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Old 17th January 2013, 01:46 AM   #61
Jay is offline Jay  Indonesia
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Jakarta
Originally Posted by freax View Post
So its been nearly 9 years since this thread was last posted to.
I think, even in the next 9 years the situation will still be the same. Some people believe the solder is not important, some believe it is important.

Believe it or not, people don't change. If you cannot hear anything, better forget about things like this. But if you think you can hear but have less experience, then it is time to learn from those experienced people with "good ears", because you know that you will experience the same thing given the chance.

Good lead are usually those with high melting point (make up a hard connection), not necessarily silver. The key is actually in the connection between the parts (lead) and the PCB. If you use a cheap lead then you have to BEND the part's lead to the PCB so to make a firm contact.

If you have to de-solder the parts later, yes, you will have a very hard time. But if you want the best sound then you have to do it

Last edited by Jay; 17th January 2013 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 17th January 2013, 04:48 AM   #62
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2010
Just to throw another wrench into the discussion:

Lead-free solder is not mandatory anywhere in the world for automotive use.
Lead-free solder is prohibited on aerospace, aviation, medical and military applications. (It was not always so but is today).

Tin Whiskers are significantly more difficult to control and minimize on lead-free joints, which is why the lead-free product is banned in critical applications (including in the EU).

If you buy ROHS-compliant consumer electronics, know that the failure rate (in particular with small, high density ICs) is significantly higher than non-compliant assemblies.

The use of lead-free solder has been determined to be the cause of satellite failures, missile launch malfunctions, and control failure in at least one nuclear power plant. NASA will tell you that on one shuttle mission, control rockets had to be set to full-on opposite lock to maintain level flight due to tin whiskers in a control assembly made with lead-free solder.

If you're making cable connections or point-to-point assemblies, it's probably a non-issue. IC's? Definitely an issue.

There are sub-contractors in military and aerospace industries who spend a great deal of time insuring that when encountered, they are removing solder on ROHS compliant components and replacing it with lead solder. By hand.

There is currently a tremendous amount of effort being put into trying to create a workable lead-free solder formulation that does not have the tin whisker growth problem. So far, not there yet, but incorporating Bismuth seems to be the most promising.
" ... Go back to the beginning of a technology before the priesthood was established; that was the time when people were communicating information, not proving why there needs to be Priests. This is why the old texts tend to be so good. ..."

Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 17th January 2013 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 17th January 2013, 05:35 AM   #63
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Coffs Harbour
It's illogical to make broad generalisations about the quality of connections with possibly lower resistance than a screw terminal, plug, crimp, wrap. Every type of connection shows some variation or measurable difference that results directly from imperfect or unsuitable application. If you can't hear the obvious differences from mechanical connections and materials, you have no hope of credibility claiming esoterically minute solder alloy variations as reality. That is a topic more suited to a 'port and and cigars' BS session.

Solders lower the resistance and potential variability of a connection. They stabilise it mechanically and electrically but they can't and don't change anything other than the resistance in a circuit, be it DC, AC or audio.

I think the use of silver bearing alloys in audio and electronics generally, is only about practical matters like ease of application, consistency and metal surface compatibility, with the advantages of improved joint appearance, peer approval, and perceived value - rather like many issues we simply label as personal preferences.

It has Zero, Nix, Nada to do with product sound quality, though many would like us to imagine it can, so then it must be so, eh?
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Old 17th January 2013, 07:16 AM   #64
5daudio is offline 5daudio  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by Jay View Post

Believe it or not, people don't change. If you cannot hear anything, better forget about things like this. But if you think you can hear but have less experience, then it is time to learn from those experienced people with "good ears", because you know that you will experience the same thing given the chance.
well said jay,
i hate crappy looking solder joints with a passion, for me eutectic gives the nicest looking joints but i will use 60/40 if that's all i have handy, it works/looks nice on my rf gear repairs,

after reading posts on this forum i decided to try mundorf supreme solder, i had used wonder solder in the past and liked it better than 60/40 for sonics but not the looks of the joint,
my hifi friend was not convinced, he tried giving me his maplin silver solder, i think he thought i was crazy spending 20 on 15ft of solder, we had some banter over my special solder but there is no banter now we have made interconnects using his 60/40 vs my mundorf,
we can both hear the improvement, the joints look crappy which i HATE but it sounds better to my ears in blind or sighted listening comparisons in his 300bse esl57 system,
its not dramatic to the point that a specan watching cloth eared listener could not miss, you may not hear it in an average hifi but its a real change not imaginary, if it did not sound better the mundorf would have gone in the trash can, it looks horrible.
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Old 17th January 2013, 09:16 AM   #65
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Join Date: May 2007
If a joint looks bad it may be bad. Bad joints can introduce distortion. Some people like distortion, as it adds richness to the sound. So maybe some people prefer high melting point solders because . . .

Those who have the right equipment and soldering skills to make good joints with high melting point solder are more likely to find that it sounds no different.
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Old 17th January 2013, 11:18 AM   #66
5daudio is offline 5daudio  United Kingdom
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
mundorf supreme does not give a mirror smooth look like eutectic or 60/40, it wetts and flows better than i expected, you do need an iron with plenty of thermal mass in the tip,
try it you will see even if you cannot hear the difference.
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Old 17th January 2013, 11:28 AM   #67
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Originally Posted by SY View Post
I know Chris pretty well and "deaf" is the last word I would use to describe him. Perhaps you would consider seeing if you can verify these "sound architecture" differences to determine if they're real or your brain fooling yourself- that happens to ALL of us, at least those who are humans.
Hi Sy.

Deaf comes from an ironic and from the humor way to say that Chris doesn't ear or is not interested in the sound improvements, without any intention to offense.
I've performed several re-solderings with 97% Sn 3% Ag for me and close friends in different equipments, and and all of them found a very noticeable improvement, less distortion and more resolution, a cleaner and closer defined sound in difference with the originals.
Also, my friends and myself consider me precisely a non to be fooled person about sound judgement, being called from time to time before an important purchase.
I hope this helps those who want to upgrade their equipment, even without changing components, if they believe in me for at least one second. If not, simply disregard this matter and everyone happy.
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Old 17th January 2013, 11:37 AM   #68
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Join Date: Nov 2005
if a certain kind of solder gives audible improvement it will be because it improves your soldering quality
soldering makes the difference and not the solder

and the way you mount a component may be audible
not the solder
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Old 17th January 2013, 12:01 PM   #69
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
In addition and in pro of silver solder,

Clearly the reason of a better sound after re-solder with Sn97% Ag3% lies in the presence of silver in the solder alloy, providing a faster conduction, which in most cases result in an equivalent to a direct connection between the termineals of the components involved, resulting this welds as a single piece, rather than a sum of delays caused by each weld made with 60/40 standard solder, as the case of several elements in series present in a given audio path.
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Old 17th January 2013, 12:14 PM   #70
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2007

explain your reasons datailed, as I did.

I've experimented with solder taken from other equipment, boiled to the crap, and is no difference with a new soldering well done with standard solder, in order to check differences in audio. The difference is none.
Could be a difference, again, with boiled o cooked solder, but mechanical, affecting the condition of the solder of keep in place the component.
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