Everything about the Nord Piano, Nord Piano 2, Nord Piano 3, Nord Piano 4, Nord Piano 5, and the Nord Grand.

Re: Brand new Piano 5. I can hear the power supply buzzing.

Postby cgrafx » 23 Sep 2021, 08:44

dcjams wrote:I love it otherwise, it's amazing, but I need to decide if it's a deal breaker for me. Is there a chance another unit would be silent? I'm still within distance selling rights to return without reason. I didn't know Nords can suffer this issue. I find it hugely dsitracting. I've gone to sit on the other side of the room to read or something and I can hear it. My intention was for an instrument for my quiet, gentle home which I go to great lengths to keep peaceful. I use open-back headphones too and I can even hear it when wearing those! I've plenty of other music gear and none of that hums.
Ho-hum. Disappointed :(


Hard to say if you'd get a unit without the transformer buzz, its possible, but not guaranteed. All of the OLED displays however make some audible noise.

I don't know if what your hearing is the transformer or the OLED display, so its really hard to make any specific recommendation. On the off chance that there was actually physical shock damage to the unit (you did indicate the box was damaged), I think I'd be inclined to return the keyboard and take a chance on a 2nd unit.
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Re: Brand new Piano 5. I can hear the power supply buzzing.


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Re: Brand new Piano 5. I can hear the power supply buzzing.

Postby Hlaalu » 23 Sep 2021, 09:06

There is a way to assess whether it is the OLED display or the transformer: try navigate the menu with the buttons as you keep your ear close to the OLED display: the more LEDs are lit up in that particular moment, the louder the buzz. The lesser, the quieter. For example in the Stage 3, the Song Mode has a thick white band in the top of the display, and the buzz is increased.

If it's the transformer the origin of the buzz instead, then it doesn't matter how many LEDs are lit up in any particular moment.

Incidentally, my Stage 3 (as many other people's) has a slightly buzzing OLED, but no buzzing transformer.
Last edited by Hlaalu on 23 Sep 2021, 09:09, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Brand new Piano 5. I can hear the power supply buzzing.

Postby dcjams » 23 Sep 2021, 09:13

cgrafx wrote:
dcjams wrote:Hard to say if you'd get a unit without the transformer buzz, its possible, but not guaranteed. All of the OLED displays however make some audible noise.

I don't know if what your hearing is the transformer or the OLED display, so its really hard to make any specific recommendation. On the off chance that there was actually physical shock damage to the unit (you did indicate the box was damaged), I think I'd be inclined to return the keyboard and take a chance on a 2nd unit.


I think it's the transformer because if I push the power lead downwards towards the socket it sits in, the hum is reduced.

If it's "normal" then fine, I need to make a decision whether that's what I do or don't want in an instrument. But if it's avoidable then that would be my preference.

I've just remembered my local retailer (not who I used) has a Piano 4, a Piano 5 and a Stage 3 on display. I'm going to pop in and see how much noise they do or don't make. Then I'll have something to compare against.

Perhaps these aren't instruments for the home? Nord assume they'll spend their lives on stages and in noisy rehearsal rooms where some transformer and OLED noise will rarely ever be noticed so they don't "engineer them out".

Thing is nothing else offers the combo of hands on intuitive control AND a user library. A killer combo for me!
Last edited by dcjams on 23 Sep 2021, 09:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brand new Piano 5. I can hear the power supply buzzing.

Postby dcjams » 23 Sep 2021, 09:25

Hlaalu wrote:There is a way to assess whether it is the OLED display or the transformer: try navigate the menu with the buttons as you keep your ear close to the OLED display: the more LEDs are lit up in that particular moment, the louder the buzz. The lesser, the quieter.


I had a quick try and concluded no but it's tucked into my desk and work area where I was hoping it would live permanently. I'll extract it later and do this test properly.
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Re: Brand new Piano 5. I can hear the power supply buzzing.

Postby dcjams » 23 Sep 2021, 15:27

Nopety nope nope nope

I've just been into a local shop where they have a Piano 5 on display and it's absolutely silent even with my ear pressed against the chassis.

One dud coming straight back atcha Mr Retailer! No ifs, no buts. :evil:
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Re: Brand new Piano 5. I can hear the power supply buzzing.

Postby Hlaalu » 23 Sep 2021, 16:36

Let us know how the story ends up!
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Re: Brand new Piano 5. I can hear the power supply buzzing.

Postby sentionaut » 24 Sep 2021, 11:14

cgrafx wrote:There are two components that make audible buzzing sounds.

1. The transformer in the power supply.
2. The inverter circuit on the OLED screen.

Both of those sources of audible noise are common, although a high-quality properly-wound and potted transformer really shouldn't make any audible noise. Personally I think that should be part of the Nord design spec for the transformers and they shouldn't pass quality control if they buzz, but it doesn't affect the functionality of the keyboard so clearly not part of the design spec for those parts.

The noise in the OLED inverter circuit on the other hand is a byproduct of the design of the DC-DC voltage converters used in the OLED screens and I don't believe there is anything that can be done about that.


This is kind of crazy to me, there are many products on the market that use silent OLED screens. How can a maker of high end keyboards get away with this and humming power supplies? I was about set to buy my first Nord but now I am having second thoughts.
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Re: Brand new Piano 5. I can hear the power supply buzzing.

Postby dcjams » 24 Sep 2021, 11:43

sentionaut wrote:
cgrafx wrote:There are two components that make audible buzzing sounds.

1. The transformer in the power supply.
2. The inverter circuit on the OLED screen.

Both of those sources of audible noise are common, although a high-quality properly-wound and potted transformer really shouldn't make any audible noise. Personally I think that should be part of the Nord design spec for the transformers and they shouldn't pass quality control if they buzz, but it doesn't affect the functionality of the keyboard so clearly not part of the design spec for those parts.

The noise in the OLED inverter circuit on the other hand is a byproduct of the design of the DC-DC voltage converters used in the OLED screens and I don't believe there is anything that can be done about that.


This is kind of crazy to me, there are many products on the market that use silent OLED screens. How can a maker of high end keyboards get away with this and humming power supplies? I was about set to buy my first Nord but now I am having second thoughts.


Talking to Nord support, the UK distributor and my retailer, they've all been "No, your brand new Nord Piano 5 shouldn't be humming".

It's getting replaced.

I went into a retailer in my town and put my ear against two Nord Stage 3's, a Nord Piano 4 and a Nord Piano 5 and they were all absolutely silent.

Whether they know some leave the factory noisier than others, whether they use transformers that they know will eventually get noisier with age - I don't know.
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Re: Brand new Piano 5. I can hear the power supply buzzing.

Postby sentionaut » 24 Sep 2021, 11:57

dcjams wrote:
sentionaut wrote:
cgrafx wrote:There are two components that make audible buzzing sounds.

1. The transformer in the power supply.
2. The inverter circuit on the OLED screen.

Both of those sources of audible noise are common, although a high-quality properly-wound and potted transformer really shouldn't make any audible noise. Personally I think that should be part of the Nord design spec for the transformers and they shouldn't pass quality control if they buzz, but it doesn't affect the functionality of the keyboard so clearly not part of the design spec for those parts.

The noise in the OLED inverter circuit on the other hand is a byproduct of the design of the DC-DC voltage converters used in the OLED screens and I don't believe there is anything that can be done about that.


This is kind of crazy to me, there are many products on the market that use silent OLED screens. How can a maker of high end keyboards get away with this and humming power supplies? I was about set to buy my first Nord but now I am having second thoughts.


Talking to Nord support, the UK distributor and my retailer, they've all been "No, your brand new Nord Piano 5 shouldn't be humming".

It's getting replaced.

I went into a retailer in my town and put my ear against two Nord Stage 3's, a Nord Piano 4 and a Nord Piano 5 and they were all absolutely silent.

Whether they know some leave the factory noisier than others, whether they use transformers that they know will eventually get noisier with age - I don't know.



Good luck and please report back. I was just reading through some other posts on this forum and others and it sounds like its common enough.
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Re: Brand new Piano 5. I can hear the power supply buzzing.

Postby dcjams » 24 Sep 2021, 12:03

sentionaut wrote:
Good luck and please report back. I was just reading through some other posts on this forum and others and it sounds like its common enough.


I've also been somewhat surprised by the discovery after what sounds like similar research to yourself.

The first thing worth saying is, other than this issue, the Nord has completely surpassed my expectations. It's a truly gorgeous instrument. It's my first Nord too.

I suppose manufacturers are constantly making decisions balancing cost, design, function, use etc. It may well be that Nord figure that they create instruments for live use where for the most part mechanical noise will never be noticed. Sure, I'd rather pay more to guarantee none, but it might explain their reasoning.

I certainly much prefer an internal power supply to a wall-wart.
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