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Measuring and Evaluating Excess Noise in Resistors

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All resistors generate white (Johnson-Nysquist) noise based on their value and temperature; they can also generate several other types of (excess) noise. The amount or characteristics of a resistor’s excess noise could be one factor contributing to variations in perceived sound quality. This research explores methods for measuring the Johnson-Nysquist and excess noise of different resistors with the hopes of quantifying the performance of the components under test. A methodology is proposed for evaluating the audibility of both Johnson-Nysquist and excess noise that requires no special measurement equipment, only a sound system with suitable computer and freely available software.

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Scott Dorsey
Scott Dorsey

Comment posted February 14, 2019 @ 16:42:44 UTC (Comment permalink)

These folks employ an interesting bridge circuit that allowed them to separate the thermal noise (which is inherent
in all resistors and independent of current) from the flicker noise (which has a different spectrum and is dependent on current).  Very much worth checking out for anyone interested in evaluating resistors for audio circuits.  What is new here is the testing methodology, but there is also a good overview of noise performance.

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