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Old 9th August 2006, 01:03 PM   #1
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Question Wire question.

Ok , if using copper wire to connect components in a circuit what is better , solid wire or twisted wire , what gauge or does it make a difference in sound quality and lastly why do I see some things wired up with insulated wire , some bare wire and some with the entire wires tinned and some not tinned .
What is the best wire and method of doing the wire used .

Thanks
Tim
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Old 9th August 2006, 04:00 PM   #2
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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If you are referring to solid wire versus STRANDED wire. Stranded wire is usually used where some degree of flexing is required... say between power supplies and circuit boards... or boards to connecters. Stranded costs more for the same current carrying ability.

Insulated wire is used to avoid shorts... if your wires are well separated, protested from the elements, and don't pose a danger to someone or something, bare wire is fine. Keep in mind, insulation allows for color and help you keep track of which wire is which. With very few exceptions, insulated wire is the norm.

Tinned wire is preferred because it is usually much easier to solder... it also costs a bit more.

As far as what is best... it all depends. Post a particular situation... and you can get a more specific answer.

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Old 9th August 2006, 05:30 PM   #3
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Ok , here is an example of what I was asking .

If I wanted to build for example
*just pulled from previous posts as an example*

http://www.generalguitargadgets.com/...eamp/lm383.gif

on just a cheap radio shack board with each of the components connected with copper wire rather than using an etched board . Would it be best to use solid wire to make connections or stranded wire , insulated wire or bare wire , entirely tinned wire or not tinned as I've seen circuits done in all those ways and what gauge of wire , is there any difference other than physical size to using say 22ga vs 14 ga wire ,would any of the above have effects on sound quality in the end making it a better choice .
Also if all connections and solder joints are done correctly should there be any difference in sound quality vs an etched board or is it all just a matter of prefrence or whats on hand at the time.

Hope its understandable what I'm asking .
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Old 9th August 2006, 07:10 PM   #4
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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OK,

You could use a little "perf board" to build that kind of a circuit.

From the board to external things, like switches and jacks... I would use 24 AWG stranded tinned PVC insulated wire... A standard type would be U.L. 1015. You want the stranding for flexibility... a solid wire breaks after a few wiggles back and forth.

Now, for wiring point to point on the board... a solid wire would be preferred... all other specs the same. There is a hassle with this though. It's not easy to strip a 1/4" of insulation off each end of a 1" long wire... in fact, it sucks. There is an easy trick though; strip 2" of insulation off, then strip 1/2" but don't remove it, just slide it down the bare wire a bit, then cut the whole section away free. Also, despite your best efforts, you will have "melt-back". When you solder a short wire, the insulation melts and shrinks away... it's a pain.

What I do is this. I use 24 AWG tinned solid uninsulated wire. Solder one end. Then estimate the distance to the next point. Cut a piece of TEFLON tubing that length and slip it over the wire. Then, solder the other end. The Teflon won't melt back. It's expensive as hell... but it makes for a neat job... for me... time is money.

Wire versus copper trace won't really effect sound. How you run and place your wires can and does. Here again it's all specific to the application. Often pairs of wires need to be twisted to reject magnetic fields. Also, wires sometimes need to be shielded to reject electrostatic fields. Both methods are often combined.

Here's a good board for a small project like that.



Here

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Old 10th August 2006, 03:03 AM   #5
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Thank you , that clears up things I was unsure of .
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Old 11th August 2006, 03:42 PM   #6
adhoc is offline adhoc  Australia
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Poobah,

To avoid/reduce shrinkback, I usually try to remove insulation from wire through a 'twisting' motion rather than a 'pulling' one. I also use a sharp exacto knife instead of a usual wire stripper.

Shrinkback is a manifestation of post-stretch stresses within the insulation relieving themselves during the application of heat.

Naturally though, this method is of limited help with stranded wire, or wire smaller than 24 gauge.
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Old 11th August 2006, 04:03 PM   #7
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Yep, and you can also leave your insulation a bit long. Then, pull on your conductor a bit to preload the insulation in compression.

I have gotten really spoiled with the Teflon tube though... it's so easy.

You know... Alpha used to have a wire called "irradiated PVC". It available through the common catalogs houses for awhile. I don't know if it ever caught on though.

They were targeting a portion of the mil market I believe where silver solder and highish soldering temps make melt back a real pain with alot of stuff...

I havent seen the stuff for awhile though.

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Old 11th August 2006, 04:08 PM   #8
adhoc is offline adhoc  Australia
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Ah, the joys of teflon.

IME, the best 'anti-shrinkage' type of wire would be silver coupled with teflon. I'm not sure what the exact reason is, but the friction coefficient between the 2 materials seemed to be so low that the teflon tubing would literally just 'jump' back!

As an aside, I eventually abandoned solid silver wiring for construction of tubed equipment as I found that it didn't stand up to repeated flexing when compared to copper. It was heaps expensive too.
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Old 11th August 2006, 04:27 PM   #9
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Yep... and while silver does make a fine solder joint. I simply don't believe the sonic claims... nano-diodes and all that garbage.

EDIT: Our SY rendered the best explanantion as to why extruded Teflon wire is always paired with silver plated conductor. Quite simply, the extrusion temperatures for Teflon would oxidize or melt the more common tin platings.


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Old 12th August 2006, 09:06 AM   #10
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Hi Pooh,
when you US side folks talk about "tin" plated copper wire.

Do you mean tin (Sn) or do you mean solder = "tinned" (Sn/Pb)?
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