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Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Thu, Oct 22, 2009 10:36am

Let me start by saying I have a tendency to be an audiophile...

So I bought a new guitar and decide to get pickups for it. Got some motorcity's and that led to wanting to get them for my other main guitars. Once I had pickups for all of the guitars I decided all of the shitty stock wiring and electronics had to go.

I order some precision audio taper CTS pots, some switchcraft jacks and nice toggle switches. Time to upgrade wire. I was originally looking for solid core copper.

During my research I found 22 AWG solid core, Teflon coated silver wire.

I read that Silver is the most conductive metal on the planet and has less resistance than copper.

I ordered some and though more difficult to work with than standard stranded cooper It added extra clarity. :thumbsup:

At $3.40 a foot it cost about 15 to 20 bux to have enough to rewire a guitar with extra left over.


I though some of you guys might like to try some also, so here is the resource:

http://www.homegrownaudio.com/bulk_wire.htm

Ill be using it in my axes from now on and I am thinking of buying some of the 18 AWG to wire up my speaker cabinets internally.

EDIT: I Found A second source for solid silver stranded wire. 19 stands and teflon coated:

http://www.singlecoil.com/shop.html


THIS IS NOT A THREAD TO DISCUSS WHETHER OR NOT YOU BELIEVE WIRE/CABLE MAKES A DIFFERENCE AT ALL. IT DOES. START YOUR OWN THREAD TO CONVINCE EVERYONE YOUR FIVE DOLLAR PRO-FORMANCE CABLE IS THE BEES KNEES.
:loco:
Last edited by moltenmetalburn on Sat, Jan 02, 2010 4:21pm, edited 3 times in total.

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Thu, Oct 22, 2009 10:39am

Funny you should mention solid copper wire. I have been using CAT 5 in guitars for quite a while and it works great. I would like to try some of this stuff you posted above, just for kicks.

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Thu, Oct 22, 2009 10:42am

I never knew cat 5 was solid core!

what is the gauge of the wire inside of it?

Sounds a like a cheap way to get solid cooper wire. I wonder if its OFC (oxygen free) ?

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Thu, Oct 22, 2009 11:52am

tweed wrote:Funny you should mention solid copper wire. I have been using CAT 5 in guitars for quite a while and it works great. I would like to try some of this stuff you posted above, just for kicks.


Ha. In a pinch, I pulled apart some Cat-3 wire and used it in a guitar. It worked great. :thumbsup:

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Thu, Oct 22, 2009 11:47pm

Cat 5 is stranded as far as I know, at least the Cat 5 used for ethernet wiring. How did you rewire a guitar with several feet of it - did you go right off the pickup coils? If not, you're losing a lot of your tone with that wimpy wire from the pickups to the switch or pot.

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Thu, Nov 05, 2009 10:59am

stratotone wrote:Cat 5 is stranded as far as I know, at least the Cat 5 used for ethernet wiring. How did you rewire a guitar with several feet of it - did you go right off the pickup coils? If not, you're losing a lot of your tone with that wimpy wire from the pickups to the switch or pot.



I wired everything in the guitar with the wire except the pickup leads...how dangerous a process is this Id rather not kill my pickups! can you explain what to do?

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sat, Jan 02, 2010 3:05pm

I found a source for solid silver stranded wire. 19 strands and teflon coated:

http://www.singlecoil.com/shop.html

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sat, Jan 02, 2010 3:30pm

I did use silver solder, I didn't get a entire spool just a 6 foot long piece I have no idea the directionality of the wire once I installed it. What difference did you hear? I doubt ill pull any of the axes apart again to tinker but for the next one maybe Ill take it into account.

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sat, Jan 02, 2010 3:34pm

I don't know, I'd have A/B a guitar before I agree with this. The science says what you're hearing is a placebo effect, which is basically your psychi playing tricks on you, making you believe it sounds better. Finer stranding equals higher ampacity, as the current flows over the wire instead of through it. This is the reason EISL(Entertainment Industry Stage Lighting) cable, and welding cable both handle considerably more amperage than an SO type cable with the same diameter. Higher stranding (more current flow = better audio) is also the reason Mogami has been so popular for studio wiring. All this being science, I'd love to A/B a guitar with solid core & fine stranded wire, and see if it really makes worthwhile difference. I'd have to say it's placebo effect.

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sat, Jan 02, 2010 3:49pm

I have never really compared solid to stranded either.

for me the main point was to swap the copper for silver which has less resistance. I like the solid silver but most like stranded wire as its easier to work with so I added the new link source I found.

With silver the tone seems a little crispier, subtle but I like it. I hear a difference.

My Silver instrument cables seems equally crispy in comparison to copper cable. It was easy to hear with the instrument cables. the wiring of the guitar is the first in the chain. I also rewired my cabinets so the end of the chain is also silver.

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sat, Jan 02, 2010 3:51pm

You may hear the difference in longer lengths, but with a good wiring layout keeping leads as short as possible and properly shielded, you aren't going to hear the difference between copper and silver. Not to mention that your pickups are copper wound. There are so many things to improve tone that will be so much more noticeable that the diffence between copper and silver wiring in your guitar.

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sat, Jan 02, 2010 3:58pm

moltenmetalburn wrote:I have never really compared solid to stranded either.

for me the main point was to swap the copper for silver which has less resistance. I like the solid silver but most like stranded wire as its easier to work with so I added the new link source I found.

With silver the tone seems a little crispier, subtle but I like it. I hear a difference.

My Silver instrument cables seems equally crispy in comparison to copper cable. It was easy to hear with the instrument cables. the wiring of the guitar is the first in the chain. I also rewired my cabinets so the end of the chain is also silver.

You wont notice the difference. The natural variance in the grid resistor of the first gain stage of your amp (+/- 5%) will be many times the difference between copper and silver at the lengths that you are running it. I agree you may here the difference on a 20-25 foot cable, but not 12 inches of guitar wiring lead

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sat, Jan 02, 2010 4:19pm

I do and have noticed the difference, though mostly cumulative as I upgraded all of the wire in my chain successively.

You may not hear the difference but I do and it was worth it to me to do for a few extra dollars considering I have tweaked every other facet of my chain as result of my audiophile compulsions. It was logical to go the last step farther for me and do the guitar as well it was still the cheapest stock wiring and parts possible.

you don't have to call me crazy, I will... ;) It is a sickness after all.

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sun, Jan 03, 2010 5:53am

I will have to rewire with this silver wire as well whenever I decide to re-do all my electronics. As asked above, is it possible to rewire a pickup?

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sun, Jan 03, 2010 10:57am

Qweklain wrote:I will have to rewire with this silver wire as well whenever I decide to re-do all my electronics. As asked above, is it possible to rewire a pickup?



I would love to swap this silver wire for the pickup wire but I am still hesitant as I know how fragile the wind wire is.

the last thing I want to do is kill the pickups but that's the last piece in the chain other than the coil winds which will obviously stay copper, that is until I find 42 gauge silver, lol.

It should be as easy as removing the old wires and soldering new ones to the pickup. Id like to hear someone else say its safe before I try. thinking about practicing on an old junk ibanez pickup I have.

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sun, Jan 03, 2010 11:08am

From Premier guitar:


Teflon insulated silver wire

Usually, this is a very fine stranded wire with upwards of 20+ individual pure silver cores and is often used in the hi-fi world. The Teflon insulation is perfect for a soldering job – your soldering iron never can get hot enough to burn or melt the insulation. The cable is easy to route and offers a very transparent, natural, punchy tone. Compared to a standard wire, the signal is slightly louder, and the separation of the individual strings is enhanced. I like to describe the effect as a natural pickup sound. The clarity such a cable can have is stunning, and together with good pure nickel strings, you will hear things from your guitar that you’ve never heard before. Sure, this cable, especially the high-grade, military-graded version, is not cheap, but it’s worth a try in your axes if you are looking for the most transparent, natural, open sound.


source:
https://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/I ... it_Up.aspx

Random quotes from various sources:

What about silver plated cables? Silver is the best common metal conductor at room temperature, with copper a close second. Silver plating a copper wire reduces the resistance at high frequencies due to the skin effect, where much of the current flows near the surface of the wire.


i finished a few audiophile amp kits a while ago and had some extra fancy silver-plated teflon wire left over that i wasn't doing anything with. my MIM 72' deluxe had a wire with a similar gauge carrying the guitar's signal from the selector switch to the output jack; knowing how low the quality of electronics in the MIM fenders can be, i couldn't resist the temptation to replace it with the good stuff.

last night i finally did it, and surprisingly enough it made a difference; the sound is smoother and clearer, particularly in the bass, as well as being a bit brighter. i'm not sure if it's actually better yet, but it did make a difference every bit as noticeable as upgrading from a cheap cord to a good one. it makes me wonder why this subject doesn't ever come up on this forum, where people take joy in obsessing over every little detail of their guitars.

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sun, Jan 03, 2010 3:44pm

since electrons travel on the surface of the wire, silver coated copper would work just as well and be significantly less expensive.

just sayin'... :thumbsup:

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sun, Jan 03, 2010 4:08pm

titanamps wrote:since electrons travel on the surface of the wire, silver coated copper would work just as well and be significantly less expensive.

just sayin'... :thumbsup:



my instrument cables are silver coated copper. :thumbsup:

I couldn't imagine buying solid silver instrument cables, at those lengths and gauges they would probably be thousands of dollars. :lol: :LOL:

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sun, Jan 03, 2010 4:10pm

moltenmetalburn wrote:From Premier guitar:


Teflon insulated silver wire

Usually, this is a very fine stranded wire with upwards of 20+ individual pure silver cores and is often used in the hi-fi world. The Teflon insulation is perfect for a soldering job – your soldering iron never can get hot enough to burn or melt the insulation. The cable is easy to route and offers a very transparent, natural, punchy tone. Compared to a standard wire, the signal is slightly louder, and the separation of the individual strings is enhanced. I like to describe the effect as a natural pickup sound. The clarity such a cable can have is stunning, and together with good pure nickel strings, you will hear things from your guitar that you’ve never heard before. Sure, this cable, especially the high-grade, military-graded version, is not cheap, but it’s worth a try in your axes if you are looking for the most transparent, natural, open sound.


source:
https://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/I ... it_Up.aspx

Random quotes from various sources:

What about silver plated cables? Silver is the best common metal conductor at room temperature, with copper a close second. Silver plating a copper wire reduces the resistance at high frequencies due to the skin effect, where much of the current flows near the surface of the wire.


i finished a few audiophile amp kits a while ago and had some extra fancy silver-plated teflon wire left over that i wasn't doing anything with. my MIM 72' deluxe had a wire with a similar gauge carrying the guitar's signal from the selector switch to the output jack; knowing how low the quality of electronics in the MIM fenders can be, i couldn't resist the temptation to replace it with the good stuff.

last night i finally did it, and surprisingly enough it made a difference; the sound is smoother and clearer, particularly in the bass, as well as being a bit brighter. i'm not sure if it's actually better yet, but it did make a difference every bit as noticeable as upgrading from a cheap cord to a good one. it makes me wonder why this subject doesn't ever come up on this forum, where people take joy in obsessing over every little detail of their guitars.


See this is the issue I take with claims like these: "smoother and clearer". To me that is a direct contradiction, if the sound is brighter, it is not going to be smoother and vice versa. There are definitely exceptions, but generally a smoother sound has less clarity and a clearer sound has less smoothness.

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sun, Jan 03, 2010 4:11pm

Valtiel wrote:
moltenmetalburn wrote:From Premier guitar:


Teflon insulated silver wire

Usually, this is a very fine stranded wire with upwards of 20+ individual pure silver cores and is often used in the hi-fi world. The Teflon insulation is perfect for a soldering job – your soldering iron never can get hot enough to burn or melt the insulation. The cable is easy to route and offers a very transparent, natural, punchy tone. Compared to a standard wire, the signal is slightly louder, and the separation of the individual strings is enhanced. I like to describe the effect as a natural pickup sound. The clarity such a cable can have is stunning, and together with good pure nickel strings, you will hear things from your guitar that you’ve never heard before. Sure, this cable, especially the high-grade, military-graded version, is not cheap, but it’s worth a try in your axes if you are looking for the most transparent, natural, open sound.


source:
https://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/I ... it_Up.aspx

Random quotes from various sources:

What about silver plated cables? Silver is the best common metal conductor at room temperature, with copper a close second. Silver plating a copper wire reduces the resistance at high frequencies due to the skin effect, where much of the current flows near the surface of the wire.


i finished a few audiophile amp kits a while ago and had some extra fancy silver-plated teflon wire left over that i wasn't doing anything with. my MIM 72' deluxe had a wire with a similar gauge carrying the guitar's signal from the selector switch to the output jack; knowing how low the quality of electronics in the MIM fenders can be, i couldn't resist the temptation to replace it with the good stuff.

last night i finally did it, and surprisingly enough it made a difference; the sound is smoother and clearer, particularly in the bass, as well as being a bit brighter. i'm not sure if it's actually better yet, but it did make a difference every bit as noticeable as upgrading from a cheap cord to a good one. it makes me wonder why this subject doesn't ever come up on this forum, where people take joy in obsessing over every little detail of their guitars.


See this is the issue I take with claims like these: "smoother and clearer". To me that is a direct contradiction, if the sound is brighter, it is not going to be smoother and vice versa. There are definitely exceptions, but generally a smoother sound has less clarity and a clearer sound has less smoothness.



I agree with you. just a post i found somewhere.

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sun, Jan 03, 2010 7:05pm

stratotone wrote:Cat 5 is stranded as far as I know, at least the Cat 5 used for ethernet wiring. How did you rewire a guitar with several feet of it - did you go right off the pickup coils? If not, you're losing a lot of your tone with that wimpy wire from the pickups to the switch or pot.


Cat5 has 8 individually jacketed 24 ga. solid strands of wire. So in essence, it is stranded, but solid at the same time. This is the most typical wire. You can, however, get stranded Cat5, though I've never actually seen it.

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sun, Jan 03, 2010 8:03pm

There is a lot of misinformation about wire. I studied some of the effects in college. skin effect happens at very high frequency, and that is where oxygen free comes in since both copper, and silver oxidize which greatly increases the resistance. That is also the purpose of gold plating. Gold is not a great conductor, but since it does not corode you get a better signal transfer then you would with oxidized copper, or silver. In wire for guitars, or cables the most important thing is capacitance. I have been using the same mogami or canare cable in my guitars that I use for cables. I do have a couple of different cables with lower quality cable for guitar that I find a bit too bright.

I think that doing A/B comparisons is the only way to see if you hear a difference.

Ryan

Re: Wiring guitar with Solid Core Silver wire

Sun, Jan 03, 2010 9:18pm

GuitarGuyLP wrote:There is a lot of misinformation about wire. I studied some of the effects in college. skin effect happens at very high frequency, and that is where oxygen free comes in since both copper, and silver oxidize which greatly increases the resistance. That is also the purpose of gold plating. Gold is not a great conductor, but since it does not corode you get a better signal transfer then you would with oxidized copper, or silver. In wire for guitars, or cables the most important thing is capacitance. I have been using the same mogami or canare cable in my guitars that I use for cables. I do have a couple of different cables with lower quality cable for guitar that I find a bit too bright.

I think that doing A/B comparisons is the only way to see if you hear a difference.

Ryan


Even if you do an A/B with two guitars, the inherent tone differences of the guitars render the experiment useless. I have 2 '76 LPC's, both with the stock electronics (pots, wire, switches, jack) in them as well as the same pickup, and they most definitely sound different. :yes:
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