How hot is hot enough?

I am going to reterminate some speaker speaker cables and make some of my own.

I am assuming silver solder was used on the existing terminations. I will be touching up and resoldering the existing with silver solder and my new terminations will use silver solder as well.

I know part of this depends on what other metals (tin, lead...etc) are present and what the composition is. If I am using a solder from say....Audioquest, Cardas etc. How hot do I need to get? Can I use a high temp soldering iron or do I need to go to a butane torch similar to what Rat Shak sells. If I can use a soldering iron what temp and how many watts do I need to get to.

If this is successful, I may try to buy a "DIY" post, "Why so many For Sale" post or a "Which is better" post and provide my results. I will, of course, get plenty of consultation from the "experts" before posting one of these.

Generally speaking, if the solder joint remains shiny and smooth after it cools, you have gotten it hot enough. If it is rough and dull, it may be a "cold" joint.
Go to KESTER.COM see faq: alloy temperature page. (Sn: tin, Pb: lead, Ag: silver)
I use a soldering station with an adjustable setting & usually set around 750. I like using Cardas solder as it flows nicely but those are just my personal preferences.

I would suggest experimenting with different solder types on various wire/termination configurations using a variety of heat ranges and take notes to see which works best for you.

You can go to the Tweaker's Asylum on AA & do a search for soldering. Here's some basic info too:
Please beware that Audioquest welded the connectors to their cables in most cases. Re-terminating with solders may degrade the quality of the connections.
Doug, how's it going! I lost my address book(your email address was in there) and I couldn't for the life of me remember your moniker, I didn't know all the numbers! How's the latest addition to your family doing? you have mail :) ~Tim
"Silver Solder" is NOT the same thing as "silver bearing solder." You want the latter stuff - intended for electronic applications. The other stuff is higher temp and is intended for applications like refrigeration. NG for electronics because the melting temp and the solidifying temp are too far apart.

What you want is 2% silver bearing solder that is 62/36/2 in most cases. Rat Shack sells this as well as the *other* stuff. It's made by a good reputable mfr of solder and works well.

The stuff you want is "eutectic" solder, meaning the alloy melts and solidifies at the same temperature.

There are some adjustable temperature Weller irons being sold by most of the surplus and main line electronics places for about $40 - that's way better than the cheezy black handle imported junk you find around, or even the 35 watt non temperature controlled irons with the colored handles. The worst thing for a good solder joint is TOO much or too LITTLE heat.

I use only a temperature controlled solder station, gives consistant results, since if you sink heat away, it turns on the heater, and vice versa.

The other thing that varies is the "activity" of the flux - active flux is good for corroded or difficult to solder things, whereas "mild" flux is what usually is found, and works well.

Now you know more about soldering than you wanted to...

:- )