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Discussion Starter #1
Even though I'm somewhat of a noob to electronics projects (read: limited experience for making comparisons), I always seem to find it easier to work with single conductor wire. A boutique amp builder indicated (in another forum) that he will now only use single conductor wire throughout almost all aspects of his builds. He didn't say why.

However, I have also been warned that single conductor tends to break easily, especially if it is bent often or to angles of 90 degrees or more, and that it can be hard to find the problem as the break can be covered by the insulation, thus making troubleshooting a pain.

So, what are the comments/thoughts/experience of the experts?

Thanks for putting up with such a simple noob question.

Dave
 
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For anything that doesn't have to flex and move I use single conductor wire. You've already noticed that it's easier to work with when soldering. Plus it's easier to find breaks: it's either broken or it isn't. When you loose 50% of the strands in a stranded length it still runs but it can start to cause intermittent issues that are just a PiA to debug.
 

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I have used both single srtand and multi-strand wire and there is no real difference.Inside an amp there are usually nothing moving back and forth enough to break either wire.I have seen 50 year old wires in fenders in really poor shape and some are pristine.
The only advantage to single stranded wire is it stays where you put it.
It does not,however,survive being removed too many times.I use only Teflon wire that is tinned.I use Alpha wire and it stays where I put it because the teflon is stiffer than PVC.Here's a test for you:Install a single strand wire on say an SPST switch terminal.Do the same with a multi-stranded wire.Take both wires and bend them back and forth til they break.Then tell me which wire you want in your amp.
This is still not a real test.Not many amp chassis vibrate enough to simulate you physically twisting and bending the wire.
Use either type of wire and stop stressing about which one is going to break first.You will likely be very old before you see either cause a problem.
Don't loose any sleep over the issue.
 

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I have used both single srtand and multi-strand wire and there is no real difference.Inside an amp there are usually nothing moving back and forth enough to break either wire.I have seen 50 year old wires in fenders in really poor shape and some are pristine.
The only advantage to single stranded wire is it stays where you put it.
It does not,however,survive being removed too many times.I use only Teflon wire that is tinned.I use Alpha wire and it stays where I put it because the teflon is stiffer than PVC.Here's a test for you:Install a single strand wire on say an SPST switch terminal.Do the same with a multi-stranded wire.Take both wires and bend them back and forth til they break.Then tell me which wire you want in your amp.
This is still not a real test.Not many amp chassis vibrate enough to simulate you physically twisting and bending the wire.
Use either type of wire and stop stressing about which one is going to break first.You will likely be very old before you see either cause a problem.
Don't loose any sleep over the issue.
+1! Wire is wire. The differences in amp applications are mechanical ones, like vibration causing breakage (about as likely as winning a lottery) or the voltage rating of the insulation.

Teflon is expensive and way overkill in amps, IMHO. Looks pretty, 'though! It hurts a tech's pride but most customers have no idea how to judge the quality of your wiring and design. So they are more convinced to buy the amp with how pretty it looks!

It's like the husband who handicap bets on the horses, spending hours studying the racing form history of the horses and juggling the statistics. Meanwhile his wife bets on the one with the cute nose! She may lose a hundred times but if she wins once you'll never hear the end of it! :smile:

Teflon also gives you that higher voltage rating as insulation on the wire. 600 v UL 1015 is the spec for hookup wire rated at 600v. Most places nowadays only stock 300v, which is a bit low for tube circuits. They likely do stock Teflon which may save a backorder.

I've never seen it but I've heard and read about problems with teflon with sharp 90 deg bends. Apparently, the wire can slowly "migrate" through the insulation at such a bend and after some years actually have bare wire sticking through. There's something in military specs about avoiding sharp bends when using Tefon insulated wires.

Myself, I use 600v rated and mostly stranded. I've had a couple of instances where solid wire had a "ringing" problem where a stage was close to oscillating and the wire vibrating was part of the feedback loop. To be fair, my layout could have been a little better in the first place. Solid does stay where you dress it so I think this is one of those areas where there's good arguments on both sides.

Whatever you do, a good wire stripping tool is a must! Using a knife or ripping with a pair of side cutters can easily leave a small nick on the wire which Murphy's Law says will always come back to haunt you!

:food-smiley-004:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the detailed responses. Nice to be educated on this topic, simple as it might appear to most.

I'm not stressed or losing sleep over this topic...just don't want to make the wrong choice(s) if i can avoid doing so, and prevent making more work/frustration for myself in the future. Chalk it up to concerns of a beginner.

I was also referring to the wire breaking while I am handling it to "route" it inside an amp....not breaking years after...sorry about the confusion.

Geek...why are you so specific about not using stranded wire? Just curious

Thanks again

Dave
 

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Hi,

Thanks for the detailed responses. Nice to be Geek...why are you so specific about not using stranded wire? Just curious
As mentioned, the physical reason is that it says put. This is good since in high gain amps, lead dress can be the critical difference between a great amp and a supersonic power oscillator.

Despite what has been said, there *is* a sonic difference. I'm a very big skeptic, bordering on plain jerk and I can hear the difference myself in some (not all) builds.

A great read for the difference in wires would be the books (especially the first one) by Allen Wright: http://www.vacuumstate.com/cookbooks.htm

Yes, he's HiFi, but several guitarists have found these principles to be sound for cables and internal wiring.

So the saying should not be "wire is wire", but "amplification is amplification" (not to be confused with tone) and the two commonalities between HiFi and guitar is the wiring and grounding. That's where the similarities end, but where the similarities should to be taken serious.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again..never thought I'd get so much information when I started this thread. Very interesting points of view.

Dave
 
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