AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of getting some 12ga wire to replace my old 16ga and would like some opinions on the connection type to make a good connection. I've seen some of the solderless, crimpless connectors that allow you to screw off the top part of the lug and remount it with the speaker wire compressed between it. Is this better or worse than the crimp on connectors or solder/crimp ones? And also, will this make a noticable difference in sound quality over bare wire?


I'm kind of a middle of the road guy in terms of cabling. I plan on getting/making some Canare/Belden cable for interconnects because of cost/performance. But I'm not sure if I can justify spending $1/ft on Canare Starquad would be worthwhile especially if I were to also go all out for some expensive terminals (like WBT/Cardas). I'm thinking about getting some generic 12ga OFC speaker wire ~$0.20/ft with some inexpensive ends at Parts Express (
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by DogBean
I am in the process of getting some 12ga wire to replace my old 16ga and would like some opinions on the connection type to make a good connection. I've seen some of the solderless, crimpless connectors that allow you to screw off the top part of the lug and remount it with the speaker wire compressed between it. Is this better or worse than the crimp on connectors or solder/crimp ones? And also, will this make a noticable difference in sound quality over bare wire?


I'm kind of a middle of the road guy in terms of cabling. I plan on getting/making some Canare/Belden cable for interconnects because of cost/performance. But I'm not sure if I can justify spending $1/ft on Canare Starquad would be worthwhile especially if I were to also go all out for some expensive terminals (like WBT/Cardas). I'm thinking about getting some generic 12ga OFC speaker wire ~$0.20/ft with some inexpensive ends at Parts Express (
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,655 Posts
The whole point is to get a gas tight connection. crimping is the best IMHO. To further isolate the connection, use good quality heat shrink.


As for the materials, try the canare cable with vampire connections. WBTs are great and expensive. Don's go 180 degress the other way though. Get a good, solid connector, attach it properly, and seal the connection to keep it from degrading.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What does the cheapest vampire connections run? I think my main concern is price/performance. I'd like to spend a reasonable amount as I think I may need around 250' or so to accomodate speakers for a 7.1 setup. Any recommendations for stores to get this? I was going to get the Belden 1694A from joeselectronics - not sure if they carry starquad or what not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,655 Posts
Here is a link to one source with pricing. Many others available but these are competitive.

http://www.partsconnexion.com/catalog/connectors.html


You will need to navigate this page using the menu tabs across the bottom. They also have Goertz, WBT, etc for comparison. The Goertz might be a good middle ground if you want something better at less $ than WBT or Cardas. The Goertz are Rhodium plate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
Well, just to give you the third possible opinion, I'd recommend soldering without crimping. Crimping can work well, but often the mechanical connection is bad. With any crimped connection on this size wire, I'd strongly recommend giving it a good tug after crimping to make sure the connector doesn't slide right off. A good crimping tool goes far to prevent this problem, but it's still no guarantee.


Soldering is foolproof. Well, almost foolproof, at least if you have any experience soldering. Beginners should play around a while and read up on it -- it's not hard, you mostly just need patience, cold-solder joints are possibly worse than crimps. The best thing about solder is that it eliminates corrosion from your metal-to-metal junction. You'll obviously still get corrosion on the surface of the conductors, but you won't get any between the two conductors you're trying to join. Solder will typically have the best long-term performance for that reason.


So: Solder is the best...no crimp, just solder.


But any of the methods you mention, done properly, should work just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by HK43
It's just too bad they don't hold up as well as crimped connections.
Sorry, but I just don't buy that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by HK43
experience has shown me which is better, you can find out for yourself. ;)
Alright, 25 years in the electronics industry has given me a different experience, but I'll bite...what is it about a properly soldered connection that doesn't hold up compared to a crimped connection?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
I guess my point wasn't clear. Assume you have a piece of stranded wire and wish to attach a terminal to it. Regardless of whether you solder the terminal or crimp it, at some point the wire will transition from being flexible to being rigid. Yes, solder will wick into the wire and where it stops will be where this transition occurs. With a crimped terminal, the transition will occur at the crimp or the exit point of the wire. Both of these methods require some type of strain relief - usually a piece of heat shrink will suffice.


There may be reasons to crimp rather than solder, but I don't believe what you have suggested is one of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,655 Posts
Solder is a wonderful thing for nice, static connections that won't be repeatedly flexed. When they are, the solder stresses and cracks, especially if you are not a pro with soldering, thereby losing part of the connection and providing a path for corrosion . In a crimped connection, the wire itself is the weakest link strength wise but is already a pseudo-flexible material. The connection itself does not change.


Another issue I have with solder is that you need to be really good with it (25 years experience DOES qualify) to get good ELECTRICAL connections in addition to mechanical ones. Cold solder joints are easy to get for those of us who are just casual. Too many years seeing AV equipment come in a year or two later with failures that are nothing more than cold solder joints just popping up.


As has been stated above, quality crimping tools make a huge difference. A good crimp is solid both mechanically and electrically every time. It takes no special skill, just proper tools. Cover the joint and any exposed wire with heat shrink and then apply your choice of strain releif. Done.


Don't get me wrong. You CAN get a good connection with solder, it is just harder for most of us and much more prone to issues in the long run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
My experience has shown me solder is always better. Though I think this argument is like splitting hairs... Crimping is way faster and is the reason it has taken off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by brothermaynard
My experience has shown me solder is always better. Though I think this argument is like splitting hairs... Crimping is way faster and is the reason it has taken off.
Yup.


I've had plenty of crimped connections fail on me.


A good properly soldered connection is the only way to get a truly reliable connection.


Soldered connections are just easier to botch, but if you know what you're doing, it's far more reliable.


I'm an electrical engineer by profession, in the RF business. NO ONE crimps RF connectors if they want decent reliability and performance, and this applies all the way down to video frequencies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by HK43
"Soldered connections are just easier to botch, but if you know what you're doing, it's far more reliable. "


The same can be said about crimped connections.


"NO ONE crimps RF connectors if they want decent reliability and performance, and this applies all the way down to video frequencies."


I guess you've never seen BNC connectors with the crimped center pin, or Triax connectors where all connections have to be crimped. These connectors carry both video and RF signals.
I have, and I have yet to see any sets of cables with crimped BNCs last more than a month of lab use (frequent disconnection/reconnection) before becoming loose and showing wildly fluctuating attenuation. I have yet to have a soldered BNC fall apart or become unreliable on me. The connector body of a soldered SMA connector will often fail before the soldered connection. (I haven't seen any SMA connectors where the solder joint broke, but I've seen em' break in plenty of other places even though I always use a torque wrench to avoid overtightening them.)
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top