusable) headphone out here in NYC…


That is great news!

When the 1.11 is out, try to check if the noise gate helps you out.

Experiment as well decreasing the headphone volume on the settings. Don’t use the maximum. If needed adjust the gain staging according. As long as it’s not more than yellowish on the LEDs it must be fine.

Hi @jon— so I just tested the Dwarf in a different spot, this time in Maine, and fortunately again there was no audible radio interference. However, the headphone out is still quite noisy, and the noise level does not change with the headphone volume. Additionally, when I tweak the endless knobs on the Dwarf, it does pick up some extra crackling/noise corresponding with the knob movement. I have a feeling this isn’t expected behavior either.
I tried this with an empty pedalboard, along with a pedalboard that had a synth sequencer on it. I’m not optimistic about a noise gate helping, as this issue is present even in the empty pedalboard, no inputs, no outputs, so there is no LED color at all. Again, not a huge deal, as long as I can work with the main output noise level… which isn’t as clean as I would like it, but will generally be usable. I guess I’m trying to determine if there’s actually something wrong with my hardware, and at this point, based on all the tests that I’ve done, I’m not quite sure yet, but it doesn’t seem like anyone else has reported this particular issue on the forum. Anyway, I’m back in Montreal next week and will continue testing, as well as getting back to some actual music production, thank goodness. Hopefully the noise will be manageable, and the headphone out less essential. Thanks!

This sounds a lot like an issue I’m having with my DuoX : background noise whatever the volume, that intensifies and produces crackling when I manipulate the knobs (on the physical control interface, or on the patch constructor). Faulty components?

@jon told me they were investigating so maybe if we have similar issues on Dwarf and on DuoX (or not), that might help the investigation?

The noise gate actually affects even with an empty pedalboard since it is applied before any effect.

The headphone output is indeed noisier. That’s because it’s meant more to monitor than to use while recording or performing as the main out. To be honest, I’m not sure how much the noise gate will affect this. I didn’t really try it myself.

Please keep us updated about your testing. I actually think that you may have a more similar issue with other users (noise-related) than you think. But I’m still not sure about it.

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Yes. There are some issues similar between both devices and that is being investigated. Some firmware features of the 1.11 unfortunately are not yet implemented for the DuoX.

Fair enough! I think the radio thing really threw us all off, because that is definitely weird. Thanks for your feedback. :slight_smile:

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Hello @oeSmash,

sorry for chiming in late but I have an idea or guess…

Did you test with different headphones or an headphone extension cable?
I guess your headphone and the parts in the dwarf’s headphone amp build an oscillator circuit that is amplitude modulated by your radio station nearby. In this case the cable is part of the antenna.
Do you have the same issues if you test with another headphone or cable length?

Greetings and God bless, Marius


Hi @mj_prod thanks for the suggestion, I haven’t tried with other headphones, but tried the same headphones through different devices— without the radio effect. It definitely makes sense that the cable would be acting as an antenna. If I can get my hands on another pair of wired headphones then that will definitely be a good test…

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Yeah! We really need to discover what caused that! It may be nice to explore and get it in a plugin haha :sweat_smile:

Thank you @mj_prod for jumping in! That’s indeed really well spotted.

If I got well the point of @mj_prod is that possibly the combination of the headphones amplifier circuit on the MOD Dwarf together with the specific characteristics of your headphones may be creating the “perfect storm” for what you are getting. So both depend on each other. That said, it’s normal that you don’t get it from other devices. As it may be normal that you don’t get it with other Headphones on the Dwarf.