RE: [dallasaudioclub] Better connections? No connections!
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I certainly like the minimalist approach and agree concept that copper wire sounds better than brass connectors. But if you are soldering your power cords wires to your house wiring, pray to the Gods that lightning never hits your house and travels through your wiring. If it does, kiss your system goodbye and perhaps your house goodbye. Hmm, I wonder if circuit breakers and power switches need to be replaced by wire?
If you have a fire, your insurance company may not cover damages due to improper wiring. I guess it all boils down to how much you are willing to sacrifice.
Personally, I think that proper material selection and execution is the key to transparent audio reproduction. Use the best copper you can find, stay away from anything that is nickel plated and grind the plating off to make copper to copper solder joints.
If you are using terminal strips, they are made out of brass. Altech does sell tinned un-insulated copper tubing in various gauges so you could butt solder the wire ends together. Of course then you can start looking at all your internal parts to make sure every conductive part is copper. Of course remember that tube pins are made out of a steel alloy that has the same expansion and contraction rate as the glass envelope.
By the way, if you remove your tube sockets and use the Altech copper tubes (Allied Electronics) to solder your hookup wires directly to the tube pins and use a silicone grommet to mount the tube to the chassis…..it will make a HUGE difference in sound performance. Choose a grommet that will dampen mechanical resonance. The closer it is to the music source the bigger the difference will be.
Sound like a good project for all those “tweaked” tube DACS. Just build a fixture, wood block with a hole, that hold the tube upside down. Use De-Oxit to clean the tube pin, copper tube and your tinned wire end. Slide the right size Altech copper tube on the pin. Insert your hook-up wire leads. Crimp the Altech tube gently to reduce any wire to pin gap and solder the leads to the pins.
I just realized that it will also prevent “tube rollers” from wearing out their tube sockets. But if you are seriously traveling down the “no connector” path you already have found the gear and tubes you could live with for a long time. It’s well worth the effort.
By the way, it might be a good idea to install the correct value current limiters on the primary side of your power transformers to try to reduce the huge current surge caused by cold filaments or cathode heaters. Better yet, if you are building it, use separate filament transformers and always leave the filaments on. It consumes very low wattage and extensive studies by Western Electric and RCA determined that the tubes will be quieter, have less distortion and last a very long time. All the big time RCA recording studio equipment operated this way.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Tom Russell
Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2006 6:14 AM
Subject: Re: [dallasaudioclub] Better connections? No connections!
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, May 19, 2006 9:23 AM
Subject: [dallasaudioclub] Better connections? No connections!
Some of you may have heard this story before. Tom Russell, a lone Star
Bottlehead and Dallas Audio Club member once had his entire system
Once? I still have a soldering iron and I certainly haven't bought any RCA connectors.
.... The sonic results were "stunning". ........
.... I don't dare go all the way though. .......
Why not? Is there some reason you wouldn't want "stunning" sound?
.... Even hardwired into the wall (very dangerous IMO) .......
Why is a solid connection that has good integrity more dangerous than some loose fitting plug? I now use the ground binding straps from a breaker panel to bind my AC lines together. You depend on this connector for the safety ground in your house.
BTW, I am putting a new system together and it is even more minimalist, more direct wired and more stunning. In matters hi-fi, less is most definately more.