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Best type of solder for audio quality - Page 2

post #16 of 48

I've got the following on my table:

RadioShack 60/40

Kester 60/40

Kester 63/37

Cardas Quad


Those are listed in reverse preference order.

post #17 of 48
Originally Posted by Lil' Knight View Post

That would make more sense if you could find a PCB maker that can offer silver traces :~)

ExpressPCB's RoHS process uses 99% silver. It's still copper underneath, but it may make sense to use silver-bearing solder like the common 62-36-2 eutectic blend for such boards.

post #18 of 48

Tangent speaks the truth.

In industrial process, the boards have very thin copper

on them before they are etched. Saves on copper and time.

Then they are plated back up to whatever thickness is required.

They can be plated in any coating the customer requires; tin,

silver bearing tin, silver, gold, unobtainium (if you can afford it)

or whatever else they have up their sleeve.

Other than the copper layer, most of the more exotic stuff is

plated on after the solder mask is applied so only the exposed

pads are plated with silver, gold or unobtainium.

post #19 of 48

olso use cardas solder, never had any problems with it. Totally unaudible

post #20 of 48





post #21 of 48
I know this is an old thread but jewellers solder and solder paste seems to have the higher silver content they reckon your average silver solder paste has 5% solder content biggrin.gif
Edited by laughingbuddha - 5/1/14 at 7:05am
post #22 of 48

I have found what I think is the best non-leaded solder as it's almost as easy to work with as leaded solder. It's  "blended" and made by Sparkfun and is 96% tin, 3.0% silver, 0.5% copper, and 0.15 antimony. Best silver bearing solder I ever used. I'm not much of an electronics buff compared to the real deal but I do need to solder something once in a while and this solder is GREAT stuff! 

post #23 of 48

Yes, Sparkfun, legendary house of metallurgy. :rolleyes:


This is just another of a great number of lead-free solders. One that subs in toxic antimony for toxic lead, by the way.


I find it odd that the product page doesn't say whether the alloy is eutectic. Also, it mentions water-soluble flux as though it is purely a virtue, when in fact it's a warning sign: you must clean that sort of flux off your boards, because it is caustic.


(Reminds me of the "triple organic" sign I passed on the road the other day. Ooooo, that must be better than just double organic!)

post #24 of 48
Every industrial establishment that used 63/37 multicore eutectic that has been forced to abandon it did so reluctantly, because anything else is harder to use, or more expensive, or both.

The pins on modern devices are coated with such diverse metals that it is nigh on impossible to pick a flavour of solder that can be guaranteed to be long-term compatible with all. As long as the solder wets, your luck's in, because long-term means years or decades. Unless you're planning on stereo in orbit.

If you've got time to worry about this, you've got too little to think about.
post #25 of 48

This is a useful thread, to which i'll bookmark it for later reference. I love the ideas that are swimming in my head right now, coming up with options for projects i want to tackle.

post #26 of 48

I just started looking at this.


I decided plump for CARDAS QUAD with 2% silver. I googled, and searched on ebay. They show a reel of the stuff and then some on a plastic bag. I mean, how are we supposed to know if the stuff they send is what they say.


I have one tiny job to do.

post #27 of 48

The Cardas Quad Eutectic melts at 370° and the flux has a rather distinctive smell.

Could also check to see if the retailer is listed on the Cardas site as a distributor.

post #28 of 48
The best connection is a solid mechanical connection, in a proper joint solder should be seen more as a glue and sealant to maintain said mechanical connection and not as a conductor.

Also, I don't see any reason to go with exotic solder brands, you're paying mostly for the name. With research you will find the chemical makeup of the exotics is almost identical to a leadless Kester as it is silver bearing as well. But any "silver" or leadless will require temperatures of or near 400 degrees C or 750 degrees F for proper flow.
post #29 of 48

These 96.5% Tin, 3.0% Silver, 0.5% Copper solders are referred to as "SAC305".  I have the version Adafruit sells, though I've bought a bunch of random stuff from Sparkfun, too.  :)  I don't have any issues getting this SAC305 RoHS solder to flow, but I do have a Hakko soldering station (FX-888).  I get good results with the temp set to 270C (I'm not sure how accurate the temp is, though, since I've never had the opportunity to calibrate it).


I'll have to look up this Cardas Quad, though.  The stuff I have ends up corroding everything if I don't clean it with 90% isopropyl when I'm finished.  It claims to be a 'no clean' (rosin core) solder, but I've had conductive crystals form between headers and the pins of nearby ICs on breakout boards and everything I soldered together when I first started looks 'crusty'... sort of like a white rust, sometimes with normal rust mixed in.

post #30 of 48

Typically the white stuff is from the "activator" in the flux.



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