The Perils of Audiophile Solder

silver_solder.jpgTo my growing list of “audiophile stuff that doesn’t work” I must now add solder!

Here’s what Bruce Rozenblit, owner of Transcendant Sound, has to say:

Don’t  Use WBT Solder On My Kits. I have had to repair a couple of kits recently that used WBT solder.  The flux used in it does not properly wet the metals used in terminal strips and tube sockets.  It just doesn’t stick and flow well to them.  It works fine on gold-plated terminals.  Beginners think solder is supposed to act this way and don’t realize what is going on and get bad joints.   Do you yourselves a huge favor and just use Kester brand solder.  I use Kester 245.  If you want to use a no-lead variety, use one of theirs.  In fact, don’t use ANY audiophile grade solder on my kits.  I don’t know what’s in them.  Several kits use a bare heavy copper wire as a ground buss and some have  reported to me that they had great difficulty soldering to it.  I could not understand what the problem was.  Now I realize that they all were using some kind of audiophile grade solder.   Solder has nothing to do with the way an amp sounds but it sure can ruin a kit.

I myself have had mixed results with some name-brand solder that I bought from Parts Express. But never a problem with Radio Shack brand! Go figure….

Sunday, July 13th, 2008 Bob, Equipment, General

1 Comment to The Perils of Audiophile Solder

  1. I think Geroge Cardas’ rationale for his solder makes a lot of sense. His solder is eutectic, like Kesters, which he also praises.

    Go to the following page and scroll down to the headings “Solder” and “Quad Eutectic”:

    For another good explanation, go to this link and start reading from post #3 (by Gariver):

  2. Bob Stern on July 13th, 2008