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Old 5th September 2009, 11:00 AM   #21
fotios is offline fotios  Greece
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Crimp type faston (blade type push-on) terminals on speakers degrade the sound quite a bit, even on new speakers.

I always cut them off, strip the wire, and solder direcly to the speaker terminals.

I've compared amplifiers that had Caig De-Oxit applied to all the push-on terminals inside an amplifier, a large difference may be heard in high-frequency clarity.

I've cut off all the internal push-on connectors in some models of McIntosh amplifiers and picked up a lot of clarity.
In this way, if you remove the input sockets (phono jacks or XLRs) and you solder the signal cables directly to the amplifier pcbs you must have a further improvement in high frequencies clarity. If you do this, i am very interested to know the result...
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Old 5th September 2009, 12:24 PM   #22
djk is offline djk
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In the 70s we removed the input jacks on professional amplifiers and wired in screw type barrier strips (for reliability).

I recently lost an amplifier due to a bad connection at the electronic crossover.
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Old 5th September 2009, 12:45 PM   #23
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A good crimp connection is as good as, and often better than a soldered connection. Working in the aviation industry, I regularly use calibrated ratchet/hydraulic type crimping tools, which are always pre-use checked with a go/no-go gauge to ensure the correct diameter of crimp jaw. This ensures that all crimps are both mechanically and electrically sound as long as the correct crimp/tool are use for the diameter of cable (conductors and insulation).

I have to submit crimp samples periodically, which are checked for both mechanical security and electrical conductivity (millivolt drop test).

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Old 5th September 2009, 04:21 PM   #24
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Originally Posted by zebra100 View Post
A good crimp connection is as good as, and often better than a soldered connection.
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Originally Posted by AndrewT View Post
Peranders,
the crimp lugs are very thin and simply fold over the bared wire.
They do not have sufficient stiffness to give a rigid crimped joint and can never give the air tight joint that a proper thick walled tube type crimp terminal would give.

They may not be designed for soldering but it sure is easy to do and gives a permanent air tight joint.
it is obvious from the pic in post1 that these crimp on do not meet the accepted standard for a traditional crimp on terminal.
They can NEVER perform as well as a real crimp on.
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Old 5th September 2009, 11:39 PM   #25
djk is offline djk
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"A good crimp connection is as good as, and often better than a soldered connection. "

Listening tests prove otherwise.

"I have to submit crimp samples periodically, which are checked for both mechanical security and electrical conductivity (millivolt drop test)."

Funny, Boeing is real particular about how the equipment we build for them be SOLDERED. The people that SOLDER them have to be tested and re-certified every couple of months. I've taken the SOLDERING class for the connector pins Boeing uses, it would be much simpler if they would allow us to crimp them.

But,
we are discussing how soldered connections SOUND vs how crimp connections SOUND, and I have done many listening tests and SOLDERING wins, hands down.
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Old 6th September 2009, 04:45 AM   #26
ChrisA is offline ChrisA  United States
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Agreed!

ALL the aircraft flying around the world use crimps almost exclusively - more reliable long term than solder. IF it is done correctly!
You are correct about that. Same for marine electronics that has to operate around saltwater. All the books on the subject say the NEVER use solder as it can't handle mechanical vibration.

But it we all were to take a look at the photo at the start of this thread we'd see that the crimp terminals used are FAR from aircraft of marine quality. In fact they are kind of cheap. The good ones have colored plastic insolation on them and are swaged on the wire with a die and ratchet tool.

So yes crimp on spade terminal can be very good but you have to use good terminals. The ones that you buy that are sold at the aircraft or marine hardware stores really are better then the ones sold at hardware stores and more hobby electronics places.

For a home stereo system solder will work find. Home stereos are treated gently and are kept in a clean and dry location. The problem with soldering wires in an extreme environment is tha the solder stiffens the wire and makes a stress concentrator and a likely failure point. A crimped on ring terminal that is attached to a terminal block is MUCH stronger then a soldered wire. IF you use the right terminal and die and ratchet tool.
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Old 6th September 2009, 10:09 AM   #27
djk is offline djk
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At the risk or repeating myself, I am more concerned about the sound, rather than your issues.

Maybe you should contact Boeing about your concerns, as they do have us soldering the products we supply them.
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Old 6th September 2009, 11:37 PM   #28
fotios is offline fotios  Greece
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In Audio field, that which makes sense about crimping it is the capacitance. If the strands of wire are not crimped perfectly in the crimp terminal, then exists microscopical air gaps between them. This can cause small parasitic capacitance. This is for signal of small power.
Good quality crimp terminals, usually are made from tined copper. The word crimp, maybe does not reflects exactly the meaning of procedure. A good crimping tool (with ratchet of course) has the posibility to CRUSH or SQUEEZE (i don't know what is the better word to express my thought, my English are limitted) the strands and the terminal between them. Then, we can suppose that the wire and the crimp terminal are not simply crimped but consists one body. Therefore no microscopic air gaps, no capacitance.
When i worked in a power plant, we used hydraulic crimping handy press to crimp monster terminals in cables of 12KV/100A. If the crimping work was not perfect and the screwing of terminal was not "up to death", then in few hours the cable was burned from the sparks-arcs and the join destroyed.
I agree that a good crimping work, it is the same like the soldering work.
As for me, in audio projects i use naked crimp spades because these offer the posibility of tightening the insulation of cable as well. I use the nylon caps for covering the terminal. To be sincere, in some points i preffer to pre-tin the spade and the wire strands, and after the crimping i heat the join with the solder iron, so as the solder of each part melts and becomes one body. For this reason i preffer the non insulated terminals. The protective cover can placed latter.
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Old 7th September 2009, 12:12 AM   #29
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If your friend says it sounds better it might not be that there is less distortion but there could be more.

Personally I love the sound of a valve amp in overdrive but that has probably 10%+ distortion !

If you said that you got 1% less distortion then clearly the crimps would make a difference given everything else was the same.

The ear is famous for being different with different people and for being easily decieved.

The only way to be sure there is an improvement is by using test equipment where small changes are made.
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Old 7th September 2009, 01:53 AM   #30
djk is offline djk
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"The only way to be sure there is an improvement is by using test equipment where small changes are made. "

"The ear is famous for being different with different people and for being easily decieved."

Speaking for yourself, I assume?

An ad hominum arguement.

On speakers there is literally a night and day difference, but I can think of no way to measure what I hear. As long as I can hear, it doesn't matter to me that I can't measure it. When I cease being able to hear, it will no longer matter.

On the speakers the difference is in the low level details, the silence between the notes, and the dynamics.
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