diyAudio (
-   Parts (
-   -   resistor comparison test - tantalum? (

dorkus 12th October 2002 06:41 PM

resistor comparison test - tantalum?
i'm looking to do some resistor listening tests to see which parts i like the sound of most. most likely i'll test a single resistor as a series element in a shunt attenuator... a 15k fixed resistor with a 50k Noble shunt pot. brands i'm thinking of include Holco (though the poor mechanical integrity is making me wary of them), Caddock, BC, and Dale if i can find some non-magnetic ones. ideally i'd like to collect 6 to 8 candidates for comparison listening, using a rotary switch to select between them. anybody interested in the results of such an experiment?

in particular, i'm looking to try some tantalum resistors of the SMT variety. anybody try these devices or have any recommendations?
two that i know of are Venkel MELF thin film (tantalum alloy) and IRC PFC (tantalum nitride).


dice45 13th October 2002 06:36 PM


in your resistor test you should skip Holco because of the reson you named; then old ones (TMK revoked and no longer available) were nonmagnetic and sounded very good (but a bit mushy), but the new, reliable ones are magnetic (steel end caps) and sound ugly. You do not get the old ones anymore, so why bother with them?

Any tantalum i tried out so far was very good but those made by Shinko (also revoked but Qvortrup and Borbely still have stock) and by Corning are outstandingly musical and sonically correct.

I was always very happy with non-magnetic, non-inductive wirewound ones. Mills for instance.

Also into your test belongs the Vishay metal ribbon resisitor. IMO the best resistor available.

dorkus 14th October 2002 03:51 AM

hi bernhard,

hmm, good point, i forgot that Holcos suck now (magnetic). i will probably not bother with them. i guess i'm obliged to try vishay but i've heard mixed things - some people think they're very transparent others find them edgy and and bright. i guess it depends on tastes and application, but i'll give it a shot. you're referring the S102 bulk foil types right?

i like Mills wirewound very much, but for small signal electronics they're a bit bulky. i'll see if i can find the Corning tantalum types - i'm assuming they're standard axial lead? i'm interested in trying some SMT types as well...

roddyama 14th October 2002 04:13 AM

Hi Dorkus,

Here is the link to the partsconnextion. I just received an email from them saying that they had just got a large NOS supply of the Holcos. These are suppose to be the ones with all copper construction. They also have tantalums (donít know what manufacturer)

If possible, please include the Vishay/Dale 1% RN60ís in your experiment. If nothing else it will provide a reference to a widely used resistor.

Rodd Yamas***a

peterr 14th October 2002 07:42 AM

good plan!
And maybe Riken Ohm and Kiwame?

SuppersReady 14th October 2002 07:53 AM

Re: Holcos suck,

Just how significant has the change of construction been to the Holco resistor's sound? Are they no longer a worthwhile option? If so, why?:confused:



dorkus 14th October 2002 07:56 AM

yeah, they're using steel (magnetic) endcaps now. most everyone agrees that ferrous material in a component negatively affects the sound. they were decent-sounding resistors when they had copper end caps but with the new steel construction i expect them to be degraded somewhat... non-magnetic Dales or the like are probably better options, for less money too. or if you have some $$$ to spare, Caddocks and Vishays are nice... also i hear BC makes a nice cheap resistor, non-magnetic too...

SuppersReady 14th October 2002 08:02 AM

Hi Dorkus,

Yeah, I accept the point about ferrous material, the aim with my current project (Aleph 5) is to avoid such materials. But my concern was whether the Holcos were being dismissed simply because of the change of spec's, or have many people reported a degradation of sound quality.



dorkus 14th October 2002 08:05 AM

i am pretty sure people have tried the new holcos and not liked the results (i haven't yet). but you can give them a shot yourself if you're not sure.

setriode 14th October 2002 01:15 PM

Welborne labs has old Holcos (and Roderstein MK3). I am about to make a major investment in time with a 23 position ladder attenuator and would be fascinated to receive some recommendations. I was thinking of either the MK3s or the Welborne Vishay Dale 1% metal films. BTW Welborne's prices are excellent and please dont finish his stock before I order mine. ;)

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:28 PM.

Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 18.75%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2018 diyAudio