Silver Wire

vdi_nenna

Member
Paid Member
2000-10-10 7:27 pm
PA, USA
I found a place in Allentown, PA called Hand-Made Electronics. They have silver wire in more gauges then I've seen anywhere. Also many other parts.

Gauge Part No. Dia.-Inch/mm Price,1ft

Flat 12-028-100 .040" x .005" .75
14 12-028-14 .064/1.6mm 3.95
16 12-028-16 .051/1.3mm 2.75
18 12-028-18 .040/1mm 2.25
20 12-028-20 .032/.8mm 1.95
22 12-028-22 .025/.65mm 1.10
24 12-028-24 .020/.5mm .90
26 12-028-26 .016/.4mm .90
28 12-028-28 .013/.33mm .80
30 12-028-30 .010/.25mm .80


http://www.hndme.com/
 
Those silver prices are quite high

I recently purchased 220 feet of 30 ga 0.9999 fine silver wire from <a href ="http://mjsa.polygon.net/~10527">Myron Toback</a> for $25 ($0.10 per foot) delivered (web page not functional, phoned in my order) and 200 feet of 28 ga teflon tubing from <a href="http://www.mcmaster.com">McMaster-Carr</a> for $15 ($0.06 per foot) delivered.

I'm not connected to either of these places, just trying to save some money...
 

vdi_nenna

Member
Paid Member
2000-10-10 7:27 pm
PA, USA
Yeah, that's true, but can you find 14 awg? 30 AWG is so thin. I decided not to sit and add tubing to a bundle of wire then twist and twist. A few feet of the proper guage may do the trick to wire up a board or make a set of interconnects. Still cheaper than buying silver cables already made up too.

I personally don't think that buying 220 ft of 30 awg silver wire and making bundles to create larger guages is such a great savings in time, unless the application calls for it.
 
I made ICs not Speaker Wire

True, I didn't price 14ga wire from them, just comparing based on the 30ga I used for interconnects. I don't think I'd want to try to thread that much fine wire through tubing to braid it to a sufficient gauge to use as speaker wire either! I had enough of a hard time making my ICs!

Just wanted to help people be able to shop around... I wasn't looking to cause any ill feelings!
 
Actually, I use Teflon insulated, single strand, twisted pair for interconnect. It's about 30 or 34 gauge. Yes, it's delicate, but it sounds simply wonderful and I didn't have to pull it through anything at all; it's just simple twisted pair. I've always meant to try it with a copper braid shield, but not from any real problem with noise or hum...just something I wanted to try. One of the reasons I haven't been too hot to shield it is that I can argue that the extra capacitance from the braid would do more harm than good--especially since I don't need it.
One other thing I've been meaning to try is a shield using the 'guard' circuit discussed in Horowitz and Hill. Kinda intriguing.
For silver wire without the hassle, try:
http://www.a-msystems.com/physiology/products/wire/coatedsilverwire.asp
They sell Teflon coated silver in a number of guages.
I've got a note to myself that surfaces on my desk periodically, something to the effect to try http://www.medicalbuyer.com. I'll try to verify the address and whether they actually have Teflon coated silver wire.
My feeling has always been that silver is too chemically reactive to leave lying about without a good coating of something. Merely pulling it through a sleeve will insulate it electrically, but will do little to protect it chemically. Silver tarnishes easily (silver sulfide, if memory serves, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was also some silver chloride in there somewhere), and I'm not so sure how silver compounds sound. I'd just as soon let someone else do the Teflon at the factory whilst the wire is clean, so it stays that way. The stuff I've got is still pretty after fifteen years or so; not at all tarnished.
For speaker wire...I dunno. The idea of making a braided Litz wire occurred to me years ago, but it did seem like a fair amount of work. But for interconnect, you can't beat the sound for the price.

Grey
 
found a place in Allentown, PA called Hand-Made Electronics. They have silver wire in more gauges then I've seen anywhere. Also many other parts.

Gauge Part No. Dia.-Inch/mm Price,1ft

Flat 12-028-100 .040" x .005" .75
14 12-028-14 .064/1.6mm 3.95
16 12-028-16 .051/1.3mm 2.75
18 12-028-18 .040/1mm 2.25
20 12-028-20 .032/.8mm 1.95
22 12-028-22 .025/.65mm 1.10
24 12-028-24 .020/.5mm .90
26 12-028-26 .016/.4mm .90
28 12-028-28 .013/.33mm .80
30 12-028-30 .010/.25mm .80



I'm wondering why you seem to think that silver wire is important?

It doesn't do anything differently or better than normal copper wire. True, there is a slight improvement in conductivity, but you can just go to a bigger AWG in copper and that' difference is gone.

12AWG copper wire for 23-25 cents per foot makes much more sense than wasting money for differences that don't exist.
 
Arthur-itis said:


I'm wondering why you seem to think that silver wire is important?

It doesn't do anything differently or better than normal copper wire.

What is your experience with silver wire?

I have been using 30 AWG .9999, insulated with nothing but pure wool tubing, as interconects for a while now. No trouble with tarnish yet. Silver tarnish is second only to silver in conductivity so I'm not too worried about it. Silver sounds far better than copper in every application I have tried it in and that has been a lot.
DIY makes it easy and cheap to try it in your system.
You will be surprised.
 
Arthur-itis said:


I'm wondering why you seem to think that silver wire is important?

It doesn't do anything differently or better than normal copper wire. True, there is a slight improvement in conductivity, but you can just go to a bigger AWG in copper and that' difference is gone.

12AWG copper wire for 23-25 cents per foot makes much more sense than wasting money for differences that don't exist.

I disagree. I've found silver wire to sound significantly different from copper, and different types of copper or sound different as well. Try comparing solid core ETP copper to OCC copper and you'll see the difference, if you're open to it. OCC is much more fast and open, and can be much brighter, if not controlled.

I do agree with you- it does often wind up being a waste of money, as only the best silver is really a great sounding material, and very high quality copper can be had mega-cheap. Most people make due with poor quality silver, as it's easy to find and affordable (relatively)
 
badman said:


I disagree. I've found silver wire to sound significantly different from copper, and different types of copper or sound different as well. Try comparing solid core ETP copper to OCC copper and you'll see the difference, if you're open to it. OCC is much more fast and open, and can be much brighter, if not controlled.

I do agree with you- it does often wind up being a waste of money, as only the best silver is really a great sounding material, and very high quality copper can be had mega-cheap. Most people make due with poor quality silver, as it's easy to find and affordable (relatively)


2 comments for this:

1) read the article about speaker cables written by Nelson Pass ( www.passdiy.com )

2) Your second statement about good silver being hard to find and expensive is downright wrong. You can get 4 or 5 nines pure (can't remember) silver for less than 1 usd per gram, pretty much anywhere, make that wire, sheet or tube.

Magura:)
 
tom1356 said:
...Silver tarnish is second only to silver in conductivity so I'm not too worried about it...
Silver oxide is conductive. Silver sulphide on the other hand, is most definitely not. It's a problem in places with pollution, which means just about anywhere in the western world unfortunately, particularly in cities. To make it worse, it forms more easily on electrical contacts than on non-conducting metal, suggesting that bare silver connectors would be a bad idea for reliability, although wire should suffer no serious ill effects I suppose.
 

Prune

Disabled Account
2003-03-27 10:55 pm
Vancouver
Personally my ear isn't good enough to easily hear differences between cables, but one person has told me that the temper of the silver is more important than the purity (bending messes up the crystalline structure of harder tempers more, or something like that). To this add the fact that triple-nines (i.e. fine) silver is much cheaper than higher purities since all jewellers use it, and I think that dead-soft temper fine silver is the best value if you want a fancy cable. I'm quite happy with my teflon/silver DIY interconnects. As far as gauge, 28 or even 30 is sufficient for line-level signals such as interconnects and hookups (except power amp hookups beyond the first stage).

What gauge is needed for speaker cables, though? Is 18 enough?
 

Prune

Disabled Account
2003-03-27 10:55 pm
Vancouver
Mr Evil said:

Silver oxide is conductive. Silver sulphide on the other hand, is most definitely not.

I've never seen silver sulphide on silver objects. I've only seen sterling silver get sulphur tarnishing, but that's the copper reacting with sulphur, not the silver. Fine silver mostly forms oxides, unless you handle it too much with bare hands.
 
What is your experience with silver wire?

I have been using 30 AWG .9999, insulated with nothing but pure wool tubing, as interconects for a while now. No trouble with tarnish yet. Silver tarnish is second only to silver in conductivity so I'm not too worried about it. Silver sounds far better than copper in every application I have tried it in and that has been a lot.
DIY makes it easy and cheap to try it in your system.
You will be surprised.

[/COLOR]

You say silver sounds better based on what? In double blind comparisons it's alleged superiority disappears.

I've had occasion to compare many different types of interconnects and found no differences when I didn't know which I was listening to and nobody else has to my knowldege.

I see no reason to spend more on wire when I could spend it on music.
 

Prune

Disabled Account
2003-03-27 10:55 pm
Vancouver
I see no reason to spend more on wire when I could spend it on music.

a) It's simply cool. :cool: That's why I'd never get an Amerikhan car, regardless of its performance. They are simply not cool. :p

b) In a high enough resolution equipment (i.e. as you upgrade other things in the signal path), multiple differences below threshold of perceptibility can add up to a noticeable effect, especially as one's critical ear improves.

Usually I'm arguing the other side, but that's because it seems to be overwhelmingly supported here, and I'm just trying to balance out by being a devil's advocate. :devily:
 
Arthur-itis said:


You say silver sounds better based on what? In double blind comparisons it's alleged superiority disappears.

I've had occasion to compare many different types of interconnects and found no differences when I didn't know which I was listening to and nobody else has to my knowldege.

I see no reason to spend more on wire when I could spend it on music.

I wont bother to ask you to reference the DBT's you cite.
If you can't hear the difference than you should keep what you have now. That certainly doesn't mean there is no difference.
Silver wire can be a lot less than most commercial copper wires if you are willing to DIY.
I'm willing to bet my IC are less costly than yours.
When you get more music from each recording you will get better value and enjoyment from your music.
 
Magura said:



2 comments for this:

1) read the article about speaker cables written by Nelson Pass ( www.passdiy.com )

2) Your second statement about good silver being hard to find and expensive is downright wrong. You can get 4 or 5 nines pure (can't remember) silver for less than 1 usd per gram, pretty much anywhere, make that wire, sheet or tube.

Magura:)

I haven't read the pass article, but I will soon. For now, I'd just like to reply to 2). I didn't cite purity. I find that the only silvers that really sound good are expensive, pre-insulated silvers. Not gouge my eyes out and pee in the sockets expensive, but significantly more costly than commodity jewelers silver. I do find that the temper of silver is extremely important, softer is better.
 
I wont bother to ask you to reference the DBT's you cite.
If you can't hear the difference than you should keep what you have now. That certainly doesn't mean there is no difference.
Silver wire can be a lot less than most commercial copper wires if you are willing to DIY.
I'm willing to bet my IC are less costly than yours.
When you get more music from each recording you will get better value and enjoyment from your music.

__________________


The DBT's were my own plus the expieriences of others.

The fact that nobody who has done a DBT of wire has ever heard any difference tells me that it is likely to be a fuitless search for difference.

Since there is no evidence other than anecdote that copper wire is not as good as it can get in terms of conducting the signal to the device, I beleive I'm getting all the music and all the value that 's possible to get.

YMMV