What kind of solder to use?

i'm both a newbie to electronic and diy amplifier. I would like to know what kind of solder is good for amp circuit board work. I browse mouser electronic and saw many size of them, which size is suitable for this purpose? 0.031 in diameter 60/40 is what I intend to order, is it suitable? Thanks in advance!
 

MRehorst

Member
2002-05-17 8:48 pm
It is useful to have some very fine solder to solder surface mount parts, and some larger diameter stuff to solder through-hole components. 60-40 is good. Rosin core is good. You might want to get some flux also, especially for soldering surface mount parts (if you'll be doing that).

Avoid silver solder. Some claim it "sounds" better, but no one has actually tested that idea. What has been tested is reliability of the connections and silver solder is not very reliable compared to good 'ol 60-40. Also, silver solder melts at a higher temp than 60-40, increasing the risk of destroying your components during soldering.

MR
 
Avoid silver solder

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

And I guess you have listened to the differences ........ Thanks for your well researched advice!

H.H.

P.S. Why is silver solder made if it is so bad? I guess Radio Shack sells it just for the "golden ear" gulible types.
 
Argentum!

Silver is an excellent conductor (before it oxidizes), and has a definite place in many circuit boards.

Use a temperature-controlled soldering station, and a proper heat sink to protect your vital components. I use it in high heat locations, such as power resistors, where weakened joints have occurred. I have solved intermittent problems with breaker points (relays) in this way.
 

MRehorst

Member
2002-05-17 8:48 pm
Re: Avoid silver solder

HarryHaller said:
And I guess you have listened to the differences ........ Thanks for your well researched advice!

H.H.

P.S. Why is silver solder made if it is so bad? I guess Radio Shack sells it just for the "golden ear" gulible types.

No, I haven't listened to the difference. Neither has anyone else, in any meaningful way. I say avoid it to avoid the known problems of reliability and high melt temperature.

Why is it made if it is so bad? Surely you can't believe that everything that is sold MUST be effective! Just like electrical muscle stimulators that promise to give you Arnold Schwartzenegger's body without doing any exercise, just like CD demagnetizers, just like Mpingo disks, if someone will pay, someone else will happily sell.

Keeping my wallet in my pocket,

MR
 
Without a doubt, I can safely say that silver solder sounds better, however one should be aware of where to apply it and where you should not.

Higher voltage (anything above 25 volts) certainly gains in performance by the silver solder, as well as being able to cope the higher soldering temperature.

I would be more vary when lower voltage circuits are the issue.
 
Cardas Quad Eutectic

For a few years now I've only used the Cardas Quad Eutectic solder on my projects- it's a four part alloy, lead, tin, silver, and copper. It melts at relatively low temperatures, and it doesn't seem to have any tendency to slurry when cooling- the Eutectic alloy combination solidify's at once, so it's nearly impossible to get a cold soldered joint with any reasonable technique.

It's main drawback is that a half pound or one pound spool is a little pricey, but considering how long it lasts, and how much the other components cost, it's a non issue in my book- any more than the price of good tools or a temperature controlled soldering station.

Regards,

Jon
 
No, I haven't listened to the difference. Neither has anyone else, in any meaningful

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!!!!!

Thanks for another well researched, open minded, and helpful contribution to the forum. What else can't you hear so we can save even more money?!?

H.H.

P.S. Why even bother with this forum if you have made up your mind about everything?
 
Thanks for another well researched, open minded, and helpful contribution to the forum. What else can't you hear so we can save even more money?!?

And where is your A/B comparison that silver solder is better? Not only have you not proved a point, you have made yourself look like a total jerk and put another black eye on the home theater stereotype (ie buying stuff cause it sounds like it should be better).
 
And where is your A/B comparison that silver solder is better?

Where's your proof it is not. Have you ever even bothered to listen? It is not that difficult to go to Radio Shack and buy some. If you can't hear, I can't make you hear. Why don't you go harras some wine snobs. I am not interested in proving a point. I would like to give the home theater stereotype two black eyes. I am not here to tell you what to hear. Come talk to me after you have spent about 10 or 15 years of modifing and building audio equipment.

H.H.
 

MRehorst

Member
2002-05-17 8:48 pm
Re: No, I haven't listened to the difference. Neither has anyone else, in any meaningful

HarryHaller said:
What else can't you hear so we can save even more money?!?

H.H.

P.S. Why even bother with this forum if you have made up your mind about everything?

I have read articles in professional engineering publications about the reliability of solder connections using different materials. These days many countries are considering banning lead from solder to prevent the pollution that eventually results when the equipment is junked. As a result, many different solder formulations (and conductive adhesives) are being tested by the industry. Good old 60-40 has proven to be the most reliable material out there to join components to PCBs. Of course, if you are a conspiracy buff you might think the test results have been skewed in favor of the inexpensive status quo...

I have never seen anything but subjective reviews of the "sound" of different materials.

When someone says "silver solder sounds better, but you have to know where to use it", I have so many questions such as what was your mood when you "tested" the solder?, were you consuming alcohol or under the influence of other drugs/medications?, did you masturbate/have sex just before/during the "listening test"?, how did you come to know where to use silver solder and where not to?, did you listen to music you like? did you use a double-blind set-up?...

I know from my own experience that when I'm in the wrong mood, even music I like sounds like crap. But I recognize that the music hasn't changed, only my perception of it has. If a person's own senses are such an unreliable indicator of "truth", how in the world is anyone supposed to get anything useful from a subjective review written by someone else?

I could go on for hours, but I don't think there's much point. We are only talking about solder, after all. How much time and energy should a rational person devote to a question such as "does silver solder sound better?"

Cheers!

MR
 

pinkmouse

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-04-03 7:15 pm
Rotherham, England
When someone says "silver solder sounds better, but you have to know where to use it", I have so many questions such as what was your mood when you "tested" the solder?, were you consuming alcohol or under the influence of other drugs/medications?, did you masturbate/have sex just before/during the "listening test"?, how did you come to know where to use silver solder and where not to?, did you listen to music you like? did you use a double-blind set-up?...

Just to throw a spanner in the works...

When I built my first speakers I bought silver solder for all the crossovers, but by a foolish mistake used normal solder on one of them ( I blame beer!).

I realised I had made this mistake the following day when clearing up, but decided to go with it anyway as I just wanted to listen to music.

But after running in, the two speakers still sounded slightly different, neither could be said to be better or worse, just very slightly different.

So I resoldered the ordinary one with silver solder and the two then sounded identical.

So I think there is a very slight difference, but one that could easily be hidden in scale by component or cable effects, so to be honest, I now only use silver solder on silver or silver plated cables, when I think it wets much better than 60-40 solder.
 
How much time and energy should a rational person devote to a question such as "does

Maybe just a lttle more time than you have spent telling everyone it makes no difference........ Maybe you can move on to telling use that wire and passive components make no difference now.


"how in the world is anyone supposed to get anything useful from a subjective review written by someone else?"

Try listening for yourself........



H.H.
 
Re what type is the best

I have worked on Military projects for a few years in the field of advanced weaponry. I can tell you that both the US and Canadian military specify Kester Eutectic Solder due it's electrical properties and it's ability to form a good solder joint. Eutectic solder melts at precisely 367 Deg. and solidifies within a few degrees either way. Pretty much moments after you remove your iron. It causes less strees to your components flows superbly forms a superior joint and creates a tight molecular bond. I have use both a Eutectic Blend and several Silver blends, Most silver blends are between 2% to 4%. With such a low concentration of silver it is almost impossible to quantify any sound characteristics, the silver content is there to enhance molecular bonding with silver plated components, leads Etc. Give that Silver blends are actually harder to work with than 60/40 and 63/37, your much more likely to get better sound from a better solder joint. The better solder joint, skills dependant, is almost always going to come from 63/37 (Eutectic) solder. 1 pound will cost about $80 Canadian, but will shurely be your best investment in DIY Audio ever made. Well that and Stabilant 22A the miracle lubricant.

Regards

Anthony