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Old 7th July 2007, 06:58 PM   #1
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Location: Oak Creek, WI
Default Newbie Asks: What Gauge Hook Up Wire?

I'm getting ready to order the parts for my passive pre-amp project. (My first real scratch project!)

I have many questions.

1. What gauge hook up wire should I use?
2. Solid wire or stranded?
3. Does pure silver wire improve performance?
4. Should everything be soldered or are butt connectors OK to use?
5. What solder type is recommended?

Any other advise?

Thanks so much from a dumb newbie!...Jim
HiFi - Jazz - Wine
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Old 8th July 2007, 12:17 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Canandaigua, NY USA
Because anything made out of a conductor will work, expect varied answers. It's a preamp, so current capacity isn't much of a concern. I like #26 AWG Teflon insulated stranded wire. It's stranded, so it tends not to break. Almost all Teflon insulated wire is silver plated, so you get that as a matter of course. You'll need a very sharp stripper so it doesn't drive you nuts working with it. It's expensive. Claims are made for solid silver wire, but I'm a skeptic. There is simply no reason it should be better or worse. Ditto OFC (oxygen free copper). Almost all copper you'll find is OFC anyway, whether they promote that fact or not. 63/37 RMA core solder is fine, and if you want to splurge, get a similar alloy with 2% silver. The silver will prevent eroding very fine wires, make the soldering iron last a bit longer, and give you a brighter joint. It won't affect the sound at all. I like all my joints soldered, but service is important too, so I sometimes use good quality headers and shells to make boards easily removable. Molex is good if you use the gold plated pins and contacts. Don't mix, gold should be used with gold, or tin with tin. Use only gold for low level signals. That would be all of em in the audio path. IC sockets are an interesting topic. The most reliable are tinned dual leaf types of high quality, but everybody thinks gold plated machined contacts are best. They haven't done their homework.
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Old 8th July 2007, 12:43 AM   #3
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Location: North Californie
" ... I like #26 AWG Teflon insulated stranded wire. ..."

Ditto that!

Whether stranded or solid, silver or silver plated or not, 26 or 24 or 22 AWG, that Teflon insulation the secret = almost magic.
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Old 8th July 2007, 04:02 AM   #4
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Location: Oak Creek, WI
Default Thanks Eddie Thanks Conrad

I just bought multi-colored 125' of 24AWG silver plated teflon. guys rock!....Jim
HiFi - Jazz - Wine
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