DIY HiFi Speaker Cables: Solder

pwrofgrayskull

pwrofgrayskull

Audioholic Intern
Supplies:
AudioQuest SLiP DB 14/4 Bulk Cable
AudioQuest Rocket 11 14/4 Bulk Cable
Kimber Kable SBAN Kit (Banana)
Kimber Kable PM33 Kit (Spade)


I’m planning on using the Rocket 11 cable, SBAN (amp end) to PM33 (speaker end) in a shotgun configuration. Both of these connections need to be soldered.

I’m out of solder so, the question is, which solder is “best” or really just preferred? Looking at
Kester 245 “No-Clean” Flux Core...

Alloy %:
Sn62Pb36Ag2 (guessing this is preferred)
Sn96.5Ag3Cu0.5 or Sn96.5Ag3.5 (Lead Free)
Sn63Pb37 (Classic, no silver)

Second question, would you still pre apply flux to the wire given the flux core?
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Supplies:
AudioQuest SLiP DB 14/4 Bulk Cable
AudioQuest Rocket 11 14/4 Bulk Cable
Kimber Kable SBAN Kit (Banana)
Kimber Kable PM33 Kit (Spade)


I’m planning on using the Rocket 11 cable, SBAN (amp end) to PM33 (speaker end) in a shotgun configuration. Both of these connections need to be soldered.

I’m out of solder so, the question is, which solder is “best” or really just preferred? Looking at
Kester 245 “No-Clean” Flux Core...

Alloy %:
Sn62Pb36Ag2 (guessing this is preferred)
Sn96.5Ag3Cu0.5 or Sn96.5Ag3.5 (Lead Free)
Sn63Pb37 (Classic, no silver)

Second question, would you still pre apply flux to the wire given the flux core?
I like a little lead in my solder, it gives less trouble over time. You NEVER apply flux for electrical work. If you do you will find your wires will corrode though and drop off over time. The core of these solders is formulated fro electrical work.
 
hemiram

hemiram

Full Audioholic
I've been soldering since I was about 7, working on radios, etc. That was over 55 years ago. Lead free is just bad. If you even think you need flux, just make sure it's rosin flux and not acid, which most of it is.. But I can't think of a single time I ever needed flux for soldering wires/electronics. My favorite is the old Ersin Multicore stuff that I don't think is made anymore, but I bought on Ebay a while back. I like the smaller diameter solder the best.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Supplies:
AudioQuest SLiP DB 14/4 Bulk Cable
AudioQuest Rocket 11 14/4 Bulk Cable
Kimber Kable SBAN Kit (Banana)
Kimber Kable PM33 Kit (Spade)


I’m planning on using the Rocket 11 cable, SBAN (amp end) to PM33 (speaker end) in a shotgun configuration. Both of these connections need to be soldered.

I’m out of solder so, the question is, which solder is “best” or really just preferred? Looking at
Kester 245 “No-Clean” Flux Core...

Alloy %:
Sn62Pb36Ag2 (guessing this is preferred)
Sn96.5Ag3Cu0.5 or Sn96.5Ag3.5 (Lead Free)
Sn63Pb37 (Classic, no silver)

Second question, would you still pre apply flux to the wire given the flux core?
More flux doesn't make it flow or bond better and absolutely DO NOT use acid flux.

If you didn't buy cable yet, read this and take a minute to think about it-

"SLiP 14/4 features Semi-Solid Concentric Packed conductors that reduce harshness and confusion. Long-Grain Copper (LGC) has less grain junctions and lower distortion which preserves clarity and naturlness. SLiP 14/4's low-Inductance Spiral Geometry minimizes the sound going out-of-focus as length increases.".

How does sound become harsh and confused? It's certainly not from the way the strands are "packed".

Wire is in a spiral configuration because it 'behaves' better once it's in the jacket- a group of wires that are spiral take up less space and can be wound onto a spool in a more orderly way, the cable will lay in a straight line and it's smooth, not lumpy. I can't think of a cable with two, four or larger number that isn't in a spiral configuration inside of the jacket. NONE.

Making up stories and charging more is form marketing departments and greed. Look at any other brand of cable that's not braided- they're all spiral.

Here's one that's spiral and is used by many custom integrators- it's used because it works as well as anything, the jacket doesn't cut as easily as some and it slides over building materials better than other brands. It's not expensive and nobody will know it's not high priced if they listen to it (as opposed to listening to the damn music).

The only thing that makes the banana plugs and spades unique is the heat shrink tubing because it has 'Kimber Cable' on it. Aside from that, you would be better off using unbranded parts & materials and saving your money. Seriously. I have installed over a thousand miles of cabling and nobody noticed that it wasn't 'high end'. I have used Munster Cable and hated it. I have used AudioQuest and really hated that crap, especially the bundled video cable with 24ga center conductor.

You want to know what works really well for banana plugs? The kind that have two plugs in a plastic holder, to maintain spacing and make it easy to insert or remove both at one time. The problem is that many speaker manufacturers came up with some excuse for drilling the holes in some other spacing because of some BS story that they want to tell about why their way is better. It's not.

These are great-


Nobody ever snapped a wire that was inserted through the hole in a binding post, but a lot of spades and banana plugs have broken off or were bent by pulling on the cable and many have come out of the binding post(s) because they were tugged. There's no mystery to this stuff but marketing has caused many people to waste millions of dollars.

At some point, you won't be able to remember what you put on the ends if you don't look at the shrink tube on a regular basis because it just doesn't matter.
 

newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top