Tube Amps / Music Electronics
For current discussions, please visit Music Electronics Forum. New: view Recent Searches.
New: visit Schematic Hell!
The sunn still shines online!

Listen to great tunes streaming live right now!

ampage archive

Vintage threads from the first ten years

Search for:  Mode:  

Resistor types - Does it REALLY matter?

11/5/1999 9:08 PM
Resistor types - Does it REALLY matter?
If there was ever a thread on this, I missed it. I have seen the articles by the Soldano dude that says resistor types do not matter, he sticks with his metal film 1% jobs. Then there are those who swear by the carbon comp units.  
I can appreciate the lower noise, etc. of larger wattage units, which is why I selected 1W carbon film units for my current project (I call it the SuperScreamer).  
Anyway, from our own experience, are there noticeable tonal differences with the different types of resistors in the signal path?
11/5/1999 9:12 PM

There has been a thread about this (about a year ago).  
I *can* tell a difference in tubes, wire (solid vs. stranded), and capacitors, but I cannot tell a difference in  
resistor types.  
I've used carbon comp and film in various projects, and I  
can't tell a difference.  
Book Of The Day The Ultimate Tone, Volume III by Kevin O'Connor
Have you ever wondered if there is a better way to build a Bassman, Champ, Plexi, an 800, AC-30, Bulldog or Portaflex? Or you wanted to build an SVT with off-the-shelf parts? How about a master-volume amp that doesn’t change tone with the master setting? Everything you need to know is right here, including: proper grounding techniques, wiring methods, and mechanical considerations. Eighteen chapters cover the “iconic” amps everyone knows and loves, with schematics and layouts for each, along with the technical history of the product. Eyelet-board and chassis-mounted tube socket construction is used throughout, for easy servicing and modding. TUT3 is very accessible even if you cannot fully read a schematic and is a "must have" if you are going to build an amp for your self.

Note: The Ampage Archive is an Amazon Associate site. A small commission is paid to the site owner on any qualified purchase made after clicking an associate link such as the one above.
11/5/1999 9:27 PM

I appreciate that insight, Mook. Since you can detect differences in other components I'd think you would surely pick up the differences in resistors.  
Can you REALLY tell between wire types? Man, that'd be amazing. What are the differences?
11/5/1999 9:41 PM

I think solid wire allows better harmonic content.  
I've built amps with stranded wire. In debuging, I replaced  
(most) of the stranded wire with solid. I noticed and  
immediate change in harmonic content.  
The stranded wire sounds "dull" to me.  
11/5/1999 10:07 PM
Gil Ayan

I have to agree with Mook regarding the resistor types. Most of us agree that we hear differences in caps, that seems to be very obvious to the ears. However, my experince has been that a reistor is a resistor is a resistor... Some claim that carbon comps sound warmer, and maybe that's because they generate quite a bot of thermal noise, and that noise my mask the actual sound. ;)  
Now, wire? I haven't built two amps using the same wire, I'm afraid. But I can tell you this"stranded wire can be a pain in the ass because if your stripping wire inside of a chassis, it is almost impossible to not get some "conductive debris" when you're done with it. Also, solid core can be made to look much better because it's easier to bend and tuck away.  
11/6/1999 3:08 AM

I hate to rain on anyones' parade, but let's get back to basic theory here, boys and girls. The AC signal (i.e. sound) cannot and does not actually physically travel through ANY capacitor or tube God has invented thus far. At guitar frequencies (100Hz-4kHz) the most inductive capacitor won't make a lick of difference. As for wire, the object of the game in electronics is the movement of electrons (hence the name). The teeny weeny little electron could care less whether he travels through a solid or stranded core. At microwave frequencies, MAYBE! Let's all stop the insanity and get back to playing guitar through good tube amplifiers, OK?
11/7/1999 11:16 PM

well you might just remember that capacitors, especially electrolytics, have nonlinear response, the capacitance shifts with the level of emf between the plates. That is the main problem... as for inductance, they might just oscillate in RF, but when that (inter)modulates the audio waves, bad things could happen.......  
on the wire stuff i agree, i cant find any explanation to it  
take a look at this:  
the sound of capacitors  
to get an idea  
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
   Page 1 of 5 Next> Last Page>>