Re-stripping speaker wires

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  • George Bellefontaine
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Jan 2001
    • 7637

    Re-stripping speaker wires

    How often should I disconnect my speaker wires , clip of the ends and re-strip for a new connection. Also, how do I know when I have any kind of oxidation. Is it something you can see ?




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  • Andrew Pratt
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 16508

    #2
    george you'll see your wires turning green if they're really badly oxidizing...at least if the are copper anyway




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    • George Bellefontaine
      Moderator Emeritus
      • Jan 2001
      • 7637

      #3
      Thanks, Andrew. How long does it take to get this oxidation problem ?




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      • Digital Bob
        Member
        • Aug 2000
        • 56

        #4
        Hi George,

        When we start talking about using bare wire connetions and then re-stripping them to insure good contacts, then we are really in the world of ultra-tweakdom. If you are willing to put in that kind of effort I can offer the following advice...
        1) You will be married to that process forever
        2) You will need to do it more often if you live near the coast or have a lot of humidity
        3) There used to be products around that would slow down the oxidation (Tweak was the brand name I think) or cleans contacts and stops future oxidation (Red&Blue Cramolin once distributed by Monster Cable).

        Now all that being said... put on some nice gold braids or C-spades. Use the 4% silver solder (or the like) and be done with the hassles. I have come to believe any possible miniscule performance differences gained by using freshly stripped copper wire are quickly outwieghed by the fact that the gold braid/C-spade sound the same over time while the bare copper wires degrade every week. So you have to weigh the "average" performance you get over that time (good at first then worst just before stripping again) against the the gold connection.

        And then there is all that time and hassle you save that you could invest in watching another movie or listening to more music.

        Hope this interlude into ultra-tweakdom helps,




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        • brucek
          HTG Expert
          • Aug 2000
          • 303

          #5
          George,

          I'll give you my take on this issue.

          Exposed copper wire will indeed oxidize over time, producing an insulting product called cupric oxide.

          This oxidized copper is certainly a problem if you attach a cable to a binding post with the "cupric oxide" already present on the wire. It's an insulator and doesn't conduct electricity. It's that simple.

          No problem, 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 joint at the point of contact between the wire and binding post.

          This area will indefinitely remain a good joint, just as a crimp will remain a good joint, even if all the wire around it oxidizes. It's only the joint that is important, the oxidation on the rest of the cable is of no concern other than it may be unsightly. So, once you've made your connection at the binding post, no other intervention is ever required.

          Now, if you're 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.
          :LOL:

          brucek

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          • Kevin P
            Member
            • Aug 2000
            • 10808

            #6
            Banana plugs are my friends. :banana: Then I don't have to cut 'n strip nearly as often. But it occurred to me, it would make a great excuse for turning down a date:

            "I'd love to go out tonight but I have to re-strip my speaker wires"




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            • Lex
              Moderator Emeritus
              • Apr 2001
              • 27461

              #7
              George is stripping again! LOL.

              Good answers here. If you enjoy stripping, then strip! If you don't want to have to fool with that, and not take chances on oxidation limiting signal transmission, (or getting arrested), then go the banana or spade route, and stay out of jail with your clothes on.

              Lex
              Doug
              "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

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              • George Bellefontaine
                Moderator Emeritus
                • Jan 2001
                • 7637

                #8
                Heh, heh ... you're a riot, Lex.

                Well thanks all for the great response. I checked my wires and there is no sign of oxidation so I am going to leave well enough alone.




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