Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections

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nlitworld

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Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« on: 7 Oct 2020, 03:48 am »
So I decided to make some DIY braided speaker wire that will hopefully be better than the audioquest x2 stuff I was suckered into at Best Buy years ago. I decided to make them and terminate to KEI Classic banana plugs (not exactly cheap but hey...). My question though, is do I use good ol leaded solder I have around the house to really secure them down, or would it be better to pick up a tiny bit of silver solder for making it 100% legit audiophile approved? Would there even be a difference in audio quality? I know the cheap and cheerful answer is likely just go with what I have, but I wanted to do this once and do it right.

Thanks for all the help,
-Lloyd


nlitworld

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Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #2 on: 7 Oct 2020, 01:29 pm »
Don't know how I missed that. Cheap and fancy!  :thumb:

bacobits1

Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #3 on: 7 Oct 2020, 03:06 pm »
Been doing this a long time and I always use the Cardas solder mentioned.
No need to get fancy, you're not going to hear it.

richidoo

Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #4 on: 7 Oct 2020, 06:51 pm »
+1 for Cardas quad eutectic. You can buy small lengths of it if you don't need a whole roll.

If you want to use plain old lead/tin that's fine, but never ever use 60/40 solder for anything. Because it's not eutectic, meaning all the tin is not ionically dissolved in the lead. It is a disgusting dirty mess to deal with after it ages a little and it makes poor unreliable electrical joints. Even the telephone companies banned it many decades ago. Instead you would use 63/37 which is eutectic and perfectly fine.

The added copper and silver of cardas does make a beautiful solder joint, and can even be used to repair bad joints.

If your gear, ears and brain are up to it, you can certainly hear the difference of good solder but that's probably not a topic for cheap and cheerful.

gfederys

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Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #5 on: 7 Oct 2020, 07:56 pm »
I agree. Cards solder is very nice to work with and sounds great.

DaveC113

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Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #6 on: 7 Oct 2020, 08:01 pm »
Absolutely no reason to use lead imo...

http://www.johnsonmfg.com/2015/techbuls/TBIA4233X3.pdf

Mike-48

Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #7 on: 10 Oct 2020, 10:03 pm »
Absolutely no reason to use lead imo...

http://www.johnsonmfg.com/2015/techbuls/TBIA4233X3.pdf
+1 to that. Lead is a serious toxin. I used tin/lead solder when nothing else was available. I would not use lead-containing solder any more (although it's great to work with). If you are using it, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after soldering.



FullRangeMan

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Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #8 on: 10 Oct 2020, 10:13 pm »
If one dont want use the regular leaded solder which are cheap and last a whole life, must be aware that lead free solder have a short life.
https://www.militaryaerospace.com/home/article/16708161/leadfree-solder-a-train-wreck-in-the-making

Mike-48

Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #9 on: 10 Oct 2020, 10:38 pm »
If one dont want use the regular leaded solder which are cheap and last a whole life, must be aware that lead free solder have a short life.
https://www.militaryaerospace.com/home/article/16708161/leadfree-solder-a-train-wreck-in-the-making

Thanks for posting that. It looks like an enormous problem, a storm brewing on the horizon.

FullRangeMan

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Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #10 on: 10 Oct 2020, 11:26 pm »
WBT seems yet have or had leaded solder code WBT-0800/20/40, I was told this lead content was 36% that is quite good to audio and hospitalar use.
https://www.parts-express.com/pedocs/more-info/wbt-08-series-silver-solder-4-percent-silver-content-more-info.pdf
   Weight / Roll   Diameter   Type
Silver Solder – with lead
(only for repair purposes)
  WBT-0800   42 g   0.9 mm   Consumer Pack
  WBT-0820   250 g   0.8 mm   Production and Workshop
  WBT-0840   500 g   1.2 mm   Production and Workshop

https://www.wbt.de/english/products/a/Detailansicht/Artikel/silberloetzinn-1.html

guest101973

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Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #11 on: 10 Oct 2020, 11:27 pm »
... I know the cheap and cheerful answer is likely just go with what I have, but I wanted to do this once and do it right.

Thanks for all the help,
-Lloyd

Don't obsess over which solder you use.  Like bacobits1 says, you are not going to hear it.

JakeJ

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Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #12 on: 11 Oct 2020, 02:25 am »
What about the tin whiskers issue with lead free solder?  It has taken out satellites and other expensive equipment.

pinkfloyd4ever

Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #13 on: 11 Oct 2020, 02:49 am »
Thanks for posting that. It looks like an enormous problem, a storm brewing on the horizon.
That article is now 15 years old, and I don’t think tin whiskers have yet been a real problem that I’ve heard of.
https://www.dfrsolutions.com/blog/does-anyone-care-about-tin-whiskers-anymore

If anyone knows of articles that say otherwise, I’d be very interested to read them.

SET Man

Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #14 on: 11 Oct 2020, 03:31 am »
Hey!

     Over the years I've used Cardas and Wonder Solder. Right now I have Wonder Solder.

Buddy

Mike-48

Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #15 on: 11 Oct 2020, 04:52 am »
That article is now 15 years old, and I don’t think tin whiskers have yet been a real problem that I’ve heard of.
Thanks for posting that second article. I searched briefly for something more up-to-date, but not as thoroughly as you did.

It does seem that many foreseen catastrophes do not come into being.

nlitworld

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Re: Solder choice for diy speaker cable connections
« Reply #16 on: 12 Oct 2020, 05:10 am »
Thanks for all the info everyone! Wires are all done up and sounding great. I did pick up the Cardas and it made for some beautiful joints that nobody will ever see to appreciate. So far the wires seem to be an improvement over the old setup. The hard part now will be to not piss off the neighbors tonight. :thumb: