Sound issues, cant get rid of hiss, no sound


I purchased a Picade, a few months ago (as part of the price drop for the 10 million Pi promotion) and just got around to building it. I’m having significant issues with the sound, no sound at all, sometimes get sound, always a lot of background hiss. Always seems to be very variable if i get sound or not
I’ve tried everything i can find on these support forums and other blogs.

Set sound level on the pi using th Alsa mixer - done no affect
Set the disable_audio_dither=1 - done no affect
Rewired the speaker cables away from the power - no affect
Used a USB cable for audio output, and connect the audio to that - done no affect
Running most mame games - tried different emulators - done no affect

I would appreciate some guidance on this issue is there anything else that can be done/suggested?




Are any of the wires to the switches over the amplifier IC on the Picade board (its in the corner nearest the speaker connections). I found that moving them away from this area along with a shielded audio cable eliminated 99% of the hiss on mine.

I now only get hiss when I crank the volume up to the maximum.



Thanks for the reply Paul, No nothing is crossing that bit of the of the Picade board. I don’t have a shielded audio cable to test if that work, have ordered one.



Also, just found that plugging in headphones and taking them out the Picade board brings sound back some times?!

How tightly is your picade board screwed down?

I found it was very easy to screw it down so tightly that it was being slightly bent, and I had serious hissy sound in one speaker, and sometimes nothing at all from that speaker, until I loosened the screws a little.

I think the screw holes might be a fraction out and bend the board when fully tightened?

After loosening the screws, there was still a slight hiss a high volume, but not as bad as it was, and both speakers worked reliably.

Now I have switched to USB soundcard, with the output going to the picade board and then to the speakers, and the hiss is totally gone.

I’ll have a look, thanks for the reply

I stripped out the Picade card and only wired up the sound buttons and the speakers only, and set the input from the pi only, Still got the hiss and crackle, a bit less with the shielded cable. The socket for the sound was very sensitive, had to move the jack out by about a mm or so. Still there. Wired it back up loose so the card wasn’t screwed into the base to test, the crackle was a lot louder, but only in the one speaker. switch the output and it still happened, switched the speakers so it used the output it had hiss and crackle

It seems that on the right output there is some thing not quite right (no pun intended). if you touch the top of the screw for the right imput with my screw driver the crackle and hiss reduces and sometimes stops. Some times it starts to hiss and crackle when its turned on then stops when sound is on, but it is variable. Changed the sound input from the pi to my phone, the same thing happens.

So i suspect that the input on the picade for the right channel isn;t working right, not sure what is causing the interference thou!


Might be worth checking the socket is soldered correctly to the PCB as there has been an issue with some of the boards. A touch with a soldering iron and solder should cure it if that is the case.



Solder seems ok, all covered and in place, mmmh

I have the same hiss and sound issues. How did you get the sound via usb?
What kind of soundcard you use?
I am tataly new in the picade theme. So i am happy for all help. Thanks a lot

This is the one I bought :

It’s usb so just plugs in, but beware it’s wide and blocks two usb ports, so you probably want to use it in a USB hub connected to the rpi (doesn’t need to be a powered hub, worked fine without additional power).

And I followed these instructions to set it up:

It works very well, apart from the fact I get no audio on my initial startup video, presumably because the USB device hasn’t been recognised until after it plays. After boot up is complete the sound works perfectly and sounds a lot better than the Rpi audio out.


I found that my USB sound card didn’t make any difference, the output to
the Picade card was still hiss and crackle. In my case, it was a faulty
Picade card, i got a replacement and it worked ok with the normal jack


I used the usb Soundcard. Followed the instructions to force the pi3 to give the Sound via usb. And… ERERYTHING works perfect. No crackling sound, no hiss. I am Happy.

Another question is. How can i control the volume if i set the sound to come via usb?

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On mine I’ve set the volume level via the software audio mixer (on the retropie menu I think) to about 80%,

Because the USB soundcard output is still going into the picade board amp before coming out to the speakers, the standard picade volume controls still work.

But to be honest, I set them to a level I was happy with and don’t change them.