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Premium Grade solder?

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
Hey Guys, I have been working with some higher grades of solder recently and was wondering what others were using for audio components.

Some of the brands make a great case for their particular metal mixtures...

So, do we have any comments opinions or suggestions?
post #2 of 64
I've been using a 60/40 surplus store solder. I like it except they only have two sizes .015" and .093". The 15 is perfect for smd and stuff but sockets and P2P gets difficult with such a thin wire. I make up for that by using the same brand of $8 a pound solder but solid core with a bottle of flux.

I really like the RadioShack silver bearing solder but it's $6 for 1.5 ounces of that or $8 for 16 ounces of this other stuff and I go through solder enough that $64 a pound vs $8 makes a difference.
post #3 of 64
I use WBT silver solder blessed by my girlfriend, so it sounds lovely.
post #4 of 64
Thread Starter 
The regular generic solder is said to be bad for audio work. Of course all companies have advertising as they want you to think there product is superior.
This metal mixture is better or provides better joints...

What do you guys think of such suggestions?

I have ben looking at the WBT and Cardas Quad-E solder from some upcoming circuit I am designing and building.

I guess I am just wondering what the DIY audio people think of Premium grade solder Vs. Generic 60/40 solder..
post #5 of 64
It seems that most people here prefer Cardas Quad Eutectic. It melts at low temperature and has a quality flux core.

60/40 is not good for what we're doing. Kester 63/37 is easy to work with, though not quite as good as Cardas Quad in my opinion.
post #6 of 64
I've been using Cardas Quad-Eutectic for the past two years and I'll never go back to any other. Flows like butter and I like solder with a little lead in it.

post #7 of 64
Thread Starter 
I have some Tri and quad Eutectic on the way for testing.
I have a great deal of soldering coming up, some fine audio work so I want to make sure the joints are as good as they can be in terms of solder used.
I have heard great things about the Cardas products though for soldering.

Any other comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
post #8 of 64
Thread Starter 
If you had to choose just one, you would take the Cardas Quad?

I have a associate in a audio lab sending me small rolls of the best solders availble so I am looking forward to trying them out.
post #9 of 64
I use the cardas quad since you can get around 40 feet lengths at a time for $10 on ebay.

It seems a lot at ~$85/lb but in the end, you only use about $5 worth per project... maybe a shiny dime per cable.
post #10 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesL View Post
I use the cardas quad since you can get around 40 feet lengths at a time for $10 on ebay.

It seems a lot at ~$85/lb but in the end, you only use about $5 worth per project... maybe a shiny dime per cable.
You pay $85 for a pound of Cardas quad?
post #11 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by rds View Post
You pay $85 for a pound of Cardas quad?
Not exactly. I order 40-feet spools for $10, but I don't buy a pound's worth because I don't need 400-500 feet of solder.
I'm not sure how much I ordered so far.. I think about 50 feet of solder got me through 5 dac's, 3 smaller amplifiers, and 3 medium sized ones.
post #12 of 64
Thread Starter 
I have noticed that most of these premium "audio" type solders are quite expensive for large rolls. Great thing is, most are available in smaller amounts for reasonable prices.
post #13 of 64
Eutectic is the key. I am going by memory but I am sure it has to do with the way the solder transitions from solid to liquid and back. The non eutectic takes a second or so to harden and can cause cold joints. 63/37 is the eutectic percentage. I am sure I am leaving out some details.
I use Kester and Alpha, have a few pounds of it so prolly won't run out anytime soon.
post #14 of 64
The point of solder is to make a strong physical joint. 60/40 does that, flows better than any of the "specialty" solders, and you never get cold joints, tin whiskers, or other problems. I've found silver based solders not to flow or stick particularly well, so I've gone back to 60/40. Usually Kester, but Radio Shack is very good, as well.
post #15 of 64
Cardas, Siltech, I think they can be considered as premium grade.
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