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Old 18th May 2007, 09:26 PM   #1
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Lightbulb solid or stranded

buying the best 0.1% resistors, top shelf capacitors and transformers, designing with short traces and wire runs is what we try to do. now when connected components is solid wire preferrable to stranded or vice versa. what about the insulation, ie teflon, silicon, uhmw. having spent money on the best components i do not want to make a mistake here. any help greatly appreciated.
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Old 18th May 2007, 10:19 PM   #2
BWRX is offline BWRX  United States
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Use whatever you like. If you're doing a point to point circuit solid wire is easier to shape and solder than stranded wire. Copper traces could be considered solid wire if you want to think of it that way.
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Old 18th May 2007, 10:21 PM   #3
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For all of my DIY amps & pre-amps, I use stranded. I also try to use Teflon coated / insulated wire when possible (or available). I have no problem with using that very fine stranded silver either, and when I can get it, the Teflon insulated, "100 strand" silver #12 AWG (or equal) for speaker runs. Suprisingly the Teflon covered, fine strand silver wire is often only about 50% more in cost than high quality copper ...

FYI: The Bottlehead tube amp and pre-amp kits all come with solid copper with Teflon jackets for all the internal small signal wiring and low and high voltage PS wiring ... but they recommand Teflon covered stranded copper for interconnects pre-amp to amp (RCA terminated unbalanced coax).
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Old 18th May 2007, 10:26 PM   #4
Hartono is offline Hartono  Indonesia
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definitely silver, solid, but solid breaks easily, stranded is more forgiving.

with teflon


not sure if make any difference though



just curious, what amp, resistor, capacitor are you using ?
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Old 18th May 2007, 11:39 PM   #5
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Use any wire you want, but teflon insulation has the advantage of not melting while you are soldering joints, so it won't "poison" the joint and won't look bad when you're finished.

Teflon can be a little difficult to strip.

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Old 18th May 2007, 11:45 PM   #6
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" ... teflon insulation has the advantage of not melting while you are soldering joints, so it won't "poison" the joint ..."

All true. There is the dialectric factor = better insulator. Teflon is also used in very precise, high frequency capacitors and apparently does have some effect on audio quality, at least the "golden ear" crowd can hear the difference.

As for the differences between copper, silver and gold, check out wikipedia / search gold, silver & copper and their respective electrical resistivity ... silver shines = lowest resistance, even when tarnished. ... and fine stranded silver wiring with gold connectors makes for great cocktail party talk.
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Old 19th May 2007, 12:11 AM   #7
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The idea that the few inches of wire used in an amp can produce an audible or even measureable difference in the amp's performance stretches credulity to the breaking point. That idea is right up there with audible "polarity" of resistors. Choose wire for the way it looks, the way it solders, the way it bends, or the way the insulation behaves when it's soldered, but don't expect it to make a bit of difference in the sound.

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Old 19th May 2007, 12:46 AM   #8
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Solid wire is basically a no-no in chassis wiring, unless you're doing self-supporting runs of very heavy gage, like the old General Radio Corp. bridges and test equipment. Self supporting runs of heavy wire have the advantage of no insulation, but on the down side, they aren't insulated ;-) Small solid wire tends to be unreliable, breaking near the joints. Stick with stranded. I like to use Teflon insulation, as it won't melt, stays clean, and doesn't get brittle with age. The application temperature for Teflon is high, so any Teflon wire will be silver plated, rather than tinned. If you buy into the arguments about skin effect and silver wire, that should please you. IMO, the material of the wire itself has no effect on sound, but if resistance matters in a given run, you can use a slightly smaller silver wire than copper for the same ohms. IMO again, pretty silly. OTOH, the insulation can have an effect in some runs, and Teflon will have the lowest DF and DA. If there is a sound difference, it probably has more to do with insulation than conductor material. My preference is not to use point to point wiring on sensitive runs, preferring them on the PCB. If you're doing a classic tube amp, the wire may make more difference on high impedance runs.
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Old 19th May 2007, 09:30 PM   #9
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" ... Solid wire is basically a no-no in chassis wiring ..."

Correct, unless that is what the kit comes with and you trust the designers/engineers. Otherwise I use stranded every where ... small signal = Teflon coated, Teflon jacket, twisted pair silver, stranded #18 AWG with stranded silver shield. Modest power = (strip/breaking out the previous) silver, stranded #18 AWG ... unless it is unavailable, then same, same in copper or silver plated copper. For high power, I look for fine stranded silver with the Teflon insulation or silver plated stranded copper or (worst case) Teflon insulated stranded copper. Household power wiring and on shipboard = THHN stranded copper in pipe.

" .... I like to use Teflon insulation, as it won't melt, stays clean, and doesn't get brittle with age. The application temperature for Teflon is high, so any Teflon wire will be silver plated, rather than tinned. If you buy into the arguments about skin effect and silver wire, that should please you. ... IMO, the material of the wire itself has no effect on sound ... "

Re Teflon & Silver: Most of these "arguments" can be verified with a 'scope. But sound quality is very subjective ...

" ... the wire may make more difference on high impedance runs. ..." Yes, and the connections, likewise ... If your connections become tarnished or corroded, a quick fix is to replace one or both connection with a gold plated alternative. I have not ever seen the need for both connections to be gold plated = overkill (Although this is one of the factors that pushed Hewlett Packard out of the hard drive business ... not enough gold on the connections in first production runs, then too much gold in succeding runs ... this ruined a whole series of laptops, so HP sold the drive biz to Hitachi.) ...
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Old 19th May 2007, 10:15 PM   #10
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Stranded wire has all the advantages. No argument.

Unless it's used for transmission of music, of course. I've tried many types: Litz, teflon isolated, silver, etc. Never had much luck with it.
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