Wilson Audio Maintenance

Apr 15, 2017
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Cascais
#61
Resistors generally make lousy fuses and while they can conceivably protect against excessive power, there is little protection against an amp driven into hard clipping, especially if it is also prone to oscillations when clipping.

Not sure about the newer Wilson tweeters, but the old Focals had no ferrofluid and were very easy to blow.

Was the ARC solid state?
 

marcbrown

New Member
Apr 17, 2018
25
2
3
#62
Resistors generally make lousy fuses and while they can conceivably protect against excessive power, there is little protection against an amp driven into hard clipping, especially if it is also prone to oscillations when clipping.

Not sure about the newer Wilson tweeters, but the old Focals had no ferrofluid and were very easy to blow.

Was the ARC solid state?
Yes. When I bought my Wilson speakers I was told they were almost bullet-proof so I did not worry and one day blew a tweeter and Wilson replaced it. Then months later blew 2 at a party and Wilson said I abused them and I had to pay. Had a chance to try a Devialet unit in my system and was floored at the many marked improvements. So I switched and have had 5 years of no tweeters blown and enjoying music much more. The unit protects speakers without any trade-off.
 

zbub

Member
Jun 27, 2013
53
7
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#63
Years ago I had Wilson X1 Ser II's, and I had a problem with loud popping noise when changing volume on my preamp. One time the pop was so loud that both midrange drivers on one channel went silent. Thankfully I only blew the resistor, and the drivers still worked perfectly after replacing the resistor. Can you imagine the cost of replacing the drivers???

When Wilson dealer came over to check and replace the resistor, they said that I should also be glad that I had FM Acoustics power amp, as FM was able to handle that kind of abuse, otherwise that "pop" could have fried the amp as well.

So, one big point for both Wilson and FM Acoustics... and got a new preamp...
 
Likes: marcbrown
Apr 23, 2010
137
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#64
Nothing is bullet proof to DC or clipping.










I have pushed mine hard with lots of class A curent and never blew a Resistor. I still say if your taling out a resistor and twice something is amiss in the amp or pre . If it was a tube pre it can pass DC
 

marcbrown

New Member
Apr 17, 2018
25
2
3
#66
Nothing is bullet proof to DC or clipping.










I have pushed mine hard with lots of class A curent and never blew a Resistor. I still say if your taling out a resistor and twice something is amiss in the amp or pre . If it was a tube pre it can pass DC
Only once did a resistor fail and that was one of the Duelunds. The resistor showed signs of over-heating and finally stopped working with no damage to tweeter. The 3 times previous were with the Caddocks that did not fail, but the tweeters blew needing replacement.
 
Aug 10, 2018
75
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Southern California
#67
Nothing is bullet proof to DC or clipping.










I have pushed mine hard with lots of class A curent and never blew a Resistor. I still say if your taling out a resistor and twice something is amiss in the amp or pre . If it was a tube pre it can pass DC
Most tube preamps will use a coupling capacitor which pretty much eliminates any DC at the output, unless the cap has failed as a short which would likely be pretty obvious. Solid state designs, on the other hand, are often DC coupled and quite capable of having a DC offset at the output that can play havoc with power amps that are DC coupled throughout.
 

marcbrown

New Member
Apr 17, 2018
25
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#68
The small screws in the mods on early model Maxx and WATT (and others that use the very small screws) you only torque to 5 lbs (or LIGHT hand tighten). Do NOT over torque them!

When it comes to resisters: I change them out often, yes. As I have said before, I feel it refreshes the sound. I see them like spark plugs in cars.
Hi Debbie, since you change resistors often and you already replaced footers with Stillpoints, have you tried or considered testing different brands of resistors? You will be surprised I bet.
 

MJB

Member
Mar 10, 2013
87
3
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#69
The small screws in the mods on early model Maxx and WATT (and others that use the very small screws) you only torque to 5 lbs (or LIGHT hand tighten). Do NOT over torque them!

When it comes to resisters: I change them out often, yes. As I have said before, I feel it refreshes the sound. I see them like spark plugs in cars.
Thx for sharing! And, great to see you posting again Debbie!
 

zbub

Member
Jun 27, 2013
53
7
8
#70
Regarding the resistors, it's still hard for me to imagine the need to replace them every X number of months. Could the difference in sound quality due to fresh contacts instead of new reistors? In other words, it's like people re-connect the plugs and RCA/XLR connectors once in awhile (which is something I do anyway) to refresh the contacts? I do remove the resistors and clean the leads and put them back again every year or so. Granted I didn't do a quick A/B, but the sound seem to be a little cleaner after doing that.
 
Aug 10, 2018
75
27
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Southern California
#71
Regarding the resistors, it's still hard for me to imagine the need to replace them every X number of months. Could the difference in sound quality due to fresh contacts instead of new reistors? In other words, it's like people re-connect the plugs and RCA/XLR connectors once in awhile (which is something I do anyway) to refresh the contacts? I do remove the resistors and clean the leads and put them back again every year or so. Granted I didn't do a quick A/B, but the sound seem to be a little cleaner after doing that.
I'm with you. If this was something to worry about, you'd want to start refreshing all those large resistors in your power amp periodically. Perhaps the application as a pseudo fuse is stressing them and in the process altering them?
 
Dec 29, 2010
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#72
just measure the resistance w/ a DMM---if they're off spec, you wont know what youre missing til you change them. --i didn't
 
Aug 10, 2018
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Southern California
#73
just measure the resistance w/ a DMM---if they're off spec, you wont know what youre missing til you change them. --i didn't
You're making the mistake of assuming that Ohm's law explains all you need to know. The DMM will only measure DC resistance which won't tell you everything about the device across the range of operation frequencies and load. A network analyzer will give more details but only at a low power level. The device will change under load due to thermal effects as well as others.
 

marcbrown

New Member
Apr 17, 2018
25
2
3
#75
Regarding the resistors, it's still hard for me to imagine the need to replace them every X number of months. Could the difference in sound quality due to fresh contacts instead of new reistors? In other words, it's like people re-connect the plugs and RCA/XLR connectors once in awhile (which is something I do anyway) to refresh the contacts? I do remove the resistors and clean the leads and put them back again every year or so. Granted I didn't do a quick A/B, but the sound seem to be a little cleaner after doing that.
I agree that replacing resistors, a la Debbie, is logical only because she has access to many through Wilson at little to no cost to her.
 
Dec 29, 2010
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#76
zero interest in debating the armchair analysts. i'll just say debbie's statements ("refresh the sound") are IME highly credible and understated---if the resistors are worn (measure when cold) then its akin to changing old strings on a guitar to new ones. yes, it can be profound, ignore debbie at your choosing. she knows better than you about the speakers.

as a believer of both debbie and parts voicing (more in a sec) i swapped in path audio resistors for the caddocks in my sasha 2s.
2* 3.0r for the mids
1* 3.9 + 1.3.5 for the tweet (which should get 1.84r, vs 1.875r via caddocks)

on mounting, mids measured ~ 1.5-1.6 w/ my fluke, tweet measured 2.0-2.1. (not ideal--more in a sec)

path were the only ones that demonstrated sufficient power handling specs (duelund do but looks like they don't fit). trouble w/ path is they leads are about 0.5" too short to simply mount in place. so whereas its a 30min job to do both speakers w/ new caddocks, its a 4hr job as i had to solder on leads to one leg of each path resistor).

stupid path audio.

sonic impressions:
i recall bob crump (RIP) of TG Audio (and CTC, and also responsible for the 'voicing of the Parasound JC1) that caddocks were a sometimes part. --goes with the concept of voicing as you never hear a 'part' or a component, but a system in a room.
caddocks have a sonic signature (similar to what martin colloms wrote), and IIRC wilson has been using them throughout their products. a caddock would be the wrong part to voice an inverted dome (or in wadia, or esoteric) but has a good offsetting quality to the esotar tweeter (which is extended and sweet withouth reaching the netherheights of other ubertweeters out there). -itd also be a good part in modwright tube CD players if that makes sense.

but sometimes voicing around lesser parts is making the best meal possible with lesser ingredients. went through this years ago when i replaced the sand (!) resistors in the backplate of a $20K reference electrostatic speaker with a gazillion mills in parallel--it was a new speaker with new levels of realism and resolution. but sand is clearly < caddock. this test is simply caddock vs path in the sasha 2.

the path sound like better ingredients. --i've played a day on them (first 2 hours - YUK!), and now hearing more resolving mid & treble harmonics in eschenbach's mozart piano sonatas and holly bowling's dead covers (highly recommended). better front-back space, more percussive / dynamic, albeit with minor perceived loss of uppermost register (but this could be perceived: anyone who thought wadia or esoteric digital was extended found differently when faced with superior digital playback--ears take time to adjust. however, this could also be the slight variance from spec on the tweeter: 2.0 vs 1.875 as recommended. i dont know). its easier to unwind nuance in left hand action, and vocals (jim james w MMJ - acoustical circuital) that are close-miked have that n'th level of detail that audiophiles are always happy to find.

the prototypical complaints that wilson speakers *used* to have (amusical, respect not love, analytic) and which i heard straight thru Sasha gen 1 are the sorts of characteristics i would assign to caddocks. --now, you can voice around their use (ie ARC tube gear--somewhat mellow and round to offset wilson's analytic, with the analytic tilt in the wilsons via caddocks---calling it as i hear it), but if you were using SS gear without the tube sweetness (i'm using luxman C/M900 w/ audioquest wild speaker cables), then the notion of using a lesser part (caddock) with more neutral (?) upstream becomes a different tilt to the meal's flavor. like using too much spice when the ingredients are good enough to stand alone.
again, the path strike me as a better ingredient. certainly on the mids, the tweet i'm not entirely confident (how much is esotar / caddock voicing vs wrong measured value of path is impossible to know without further tests / spec matching).

anyone who has ever heard tonal differences between ac plugs or duplexes will immediately recognize the sound of the different brands of resistors in their speakers. anyone who can't hear such nuances, well, life is simple. ignorance is bliss.
 

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Likes: shakti
May 30, 2010
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#77
(...)
anyone who has ever heard tonal differences between ac plugs or duplexes will immediately recognize the sound of the different brands of resistors in their speakers. anyone who can't hear such nuances, well, life is simple. ignorance is bliss.
Life is not so simple, otherwise the people who do not care about ac plugs or duplexes will tell us that a great imagination is also a bliss. :)

IMHO you are mixing something that can have a technical explanation and can be researched using measurements - the effect of long time use in resistors connected in series with the signal - with something no one can understand or present an acceptable technical explanation - plugs and duplexes plating or metal composition used in AC mains.

Metal film resistors need long burn-in time - several thousand hours - before reaching high stability. In this hobby of very small differences it is perfectly possible that during this period, their sound quality changes due to small changes in the microscopic properties responsible by their conductivity. Perhaps people working in instrumentation will consider that a well burn-in Caddock is more valuable than a fresh resistor ...

And yes, in this hobby one man's meat is another man's poison.

BTW, I really appreciated your comments on the importance of system flavor in component choice.
 

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