Many threads with opinions on boutique coupling capacitors, but very little consolidated information on the sonics of resistors. Anyone care to share their thoughts on the attributes of their favorite brands & types for specific tube and SS applications? How much of a difference does a good resistor make?
My interest in the topic increased after recently installing the latest Texas Components nude Vishay TX2575 in several SS and tube phono & LS components. This was a proverbial "Ah-ha" moment-- a stray resistor dropped into signal path here or there, surprising with an improvement that equalled or surpassed the impact of a switch to a top coupling cap like V-Cap or Mundorf.
If liquid metal really is the cats meow then it should work better for
low level signals. From what I understand it is a tin/mercury slurry,
both of which are not great conductors, or i should say, not the best
Most importantly, it contains no mercury, it is a tri-eutectic that has no mercury.
And the updated medical research (more than a few studies done as of now) on these eutectic blends, this data says the toxicology is zero... none ever found.
My local dealer builds custom speakers. He is currently working on a pair of crossovers for me. It is taking some time to get the very specific parts he uses in his top-end crossovers, particularly the very old and HUGE caps. With my crossovers, he is having a hard time getting the specific vintage wire-wound resistors that he wants. As with all vintage parts, one often has to cull through many to find ones that perform according to specifications.
I just got some 5.1 ohm resistors to try on my tweeters in a pair of Wilson Duette. I actually preferred the lower cost Duelunds to the more expensive Duelunds but preferred the Path Audio to both of those.
I had never used the Path's before. At least in this application it was much more dynamic than the Duelunds. Still need to break-in but I am very pleased so far. I did not connect the ground lead either.
Glass is a dielectric when in solidus forum. When in liquid form, it is a conductor.
Which takes you (eventually) back 'round to this aspect of 'secretive alloys' (and their construction) for the vishay bulk foil resistors. Secretive for good reason. It's one hell of a data set to have in hand in the world of materials design. (to be applied elsewhere)
If liquid metal really is the cats meow then it should work better for low level signals. From what I understand it is a tin/mercury slurry, both of which are not great conductors, or i should say, not the best conductors.
Put a heat sink on them and I think they would make a crossover look slick as hell. :)
No idea about the sound quality. :)
IME, the thicker the film, the more ’grey/grainy’ the sound.
IME, go for thin film, when and where you can.
That balance between the best and the least expensive.
The thin films will be tougher to find, as thick film is generally the industry solution for modern designs and use (surface mount, etc). Lower rates of rejection in the build (lower % of value error) and higher thermal swings can be handled. They can pound them out like tiny perfected sausages, and sell sell sell....
Except for the fact of the addition of dynamic noise from the thick film, which matters little in most electronics builds, but counts greatly in an audio build.
So one builds a great piece of gear ’x’, and uses thin film. The unit is seen as being a bit dark.
Then one wants to say "no’, you’re just illiterate as to what coloration and obscuration the gear you normally listen to -brings to the table". Which is, of course, sometimes perceived as a deep insult.
Better gear, oddly enough... can be (and is) a hard sell in a world centered on a noise standard that sits unrealized by and in the general buying public. Too many layers to sort through in those grounds they walk on.
The trick is about getting people past the personal discomfort aspect, without raising it’s spectre - into a state of conflict.
The interesting thing about the liquid metal is that the noise is dynamic and signal shaped. In other words, a dynamic impedance.
In a thick film, the lattice is frozen, so under dynamic loading the noise is born by the signal.
In the molecualr level fluid, there is no lattice, and thus the noise is lessened by the correct level of of signal drive and dynamics.
EG, one can't use the liquid metal cables for uV and mV (single digit) level phono signals. With line level signals, it is a different matter. Add in the response to it's own field emanations, and you've got a very strange and different animal.
I did the same 2 years ago with a complete rebuild out of my mono bloc pair. The Vishays have tolerances that are much tighter than 1%.. Try building resistor bridges with the nude Vishays and install in your speakers..The result will be much like the ingestion of 3D trip weed. Not ever again but much the same experience..I remember. Your speakers will be noise and grain free as has your intergrated amp become. Tom
Sbl, I am afraid I can't help you. I abandoned my Duelund resistors (regular and CAST) several years ago. Same thing with my Path Audios. All of them left too much of a fingerprint on the music. Therefore I went back to where I started---with Mills 12w---and I have had no interest in trying anything else. Sorry.
justubes2 or salectric, do you have any more progress to report on the Path Audio resistors. I presently have Kiwames mixed with Duelunds in the tweeter section. The top end is quite lively (bright) and using all Duelunds was too bright. Mixing Kiwames tamed things down but I would like to get better resolution but without the brightness. Did you find the Paths mixed well will Duelunds? Also, do the Paths affect the rhythm. Any further input on the Paths will be appreciated.
which is a fuse not a resistor, although to a layman it might look like it. That being said I find your posts enlightened and offering good advise.
I believe that this thread was questioning why one speaker manufacturer use resistors as fuses, which I consider sub par engineering at best and further evident as some report that these change value over time - which of course they will as they heat up - cool down.
Depending on their insertion in a crossover I use different resistor types, if in a zobel network for impedance correction of a woofer or midrange generally I use 25W cement resistors and almost always several in parallel as to get the power handling up where it needs to be. For attenuation of a tweeter, which I generally try to avoid, I’d use either the Caddock MP9100 which I heatsink or several 5W MOX resistors in parallel again to get the power handling up.
I agree Mills non inductance resistors are nice too and use them on occasion too.
Fusible and flame-proof resistors are quite common in the electronics industry but usually in an amplifier, not a crossover. :) The idea of the former is just like you would expect. When power is exceeded they are guaranteed to open, instead of potentially shorting or catching on fire, and save the rest of the device from a complete meltdown.
Duelund's are really weird. One of their selling points is that they have a high sensitivity to heat and power so will change values rapidly. The very last thing I want in a power resistor! :)
For speakers I stick with Mills. VERY thermally stable, very quite, very tight specs, and really small for the wattages. Also reasonably priced, all things considered.
I do want to someday work for a speaker company that will let me build with some caddock resistors and heat sink them, but so far I haven't the time / energy / funds to experiment with them.
I’m sure everyone would agree that assessing sonic characteristics of parts in a complex audio system is extremely challenging due to component interactions, but here’s my experience.
Shinkohs and Riken Ohms are nice, but just too colored, in a nice way, to use more than just a few. Have tried the old Holcos, but despite added clarity, they were a little thin sounding in the system I had back then. The Dales are natural sounding as are the old Resistas, but neither of these are as transparent as the naked Vishays.
I think the resistor of choice is the TX2575. There may be some ultimate limits even on these. After swapping in almost 80 of these in the signal path of my 2 hybrid tube amps, 60 in the crossovers, and 70 in the phono stage, I had to put 2 Resistas back in to restore a little more midbass/lower mid-range warmth (the Dales would have worked equally well). That’s all it took. Sadly, I did lose just a touch of transparency.
There are always some tradeoffs. Everyone has there own preferences. It’s really amazing (maddening?) how much changing only a couple of parts can dramatically change the sound of a decent audio system. I’m hoping to be done with all this soon!
I personally don't know the difference between old and new, my experience is recent within the past 3 years. Also Caddock makes a very nice sounding resistor so for the prices of resistors, but several and try them for your self. I mostly buy from Parts Connexion. Happy Listening.
I have tried many resistors in the preamp that I build. I do like the Vishay but also the Shinko. It also comes down to the placement in the signal path. I prefer the SHinko sound because it has what I would describe as a more real sound. The Vishay is close, it has a more open sound. To describe the difference, when I listen to female vocals and the person whispers, the air coming out of the lungs and out of the mouth sound very real with the Shinko and not the same with the Vishay. You won't know the difference unless you compare them. In my preamp I can dial in 6 different pairs of resistors on the fly so I can hear the differences immediately.
Dgarretson, yes the Duelund would likely be a very good match for the esotar.
With a metal dome it can be a little distracting, very defined detailed. The other resistors are very detailed and do not obscure detail, similar to when you use silver wiring (which the leads of the duelund are.
The Mundorfs surprisingly sound very close to the Duelunds and the Paths sounding a little more laidback and softer detais(you look into the details as opposed as the details coming at you which i do find it more more relaxed sounding..
"The sound of the duelund cast were had very spotlight detailed, too much of a good thing, internet streaming showed certain tracks distortion very clearly."
I haven't tried Mundorf or Path, but Duelund R took my Merlin VSM Esotar tweeter to a level of clarity and refinement that has ended the search for resistors for crossovers. Definitely not too much of a good thing. No interest here in obscuring detail from any source.
Some developments, now came the mundorf m-resist resitor as a temporary fix till my 1 pathaudio replacement. I dont know what happened to the my pathaudio resistor which value went from 6.8ohm to 47k. It did not break but value went up so high i thought the tweeter had problems.
The sound of the duelund cast were had very spotlight detailed, too much of a good thing, internet streaming showed certain tracks distortion very clearly.
I could only try the Mundorf available the nest day, now:
M-Resist, 1 went in the right speaker first, banished the duelunds with great relief! This was much more balanced with very good detail and has a tiny hint of sharpness as compared to the Pathaudio.
This may not be sharpness, but because the Path's are darker sounding (or more neutral), not as highlighted yet detailed. The Paths were more relaxed and smooth, allowing a higher listening volume without fatique. I believe that the slight hint of brightness associated with the steel legs on the mundorf's which i feel is the minus point in the design.
Overall, these mundorfs are the best balanced out of the 3 brands tested though i will revisit the Paths after the new replacement has been burnt in on my cooker.
In a resolving enough setup,even footers can greatly affect the sound. Every bit of wire, type of solder used etc.
I once had a bad fuse holder replaced with a different part, i noticed a difference in sound.
Each product manufacturer has a house sound, tuned based on cost of parts to achieve what the designer references presentation of music.
In the past few years, a number of very exotic equipment manufacturers now used these audiophile components, meaning -expensive parts in their design with different grades and market it accordingly. To a non tech savvy customer, at a much steeper price markup as opposed to what these parts costs, especially considering their oem costs.
Just stick to what is recommended by users based on their sonic finding and try. The more exotic parts usually always work rather well as opposed to mid tier audiophile components, which are many out there. These are a bigger effort to get them sound right in most ways than their tried popular and costlier counterparts.
" The duelund resistors do impart a "live venue" sound "
Having not followed this thread, I'm wondering if you are saying these particular or certain kinds of resistors in general will always have the certain sound signature?
Seems to me results would vary case by case design by design and I would have no clue how to pick a resistor based on how it sounds. Based on clearly specified tolerances, build/part quality, etc., but it just seems to me too much concern about the "sound" of a resistor would be a wild goose chase for most folks. Maybe not for actual product designers who have to make such choices.
Still enjoying music with the new resistors in place.
Another point, the Duelund cast resistors now seemed coloured and gives a distinct sonic flavour or same enhanced "live music atmosphere" over more songs than the pathaudio resistors. I do miss abit of the colour!
Paths are so much more neutral in this regard. By no means does the path's sound cold, thin or lean. It just sounds more linear and neutral.
For any system towards the darker side, the duelund cast resistors should work also, but cost more than the paths, so it's a hard choice. The duelund resistors do impart a "live venue" sound which is also kind of nice, maybe in a more damped or dead room will help bring the required liveliness or airiness.
I did not connect the shield, cannot imagine any improvement as the other signal path is not shielded. Could it lead to quieter/dull sound?
I feel the level of boutique parts have reached a level which one could well be happy with either of these parts with some good matching with other parts. I do have casts in the tweeter and bypass the mids in the crossover, they don't do harm but i never felt they were exception (very good as it is) comparing to teflon vcaps / jupiter copperfoil - they are all top notch. i actually felt the vcap TFTF gave more air than the duelund cast while never sounding bright, just very extended though a touch more neutral than duelunds.
The highs pricing of some of these parts , however good, just cannot maintain a decent cost/performance ratio with the competition available.
The cast caps are good in the output stage of my preamp, nothing magical. just neutral with no misgivings. I feel the Vcap TFTF and CUTF can give more noticeable difference (super linear for the TFTF and saturated tonal colour for the CUTF) which can work even better in a system correctly matched.
I have a jupiter in the output of my phono, nice and have lost the desire to find the best. Maybe sometime when i have time to listen to LP's will i swap the duelunds in - that when i have/tryout a passive preamp. The sound of the cap can be compensated elsewhere that i am lost at the number of permutations in tweaking possible. So long as the cap is of a certain level, it works for me, or should i put it as i will make it work for me.
I now focus attention to the PSU which brings about dramatic changes. Gone are the days of just swapping in "better" electrolytic caps. I now focus more on changing transformers, low noise regs etc. in the PSU circuit which i find makes more difference on a cost/improvement, but still learning in this area.
Great report Justubes2! I am glad the PathAudio resistors have worked well for you. Your description of the Duelund resistors as having "a larger unfocussed and slightly messy soundstage" is, I believe, the same thing I was trying to describe as "wispy" highs that seem to float around in space; the soundstage with the Duelund resistors is big and airy but not focused.
Have you connected the ground shield lead on the PathAudios? If so, to what? I am still using mine without the shield connected.
I want to emphasize that my misgivings about the Duelund resistors (both CAST and regular variety) do not apply in any way to the CAST capacitors. I continue to feel that the CAST caps are the single best sounding capacitor for speaker crossovers. Expensive but well worth the investment. I am not quite as enthusiastic about CAST caps in electronics. In that application I think system matching is more of an issue, and I prefer a balance of CAST and V-Caps. Right now I use a CAST cap in only one place in my electronics---the output coupler on my phono stage. All of my other couplers are either CuTF or regular V-Caps.
After a backbreaking afternoon, the paths have been installed in series the mid and tweeter.
I was broken in on the frybaby for a week and a couple of hours on a bedroom set.
I not sure if the were even close to brokem in nut has a bit strange highs which quicky vanished after half an hour.
These are good and won't hesistate to choose them on the pencil lead resistors. Duelund have good detail and did mostly good with the exception of harshness in the uppermid(midrange driver) and tweeter on 20% of recording which caused some hurt to my hearing.
All these are now banished, thanks to Salectric ;) i had always felt from changing caps etc. the duelund cast gave to the sound i would not expect more.
Details, bass, mids, highs of the path are spot on, no touch of brightness, no shortcoming that i can tell. I feel the biggest difference is the control of the individual sound and sure footedness in the music now, more balanced over the frequencies.
The cast remind me of the mundorf sio capacitors sound, beautiful but with a larger unfocussed and slightly messy soundstage. Swapping the the path resistors were akin to moving up from the mundorf sio cap to something like the duelund cast / Vcap teflon capacitors.
I initially had reservations on how the cast resistors could be bettered, and hesistant to swap in the paths as i had already bought them. I do not need to swap the duelunds back in now!
I guess they can only get better with more run in.
Yes, my resistors are all in the high-pass section of my 2-way crossover. And I am using a mix of Mills wirewound (black body) and PathAudio. I am not using any Duelund resistors these days.
As for why I have a mix rather than all PathAudio, my speakers need some emphasis in the extreme highs, and the Mills provide a sparkle or shimmer that the more neutral PathAudio does not. It is not a case of one being better than the other. You have to mix-and-match to get the particular sound that you were seeking.
I have PathAudio resistors in 2 spots which are 5 and 10 ohms. Right now I am still using Mills in the other two positions. I plan to get some more PathAudios to try there as well.
You may want to break in the resistors before you put them in your speakers. I hook up new parts to the speakers in my video system first so I can run them 24/7 for a week or so without messing up the sound of the hifi.
I have always had the problem as you described thin airy and bright (adds details).
I never got a tighter solid center vocal imaging, it always sounds larger than life with the cast resistors, goes with the airy wider soundstage.
i was just thinking of changing the resistor to the midrange as i felt is has a upper midrange brightness that was a bit painful on brighter recordings.
I do however, like the overall presentation so far, guess from you description, it is worth a try (just hope its not too much of a direction change to the sound). FWIW, i am using a cast cap for the tweeter as well.
It's just quite startling just 1 resistor can contribute to the sound.
To my ears, the neutrality of the PathAudio does not make it any less exciting than the Duelund CAST. When I listen with the PathAudio, words like "direct, clear, solid" come to mind. With the CAST, I am thinking "airy, bright, thin." Individual priorities come into play here, but for me the sound with the PathAudio resistors is more satisfying and less distracting than with the CAST.
I do appreciate the work involved in replacing parts when they are inside the speaker cabinet. I moved my crossover outboard for just that reason.
Salectric, Thanks for the detailed impressions, i did just come across your other posting on the path's.
I have only tried the duelunds, both cast and non cast. Your impressions do mirror mine, although no comparing with other resistors. Having swapped the standard resistors, the detail and clarity was an overwhelming improvement.
As the lightness in the midbass, i too feel the duelunds was slightly glossed over and oversmooth, while nice, loss some weight and heft.
The high's, your definition of wispyness. I would describe a Qsound kins of effect, allowing a wide stage and sound floating midway between the speaker and listener. Its forward tendencies means the sound are not at the speaker or behind it, lessening the impression of any depth. Its like a 3d fanfare between the speaker and listener, quite pleasing i might add.
Sadly, yes the slight brightness add to the dynamics of the whole frequency range, including the bass. It this an artificial artifact of dynamics, sometime i feel its can become slightly bright and piercing.
The duelunds for sure never sound dark, alway accentuating the clarity and detail.
I will try the paths for the mids.
I do like the clarity in the highs using the duelunds, do the paths neutrality make things less exciting or more distant, i.e say cymbal stay at the plane of the tweeter and not project further out like the duelunds giving a front row seats impression. Is it more midhall presentation for the paths? Something like the presentation of a mundorf supreme cap (neutral and more distant) vs the silver oil cap(more direct and upfront with added brightness of the silver)?
Still on the fence to try the paths on the tweeters. Just too much work!
Justubes2, I am happy to provide more details regarding the Duelund CAST vs. PathAudio resistors. First let me provide some context. All of my testing has been with my DIY speakers (described on my system page) in the high-pass portion of a 1200 Hz crossover which has 4 resistors. I have tried five types of resistors: Mills 12w black body (the old Mills), Mills 12w brown body (new style), regular Duelund (brown body), Duelund CAST (black body), and PathAudio. By the way, some of my comments below relate to bass and one might question how anything in the high-pass crossover could affect the bass. All I can say is it does!
Tonal balance. The CAST resistors are slightly bright and more than slightly lean. To my ears, they are lacking in weight and foundation which gives them overall a "lightweight" sound. I think the mids may be slightly forward as well. In contrast, the PathAudio resistors are pretty much neutral as far as I'm concerned. They may be slightly dark and slightly warm. They certainly had these colorations in the first few days and even weeks, but they gradually disappeared. There may still be some trace of these colorations but if so it is quite minor.
Detail. Both the CAST and the PathAudio have excellent inner detail. I wouldn't choose one over the other in this respect.
Dynamics. Both have excellent dynamics although here I would give the nod to the PathAudio since the CAST is a bit restrained in the bass due to its lightweight tonal balance.
Transient speed. The PathAudio is faster on leading edges than the CAST which has a slight softening on sudden transients.
Overall, I would describe the CAST as having great detail and dynamics but a rather lightweight sound and wispy highs. By "wispy" I mean that the treble is airy and atmospheric, a "big" sound, but the treble is hard to pin down. It is as if the sound is in a fog floating around. I don't know if that description helps much, but it's something that I have heard consistently with the CAST resistors from day one. In contrast, the PathAudio has a solid, direct, clear sound, excellent detail and dynamics, a neutral total balance, and a neutral soundstage perspective. I have no doubt the PathAudio has faults since nothing is perfect, but I haven't identified any failings in my tests.
It might also help to provide some comments on the Mills 12w blackbody resistors, which I used routinely prior to the Duelunds. The Mills are not as detailed and not as dynamic as either the CAST or PathAudio, and they have a lean midbass and slightly crisp high frequencies with a slight edge. However, the Mills do have a solid, direct, clear sound, with none of the wispy quality of the CAST resistors. In some ways, the PathAudio has the positive qualities of the Mills resistors but with a more neutral total balance, more detail, more dynamics and no edge. (The newer Mills brown body resistors do not sound as good in my opinion.)
Of course, the above comments are simply my opinions based on my speakers and my listening priorities. There is nothing absolute here.
How do the PathAudio resistors sonics differ from the Duelund?
I find the Duelunds a bit bright on hasher recording, but sound sublime on well recorded.
I don't have external crossovers, so swapping is a bit of a PITA to try.
Specifically are they more neutral? (just worried they might sound detailed but too laid back or distant sounding.
Any more specifics on how is the mid bass and low bass, is it as reported above more solid and body in comparison.
I'm rather very happy with Duelunds now, except for the few recording which sound a tad sharper, could well be the silver end leads of the Duelund, but like the very lively and exceptionally clear sound.
I need to supplement or correct my earlier post about PathAudio resistors. After a very lengthy breakin period (I wasn't keeping track but I have been using them for a couple of months), the PathAudios do sound really good. The issues I had with a recessed midrange and dark highs have faded away to insignificance. For my tastes they sound better than the Duelunds.
this is from Path Audio ,and I confirmed this from other dealers in Europe send from Path engineer below. Yes, Duelund resistors are good. In my opinion and our customers, PathAudio resistors have some advantages: - dynamics - smoothness - more body - better micro details - much better resolution in high frequencies - much better bass when its parallel (with capacitor) to woofer - neutral in midrange
If you have find it better in 5 hours then there are a lot of new experiences to go :) You hear probably also the new soldering now. I think 2 weeks from the begining will give you about 75% of the overall performance. The total smoothness will appear in about 1-2 months, depending on the intensity of playing hours.
I agree with you with the Cast resistors they are excellent. Email Hifi collective in the UK. 100 hrs min for runin and recommend using the ground to the Loudspeaker terminal as a RF screen. The Path Audio resistors and Duelund resistors are both excellent The both sound different in a given circuit. Duelund tolerance are 5% and Path Audio a1% which will be a bit better in driver accuracy to a very Small point.
Interesting Audioman, maybe I need to run in my PathAudio resistors some more. I was not so pleased with their sound compared to Duelund CAST resistors, but I doubt that I had anything close to 100 hours before I removed them. My main complaints about the PathAudio were a recessed distant perspective and subdued dynamics relative to the CAST. I will break them in further and try them again.
The CAST resistors are excellent in my opinion. The regular Duelunds, on the other hand, have some fairly serious colorations that make them only suitable for specific applications where the colorations are complementary. Regular Duelunds are excessively warm in the lower mids and are rolled off in the highs. But they do have very good detail and dynamics. The CAST resistors are much more neutral.
Hello I have experimented with Vishay,Caddock, For Loudspeaker networks the Duelund was the best IMO at dissapating heat,and a Very neutral and natural presentation . Recently I heard from friends across the pond in the U.K about the newest Best resistor ,also incorporating a ground off the Copper chassis. A company called Path Audio,hand made in Poland. They are a bit pricy But the most natural resistors I have ever used.this includes others that have many years in the field. These resistors do take a solid 100 hours Before fully settled in. Well worth the expense,$35 retail and at a 1% tolerance The best in the business for a Loudspeaker Xover.