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Speaker amps for headphones - Page 29

post #421 of 2717
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

Could you tell if one type/brand of resistor was better than the other?  Is it worth spending extra money for fancy resistors, or even $5 resistors, or are the 50-cent kind okay?  The Duelunds are $50... will they make a big difference?

 

 

 

I'm using the Mills right now. I forgot that I ordered these Dayton Audio Grade resistors from Parts Express that I haven't used. I'll compare them them against the Mills. These are 1.25 each vs. the 4.25 Mills.

 

"Dayton Audio DNR-10 10 Ohm 10W Precision Audio Grade Resistor

 

Dayton Audio DNR Series "Audio Grade" resistors are primarily used in Zobel networks and fixed L-Pad attenuator circuits. Nickel-chromium elements, a high thermal conductivity ceramic core, and welded construction all contribute to their low-noise performance. With a precision 2% tolerance, gold-plated oxygen free copper leads, and low-inductive wire wound construction, this resistor is a must for your next speaker crossover project! Dimensions: 48 mm L x 10 mm W x 10 mm H."

 


Edited by wuwhere - 7/13/13 at 9:27pm
post #422 of 2717
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

Could you tell if one type/brand of resistor was better than the other?  Is it worth spending extra money for fancy resistors, or even $5 resistors, or are the 50-cent kind okay?  The Duelunds are $50... will they make a big difference?


@Gary I couldn't really tell any difference between the dale and mills resistors, and I have no idea if the $50 resistors would make a difference.

Metal film power resistors seem to reduce the sound stage.

To get a decent power rating, you are pretty much stuck with thick metal film or wire wound unless you go with the big dollar Duelunds. I think staying with non-inductive, as opposed to inductive, would be preferable.
Edited by potterma - 7/13/13 at 10:31pm
post #423 of 2717

I replaced the Mills with the Dayton resistors. That's a Copland CTA 504 all-tube speaker amp, 50wpc, Hifiman HE-6, source is Oppo BDP-95. I let the Dayton burn-in for an hour then took a listen. The Daytons add a slight haze, not as tidy sounding as the Mills, the Mills has less noise too. Mills are better. Will the Duelunds Graphite Silver CAST resistors at about 38USD each (hifi collective price), sound better than the Mills?

 

Addendum:  After continued listening for about 3 hours now with the Daytons, I also began to notice that there is a little less bass impact. I would venture to predict that the Duelunds would probably be more transparent than the Mills, its just a matter of degree.  Based on all the read I found on-line, transparency is where the Duelunds excel over the other resistors. I'm really tempted to try them.

 

Pics through my Blackberry phone.

 

Mills

 

Dayton


Edited by wuwhere - 7/14/13 at 2:40pm
post #424 of 2717

Folks:

 

After much experimenting with wiring, putting the pre-amp in/out of the loop, moving the balance all the way right and left to hear if the noise is on one side or the other (both, unfortunately), comparisons to other amps using the same tracks with/without the magic box in the loop, having two other people check a "noisy" track (thanks Chris and Craig), etc. I have concluded that the noise is created by the Millenia, but is only audible/discernable on a few songs.  Otherwise the damn thing sounds incredibly good. 

 

My willingness to live with this irritation and use the Millenia as my primary HP amp will depend entirely on how good the Odyssey Cyclops turns out to be, assuming Klaus and the elves ever finish it and deliver it (I've been a pretty good boy, I really have).  I hope to get it before late December, but one never knows...

 

I will also talk to Jan Plummer from TBI in the next couple of days to see what he thinks.  Maybe there's something wrong with this unit.  Maybe the Millenia is just able to recreate noise that is actually in the recording when other amps can't.  It certainly recreates music better than anything else I've had here so far. I'm listening to Abbey Road right now, and it sounds phenomenal.  Full and rich without being bloated in any way.  Very detailed, good instrument separation, decent sound stage, No harshness.  Ever.  Not even when playing Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Really.  Well, okay, as long as you turn down a few songs.  I mean, how many high-fidelity amp/headphone combos allow you to crank RHCP at all without giving you a major headache?  This little box is amazing.  It makes most recordings sound better than I've ever heard them.  It makes a few sound like crap. 

 

I might get to a full write up this week.  But from what I've written so far, you folks know how good I think the Millenia is.  I don't think it is going back even if the Cyclops whups it.  I'll probably keep both.  I mean, this is a truly portable $500-600 speaker amp that runs on batteries, takes inputs from portable players (haven't tried that yet though) and puts $750-1000 headphone amps to shame.  Except on a few tracks.  Grumble.


Edited by Gary in MD - 7/14/13 at 9:06pm
post #425 of 2717
Quote:
Originally Posted by potterma View Post

The strategy I find works best for me is to listen to a combo with a given musical selection at the volume I like.  Then, measure the SPL with pink noise.  Then match to that SPL with other set-ups I'm comparing.  I find my subjective SPL meter (ears/brain) is crap for accurately setting equal volume levels.

 

I agree. I had a hard time getting my head around a comparison I was running between two headphone amps until I started rigourously matching SPLs between the two amps. If you don't, easy to get fooled into thinking the louder one is better.
post #426 of 2717
Roger that! And it's amazing how some subtle nuances actually become easier to detect once a comparison has been volume matched - I guess because a difference in volume is so overwhelming.
post #427 of 2717
Gary,

Didn't you say that the infrequent noise went away when the Millenia is operating on 12V internal power? This would seem to point to the quality of power rather than certain songs being the culprit. But perhaps you've moved beyond that initial conclusion now that you've spent more time with it... ???

Thanks,

Mike
post #428 of 2717
The Millenia: I checked out the TBI website.
Turns out that this is a switching amplifier (some people call them "digital amplifiers"). I assumed this annoying sound you hear is a whiny little high pitched wzzzz or bzzzzzzzz? That would be some type of side effect of the switching amplifier.
I would assume that when TBI designed it that they were not designing it for people who put very small loudspeakers 1/2" an inch from their ear.........................like us headphone guys. I would assume that this whiny little buzz is inaudible when using "normal" speakers which are, obviously, 6 feet from our ears.
Heavy sigh! Fer shizzle......
Edited by Chris J - 7/15/13 at 5:05pm
post #429 of 2717
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

The Millenia: I checked out the TBI website.
Turns out that this is a switching amplifier (some people call them "digital amplifiers"). I assumed this annoying sound you hear is a whiny little high pitched wzzzz or bzzzzzzzz? That would be some type of side effect of the switching amplifier.
I would assume that when TBI designed it that they were not designing it for people who put very small loudspeakers 1/2" an inch from their ear.........................like us headphone guys. I would assume that this whiny little buzz is inaudible when using "normal" speakers which are, obviously, 6 feet from our ears.
Heavy sigh! Fer shizzle......

 

Yeah, that's the sound... but why only on some songs?  That's what's driving me crazy...

post #430 of 2717
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

Yeah, that's the sound... but why only on some songs?  That's what's driving me crazy...
Music with quiet passages perhaps?
post #431 of 2717

Yeah, I thought that's what it was too, but the bad tracks aren't that much quieter, and there are quiet songs that don't have the noise. 

 

I talked to Jan Plummer and sent him the same noisy track I sent Chris and Craig.  He's gonna listen and get back to me with what he thinks.  But there's a possibility that it is just noise in the track that the TBI/LCD-3 combo is revealing, that is not revealed with other systems. 

 

Either that or I've been hanging out with my dogs too much and now have their hearing... but I don't think so.
 

post #432 of 2717

Folks:

 

A couple of quick updates.  According to Jan Plummer, the noise is likely to be coming from the resistor box due to it being grounded for SE-cabled headphones instead of the balanced set-up I've got.  He didn't hear the noise playing the same track on his set-up.  He had me try to connect the speaker tap negative connectors to the amp grounds, but when I did that I think I damaged the box/resisters, and ended up with a dead channel.  Fortunately/unfortunately it was in the resistor box and not the headphones or amp.  But the "magic box" is going back to TBI for re-wiring/re-design/repairs.  I've suggested that he try Mills resistors, but at this point I just want something that works. 

 

In the meantime, I've listened to the amp without the box.  There's definitely hiss, but no buzzy sound like there is with the box, so once the box is redone everything should sound excellent.  I hope.  In the meantime, I'll live with his for a few days.

 

And speaking of a few days,the Odyssey should be here by early next week according to Klaus.  Of course by that time all of the other amps will be gone (the Emo is the last of them and leaves tomorrow) except for the Millenia (and my old Adcom pre-amp).  At this point I have no idea how the two speaker amps will match up, but I've been so impressed by the TBI (even with the noise issues) that the Odyssey will have to be pretty amazing to beat it.  But we shall see...


Edited by Gary in MD - 7/16/13 at 9:39pm
post #433 of 2717
Hi. Not sure where you are in Maryland but you are welcome to borrow my he adapter while your magic box is being repaired. Or maybe you want a break. I am in Potomac so if we are proximate would be glad to let you use for awhile.

Gary
post #434 of 2717

GJC:

 

Thanks for the very generous offer, but I really don't mind the Millenia hissing at me for a week or so.  Also, with the Odyssey supposedly arriving early next week, the Millenia won't be used as much... assuming the Odyssey is really as good as its reviews (or as good with LCD-3s in any case). 

 

On the other hand, if you happen to be driving to Jefferson, or even Frederick or Harper's Ferry, let me know...

 

Thanks again!

 

Gary

post #435 of 2717

Folks:

 

Jan Plummer is willing to put whatever resistors I want in the revised magic box.  I'm thinking that Mills would be a good choice, since Duelunds are too expensive.  But if anybody has another idea, let me know.

 

In addition, I'm thinking of having him put some all-metal binding posts in.  As I told Jan, I'm a bit worried about going with plastic posts given that I'm going to be attaching me to the other end of the wires, not a set of speakers that aren't going to move around (much).  Anybody got any ideas on that?  I expect to order parts tomorrow.

 

Gary

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