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Old 12th August 2003, 10:30 PM   #1
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Question Does solder quality have an adverse effect on sound?

I want to build an AKSA 55 or 100 Watt amplifier. I would consider myself a novice solderer. I've put a few of the small robotics kits together, and the AKSA PCBs look a lot larger than those

Will a less than perfect solder sound worse than a professionally soldered joint? Or is all that matters whether or not electrical contact is made?

Would a straight 60/40 lead solder be good for audio work? I don't want to start a whole debate on the sound of silver as I inadvertently did on another board; I'm just wondering if the 60/40 mix is acceptable for audio work.

Also I've heard that electronics periodically need to be re-soldered. Why is this? I'm assuming this is because of the oxidation of the lead tin alloy not because of physical degredation, but I'm not certain.

Thanks in advance for any help
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Old 12th August 2003, 10:33 PM   #2
SY is offline SY  United States
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Solder joint quality is indeed critical.

Standard 60/40 works fine and is just about the easist type with which to achieve a good solder joint.
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Old 12th August 2003, 11:03 PM   #3
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Hi,

Quote:
I would consider myself a novice solderer. I've put a few of the small robotics kits together, and the AKSA PCBs look a lot larger than those
Hardly anyone can teach you how to solder...this comes with many hours of practice.

So, why not do just that before you embark on a more serious project?

A decent soldering iron ususally helps big time in getting it right too...

Quote:
Also I've heard that electronics periodically need to be re-soldered.
Don't worry about that for the time being...it's a once every other ten years thing that only us anally retentive purists consider doing anyways and usually accompanies some upgrades of components left and right in the process...

Cheers and enjoy,
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Old 12th August 2003, 11:10 PM   #4
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Get some good SN62 or SN63 solder. Get a NAME BRAND, not Radio Shack. One lb. will last you forever, and you will always get good solder joints. Don't cheap out here, as you will just make your life (in soldering) that much more difficult if you do.
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Old 12th August 2003, 11:14 PM   #5
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You might check this: the sound of solder
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Old 13th August 2003, 10:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by SY
Standard 60/40 works fine and is just about the easist type with which to achieve a good solder joint.
63/37 type solder is even nicer because it has the lowest melting temperature ~600 deg F. Even more important, because it is eutectic, when it is cooling it has no plastic state - it goes straight from liquid to solid so there much less chance of making a bad joint if it is disturbed while setting. It looks nicer too - makes a much more shiny joint than 60/40 stuff.

What do I use? 60/40 also I have been playing with some lead-free stuff but the flux in it is a bit weak and it needs a tip of about 800 deg F to melt easily. Makes ok but bad-looking joints.
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Old 13th August 2003, 10:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Does solder quality have an adverse effect on sound?

Quote:
Originally posted by Corn-Picker
Also I've heard that electronics periodically need to be re-soldered. Why is this? I'm assuming this is because of the oxidation of the lead tin alloy not because of physical degredation, but I'm not certain.
This is only necessary if you have problems. Electronic gear with especiially temperature variations can experience stress in the solder joints. This can happen faster if the part when it was new had oxidized pins (old parts on the shelf which are soldered in).

The general apply: If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

Every time you heat up a solder joint you degrade especially the pcb but also the part itself.

Most problems has thick pins and/or heavy parts.

Also when you solder, don't forget to heat up sufficiently. A newbie error is fears the harm the part by heat. Only certain film caps are sensitive, like polystyrene.

BTW: What is hiatus? (sinbin halo)
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Old 13th August 2003, 04:58 PM   #8
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I find that Multicore Savbit (60Lead/38Tin/2Copper) tins very well, is long term reliable, and as has been discussed previously on this forum is the best sounding of the lead based alloys.
To make good solder joints, good solder (see above), a good solder sponge and a good vari-temp solder station are required.
For practice, find an old TV pcb and practice re-soldering until you get it right.
If the components are clinced down onto the pcb, any movement is not an issue, and in my experience eutectic solder sounds wrong.
Multicore make 96S solder (96Tin/4Silver) and this sounds the best that I have heard, but is difficult to get right and is expensive.
Big tip - clean the solder with tissue and solvent to remove any oxides on the surface of the solder wire before soldering operations - NASA techniques as I was taught in the early 80's.

Eric.
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Old 14th August 2003, 03:02 AM   #9
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Lots of good advice in the thread Peter linked to. The best way to get good at soldering is to practice - a lot.

I've been using this 96% tin/4% silver solder exclusively for over 3 years now. It started when I needed some lead-free solder for a Tesla Coil capacitor, and RS was the only place around. After a couple thousand solder joints one weekend (not PCB!), I had gotten the hang of it. This is the stuff I use, despite its cost, for almost everything: RS cat# 64-026. It's also available in .031" diameter. I explicitly recall Fred D recommending it in some thread, though I no longer recall if it was sarcastic or not (it was in one of those long, drawn out sound of "X" arguments).

Good luck,

Mark
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Old 14th August 2003, 03:43 AM   #10
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To answer your question.... YES, it does make a difference in sound. That's a pureist point of view though and we all know that the pureists live on Pluto.

A lot of very good information but I suggest whatever solder you get you need to get good heat transfer between parts and pads. You will see the solder flow into all knids of places that you wouldn't think it would but it follows heat. I use a good liquid flux and clean it with MEK or Acetone. 99% Isopropol alcohol works OK too. If the joint isn't shiney, drop a small drop of liquid flux and reheat but just enough that the "ball" of solder reheats and that's all. Then clean again. 60/40 solder will work fine for us "Earthlings" LOLOL

Good luck
Chris
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