Punchdown vs Solder

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Faeflora, Aug 6, 2001.

  1. Faeflora

    Faeflora Member

    Mar 14, 2001
    What are your opinions on Punchdown vs Solder in patchbays? Do you feel or hear a difference? Is it worth the time to solder?

    I'm considering an Audio Accesories TT bay. I can choose between unwired, adc style punchdown, and wrapped terminal. The people there were very patient and friendly and their prices were fair.
  2. hollywood_steve

    hollywood_steve Active Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    The Audio Accessories folks are very helpful, good choice. I don't think that anyone will claim to be able to hear a difference between solder and punchdown terminals. The solder advantage (assuming the soldering was done well) is reliability - a good solder connection could last the life of your studio. And, unlike the punchdown, wiggling the cable won't cause any intermittant signal crackles and pops. On the other hand, if you forsee a need to reorganize your patchbay, punchdown bays allow for cleaner dis-connects and re-connects. For what its worth, I looked hard at various punchdown type bays and finally decided on a solder terminal longframe bay as the best choice for my needs.
  3. Tymish

    Tymish Guest

    Just FYI. The ADC QCP style punch blocks are extremely reliable. I work at a large radio facility , I probably have 1000+ punch connections, no problems in the last 5 years and some of these have been reused 5 -10 times. It's a lot faster if you need to move things around. ADC even advertises it as better then solder.
  4. SlideMan

    SlideMan Guest

    Whether you go with punch block or solder the main thing to remember is that this is not a good place to save money on parts/materials.

    Nickel plated parts are not good enough. Solid nickel is the way to go.

    I had a patchbay with punchblocks that was an absolute nightmare. Between worn plating in the bay (no it wasn't just dirty) and punch blocks I had a noisy, hissing, spitting, phantom blocking mess.

    Can't say who made the punch blocks, I got rid of the mess several years ago. I assume that they were nickel plated at best.

    Don't forget, solid nickel contacts only, a cheap bay will hurt everything that goes through it, and usually, everything goes through it.
  5. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Distinguished Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    Nashville TN
    Home Page:
    A telephone company technician told me a few years ago that the telcos had given up on punchblocks because of long term reliability problems.
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    My feeling is patchbays are such a bitch to wire up as well as time consuming, you might as well do it the right way once rather than the wrong way twice :) . Ive never had problems with soldered bays, as long as they are done correctly.

  7. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    You should also consider terminating the backs of the bays with 56 pin ELCOs. If you move or change gear, you only have to rewire the snakes, not the bays themselves.
  8. Tymish

    Tymish Guest

    Originally posted by Bob Olhsson:
    A telephone company technician told me a few years ago that the telcos had given up on punchblocks because of long term reliability problems.

    Yeah, I bet. 66 blocks aren't exactly the tightest connections I've seen. 110 blocks (network punch blocks) are a bit better.
  9. Harold

    Harold Guest

    (I may have responded to this at MP, if so, please disregard.)

    You need both a chemical and mechanical connection to gain maximum signal flow and durability. Solder gives you the chemical, so if you don't think you'll be rewiring the back too much, go with solder. With signal flow you already have the weakness with the mechanical-only front, so IMO there's no sense in adding one at the back.
  10. sjoko

    sjoko Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Every lunitic can do a punchdown, not many lunatics can solder very well.
    The same goes for people of average, as well as above average intelligence.

    Nothing lasts and works as well as a wonderfull, sexy, smooth, shiny solder joint.

    Am I sick or what??
  11. Faeflora

    Faeflora Member

    Mar 14, 2001
    To be a 'lil more specific, the bay I'm looking at is the long frame with solder terminals. I know that I WILL have to resolder a few times when I change the layout but that's what wick is for right?
  12. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Wick? sheesh.....be a MAN! grab yourself a straw and suck the hot molten solder off the terminal ;)


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