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Solid vs. Stranded: Does it matter?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Ok, maybe someone here can give me a straight answer on this:

Which type of wire is better for signal quality; Solid or Stranded?

For the majority of interconnect projects I've come across, DIY'ers have used stranded wire either for flexibility or out of habit.

But what about when you really don't need flexibility, like when you are making a portable mini interconnect? If solid gives you better signal, why aren't more people using it?

I would be thankful for any information regarding this issue, and really-really thankful if anyone can provide physical examples of data/charts/proof!
post #2 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by oddity View Post
Ok, maybe someone here can give me a straight answer on this:

Which type of wire is better for signal quality; Solid or Stranded?

For the majority of interconnect projects I've come across, DIY'ers have used stranded wire either for flexibility or out of habit.

But what about when you really don't need flexibility, like when you are making a portable mini interconnect? If solid gives you better signal, why aren't more people using it?

I would be thankful for any information regarding this issue, and really-really thankful if anyone can provide physical examples of data/charts/proof!
I did compare some stranded and solid core cables and did not find the measurable differences to be notable.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f21/my...rprise-405217/
post #3 of 41
I prefer solid,if you make your own you can bend them to go just where you want.
post #4 of 41
On questions like this, I always think back to gear I have seen the innards of, and all the things the signal goes thru - PCB traces, solder, switches, pots, and very often at the back panel, for speaker or line-level connections, base metal (too often, iron). Don't even worry whether your wire is solid-core or stranded. It does not matter.
post #5 of 41
It has more to do with the quality of the wire itself than the construction. I don't think there's a definitive answer as to whether stranded, solid-core, or litz is necessarily "best". There are arguments to be made for all of them.

That being said, I personally tend to prefer cables that are based on flat ribbons.
post #6 of 41

Let's go stranded!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus Short View Post
On questions like this, I always think back to gear I have seen the innards of, and all the things the signal goes thru - PCB traces, solder, switches, pots, and very often at the back panel, for speaker or line-level connections, base metal (too often, iron). Don't even worry whether your wire is solid-core or stranded. It does not matter.
What is used in a closed system, especially over very short distances, can not matter! What you are doing outside over a short distance is a matter, but can not be measured. If you like to use a 5 m solid wire for the signal transmission, than is it maybe good as an "RF antenna" because the low damping against electromagnetic radiation. This has also something to do with the skin effect.

As long as you like to keep the transmitted signal safe over a distance of few meters, is a stranded cable with good shielding the best.
post #7 of 41
I prefer solid for DIY. Solid is easier to work with and I have not noticed a difference in sound.
post #8 of 41
Quick question. Are any of the members who are saying "there is no difference in sound" believers in cables making a difference in sound?
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGreen View Post
Quick question. Are any of the members who are saying "there is no difference in sound" believers in cables making a difference in sound?
Which do you think sound better, MrGreen? Solid or stranded? Also, can you characterize how their sounds differ (assuming you do find they differ)?
post #10 of 41
Depends, if it's a setup I won't move or flex often solid is easier to terminate. However if I'm dealing with cables that may be moved often and need to focus on durability then stranded is the only way to go.

It's a matter of application more than anything else.
post #11 of 41
I've heard stranded that I prefer to solid and solid that I prefer to stranded. All things being equal (i.e., 24AWG UPOCC stranded and 24AWG UPOCC solid), solid is probably the best way to go for SQ. Stranded is better for flexibility, no doubt but a soft annealed solid wire can be pretty flexible, too.
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjisme View Post
Which do you think sound better, MrGreen? Solid or stranded? Also, can you characterize how their sounds differ (assuming you do find they differ)?
I've never heard it, hence the question
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticDreams View Post
What is used in a closed system, especially over very short distances, can not matter! What you are doing outside over a short distance is a matter, but can not be measured. If you like to use a 5 m solid wire for the signal transmission, than is it maybe good as an "RF antenna" because the low damping against electromagnetic radiation. This has also something to do with the skin effect.

As long as you like to keep the transmitted signal safe over a distance of few meters, is a stranded cable with good shielding the best.
I think the makers of cat5 solid core networking cable might disagree here and skin effect is much more of a problem at high frequency. higher priced networking cable that doesnt have to be moved around a lot is often solid.

I prefer solid in most cases, but will use stranded if practicality dictates. in general I find solid to be better sounding than stranded. I also feel skin effect has very little to do with solid vs stranded as a bundle of stranded wires will act as one conductor, not a bunch of single conductors. the 'skin' in this case will be the outer rim of strands, not the outside of each strand. now there will be a scertain amount of arcing that goes on in the transfer from one strand to another; so this is one reason solid can be superior. its really pretty marginal though as I find stranded wire of the same material to be about as effective as the solid version. I will however always choose solid for digital
post #14 of 41
The only difference in my personal opinion, and having run a/b tests for fun, some years back, is the needs for your setup. If you're going to move things around often, stranded is often more durable for reapeted flexing and bending over time. If you aren't going to move things often, and have any need to run something in a particular fashion, I like solid, that applies no matter what I'm using the wire for, The sound argument and the theories presented, don't add up in the science of how current flows, nor potentilal difference.That's my 2 cents.
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post
now there will be a scertain amount of arcing that goes on in the transfer from one strand to another; so this is one reason solid can be superior.
ARCING!?

Are you ******* kidding?

*sigh*

Where do people come up with such nonsense?

se
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