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Old 21st October 2002, 10:28 PM   #1
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Question Do hi-fi parts really sound better?

Is this just a selling scheme or is an $11.50 resistor any better sounding?
Tantalum Film Resistors


Tantalum film resistors from Japan, tinned copper axial leads. Considered by many D.I.Y. experimenters to be the best resistor for audio, offering unparalleled resolving power and transparency with warmth and musicality. NO metal film or foil type resistor even comes close. The "tants" we sell are the same resistors used in the famed Ongaku, Gaku-On, M-7 and other Audio Note Japan thoroughbreds.The body of the .5 watt resistors is 1 cm. long and the leads are 2.5 cm long. Diameter of the body is about 3 mm. The body of the 1 watt resistors measure about 1.5 cm. long and the leads are about 3.5 cm long. Diameter of the body is about .5 cm.

Please can someone explain to me if these products are just fads or if these parts really sound better than what is available at DIGIKEY! Who has done reliable comparisions on these products?

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Old 21st October 2002, 11:06 PM   #2
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Default TANTS.

Hi,

There should be cheaper sources but yes,if used sparingly and critically they do bring sonic bliss.
Naturally you can not make a lousy circuit into a good one by just tossing some resistors.

Cheers,

Frank.
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Old 22nd October 2002, 12:05 AM   #3
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Yes, better parts improve sonics. But also, better racks, better shelves, feet and everything that has to do with supporting your equipment. Personally, I would never spend that much for a resistor without testing it in a circuit first. But if it would bring expected results, I would go for it. It also depends on your current system, it's resolution and ability to show differences. And depending on a setup, sometimes a better part might not be better at all.
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Old 22nd October 2002, 12:44 AM   #4
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well i have dynaudio speakers and am trying to figure out what parts to put into an aleph 1.2. I have a understanding of electronics but with so many choices i dont know what would be the best sounding. I am seeking the best. I have seen some examples of rip-offs in my opinion the plitron audio transformer that is so called extra quiet is one of them at more than double the cost of a standard transformer for a reduction in sound emitted that is undetectible at normal distances from the equipment, possibly if the equipment where at close distances to some sort of amplification or microphone in a recording studio would it be usefull.
Is the same type of thing going on for these HIFI parts such as paying for more accurate values that are no better in sound but just super accurate in value or super high frequency capable which is totally useless in most audio equipment?
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Old 22nd October 2002, 12:59 AM   #5
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Well, untill recently I was also scheptical about exotic parts, but recently I started experimenting and listening and I have to confirm that ea. part sound different and more expensive are usually better. I was using Holco resistors and for the price it's hard to beat them ($.50). Recently, I also bought some Vishay S102 (but second hand and paid only 25% original price) and I will use them in strategic locations . You might try to contact http://www.percyaudio.com/ and ask him for advice. After all he's been doing it long enough.
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Old 22nd October 2002, 06:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: Do hi-fi parts really sound better?

Quote:
Originally posted by Shaun Perez
Is this just a selling scheme or is an $11.50 resistor any better sounding?
Tantalum Film Resistors
....
If you had asked me I had said no. If you shall improve the sound quality, look first at the circuit, then at the active devices and last at the passive ones.

But, if you are unsure, make yourself your mind up in testing!
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Old 22nd October 2002, 01:03 PM   #7
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Shaun,

<b>I have seen some examples of rip-offs in my opinion the plitron audio transformer that is so called extra quiet is one of them at more than double the cost of a standard transformer for a reduction in sound emitted that is undetectible at normal distances from the equipment, possibly if the equipment where at close distances to some sort of amplification or microphone in a recording studio would it be usefull.</b>

Are you speaking from direct personal expereince about the transformers, or merely theorising?
I've actually seen the mains waveforms, and the "DC" rails of a number of amps on a spec-an and it aint pretty. Remember an amplifier is merely a device that modulates it's power supply. If thats crap, so will be your amplifier.
Note: I haven't specifically used the Plitrons, I have my own EI core mains trans custom made. Torroids are too wide band.
Also don't assume that because it doesn't show up on a simple THD+N test that it's inaudible.

Hyper-accurate tolerances aren't usually important, except for some applications such as RIAA/IEC eq. The construction of different passive components IS audible on a system of sufficient resolution, and they all sound different. My suggestion is, you just build it with standard Dales etc, live with it for a few months, and then play with the passives, a couple at a time to see whether you can hear the difference and/or whether it's important to you. Source/drain load resisitors, inputs, and feedback ones make the most difference IME.

The sound of an amp is determined about 50% topology/actives, 40% PSU including it's passives, and the rest in the passive Rs and Cs in the signal path. This is not fixed, and the reason I mentioned topology first, is that will determine the performance of the rest of the amp.
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Old 22nd October 2002, 01:04 PM   #8
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The best quality parts will be the most transparent to the signal, and there are a lot of properties that will affect this. A better question may be "will you hear the difference?", because many people won't. I like to think that a lot of people on this board have discriminating hearing when it comes to these things, but the fact is, spending money on more "the best" parts won't do a thing if you're listening to MP3s or the radio or something, and it won't do a thing if you haven't taken care of your hearing.

I only point this out because I know a lot of people who can't hear the difference between an MP3 and a CD...
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Old 22nd October 2002, 01:54 PM   #9
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Default COMPONENTS

Hi folk,

Narcisse,

I'm pretty much convinced that almost anyone (bar the unwilling)
actually does hear differences in soundquality.

Quote:
I only point this out because I know a lot of people who can't hear the difference between an MP3 and a CD...
If people can't hear the difference between those two formats they're very lucky.Now all they have to do is start downloading the stuff.Really?

Where I do agree with you though is that it is probably is not worth to spend big bucks on an MP3 player modding it whith topnotch components.
IME most people do hear differences even subtle ones but when asked if they think either one is better you usually get a numb stare back from them.

A trained person (and I always have been a die hard tweaker of commercial product) can easily distinguish between components,interconnects and LS cable.

Ideally all passive components should be perfectly neutral but in reality they just never are.
From experience I can assure you that a few coupling caps come pretty close to the theoritical no cap sound lately.
That has taken years of development though and resistors may eventually end up that way aswell (I hope).
In the meantime it is matching and mixing whilst aiming for a neutral tonal balance.
To achieve that equilibrium you just have to spend months trying different components.
To give you an example from the time I was doing this crazy stuff:
In tubed gear I invariably found the older Holco's to sound fine as anode and cathode resistors but prefered the Vishay S102 series everywhere else in the signal path.
BTW IMO these old Holco's could sound rather lacklustre and lifeless if you used too many of them.

Now if you want to put your own hearing to the test just go out and buy whatever length of industrial coax that has steel as the central carrier (copper plated or silver whatever,just test it for magnetism),make up your cable and have a listen.

I'll bet you'll find the sound err...steelly!

It may come as a surprise but all materials have their own sonic footprint.
Another example:when you see a TT with a glass platter and play a record directly on that the sound is then often described as glassy.
Once you get the hang of things like that you can often already tell what some gear is going to sound like just by looking at it.
Truly amazing.

\end of rant mode.

Best regards,
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Old 22nd October 2002, 01:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: COMPONENTS

Quote:
Originally posted by fdegrove

Once you get the hang of things like that you can often already tell what some gear is going to sound like just by looking at it.
Truly amazing.


That is my experience as well.
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