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To the exotic wire question, of course I always get the best sound when I am able to purchase my preferred wire. Lately however I can neither affort my preferred wire which is made from 7x36 awg 24k gold conductors wrapped with 6mils of unobtainium perfect dielectric insulating jacket. Man its tough listening to my stereo gear made from plain old silver plated copper wire and PVC jacketing! Oh well better days may return when the economy gets better..... Mickeystan
I would like to ask what people think regards
1. Solder containing silver as or opposed to lead tin Etc

Silver solder for high pressure lines, like air conditioning, lead/tin for water pipes. :D

For electronic work, tin/lead is your best bet. Those lead-free solders are horrible to work with, melt at such high temps that you seriously risk burning out sensitive ICs and transistors. They also have the problem of tin "whiskers" that can grow long enough to cause short circuits. Avoid that like the plague!

2. The cable question, silver plated PTFE or Teflon insulated as opposed to copper linear crystal / oxygen free copper.

Teflon insulated wire for VHF/UHF work or high speed digital circuits is a good idea. For low frequency work, the savings in stray capacitance are of no consequence. Silver plating is a good idea for VHF/UHF work as well since most of the current will flow at the surface. Again, audio frequencies are way too low for there to be any meaningful skin effect.

Can you measure a difference in sound?

No. We have had over a century's worth of experience when it comes to audio frequencies over cables: all those miles and miles of telephone lines, and yet no one, in all that time, ever noticed a difference. It wasn't until the 1980s that anyone "noticed", and, of course, the idea was to get you to part with $$$$$ (hundreds and even thousands) for a patch cable you could pick up for a few bux at any Rat Shack.

If not why not?

The length of cable runs doesn't come anywhere near long enough for T-line effects to manifest themselves at normal audio frequencies. At 20KHz, the wavelength is 15000M. Are you runing your cables for 750M (0.05 wavelength)? Then, doanworrybouddit! (Exception: 60Hz power lines that run for miles.)
Sil-Phos containing 0% 2% 5% 10% or 15% silver for refer lines hot water and large cold water copper lines. These days the health science folks are suspecting copper of toxicity. Lead solder is no longer used for domestic water. In fact Vermont and California (soon coming to a state near you) require 3rd party certification of solder copper pipe and faucets, “certified lead free”.
Electronics solder is 60 / 40 at my house for the listed reasons.

All just for fun!
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I tend to use silver plated copper cable PTFE insulated with solder containing silver.
Again mainly because the PTFE does not "shrink" back when soldered.
I use PTFE sleeving with any bare conductors or component leads.

I have never tried audio with copper that is clean and polished and compared it against the same stuff when it is let to go green and oxidise. Because if it sounded different then the signals would be travelling along the outer edge the middle should not be affected.

When I tried Audio Note solder it ran like water with standard iron temp.
I have tried in the past making cables with silver from the jewellery suppliers in various sizes sleeved with PTFE. It is quite cheap to buy like this. A twisted "silver" pair with PTFE sleeving for digital out to DAC sounds better than most things I have tried. Gold wire on audio does sound terrible the treble is "rolled off". I don't like PVC it melts. I do like Mica caps, why I don't know! I did melt candle wax onto a circuit board and let it run with the heat. The treble did change, maybe this is a Dielectric "thing". IE wax caps, compared to polypropylene. Then again maybe its just imagination. I don't think it is a bad thing to experiment. All just for fun!

M. Gregg
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