It's all a matter of taste. I tend to prefer Kiwami resistors in tubed applications, as Vishays can sound a little too analytical. However, from what I've heard, the Vishay/Dales are the finest sounding resistors for the Goldpoint stepped attenuators. Very, very clean sounding response...exactly what you want in a pre. Cheers!
I never heard of Dales resistor. Do you have the address of their website or a distributor?
An abruptly awakened spouse!
RE: An abruptly awakened spouse. Generally falling into four well developed levels of resistance.
First, an audio receptor.
Second, a music critic.
Third, a dancer shuffling to the beat as they enter.
Last, sounding like an angry rock group, protesting the policies of the day (or night).
All passive components sound the same i.e. a resistor is a resistor, a capacitor is a capacitor, wire is wire, etc... So long as all parts used are within a specific tolerance, they should all measure the same electrically. Since test equipment is FAR more sensitive than the resolution that our ears offer, the pursuit of "better sound" through more expensive "parts" is strictly snake oil and salemanship at its' finest.
Wait a minute. Disregard all of that hogwash. Somehow, the ghost of Julian Hirsch ( or was it Peter Aczel ??? ) somehow took over my thought process and bodily functions. Luckily, one of my cats came by and scared the evil spirits away. As you know, evil spirits are afraid of cats ( just watch "The Mummy" if you don't believe me ). Luckily, no permanent damage or "full time possession" occured.
Honestly though, i know that Ohmite was working on some "audiophile grade" resistors a while ago. Don't know if they ever came to surface or not. Dave B ( who used to be an Asylum regular ) and Jon Risch were working on the design. Might be worth checking into, even if it ends up a dead end. Sean
www.diyhifisupply.com sells goldpoint kits that include the Vishay/Dales and instructions on assembly. It's a tedious soldering job, but well worth the effort! Cheers!
I hav only heard good things about BULK metal film. The vishay is one and the Caddock is another. Caddock started in the precision test and measurement fields. .01% is easy for them. Chris
Ohmite did come out with an audio grade resistor. Ive used them with great results. They can be found at
George is a very knowledgible guy.
The Vishay aee good,Hovland makes great capacitors.They make a big difference.
Ignore the whole "SNAKE OIL" bit. IF you couldn't hear the difference in my SET monoblocks when I switched from No-Name Caps to Ansar Supersounds, then you don't have ears. Again, when I switched the resistors from standard mil spec to Kiwami in the input line, another huge step occured.
But anyways, the best resistors I've ever heard in a Goldpoint (which was in a highly modified Bottlehead Foreplay) was Vishay/Dale's. Very good match for the tubes. However, in a modded Belles pre with a goldpoint, it didn't sound nearly as good. FAR too etched. In that situation, Holco's sounded MUCH, MUCH better. I agree with Brian Cherry from DIYHIFI on this one. Cheers!
There's nothing wrong with Holcos, and The Parts Connection has the best prices on them that I've seen. If you consider Vishay or Caddock, be aware that there are different types, some very highly regarded, others not. E.g. I was informed by one company president that certain Caddocks aren't much good, though he sees other Caddocks as the best choice for an amplifier upgrade he offers. I have one passive preamp using Shallco switches in which I have tantalum resistors, said to be the ones used in top Audio Note Japan gear. I only need six positions, so the high price didn't kill me. I did very careful comparisons with Holcos, which I like a lot, and liked the tants better--a very "natural" sound, maybe even with tubelike "bloom" compared to metal films. In the end, it's very much a matter of taste. You could do some comparison testing with fixed attenuation networks, as I did before settling on the tants. All you need is two pairs of RCA jacks and four resistors, for such a network.
A great idea from Tom Nice!
If anyone tries his idea I would like to read a report of how various resistors sounded, and in what equipment. Would be a learning experience for everyone.
I second Albert's motion and regret I have neither the skills nor the parts availability to try this!
Perhaps the proper question is what is the best resistor for a particular application. About 10 years ago, a friend constructed three sets of pots for my Crosby modified Spectral DMC 10 preamp, all using 39 position TechLabs silver contact switches, but using three different brands of resistors, Vishay, Holco and Resista. We then substituted them in the preamp, listening to each. The Vishays were clearly the quietest and had the most detail but could sound a little sterile. The Holco's and Resista's both sounded less sterile, but at the expense of some additional noise and loss of low level detail. The Resista's had the best soundstage, particularly with respect to differentiating height (i.e. not everything sounded as if it emanated from the same height), the Vishays were the worst with respect to height. None was perfect.
I agree completely with Fcrowder in that it depends upon the position in the circuit. Fcrowder, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think your resistor comparison tests were utilizing series-configured resists on the volume controls so you were actually listening to the additive effects of several or many resistors in series. Though I completely agree with your findings as I performed a similar test with my DMC-10Z, I found that the noise contribution from a single Holco, Resista or Caddock as in a ladder-type volume control to be much more satisfying than in the series configuration. The Vishay "metal foil" is still the most transparent for low-level applications, but they simply aren't feasible in high voltage/power applications. The only problem with Holcos are that they don't like high voltages (>150 V) regardless of their specs, and you must be very careful when bending their leads. If the soft-metal caps on the ends of the ceramic tube are distorted, they will become noisey or fail outright. However, even with these cautions, they are still an excellent resistor.
Goodluck with your DIY projects,Dismal. They can be very rewarding.
I have been "listening" to various resistors for about 2 weeks now (on & off). I gathered various 10K resistors and used them as the main resistor in a shunt configuration with an Alps 100k pot.
A few times when I turned on my system I had forgotten which resistor was plugged into an adapter made to check the resistors; most of the time when I determined that a particular sound was the one I preferred, it was a Holco.
I also like the older Davens/Shallcross/IRC resistors,
these come in a very close second, very relaxed musical presentation. I have found that the Holco's yield the tautest bass, another resistor a "Sage Silcohm" had even deeper bass and was also preferred for the singing voice but was a tad soft in reproducing highs.
I also auditioned Vishay 102 and a tantalum, which to me were very similar and very good.
Half the fun is going to different surplus stores and rummaging...you never know what you will find.
Speaking of which ...I just came across a flat wire wound, wound around a piece of mica, (flat as a playing card)with also flat 1/4" leads made by General Radio, that, after an initial listen may just displace the Holco as my main resistor.
This is a GREAT thread that i think we are all learning from. It does, however, bring up a few more questions. Since that is the case, let's start a new thread... : ) Sean