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Oxidation in speaker wire - can it be prevented?

1834 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  SondekLP12
Well, I just looked at the back of my amp and removed the bare speaker wire only to find that it's been oxidized to a dirty brown color.

I still want to keep the speaker wire that connects to the amp bare, so how can I prevent this? Is there a process that will prevent this, i.e., tinning? Also do you recommend it? and how is it done?

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This oxidized copper is indeed a problem if you attach a cable to a binding post with this "cupric oxide" already present on the wire.

But, if you strip back the insulation and expose clean shiny copper wire and then tighten down the binding post on this fresh area you are essentially creating an air tight crimp at the "point of contact" between the wire and binding post.

This area will remain a good joint indefinitely, just as a crimp will remain a good joint even if all the wire around it oxidizes. It's only the joint contact that is important, the oxidation on the rest of the cable is of no concern other than it may be unsightly.

Now if your inclined to remove that wire from the binding post at a later time, you have compromised this seal and you really should strip back to new wire again.

This is kind of annoying, so if you're the kind of guy that removes his speaker wires very often, then I would recommend soldering or crimping some banana plugs on the ends.

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You can also use a product called Pro Gold: http://www.caig.com/

It is a contact treatment that prevents oxidation. But if you disconnect your speaker cables alot I would just solder bananna plugs to the ends, as was previously suggested.
I agree with simonsez. I use Caig Labs ProGold on all my contacts & connectors. It is very effective in preventing oxidation on already clean surfaces. Use it sparingly though, as it is quite expensive. I highly recommend it!!

Dan Seewald
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