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Old 12th April 2013, 06:09 PM   #1
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Default Do I need "high quality" loading resistor?

I saw a quite expensive (US$1000+) phono amp is only using Philips carbon film resistor as loading resistor. I am curious to know if changing it to, e.g. Caddock, will improve the sound quality?
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Old 12th April 2013, 06:28 PM   #2
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Assuming the original resistor is not faulty and is not carrying any appreciable DC current, probably not.
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Old 12th April 2013, 10:28 PM   #3
andyr is offline andyr  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunsun22 View Post
I saw a quite expensive (US$1000+) phono amp is only using Philips carbon film resistor as loading resistor. I am curious to know if changing it to, e.g. Caddock, will improve the sound quality?
I did read on one Forum or another, a long time ago, that the quality of loading resistors is important - even though it's hard to see why - in a shunt position - they should have an affect on the sound (apart from "taming" the cartridge response).

I've never done such experimentation myself (I just use Beyschlag metal films that I get from my amp designer) but you might like to experiment. Whether Caddocks would really be good, though ... is something you would have to try out. Other good candidates, I would suggest, are Holco/PRP and Vishay S102.

BTW, some people swear by carbon film resistors!


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Andy
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Old 12th April 2013, 11:02 PM   #4
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Experiencing is very subjective. I am not having golden ears for subtle improvement that it would be helpful if there is a theoratical reason.
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Old 12th April 2013, 11:43 PM   #5
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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the value of loading R and C tune the bump from cartridge LCR - effects mostly seen top octave

the values really should be selected for each cartridge, though 47k is a common standard

there is no DC bias so excess noise isn't an issue

MM carts "high" output still doesn't heat a naked eye visible 47k R enough to worry about tempco distortion

as far as "resistor sound" - someone can be found that say they like just about any type over another
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Old 13th April 2013, 09:50 AM   #6
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyr
even though it's hard to see why - in a shunt position - they should have an affect on the sound
Shunt and series have the same effect on signal, which may be negligibly small or significant depending on the situation.

Some people have a concept called 'signal path', which seems to relate mainly to series components. It is based on a misconception so best ignored.
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Old 13th April 2013, 10:15 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
Some people have a concept called 'signal path', which seems to relate mainly to series components. It is based on a misconception so best ignored.
I think very good enginiers don't share your opinion about "signal path". About shunt and series differences depend a lot of quality resistors because shunt it's only one noise resistor & series you are summing each step another noise resistor.
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Old 13th April 2013, 11:11 AM   #8
godfrey is offline godfrey  South Africa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcx View Post
MM carts
I'd expect a $1000 phono preamp to be aimed at MC carts. Otherwise agree with what you said.

BTW, Top tip for MM cart users:
The orange stripe on the 47K resistors can add warmth to the sound, but you lose that with 1% or other "precision" resistors that use the 5 band color code. Best to stick to 5% or 10%, depending on whether you prefer the silver or gold.
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Old 13th April 2013, 01:58 PM   #9
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Godfrey what a perfectly sensible observation, if I want a warmer sound can I just paint the orange band on the resistors?
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Old 13th April 2013, 02:29 PM   #10
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Yes, I am referring to MC phono amp.

After google for more, what I found is the quality of resistor do have influence on the tone but not necessary more expensive resistors would out-perform cheap resistors. It is the combination of L,R,....Therefore, hearing is believing - back to square one - I don't have a pair of golden ears.

Yet, a correct loading is something that I can hear. I purchased a new MC cartridge that come in a wooden box and crafted the optimum loading resistor as 100R to 200R (Loading range is 100R to 47K). However, after a month of run-in, I still don't like the tone, its too high. I gradually increase the resistor and found 520R is the best in my system. When I was wondering why the margin is so great between my system and the factory's recommendation, I discovered the correct loading resistor from the factory's website shows 500R! Obviously, the wooden box is an old version.

Last edited by Sunsun22; 13th April 2013 at 02:36 PM.
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