Check out the "How hot is hot enough" thread from a few days ago. Lots of good info there. Don't buy a cheap iron.
There is good info here
.I would follow Quest's advise and use a user friendly solder because the quality of the contact is more important than the solder used. Fancy(silver)is sometimes harder to work with because of the melting point. Everybody has there own favorite though.
I prefer to use wbt silver solder..
It has a relatively low melting point and
with this type of solder, it is definately important to
use a stainless steel brush on the contact to get maximum adhesion... it is about 4 percent fine silver content
melting temp is 178/180 degrees c. it is a thin flux core solder.. can be bought at parts express...
it is silver solder wbt 0820
Wonder Solder works very well, flows quite easily and does not leave a lot of flux residue behind. I've have "shared" solder with several people just starting out in "DIY Land" and they have all commented how much nicer and easier the Wonder Solder was to work with in comparison to Cardas, Kester, etc... You can find Wonder Solder along with Cardas and WBT at Michael Percy Audio
. You do have to download his current catalogue via Adobe, but it is not that much of a hassle. If you order from Michael, please be patient. He is almost always running very noticeably behind schedule and it might take a while. He is very thorough though and you will get exactly what you ordered so long as he has it in stock. I mention this as i have ordered from other suppliers and after waiting for the order to show up, i've received incorrect items and had to put the project on hold even longer. Sean
Agree with the above, but I'd like to emphasize Clueless's point about making the connection mechanically good, before soldering the joint.
IT is again important to note the difference between "SILVER SOLDER" and *silver bearing* electronic solder. High melting point silver solder (jewelery, refrigeration, etc. applications) is generally NOT suitable for electronic use.
You *want* silver bearing electronic solder which is generally a *eutectic* solder - one that melts and solidifies at the same temperature. Regular old 60/40 is non-eutectic, and so is more prone to "cold solder joints."
No solder joint should be moved, or blown on until it self cools and solidifies.
For a beginner or for hard to solder connections Wonder Solder is pretty darn good. It gives a good solder joint almost every time. I'd like to run the stuff on a spectrograph and see what they make it out of, and who makes it.
Thanks to all above...your comments & recommendations will surely come in handy come mod time. Harry
Bear, i've heard rumour that Wonder Solder is a formulation that Tektronic's developed for use in their test equipment. How true this is, i don't know. Sean
Riehl Copper solder from Starsound, has given me the best sound. NO LEAD..LEAD free highs. This formula is an original not just a re-label! I have 2 sets of cables both assembled by the same tech. One set with silver based solder the other with Riehl copper based solder. The Riehl based cables gave a much cleaner and more focused presentation along with more articulate mid and upper bass. The prescence of lead makes the others a no brainer!!!
Cardas makes a "quadelectric" solder for audiophile use.
I'm not sure if this will have any bearing, (HA!), seeing from the varieties of solder here, but of the 3, wonder, wbt, cardas, I find cardas to sound the best. how much, I don't know, but it sure seems that way to me. (I don't redo solder to see if there is a difference). I haven't noticed it being any harder to work with, in fact, they are all easy, these 3. I have noticed a noticable improvement washing the surfaces with xlo contact cleaner. I have not found any cold joints with this yet.
Cardas uses a quad-eutectic formulation which has lead, tin, copper, and silver. The point to this is that you would like the solder to contain at least a small amount of whatever metal you are soldering to, so that on a molecular level you get a very good bond. When used with copper wire, silver wire, silver-plated wire, and silver-rhodium plated connectors, I feel it is the best. If you want to save some money, though, plain old 63/37 is an excellent choice (avoid the more common 60/40; it is not eutectic).
Well there is a lot of good solder here. I'll go for Rat Shack lead free stuff. I think it has a 2-3% silver content. It won't kill your brain cells (I'm biased here as I have precious few left to waste) and can be bought around the corner. I have to admit though that my favorite dog is a mutt.
Go for the 2%Silver w/ lead containing solder. Not the lead free.
The lead melts, it doesn't vaporize.
I wanna thank all you cats for your wisdom and experiences!
Audio Advisor has "World's purest lead-free solder from Japan"
"The absence of lead lowers electrical resistance by as much as 30% and improves the clarity of sound"
100 gram roll $49.95.
Is this stuff any good? Better be for the price.