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Best wire for internal / point-to-point (Ag and Cu) Audio Interfaces
Old 20th December 2010
  #1
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soulglow's Avatar
 

Best wire for internal / point-to-point (Ag and Cu)

Can anyone recommend their favorite wire for internal connections (i.e. point-to-point wiring) in analog audio gear? I'd be interested in both copper and silver wire suggestions as both have their place depending on goals and budget.

Any secret sources for the stuff would be swell, too.
Old 20th December 2010
  #2
Actually, I like the teflon insulated Aluminum wire if I'm soldering....

-tINY
Old 20th December 2010
  #3
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soulglow's Avatar
 

Hmmm, you mean like the little jumper wires in breadboarding kits? Why? (just curious)
Old 20th December 2010
  #4

Actually, the MIL-Spec stuff. You can put your iron on it for a long time witout the insulator shrinking or melting.


-tINY
Old 20th December 2010
  #5
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Teflon is a good insulator for temperature tolerance and dielectric. I recall using special hot wire strippers for working with teflon insulation, back on an old mil-spec navy project in the 60's.

Aluminum as a conductor is not as good as copper (IIRC) and used in some lower cost house wiring to save money. Some fires have been attributed to the aluminum developing high impedance joints that over heat due to IxR heating across the bad connection.

I don't think I've ever soldered aluminum wire, do you use a special flux?

JR
Old 21st December 2010
  #6


The MIL-Spec stuff is copper-plated aluminum. For signal level and low power (<1000W) it works fine.

I've never tried soldering it with this lead-free crap, though....



-tINY

Old 21st December 2010
  #7


Actually, looking around the internet, it looks like copper-clad aluminum wire is pretty rare. So, someone may have been blowing smoke on the metal in the stranded wire I rook out of Naval systems durring upgrades at a defence contractor.

The insulation was definately teflon, though.



-tINY

Old 22nd December 2010
  #8
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2N1305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post

Actually, the MIL-Spec stuff. You can put your iron on it for a long time witout the insulator shrinking or melting.


-tINY
Yes the MIL-16878 stuff is what we use. IT RULES
It is expensive but once you work with it, it's difficult to go back to PVC insulated wire. I too, have benefitted from "picking some up"... (garbage day at work)
And it is silver-plated copper. At least the 16878 is. PTFE is Polytetrafluoroethylene.
I also ordered some from Wiremasters : http://www.wiremasters.net/
Old 22nd December 2010
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post
I've never tried soldering it with this lead-free crap, though....
i have, wish i hadn't
Old 22nd December 2010
  #10
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Cool, thanks for the input. Lead-free must be a state by state thing. I can still get 60/38/2 at Radio shack.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #11
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I've purchased the silver plated copper from :John's Silver Teflon Wire Shop items - Get great deals on New Arrivals, 26 AWG items on eBay Stores!

He sells small qtys.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulglow View Post
Cool, thanks for the input. Lead-free must be a state by state thing. I can still get 60/38/2 at Radio shack.
its weird, i'm in the uk, and no-one sells it but you can buy online. melting temp is higher for non-lead me thinks.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixedupsteve View Post
I've purchased the silver plated copper from :John's Silver Teflon Wire Shop items - Get great deals on New Arrivals, 26 AWG items on eBay Stores!

He sells small qtys.
Oooo lots of good stuff, but too many choices for my less-than-optimally caffeinated mind at the moment. Would this one be "the jam" for the point to point stuff?

And I'm assuming it would be beneficial to use the shielded version for the longer or critical runs? If so, does it makes sense to tie that shield to star/chassis ground?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oxide54 View Post
its weird, i'm in the uk, and no-one sells it but you can buy online. melting temp is higher for non-lead me thinks.
I don't know why all the bans; I've been using lead bearing solder for 25 years while eating cheetos, smoking cigs, and rubbing my eyes and there's nothing *TIC* wrong with me.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #15
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After working with the Pb free for a few years now, can say honestly that I don't miss the lead.

I do miss the good looking, shiny solder joints, and my iron does miss the lower temps.

But I find not a bit of difference tinning alum// vs //copper with Pb-free.. it must take a bit of touch
Old 23rd December 2010
  #16


Where the lead free is really an issue is reworking TSSOP parts and 0402 resistors and caps... I end up lifting pads from time to time.

Pretty joints on wires are nice too.



-tINY

Old 23rd December 2010
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post
Where the lead free is really an issue is reworking TSSOP parts and 0402 resistors and caps... I end up lifting pads from time to time.
Bi58 solder is lead-free and has a low melting point which should help avoid pad lifting. That might be a better choice.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #18


I'm used to the 63/37 and it's cheap. I really don't see a down side.



-tINY

Old 23rd December 2010
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post
I'm used to the 63/37 and it's cheap. I really don't see a down side.
I meant if you wanted/had to use lead-free solder Bi58 might be a good choice. Personally i'd choose Sn62 solder over anything else as it's eutectic like 63/37 solder but is a better choice when soldering to silver wire or silver plated components.
Old 1st January 2011
  #20
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by soulglow View Post
Can anyone recommend their favorite wire for internal connections (i.e. point-to-point wiring) in analog audio gear? I'd be interested in both copper and silver wire suggestions as both have their place depending on goals and budget.

Any secret sources for the stuff would be swell, too.
i have tested 1877Phono OFHC vs. 5N Silver (99.999%) vs. Cardas litz.
1 roll of Cardas Silver Tri Eutectic lead free solder.

Cardas litz wire its nitrogen atmosphere copper,
each strand its insulated from the others.

OFHC & Cardas are 33awg. (stranded)
Silver is 34Awg single conductor (no strands).

all 3 sound better than standard copper, but i like cardas more.
would be nice to test also Acoustic Zen zero crystal technology, and furutech pcocc, analisys plus hollow oval technology, etc...

if need bigger AWG... buy a firewire, cat6, usb2.0 or hdmi1.4 cable & a scalpel.
a nice OFHC brand its Proel Die Hard.
www.thecableco.com
www.partsconnexion.com
http://diehard.proelgroup.com/skn/di...teristiche.htm
http://www.1877phono.com/tonearm_wire.html
Old 1st January 2011
  #21
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brianroth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post


I'm used to the 63/37 and it's cheap. I really don't see a down side.



-tINY

\\]


I see NO down side, **** the "lead free" ****,

Bri
Old 4th January 2011
  #22
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i like using the silver bering radioshack solder and the
#20 Lacquered Cotton Braid Solid Core Wire from tubesandmore.com for point to point tube. otherwise I used Alpha series 5875 from digi-key.com #22 19/34 teflon coated finely stranded wire.
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