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  • Re: Do Mills resistors REALLY sound different?

    Framus,

    I should clarify that I was not trying to dissuade anyone from trying more expensive resistors. In fact I value user feedback in most buying decisions and prefer it over marketing distortion and fluff. Maybe equating this discussion with "the god particle" is a stretch or fly's to high. Then again the 6.4 billion dollar Large Hadron Collider proves that documenting something you believe is there can be very expensive.
    Caleb b

    Comment


    • Re: A little story

      Originally posted by Jeff B. View Post
      A little story. I stumbled onto the resistor thingy a few years ago completely by accident. Unforunately, my conclusions will bother the subjectivists and the objectivists, both. At the time I had an assortment of different makes and values of resistors that I used for crossover designing. Some of them were the same value too. While making an adjustment to a tweeter's level I was making some small, incremental changes in the series padding resistor. At one point I switched from a sandcast resistor to a significantly more expensive noninductive, and the difference was greater than I had anticipated. I found another sandcast the same value as the noninductive and used it and there was an obvious difference between the two. I assumed one of them was off in value so I used an LCR meter to check them and found them to be essentially identical in resistance. However, as I switched back and forth I could tell that there was an obvious difference in the sound coming from the tweeter depending on which one I used. I didn't have the means to do any more detailed measurements at the time - I only know that the character of the sound changed and the resistiance measured the same between them. I could have demonstrated that to anyone and I am sure most of them would have said there was a difference too. It was especially noticable with pink noise, even though the frequency response and tweeter level were, again, essentially identical. The thing was......I thought the cheap sandcast sounded much better, and something about the higher dollar noninductive irritated me and sounded grainy. As a result I never purchased that brand again, and I still have no issue using decent sandcast resistors.

      Jeff B.
      And there, my friend (Really! Not the wishy-washy John McCain kind of friend) you have it. System compatibility. It is whatever floats the system boat you are sailing in. Point is that you tried it and came to your own conclusions (delusions?). It is the pontifications of stasis that really get to me, know what I mean?

      Be well,

      Dave
      "A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument." - Hilmar von Campe

      www.piaudiogroup.com

      http://www.avguide.com/blog/tas-rmaf...w-technologies
      http://positive-feedback.com/Issue47/ramblings.htm
      http://positive-feedback.com/Issue47/uber_buss.htm

      Comment


      • Re: Do Mills resistors REALLY sound different?

        This is what I mean by "people you trust".
        People who have actually done it, and LISTENED !

        NOT people who exist SOLELY in a world of measurement.
        If people want to listen to wiggles, that up to them....

        I prefer music.

        Comment


        • Re: A little story

          Originally posted by dbe View Post
          And there, my friend (Really! Not the wishy-washy John McCain kind of friend) you have it. System compatibility. It is whatever floats the system boat you are sailing in. Point is that you tried it and came to your own conclusions (delusions?). It is the pontifications of stasis that really get to me, know what I mean?

          Be well,

          Dave
          Oh, and the resistor I was referring to wasn't a Mills, it was a different brand. I should also add that I can't tell a difference in sound between my sandcasts and the Eagle noninductives I typically use, but I like the heavier leads better on the Eagles. What I described above only involved this one resistor type.
          Click here for Jeff Bagby's Loudspeaker Design Software

          Comment


          • Re: Do Mills resistors REALLY sound different?

            Originally posted by framus View Post
            Hmmmm That certainly adds another perspective to the debate. My read is that in both cases there was an unidentified factor contaminating the results. I'm not going to believe anything anyone has to say (and that includes anything I have to say) until there have been many, many replications of properly controlled ABX tests. But, as an enforcer of deceptive advetising statutes for over 30 years, I still find it amazing that we aren't placing the substantiation burden on the advertisers, just like we do in any other industry. You're selling expensive resistors? you're claiming they sound better? What is your substantiation? Let's see your theory. Let's see your tests (within reason--I don't want to burden start-up companies with $million "clinical" trials). Dennis
            So why aren't you placing the substantiation burden on the advertisers? Too small a problem?

            Never mind, you answered the question below.

            Comment


            • Re: Do Mills resistors REALLY sound different?

              Originally posted by Ludo View Post
              Critofur,

              Let Your Ears Decide.

              Take your best headphones and your best headphone amp. Get a simple high current, low contact resistance, DPDT switch. Select two each, Mills resistors and sand cast resistors, non-inductive or just plain sand cast resistors that have a resistance approximately equal to the impedance of your headphones. Wire up the resistors to the four outside poles of the switch; one stereo pair for each side using the same resistor type. Then wire the resistors up to a headphone plug and the center contacts of the switch to a headphone jack. Solder everything securely.

              Then listen away; try pink noise, tones, and various music of your preference while toggling back and forth and see what you hear. Let someone else flip the switch without you looking and see if you can hear a difference.

              Louis
              Thanks for the suggestion. I will have to be very careful to be sure that I can find a pair of resistors w/exactly the same resistance to do this test...

              The best headphones I have are AKG K340, but, I don't have a good headphone amp. I suppose I might build one, if the parts can be had for a few $?
              "...this is not a subwoofer" - Jeff Bagby ;)

              Comment


              • Re: Do Mills resistors REALLY sound different?

                Ok so it looks like everybody cooled down and stopped being JackA**** to each other so I thought I'd chip in my 2 cents.
                I certainly don't see why people are so against double blind ABX tests as it takes all visual and aural clues that might influence the listener out of the equation. Let's face it, if you are able to hear a difference between two components (or so you say) then it should be easy to pick between the two in a double blind ABX test no? If the results show that you picked no better than a normal guess method then in fact you CAN'T hear a difference between the two components.
                This is why it has me wondering about some of the speaker events that are judged by not only listening to the speaker in question but also SEEING it at the same time. Don't you think that visual clues influence your expectations of how it might sound? Let's say there are two speakers with identical drivers and crossovers and cabinet shape and the only difference is the cabinet's looks. One is a plain old MDF box that hasn't been painted or finished and looks like someone spilled their coffee down one side and the other is a beautifully finished cabinet with exotic wood veneer and a glossy multicoat finish to it. I would be willing to bet that most people would pick the beautiful looking speaker as sounding better even if they both measure the same. The same thing goes for amplifiers (as long as they are operating within their specs and not distorting). Would you still prefer to listen to a Krell amp instead of an Onkyo if you couldn't see which amp it was that was playing? Of course level matching to within 1/2 db is important so you don't choose the louder amp as being better.
                I'm thinking that people WANT something to sound different or better and to them it does so. It's called faith and belief and wishful thinking. How many of you after building their first speaker and listening to it thought it was fantastic? It was only later that you discovered the highs were somewhat too elevated and got on your nerves or you accidentally had one of the woofers connected in reverse polarity or any number of things that weren't quite right from the beginning.
                I will never forget when Speaker Builder Magazine was still in publication that they covered A&S Speakers ( a now defunct California speaker parts company similar to Parts Express) speaker building contest for a few years and one year the winner in the 2 way competition had his speakers reviewed the next month in Speaker Builder. Now this was a simple 6 1/2 inch mid/woofer with a 1 inch tweeter and it had beat out all competition for top honors in it's category. Upon measuring the frequency response, it was very evident that there was a major suckout right around the crossover frequency in not just one but both speakers. The culprit was the builder had the tweeters connected in reverse polarity. Simply fixing that problem made the response look and sound so much better. Now this was the speaker that won first place and the judges thought it sounded better than all the rest. So much for the ability of the human ear to always know what it's really hearing hmmm?
                Wanting something to sound different or better is human nature but lets be sure exactly what it is we are hearing if anything.

                Comment


                • Re: Do Mills resistors REALLY sound different?

                  I remember the CD wars in the 80's. My conclusion from the time, still unchanged is:

                  1) The human ear is a very sensitive instrument. It is capable of hearing things we don't know how to measure, or things that we don't know how to relate to things we can measure. Jitter is a good example of the latter.

                  2) The human ear is a very sensitive instrument. It is capable of hearing things that aren't there.

                  -- Doug

                  Comment


                  • Re: Do Mills resistors REALLY sound different?

                    Originally posted by DDF View Post
                    in double blind subjective testing
                    Double blind?? Haven't you been paying attention? Kapton P, Andy G, dbe and all other such highly informed individuals have dismissed this method as being valid, since it is known to mask what is "heard" using their much more scientific and reliable "just listening" method. Their method is rather inaptly named, but it properly includes such sensory input to the brain as vision, priori knowledge, SPL variance, etc, etc.
                    I hope you didn't consider the results of your testing valid?

                    Originally posted by DDF View Post
                    AJ, I'm know you've never said it, but you've never heard people say that all zip cord of equal guage is the same? Now that I find hard to believe.
                    I guess you didn't catch the sarcasm in my response to your initial statement (dlr usually does). The reason why I asked for a link is the same as when I asked dlr, JeffB, etc. for links to the "Perfect Sound" belief by "engineers" (monolithic). It was mainly to amuse myself. I knew there was no link to your wire statement because it was pure strawman (even now that you have since added gauge). Let's leave the wire stuff for another day(or year) and focus on resistors eh?

                    Originally posted by Jeff B. View Post
                    A little story. I stumbled onto the resistor thingy a few years ago completely by accident. Unforunately, my conclusions will bother the subjectivists and the objectivists, both. At the time I had an assortment of different makes and values of resistors that I used for crossover designing. Some of them were the same value too. While making an adjustment to a tweeter's level I was making some small, incremental changes in the series padding resistor. At one point I switched from a sandcast resistor to a significantly more expensive noninductive, and the difference was greater than I had anticipated. I found another sandcast the same value as the noninductive and used it and there was an obvious difference between the two. I assumed one of them was off in value so I used an LCR meter to check them and found them to be essentially identical in resistance. However, as I switched back and forth I could tell that there was an obvious difference in the sound coming from the tweeter depending on which one I used. I didn't have the means to do any more detailed measurements at the time - I only know that the character of the sound changed and the resistiance measured the same between them. I could have demonstrated that to anyone and I am sure most of them would have said there was a difference too. It was especially noticable with pink noise, even though the frequency response and tweeter level were, again, essentially identical. The thing was......I thought the cheap sandcast sounded much better, and something about the higher dollar noninductive irritated me and sounded grainy. As a result I never purchased that brand again, and I still have no issue using decent sandcast resistors.

                    Jeff B.
                    Bother?? I love anecdotal stories like this . Remember your "hi-end" store vinyl vs cd one with the wife where the saleman played that neat trick? I got quite a kick from that one too.;)
                    btw, have I mentioned that "objectivist" "subjectivist" is a gross mischaracterization of the parties involved?

                    Originally posted by framus View Post
                    Hmmmm That certainly adds another perspective to the debate. My read is that in both cases there was an unidentified factor contaminating the results. I'm not going to believe anything anyone has to say (and that includes anything I have to say) until there have been many, many replications of properly controlled ABX tests. But, as an enforcer of deceptive advetising statutes for over 30 years, I still find it amazing that we aren't placing the substantiation burden on the advertisers, just like we do in any other industry. You're selling expensive resistors? you're claiming they sound better? What is your substantiation? Let's see your theory. Let's see your tests (within reason--I don't want to burden start-up companies with $million "clinical" trials). Dennis
                    Unfortunately it's not just manufacturers making these claims Dennis. It's "audiophiles". I'm sure the manufacturer(s) of those old russian caps, that are all the rage amongst the "Just listeners", had no clue that they pass the white light of Jesus into your stereo system. Nor would they make such a claim. The burden of proof always lays squarely on the claimer.

                    Originally posted by Andy_G View Post
                    poor AJinFLA,
                    It was meant as advice for those considering, NOT for those with a locked mind.
                    Well, someone must have left the door unlocked to certain minds. How else would all that silliness have slipped in?;)

                    Originally posted by Andy_G View Post
                    I'm sure with your considerable audio experience (lmao) you have ALL the facts on audio at hand. As I said.. lock in mediocrity.
                    I could point out the logical fallacies in your argument, but it would simply be lost on you.

                    Originally posted by Andy_G View Post
                    when you have learnt to listen PAST minor volume differences then perhaps you will understand that not everyone has your lack of insight.
                    come back in, say, 5 years , and we can discuss things, until then, your pov is (imo) just a waste of time. ! :D
                    I don't think one needs to learn(t) how to fool oneself if it occurs naturally.
                    Perhaps you could use the next 5 years to learn something about the brains processing of sensory input? Or perhaps not...

                    Originally posted by Andy_G View Post
                    I also find it quite sad for you that you have so little faith in your own hearing that you think everyone else is ruled by pre-concieved ideas.
                    I, for one, have often heard differences when I didn't expect to, AND, not heard differences when I expected to.
                    My hearing has nothing to do with your claims, although I understand the need for such strawmen and diversionary tactics of the illogical. Ditto for my ideas.
                    I again reiterate, that the correct identification of the parties is the uninformed/ignorant vs the informed/educated. Your knowledge of expectation bias highlights this quite nicely. Thank you.;)

                    Originally posted by Andy_G View Post
                    Start learning to listen and please, have some faith in yourself. :D
                    Another fallacy. My inadequacies are obviously not in listening, but rather in seeing, knowing, matching SPL, etc,etc.

                    Ok, now how many posts are we up to...and still not a shred of data about resistor measurements and audibility? What a surprise..:rolleyes:

                    cheers,

                    AJ

                    Comment


                    • Re: Do Mills resistors REALLY sound different?

                      Originally posted by davidl View Post
                      Ok so it looks like everybody cooled down and stopped being JackA**** to each other so I thought I'd chip in my 2 cents.
                      I certainly don't see why people are so against double blind ABX tests as it takes all visual and aural clues that might influence the listener out of the equation. Let's face it, if you are able to hear a difference between two components (or so you say) then it should be easy to pick between the two in a double blind ABX test no? If the results show that you picked no better than a normal guess method then in fact you CAN'T hear a difference between the two components.
                      This is why it has me wondering about some of the speaker events that are judged by not only listening to the speaker in question but also SEEING it at the same time. Don't you think that visual clues influence your expectations of how it might sound? Let's say there are two speakers with identical drivers and crossovers and cabinet shape and the only difference is the cabinet's looks. One is a plain old MDF box that hasn't been painted or finished and looks like someone spilled their coffee down one side and the other is a beautifully finished cabinet with exotic wood veneer and a glossy multicoat finish to it. I would be willing to bet that most people would pick the beautiful looking speaker as sounding better even if they both measure the same. The same thing goes for amplifiers (as long as they are operating within their specs and not distorting). Would you still prefer to listen to a Krell amp instead of an Onkyo if you couldn't see which amp it was that was playing? Of course level matching to within 1/2 db is important so you don't choose the louder amp as being better.
                      I'm thinking that people WANT something to sound different or better and to them it does so. It's called faith and belief and wishful thinking. How many of you after building their first speaker and listening to it thought it was fantastic? It was only later that you discovered the highs were somewhat too elevated and got on your nerves or you accidentally had one of the woofers connected in reverse polarity or any number of things that weren't quite right from the beginning.
                      I will never forget when Speaker Builder Magazine was still in publication that they covered A&S Speakers ( a now defunct California speaker parts company similar to Parts Express) speaker building contest for a few years and one year the winner in the 2 way competition had his speakers reviewed the next month in Speaker Builder. Now this was a simple 6 1/2 inch mid/woofer with a 1 inch tweeter and it had beat out all competition for top honors in it's category. Upon measuring the frequency response, it was very evident that there was a major suckout right around the crossover frequency in not just one but both speakers. The culprit was the builder had the tweeters connected in reverse polarity. Simply fixing that problem made the response look and sound so much better. Now this was the speaker that won first place and the judges thought it sounded better than all the rest. So much for the ability of the human ear to always know what it's really hearing hmmm?
                      Wanting something to sound different or better is human nature but lets be sure exactly what it is we are hearing if anything.
                      I just want to say that what makes ABX testing more reliable for me, personally, is the fact that there is very little delay between comparisons. I don't know how other people are but if there is any amount of time between a comparison I find it more difficult to honestly make a judgement of any differences.

                      I can understand your arguement about pretty or highly regarded "components" versus ugly or poorly regarded "components" but I think that a lot depends on what is being compared. The amount of variance between the sound of different speakers is so great compared to just about any other component in an audio system that I think that it is more difficult to be fooled by looks but a lot depends on the person judging. I can say with confidence that I don't think my eyes would fool my ears in a "speaker" judging competition (but this may not be true with components, like amplifiers, that don't vary quite as much from one model to another). I know for certain that the looks of my personal speakers don't alter my perception but the scenario is quite different and I'm glad because then I might not enjoy their sound nearly as much.
                      RJB Audio Projects
                      http://www.rjbaudio.com

                      Comment


                      • Re: Do Mills resistors REALLY sound different?

                        I understand what you are saying Roman, but Toole (at Harman) found speaker looks to be quite effective in skewing perception. I've linked such articles previously.

                        cheers,

                        AJ

                        Comment


                        • Re: Do Mills resistors REALLY sound different?

                          Originally posted by ajinfla View Post
                          I understand what you are saying Roman, but Toole (at Harman) found speaker looks to be quite effective in skewing perception. I've linked such articles previously.

                          cheers,

                          AJ
                          I agree but I think that the amount of deception may vary from person to person and a study like that can tend to be skewed by the selection of participants and their background in audio. I just say this as someone who often spends endless hours and weeks tweaking crossovers, listening for resonances, peaks or anything that would affect the neutrality of a speaker. To be honest, I actually prefer to listen to my speakers at night in complete darkness so that I can keep my eyes open and try to visualize everything in the soundstage (I find that when I close my eyes that something in my brain tells me that I shouldn't be seeing anything, but the dark/eyes open thing fixes that)... call me weird:rolleyes:
                          RJB Audio Projects
                          http://www.rjbaudio.com

                          Comment


                          • Re: Do Mills resistors REALLY sound different?

                            Originally posted by ajinfla View Post
                            I understand what you are saying Roman, but Toole (at Harman) found speaker looks to be quite effective in skewing perception. I've linked such articles previously.

                            cheers,

                            AJ

                            I'll be one of the first to admit I listen to what a speaker "looks like". Can't be helped, and almost everyone does that. Same goes for cars: "My, that red Italian sports car looks fast costs a lot of money!" Never mind the new (much cheaper) corvettes blow it away...

                            I will also be the first to admit that i have trouble hearing differences above 15 kHz unless it is a pure sine wave and who the hell listens to sine waves and pink noise? Doesn't anyone put in some of their favorite music and make speakers that way?
                            Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

                            Comment


                            • Re: Do Mills resistors REALLY sound different?

                              Originally posted by ajinfla View Post

                              I guess you didn't catch the sarcasm in my response to your initial statement (dlr usually does). The reason why I asked for a link is the same as when I asked dlr, JeffB, etc. for links to the "Perfect Sound" belief by "engineers" (monolithic). It was mainly to amuse myself.
                              The thing is, I was just telling you what was being said in the early 80's. Several others confirmed that this was indeed the case. We've learned a lot since then, and people now know why those early players didn't sound so great, especially by today's standards. It was just a case in point on how knowledge increases and changes our perceptions. People once said that Bell's wax cylinders played through a horn were indistinguishable from the real thing too. It's hard to believe they said that, but they did. We always need to allow for the opportunity to learn something.

                              Originally posted by ajinfla View Post

                              Bother?? I love anecdotal stories like this . Remember your "hi-end" store vinyl vs cd one with the wife where the saleman played that neat trick? I got quite a kick from that one too.;)

                              AJ
                              Well, if you are going to get a kick out of the story, then you might as well get it right, don't you think? The story didn't involve a CD player at all. It was a comparison between a Linn Sondek ensemble table and an much cheaper one without even a decent suspension. And it was after I said I didn't think there was a difference in how turntables sounded. I was proved wrong. The Linn really did sound better. Of course, you are free to believe what you want here too. Maybe you believe all turntables DO sound alike (it's certainly a financial benefit to believe that way, if you own a turntable, anyway). I just think you should have the story straight if you are going to reference it.


                              Originally posted by ajinfla View Post
                              btw, have I mentioned that "objectivist" "subjectivist" is a gross mischaracterization of the parties involved?


                              AJ
                              Sure, all generalizations are. That's why they're called "generalizations" in the first place.


                              Now, about the resistors; I already said I couldn't hear any difference between any of my other resistor brands. The issue was only with this one brand. And even though the resistance measured the same, the sound was certainly different from the rest of the bunch. I am sure even you would have heard the difference, but then again.......

                              I use both sandcast and better types, but I only prefer the more expensive types for the more durable leads. I don't hear a difference otherwise.

                              I am sure I have given you the exact opposite perception of me than how I really am. That's OK - I don't really care in this case. Between being a research biologist, college instructer, and professional engineer - I have been a scientist or engineer in some capacity for 27 years now. I understand the scientific method just fine, and, in fact, rely on it daily. I would get nowhere in my job without real data to support my conclusions. However, one thing I have learned to avoid, and so has the other members of my team, is to dismiss people's observations. There have been many times that my team was called in for root cause analysis after the engineers involved were getting nowhere, only to find that they dismissed the thoughts and observations of the workers on the floor. When we listened to what these people thought was happening, and investigated it further it went from making no sense and appearing to be unrelated to actually leading us in the direction of what was really the underlying issue. People's perceptions can be much more in tune with what it really going on than you give them credit for.

                              You, on the other hand, find it very easy to dismiss other people's thoughts and opinions simply when they don't agree with your dogma. However, the simple answer may be that we just don't know everything yet. Myabe you just enjoy playing the arse, I don't know. But, I have seen some very bright engineers who have never solved anything just because in their arrogance they believe they have everything figured out. It is really such a shame. I hope you're not in that group.
                              Click here for Jeff Bagby's Loudspeaker Design Software

                              Comment


                              • Re: Do Mills resistors REALLY sound different?

                                Originally posted by johnnyrichards View Post
                                I'll be one of the first to admit I listen to what a speaker "looks like". Can't be helped, and almost everyone does that. Same goes for cars: "My, that red Italian sports car looks fast costs a lot of money!" Never mind the new (much cheaper) corvettes blow it away...

                                I will also be the first to admit that i have trouble hearing differences above 15 kHz unless it is a pure sine wave and who the hell listens to sine waves and pink noise? Doesn't anyone put in some of their favorite music and make speakers that way?
                                I should probably step back for a minute before making a statement that I can't truly confirm (being able to distinguish speakers by sound and not looks) because I haven't been through enough speaker judging contests to prove this or not. However, I do think that a problem that I would definitely have with one of these events is not being familiar with the recorded material played on the speakers partially because I might choose a less neutral speaker based on the way that it may compensate for any issues in the recordings and I'm sure that there are several other, maybe better, reasons why familiar recordings would help me make a better choice when comparing speakers. I know that if I picked a stack of CDs from my collection that I was not very familiar with that I may make the mistake of improperly tuning my speakers, but I'm getting way off topic now.
                                RJB Audio Projects
                                http://www.rjbaudio.com

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