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Old 26th March 2004, 07:02 PM   #1
maylar is offline maylar  United States
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Default Copper, silver, wire myths?

Everyone knows about the high priced audio wires out there catering to the folks who claim to be able to hear the difference.

I'm trying to research some factual data that might explain the physics of why one wire might sound different than another.

Like, what is 99% Oxygen-free Copper? And why would that, or Silver, sound any different than "regular" Copper?

Trying to keep an open mind...
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Old 26th March 2004, 07:23 PM   #2
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If I may be so bold as to make a prediction:
You won't find any answers that you will be happy with.
There aren't any "objective" reasons that everyone agrees upon as to why things sound different--they just do.

Grey
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Old 26th March 2004, 08:50 PM   #3
markp is offline markp  United States
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Default Re: Copper, silver, wire myths?

Quote:
Originally posted by maylar
Everyone knows about the high priced audio wires out there catering to the folks who claim to be able to hear the difference.

I'm trying to research some factual data that might explain the physics of why one wire might sound different than another.

Like, what is 99% Oxygen-free Copper? And why would that, or Silver, sound any different than "regular" Copper?

Trying to keep an open mind...
Take a look at the Adire web site for a great comparison of all metals(in voice coils). It is relative to wire too. The reason for O2 free wire is to prevent oxidization of the metal. Oxidized metal won't carry as much current as pure metal.
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Old 26th March 2004, 09:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Re: Copper, silver, wire myths?

Quote:
Originally posted by markp
The reason for O2 free wire is to prevent oxidization of the metal. Oxidized metal won't carry as much current as pure metal.
The reason for oxygen free copper is to prevent it from embrittlement when heated in a reducing atmosphere such as hydrogen.

Oxygenated copper such as your basic ETP copper is intentionally oxygenated under precisly controlled conditions. What the oxygen does is scavenge inpurities in the wire, removing them from solution. This actually results in higher conductivity.

In order for oxygen free copper to have the same conductivity as oxygenated copper, it needs to have a higher purity.

se
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Old 26th March 2004, 09:41 PM   #5
maylar is offline maylar  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by GRollins
If I may be so bold as to make a prediction:
You won't find any answers that you will be happy with.
There aren't any "objective" reasons that everyone agrees upon as to why things sound different--they just do.

Grey
Bummer.

I'm an Engineer by trade and an objectivist by nature. I believe that (with electronics) if it can't be measured, it doesn't exist.

With complex signal processors like amplifiers, I'm willing to accept, "It sounds different and I don't know why". Eventually maybe some scientist will explain some as yet unknown "distortion" mechanism that will explain why.

But for something as (seemingly) simple as wire... I'd have thought that someone would have already put an objective reason behind the subjective evidence that there's a difference between them.
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Old 26th March 2004, 10:06 PM   #6
SY is offline SY  United States
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Quote:
Like, what is 99% Oxygen-free Copper? And why would that, or Silver, sound any different than "regular" Copper?
In 99.999% of the cases, marketing and sociology. Before the strawman zombies come marching out of their graves screaming for my brains, that is a VERY different thing than saying, "substituting wires in a system never changes the sound." That's just as wrong. But sonic changes verified by controlled listening tests are always due to very well known factors, like R, L, and C affecting frequency response and/or amplifier stability.

Quote:
an objectivist by nature.
Ayn Rand was a blowhard. And a really sludgy writer.
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Old 26th March 2004, 10:17 PM   #7
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Default We the Listening

Quote:
Ayn Rand was a blowhard. And a really sludgy writer.
Ouch!
Now donít be telling that to Mr. Greenspan. If you upset him he might raise the prime interest rate.
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Old 26th March 2004, 11:02 PM   #8
markp is offline markp  United States
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Default Re: Re: Re: Copper, silver, wire myths?

Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eddy


The reason for oxygen free copper is to prevent it from embrittlement when heated in a reducing atmosphere such as hydrogen.

Oxygenated copper such as your basic ETP copper is intentionally oxygenated under precisly controlled conditions. What the oxygen does is scavenge inpurities in the wire, removing them from solution. This actually results in higher conductivity.

In order for oxygen free copper to have the same conductivity as oxygenated copper, it needs to have a higher purity.

se
One step further, the oxygen is then driven from the metal to take the impurities with it resulting in O2 free wire. The oxygen does not stay in the wire or the impurities would be trapped with it in the wire making it worse off than without.
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Old 26th March 2004, 11:09 PM   #9
markp is offline markp  United States
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Default Re: Copper, silver, wire myths?

Quote:
Originally posted by maylar
Everyone knows about the high priced audio wires out there catering to the folks who claim to be able to hear the difference.

I'm trying to research some factual data that might explain the physics of why one wire might sound different than another.

Like, what is 99% Oxygen-free Copper? And why would that, or Silver, sound any different than "regular" Copper?

Trying to keep an open mind...
Silver has the highest conductivity of any metal but is prone to oxidization. Gold is like 66% as conductive as silver but does not oxidize so it is used on 'high end' connectors to insure at least 66% conductivity. Silver starts at nearly 99% but gets worse as it tarnishes to the point of much less than 66% conductivity. Copper is very close to silver but it too oxidizes. A rhodium plating on silver prevents the silver from oxidization yet it maintains its high conductivity.
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Old 26th March 2004, 11:23 PM   #10
mbroker is offline mbroker  United States
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Don't forget about copper-oxides making "micro-diodes...."

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...957#post254957

:roll:

(was that debacle ever settled in one of the many subsequent threads? Has anyone attempted to contact Eric via phone - his disappearance was abrupt to say the least.)

I completely agree with SY: The cables have far more affect on the active components they connect than of the signal going through the cable.
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