Resistors differences?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Stratman69, Dec 17, 2009.


  1. Stratman69

    Stratman69 Member

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    As far as I know, there are many different types of resistors. However, my main ones of interest are the following:

    -Carbon Comp

    -Metal film

    -Carbon Film

    -Surface mount

    What are the differences between all these resistors? What are their gains/disadvantages? If they have any that is..
     
  2. Drifting

    Drifting Member

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    I'm a novice at this stuff, but from what I understand:

    It depends on the application. I definitely noticed a difference when I switched out my carbon film resistors with carbon comp. in my JTM45's pre amp, it rounded out the top end which could get a little harsh when pushed or using single coils. The amp's a bit darker now too, and I like it. Now, the CC's do drift in their tolerances, this can be good or bad.

    There is a distinguishable difference in noise though. My CC's are admittedly a little louder, but as long as they're only used in portions of the circuit that don't contribute to excess noise, it's not so bad. People seem to have the most success by using BOTH CF and CC.

    And alot of people have preferred the sound of the CF's, so it depends again on the application, and player. CF's are generally more reliable too.

    Metal films have a reputation for sounding harsh. I won't be throwing any in my JTM, but there are some pedals that use them that sound great, again; the application is important. It isn't that metal films are 'bad' resistors, it just depends on what you're going for.
     
  3. jb1911

    jb1911 Member

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  4. anais

    anais Member

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    metal film is least noisy and has 1% tolerance or sway in value.. best for pedals.

    carbon comps are noisy. good in applications in some point in amplifiers and pedals but can cause mad noise in other spots- where I am not sure... be weary

    carbon films are cheap.. a bit noisy, and have a 5% tolerance usually.. cheap, not as accurate.. that about all i know
     
  5. cj_wattage

    cj_wattage Supporting Member

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    In 9v pedals, I honestly can't hear any difference between the the three most common types (carbon comp, carbon film, metal film). I've also used metal oxide and wire-wound resistors in pedals, and they sound like the others to me as well.

    I imagine, but have not personally confirmed, that a super-clean compressor might exhibit a tad more background noise with carbon comps directly in the signal path. Maybe.

    I use metal film almost exclusively (mostly Vishay CMF series) in pedals, but not because of how they sound. I like the tight tolerance (1%).

    With carbon comp, some are 5% and some are 10%. Not the biggest deal in the world in most circuits, but it does introduce some variation.

    Also, the nice "noise" that carbon comps add to the signal is not, I don't believe, audible when they have, at most, 9v across them. The very knowledgable RG Keen gives some guidelines here:
    http://www.geofex.com/Article_Folders/carbon_comp/carboncomp.htm

    RG says that the good 2nd harmonic distortion introduced by carbon comps doesn't really kick in until around 100v. So I'd say they are not beneficial to the tone of the vast majority of pedals.

    But they look cool as hell. :rotflmao
     
  6. tjmicsak

    tjmicsak Member

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    Don't the different types provide better sound mostly because of the better tollerances? If I use a DMM to test each one I use to match the circuit specs then what other factor is there besides noise?
     
  7. cj_wattage

    cj_wattage Supporting Member

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    Eh, not really. Tight tolerance makes it easier to build the same pedal over and over again and have it sound the same. The tolerance rating itself has no effect on tone.

    If you used metal film resistors, you wouldn't need to test each one with your DMM. ;)
     

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