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Old 8th June 2009, 11:26 PM   #1
Hayden is offline Hayden  Australia
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Default wire to speakers corrode

How come I have stripped back some wire and in a couple of days it starts to tarnish I know itís a reaction with oxygen and the elements of the environment but a different brand when striped back hasnít tarnished for months Is it a good thing that it tarnishes? Does that mean the copper is more pure and conductive?
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Old 8th June 2009, 11:38 PM   #2
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Oxides of copper are typically fine electrical insulators.

Perhaps the one that doesn't oxidize is OFC and the one that does isn't Oxygen free Copper.

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Old 8th June 2009, 11:39 PM   #3
FSHZ:42 is offline FSHZ:42  United States
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Unfortunately copper wire is not made the same! The cheaper the cost of the wire, the less purity the copper is. I have had sample wire sent to me to test it by using a simple method of leaving it outside for a while. Just strip back some of the jacket to expose the bare copper wire and set it outside say on the back patio area on something and leave it there for a week or so. If you begin to see any greenish discoloration, then it is junk wire and should not be used for any audio connections.

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Old 9th June 2009, 12:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: wire to speakers corrode

Quote:
Originally posted by Hayden
How come I have stripped back some wire and in a couple of days it starts to tarnish I know itís a reaction with oxygen and the elements of the environment but a different brand when striped back hasnít tarnished for months Is it a good thing that it tarnishes? Does that mean the copper is more pure and conductive?
I don't think the issue is the copper but rather the insulation.

Plasticizers and other junk can leach out of the insulation and coat the wire which can cause it to turn color much more quickly once it's exposed to the air.

se
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Old 9th June 2009, 12:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by FSHZ:42
I have had sample wire sent to me to test it by using a simple method of leaving it outside for a while. Just strip back some of the jacket to expose the bare copper wire and set it outside say on the back patio area on something and leave it there for a week or so. If you begin to see any greenish discoloration, then it is junk wire and should not be used for any audio connections.
No, it's not junk wire, it's junk insulation.

se
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Old 9th June 2009, 12:44 AM   #6
Hayden is offline Hayden  Australia
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Correct me if im wrong but I thought if it corrodes faster it was more pure and the more pure it is the more flow of electrons
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Old 9th June 2009, 01:10 AM   #7
FSHZ:42 is offline FSHZ:42  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eddy


No, it's not junk wire, it's junk insulation.

se

Yes it is junk wire! Just get some copper wire made in china that may be 90-95% copper and the rest who knows what, and strip off the jacket/insulation and put it outside and see what happens! Then try the same thing with good copper wire. After both wires are done this way, you tell me which one you would use to connect a pair of speakers to your gear!
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Old 9th June 2009, 01:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by FSHZ:42



Yes it is junk wire! Just get some copper wire made in china that may be 90-95% copper and the rest who knows what, and strip off the jacket/insulation and put it outside and see what happens! Then try the same thing with good copper wire. After both wires are done this way, you tell me which one you would use to connect a pair of speakers to your gear!
You completely ignored his postulation. I wouldn't expect a response from him to this post, heh.

BTW, as long as the contact area is clean when I terminate and/or connect, I couldn't care less about what happens to the wire inside my speaker.
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Old 9th June 2009, 01:30 AM   #9
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Default bzzt... wrong answer

Quote:
Originally posted by FSHZ:42



Yes it is junk wire! Just get some copper wire made in china that may be 90-95% copper and the rest who knows what, and strip off the jacket/insulation and put it outside and see what happens! Then try the same thing with good copper wire. After both wires are done this way, you tell me which one you would use to connect a pair of speakers to your gear!
Steve Eddy got it right...lousy insulation is the culprit. Corrosive byproducts leach over time and create an electrolyte that accelerates the corrosion. Wire purity has little to do with this form of corrosion.

Your "experiment" doesn't prove much of anything other than cheap wire has poor insulation

All copper corrodes in air, reacting first to form copper oxides, which then become hydrated and react to form copper carbonates of various compositions, hence the green coloring of copper roofs, capital domes, guttering, that sort of thing.

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Old 9th June 2009, 01:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hayden
Correct me if im wrong but I thought if it corrodes faster it was more pure and the more pure it is the more flow of electrons
Copper oxidizes, no matter how pure it is. Simple as that. It's the nature of the metal itself.

se
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