Solder the bare wire.
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here's what i've picked up reading post all over the internet:
you dont want the signal going through dissimilar metals... that's why using bare wires is the best. the down side is cleaning the corrosion, as you have stated.
most people say that crimping a spade conector is best, but most spade connectors are not pure copper, but either gold, silver, or silver and rhodium plated. my amp and speakers have gold plated posts, so wouldn't it be better to use a gold plated spade to minimize dissimilar metals? it seems as everyone is using the silver or rhodium coated spades, though.
wouldn't it be best to crimp on a pure copper spade and somehow seal the ends to prevent corrosion? then you would only have to clean the spade periodically which should be relatively easy.
anyone with more knowledge care to respond?
I believe there will be oxidation on the wire no matter what unless the joint is made air-tight somehow. I had to reterminate the amp end spades on my Cardas Quadlink 5c w/bananas because of my new int. amp's poor binding post design. I will say, Cardas did a very proper job, soldering and then filling in the spaces w/??? In my experience, bare wire sounds the best. I would buy a little extra wire and reterminate every yr. or two. If you were to put a "sleeve" on the wire, I would make sure there was proper contact and I would soldier at the ends. But still oxidation would occur, IMO. BTW, Radio Shack has a really fine locking-style "Gold series" banana plugs. (Cat.#278-307). To recap, spk. end, bare-wire and reterminate as needed. Amp end for convenience, terminate w/ spades or bananas.
Kotta, I think you nailed my situation... my amp dosen't accept bare wire well, so there I'm using a Furutec spade with two set screws (see pic at http://venhaus1.com/fp201.jpg). Reterminating my speaker ends periodically is not a problem only an inconvenience. I have read many posts both here and on AA, seems to me there is no one best solution to avoid re-terminating.
Lugnut: do you have experience with soldering? What solder would you recommend?
When I had my house electrical service changed recently I noticed the electrician using a paste on the aluminum cables when he connected them to the copper connectors of the house wires. This prevents corrosion and is essential for aluminum wire connections, but would work just as well for copper. The stuff is readily available and cheap. If you use it you can forget about periodic cleaning of your wires.
Eldartford makes a good point about the non-corrosion paste but I don't have a clue about its sonic characteristics. It works well on car battery connections too.
Mijknarf, I've use the Radio Shack silver solder. Every report I've read is very positive about it. I used it to solder bannana plugs to my speaker cables. I'm happy with it. Radio Shack also sells a butane soldering iron for very little money. They have various tips for other purposes too. Everyone should own one.
i have noticed some cable manufactures (tara) fill the empty space with wax and to prevent corresion (not a bad idea)
but in looking at the situation and being a audiophile....how many of us actually keep a pair of speaker cable 2 to 3 years ?
i am on my 6th pair in 2 years.. ( that is pretty scary now that i think about it)
hope that helps,
I've used the silver solder and the butane iron a bunch and not just with audio. The butane iron/torch is just too cool. I honestly don't know how I would have done my hotrod wiring without it. I've never had the need to solder bare wire as described in the thread head so I can't speak with any personal knowledge about that issue. One hint to anyone doing this to bare wire is once the solder is one the wire and you have removed the heat source quickly flick the wire and all the excess solder will splatter on the ground. You will then have a "tinned" bare wire that is dimensionally very similar to what you started with. I hope you understand what I've described, and yes, it would be a good idea to flick the solder in the garage. It just sweeps up.