Expensive cables/connector and solder


Why there is so much intest about buying expensive cables/connector made of exotic materials if the end wires are thinned? I understand that the solder used in most applications is 60-40 lead-tin or so. Then is the conductivity of the solder as good as the copper or whatever exotic material is used to make the cable/connector?
tiofelon
Well part of the equation is length. the solder joint is small. Tiny in relation to the whole length.
True it affects the signal, but not nearly as much as the total length of wire.
And there ARE special solders, Like Silver solder, Wondersolder, and Cardas.. Which have special formulations to make a better sounding solder joint
My solder of preference is currently WBT 0800 Silver solder - it's 4% silver content.

I know of others, but Ive used this extensively and on solid silver cables and it has yet to let me down.

Minimal impact (if any) on the sound.

Connectors (RCA, XLR, DIN, BANANAS rtc...) are a whole different ball game - ya gotta get good ones

I'm currently using Eichman Silver Bullet RCA's and Neutric silver plated DIN connectors on solid silver wires - amazing details and huge image space.

:-)
Thank you for your responses! I still think that the solder acts as a "bottleneck" as current flows throught the cable, i.e. the copper cables have a conductivity of a 100 and the solder of the order of 40 depending on its composition. In other words the solder has a much greater resistence to the current flow than the copper. Am I mistaken?? Therefore I think that by having a expensive/exotic cable is a waste of money since ultimately the solder resistance is the one that determines the "quality" of the current transfer to the device being feed. Any more comments?
You are not incorrect, but Elizabeth is correct - the amount is extremely small compared to the cable length and depends more on the connector than the solder

Take a look at this link
http://www.avoutlet.com/images/product/additional/f/iacs_of_metals_n_solder.pdf

It covers metals and solders
The correct practice is to establish a solid mechanical connection before applying solder. In this way the wire is in direct contact with the connector's metal and the solder is used to ensure the connection remains intact. Signal isn't affected if this is done properly.
What Tim said X 2. Some cable manufacturers also use processes such as Cold Welding or Ultrasonic Welding, using no solders what-so-ever.
Yes, Timrhu is correct, and this is audible!
01-10-14: Tiofelon
Thank you for your responses! I still think that the solder acts as a "bottleneck" as current flows throught the cable, i.e. the copper cables have a conductivity of a 100 and the solder of the order of 40 depending on its composition. In other words the solder has a much greater resistence to the current flow than the copper. Am I mistaken?? Therefore I think that by having a expensive/exotic cable is a waste of money since ultimately the solder resistance is the one that determines the "quality" of the current transfer to the device being feed. Any more comments?
Yes, you are mistaken. Conductivity, and its reciprocal resistivity, do not cause bottlenecks, and should not be thought of that way. That is a common misconception.

The magnitude and the effects of resistance are proportional to length (as well as being proportional to the resistivity of the material, and inversely proportional to cross-sectional area). And the effects of resistance are also highly dependent on the impedances and other technical characteristics of the circuitry at both ends of the connection.

For example, even absurdly large amounts of connection resistance (for example, several ohms) are unlikely to have any significance in the case of a line-level interconnect cable, because they would still be totally insignificant in relation to the input impedance of the destination component (and probably also small in relation to the output impedance of the component providing the signal). That would mean that the fraction of the original signal that is lost across the resistance would be completely negligible. And, hypothetically speaking, even if it weren't completely negligible, as long as the input impedance of the destination component does not vary in a major way as a function of frequency, the loss would be compensated for with a slight tweak of the volume control.

Which is not to say that a poor connection cannot degrade the signal in other more subtle and less predictable ways. So the comments by Tim and Rodman represent good practice.

Regards,
-- Al
Audioquest welds their interconnects. They claim welding improves purity of the signal transfer. I suspect they use it either for ease of production or for marketing since, as Al explained, it would not make any difference. Purists (including AQ) believe that IC connectors should be silver and not gold plated because of better conductivity. Again, I don't see how.

Quality of solder might be important in speaker cables. I crimped and then soldered spades (just in case).