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FAEFLORA:Lead Free Solder & Quad CablingXXX

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Mindsender, Aug 31, 2001.

  1. Mindsender

    Mindsender Guest

    Anybody done testing on Lead Free Solder? Kester makes 95%Tin5%Silver (mostly for potable water sources). Only other Silver I've found is RadioShack 2% Silver, rest lead and tin.

    QUAD: I've recently extensively a/b'ed quad versus dual (mogami 2534 Quad vs 2594 dual) and the difference is astounding. The Quad is blanket and not as open as the dual wire. Spoke to Mogami on this and they recommend the 2549 if you can get away with it.(Quad is only for inteference cancelling, and you often don't have any.) Paul
     
  2. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    If you are concerned about the quad being 'blanket' then why not wire it dual? I had a ton of Quad that I was using, and did exactly this and found exactly your same results. There is a purpose for quad though if you need it. It would save you lots of time also.
     
  3. Faeflora

    Faeflora Member

    See, most of my studio is unbalanced right now. I guess that I'm all scared of hums and buzzes since I've got a nasty high noise floor now. There's some high tension wires about 400 feet away, but there won't be any other major RF interference that I know of.

    Perhaps the question of star quad or dual-wire could be rephrased as: guaranteed low noise floor with dampened freq. response vs. full range freq. ?

    How "blanket" is blanket? Is it like, whoa star quad sounds like $*^t! Or is it like, whoa star quad sounds slightly more muffled?

    Maybe I'll just cable my synthesizers with the L-4e5at micro star quad. Most of them are digital models that are somewhat harsh on the top. So maybe a "blanket" on top of them will help. Of course I'd prefer to run the signal through a low pass filter or high shelving eq cut.

    Unfortunately, I kinda bought 900 meters of this already so I'm sorta stuck with the star quad. Unless of course someone out there wants to buy it from me... ;)
     
  4. Lead free solder... sounds great! Can't be good for me holding the stuff between my teeth all the time, though I've never had any problems *rubbing third eye*
     
  5. Faeflora

    Faeflora Member

    Radio Shack sells some lead free solder actually. It's pretty cheap.


    I'm gonna buy some and try some cables with it. Unless lead conducts electricity better than tin, I don't understand why it would sound worse.
     
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Originally posted by Faeflora:
    See, most of my studio is unbalanced right now. I guess that I'm all scared of hums and buzzes since I've got a nasty high noise floor now. There's some high tension wires about 400 feet away, but there won't be any other major RF interference that I know of.

    How much more do you need? Depending on just how high tension those high tension lines are, chances are you're experiencing a bit of 'stray field' noise from them.

    Perhaps the question of star quad or dual-wire could be rephrased as: guaranteed low noise floor with dampened freq. response vs. full range freq. ?

    There is no guarantee of a lower noise floor when you're using unbalanced stuff. It's just too susceptible to problems. You haven't mentioned if you have a cohesive grounding scheme in your studio, which would indicate to me that you don't, so I would probably recommend researching and implementing a cohesive grounding scheme before you started to stress on the subtleties of 'star quad' v. 'dual wire'.

    How "blanket" is blanket? Is it like, whoa star quad sounds like $*^t! Or is it like, whoa star quad sounds slightly more muffled?

    I've never noticed a problem with 'star quad' wire [from a sonic perspective], then I've never A/B'ed fairly long runs with the 'dual wire' stuff either, perhaps if I had, I would have noticed a difference. In the meanwhile, I've never had 'star quad' get in my way, but I have had it help is some "high RF" applications.

    Maybe I'll just cable my synthesizers with the L-4e5at micro star quad. Most of them are digital models that are somewhat harsh on the top. So maybe a "blanket" on top of them will help. Of course I'd prefer to run the signal through a low pass filter or high shelving eq cut.

    I don't think you're going to find that dramatic a rolloff using starquad cable as you would with a lowpass or high freq. shelving EQ. I think you will find that the shorter the run you make until you hit "balanced" will make a larger difference. Like if you had a bunch of 'dedicated keyboard lines', I'd recommend velcroing a direct box to the back of each, use like a 4" cable, and send the signal 'low Z and balanced' to the preamp(s).

    Unfortunately, I kinda bought 900 meters of this already so I'm sorta stuck with the star quad.

    There are worse things to be stuck with. In the meanwhile, investigate grounding schemes. They'll help more than you're going to lose a significant amount of high end from the 'star quad'.

    You might want to consider moving from under the power lines...that stuff is purported to ^#$% with your health as well as your noise floor.
     
  7. Faeflora

    Faeflora Member

    What about shielded conduit? I'd like to use something like that as well. Is there any flexible type available? I'm thinking of something like ribbed plastic with foil shield. :)


    Regarding the grounding scheme, I researched this a bit on the internet, and found a lot of information on how to ground circuits you are working on. I you could look at a studio as a circuit, and each piece of equipment as a component in the circuit that needs grounding.


    I'm not sure how to set this up though. Right now, all my equipment is isolated from both the rack and each other via these little plastic tabs called "Hearos". You fold them over the rack ears on the piece of gear. This way, the gear never touches the rack. I also put plastic washers between some pieces of equipment so that the they don't touch one another. So, I'm not sure what to do.

    Should I install a grounding bar into each rack and solder a wire from the chassis of each piece of equipment to the bar and connect a wire from that bar into the dirt??? Would that even do anything? I'm not an electrical engineer (although I would like to take a few courses on it) and I think that I don't I understand this very well even after reading a lot about electricity. Should I de-isolate my equipment from the rack and put wires from the rack into the dirt??

    If I sound stupid, it's because I'm ignorant. Any suggestions before I do something unintentionally hillarious? :)
     
  8. Mindsender

    Mindsender Guest

    Dear FAE, you don't sound stupid, you sound scientific. These guys are busy and often working in professional studios already setup, so they are kind of beyond the testing stage of wires, as per Fletcher's comments regarding not having actually a/b'ed certain cable setups, which is understandable. He's working with really high-end equiptment and the engineers that designed it, people like Rupert Neve. I'm sure Fletcher is always open to any confirmable testing results, but this stuff takes time, and in his situation (using pro studios) is a mute point already established when he walks in the door. (On the other hand, Fletcher seems to bring along some of his own gear).
    But for you and me, these little differences are critical to squeeze the most out of our equiptment.
    Just read Stephen Paul recommends Eutectic solder for sound, etc. Looking into that now. Atlas pro suggest wiring the Quad dual (which I assume means just combining the two wires of same color, and treating them as if you only had two wires) This is the exact configuration I tested, and despite the logical conclusion that it shouldn't much affect the sound, it does. You have to test each and every wire in your setup to optimize your system. No shortcuts. To ground, a long rod you can buy at any hardware store for the purpose driven six feet into the ground with a heavy copper cable attached does the job IF the soil is kept damp. If you're in a desert area, it's a factor. Unbelievable, isn't it? Go to http://www.ethanwiner.com and search for "grounding". He's a regular poster here and a good source. Paul
     
  9. Faeflora

    Faeflora Member

    Thanks for the replies and advice guys.

    Stephen Paul reccomends Eutectic solder? Isn't regular 60/40 pretty eutectic? I thought eutectic meant an alloy which has a low melting point?

    I researched into lead free some more, and apparantly, the difficulties and issues with lead free solder are:

    higher melting point
    increased succeptability to temperature variance
    metallurgical bonding properties are not at good as 60/40; joints degrade after a while.

    it is stronger though. i assume stiffer.

    I'm also trying to order some formaldehyde free and lead free solder from the internet.


    After my girlfriend found my in my room stoned from rosin smoke she refuses to let me solder anymore. She says I have to buy a good chemical filter. Any suggestions?
     

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