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Silver containing solder made up of Sn62% Pb36% and Ag2% is a very good choice. Radio shack carries it. It is "eutectic" which means that it has virtually no plastic phase, the phase between solid and liquid. This reduces the chances of a cold solder joint by a huge amount.

 

If you go here and look up alloys, you'll see all the various and wild combinations of solder. The most common used in electronics are:

 

Sn62Pb36Ag2 ("silver solder" available at radio shack)

Sn63Pb37

Sn60Pb40

 

Of those three, the first two are Eutectic, i.e. they have no plastic transition phase. Both are suitable for soldering new speakers or pickups where a shaky hand, wire, or component can cause a cold solder join. The third DOES have a range where it's plastic and is much easier to screw up with.

 

The nicest thing about the first choice is that it actually has a lower melting point, at 179C compared to 183 and 183/190 respectively for the second and third choices.

 

The primary reason factories use 60/40 is it's cheaper. Especially for things like flow soldering where cold solder joints aren't a real problem. For humans, especially beginners, the silver solder listed above is the best choice. Strong joints, lower chance of cold solder joints, and a lower melting temp are all good things. Regular old rosin works fine with it too.

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just don't use "true silver" stick solder, it requires a blowtorch to melt... [biggrin]

Yes, silver-bearing solder (2-4% silver) is the type used for electronics.

 

StewMac and TDPRI recommend 60/40 rosin-core:

 

http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Pickups_and_Electronics/Soldering.html

 

http://www.tdpri.com/resources/tele-electronics/soldering-tips/

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Silver containing solder made up of Sn62% Pb36% and Ag2% is a very good choice. Radio shack carries it. SNIP>>>

That was the very best and most thorough bit of advice I've seen on the internet in a long time! [thumbup]

 

To add first person experience. ~ I have built several world class recording studios using that solder spanning 26 years. I can say with good conscience that after thousands upon thousands of soldered joints there has not been one that let me down!

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That was the very best and most thorough bit of advice I've seen on the internet in a long time! [thumbup]

 

To add first person experience. ~ I have built several world class recording studios using that solder spanning 26 years. I can say with good conscience that after thousands upon thousands of soldered joints there has not been one that let me down!

 

Thanks! I was an electronics tech in the USAF and an instructor for 5 years of that. Taught soldering for 6 months.

 

While the price difference between 60/40 and the 63/37 or 62/36/2 blends is enough that bulk work might justify using plain old 60/40, the price difference for a single spool is so small there's really no reason to use old 60/40 when you can get 62/36/2 for a few dollars more and know that your joint will be stronger and less likely to make a cold solder joint.

 

And as a previous post mentioned, just avoid lead free solder at all costs.

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