Teflon Wire

Discussion in 'Building the Classics' started by Gunner64, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member

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    Since my last build I have acquired a nice quantity of 600v 22ga silver teflon wire, nice and small, should be easy to work with. My current build is a 1987 plexi clone, so my question is it ok using the 22ga teflon throughout the intire amp?..myself I think it should be just fine. Not concerned about authenticity, just functionality. Anyone using teflon jacketed hookup wire?
     
  2. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much the only wire I use. It's not easy to work with, but you get used to it.
    The advantage is: heat resistance/solder resistance/smaller physical size/higher voltage rating.

    But it is stiff...and will challenge you.

    Silver: should be soldered with nitrogen. The oxygen in the silver makes the connection appear clouded / milky / white.
    With Oxygen: The solder becomes paste-like, and sticks unpredictably. It stops flowing.
    (some people think it's a cold connection, but it's not really)
    This is caused by silver combining with oxygen.

    But despite the "whitish" appearance, silver Oxygen connection is still good, not cold.
    It just doesn't look great...not pretty.

    And, when you use lead free solder, the problem becomes worse.
    The trick is to solder with nitrogen gas. This excludes the oxygen from the solder connection.

    Watch this video to learn about silver wire / oxygen / nitrogen soldering.



    You will see with nitrogen, the solder flows WAY better.

    PVC cracks with age and heat- and I don't like it really. Thermal damage is on-going. I older amps, it just falls apart.

    A better choice would probably be silicon, which is much more flexible, heat resistant.
    But should be heat striped, really....to get all the insulation off. It tends to stick to the metal when you strip it.
    Silicon is so soft and flexible it's a joy to work with....EASY.

    The hump is really ordering several colors of the right gauge in silicon... (CROONER WIRE)
    and getting some good silicon shielded audio cable which is smaller to fit the terminals.

    We are basically stuck with teflon shielded wire (which is RF cable) to wire our audio.

    [​IMG] That's the only one with the high voltage rating (which it should have, being inside a tube amp).
    But it IS so stiff, it drives me bonkers.

    It's great cable but not easy to work with. It still works pretty good I think.
    You could use PVC (basically pickup lead wire) but the shielding isn't that great nor is it heat resistant, or high voltage rated.

    Yeah:
    what we really need is silicon in 7 colors, and shielded silicon audio wire, which has been made especially for tube amps sizes.
    Yeah, I wish we had that, but it has to be custom ordered.
    https://www.coonerwire.com/silicone-flexible-power-cable/
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
    6StringStewie likes this.
  3. danfrank

    danfrank Well-Known Member

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    Hey AMS, Thanks for the info and the video. Great info... I never knew that there was such a difference between using a nitrogen atmosphere and not.
     
  4. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Well-Known Member

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    Thats for the reply, and the video. So I see it flows better with nitrogen..so standard soldering with 60/40 will eventually have negative ramifications? I have used the silver teflon for smaller projects and it seemed to solder just fine, but I don't want to wire a whole amp with it only to have issues down the road.
     
  5. danfrank

    danfrank Well-Known Member

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    Only for WAVE soldering, not standard soldering with an iron...
     
  6. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    No issues with regular soldering, I use it all the time.
    Lasts virtually forever, and has wicked hi-heat resistance.
     
  7. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    The same thing happens w a soldering iron. (happens w silver plated wire)
    That's why there is nitrogen soldering stations. (not just wave solder)

    But it works without the nitrogen, it just doesn't look as good.
    There will be no issue down the road really.
    Yeah you can use silver wire without nitrogen. The better way is to use nitrogen, because it flows so much better and looks much cleaner.

    Having done it, I would rather use the gas.
     
  8. Stych

    Stych Member

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    I do a lot of aircraft maintenance type things, so that type of wire is very available to me, and it's pretty much all that I use. It is stiffer, but once you get used to it it's not bad to work with, and should last forever.
     
  9. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    You do get used to it, over time.
    And aircraft grade wire is made to withstand severe conditions, perfect for guitar amp.
    Guitar amp needs to withstand battle conditions, high heat, vibration, shock, and after that needs to keep working.
    More severe than military or aviation, a guitar amp is the ultimate toture test of wire.
     
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  10. FourT6and2

    FourT6and2 Active Member

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    I've not encountered any issues with silver-plated wire. My solder connections look as shiny as any other. No need for nitrogen gas equipment. That's ridiculous for a guitar amp. The only "special" equipment I use is a good soldering station (not a cheap pencil iron), and 63/37 rosin core solder. Silver Teflon or Tefzel wire is awesome. Doesn't melt. Thinner too, so it's nicer for lead dress.

    The wire in the below photo is silver plated. I then tinned both the shield and lead. Doesn't look cloudy to me. But whatever works for you.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    That's cause you are using lead solder.
    The nitrogen was intended for lead free solder.
    But mix the 2 together, it's going to come out cloudy without the nitrogen.

    A 1 Lb. roll of the really good lead free solder is over $100.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
  12. FourT6and2

    FourT6and2 Active Member

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    Oh. Yeah I don't use lead-free.
     
  13. Matt_Krush

    Matt_Krush Well-Known Member

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    One caveat that I'd recommend, is to use shielded wire for signal coming from input jack to first circuit connection and shielded wire for effects loop if you are adding one.
    But other than that, I use all Teflon wire.
     

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