Solder joints "going dry???"

Seeing as how we are fortunate to count Paul Gagon as a member here, it seemed like a good time to give him a home to stretch out in and relax a little. Maybe exercise the grey matter and present a little history of the guitar and bass (amps too!) from his perspective as one of the eminent designers of our time.

Got questions? Great! Good questions might be, "What kind of windings are on the S500 pickup and why?" Or, "What was the thought process behind the MJ-4?" Troubleshooting questions should remain in the regular forums (he reads those too). Finally, please be mindful of how I feel about tech questions via PM or email.

Moderator: Paul Gagon

Solder joints "going dry???"

Postby derick » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:45 am

Hi,

I've been perusing the old instruments on the Reverb, and I came across this description of a '64 Precision bass...

"With the exception of the solder joints that I had my tech clean up as they had become dry, it's all original and complete including the case."

Now, I don't get out much, and I frankly think that people who obsess over "original solder" need to get a life, but I've never heard of a solder joint "going dry."

Is it a real thing? Or possibly just a sleight of hand to obscure NOS pots being installed?
User avatar
derick
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:31 am

Re: Solder joints "going dry???"

Postby Ken Baker » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:07 pm

derick wrote:Now, I don't get out much, and I frankly think that people who obsess over "original solder" need to get a life, but I've never heard of a solder joint "going dry."


Sounds like those folks who throw a few hundred at special knobs for their stereo equipment.

Is it a real thing? Or possibly just a sleight of hand to obscure NOS pots being installed?


Solder joints don't go "dry". In this case, however, they're in a piece of equipment that moves around and is a source of vibration. This means that solder joints or wires can break or otherwise fail. In a 54 year old bass, something is bound to break. But tin/lead solder does not dry out.

There is such a thing as a cold solder joint, and these can make their presence known in new equipment. A cold solder joint is one where the pieces being soldered together are not heated enough to properly adhere to the solder. You end up with a glob of solder covering a loose joint, and that will quickly become a problem.

Ken...
User avatar
Ken Baker
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4055
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:33 am
Location: Behind The Orange Curtain

Re: Solder joints "going dry???"

Postby derick » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:33 pm

Hi Ken, thanks for weighing in.

Yes I certainly understand that solder joints can go bad, and I have some experience with that. But, to resolder because the joint had "gone dry" was a new one on me.

And yes, I knew one of the guys who sprung for the gold plated plugs and jacks. You could hear the difference! Amazingly, after he did this there was a hollow, empty sound whenever he touched his wallet.
User avatar
derick
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:31 am

Re: Solder joints "going dry???"

Postby Ken Baker » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:27 pm

derick wrote:And yes, I knew one of the guys who sprung for the gold plated plugs and jacks. You could hear the difference! Amazingly, after he did this there was a hollow, empty sound whenever he touched his wallet.


Gold plating (it doesn't have to be horrendously expensive) can make a difference in high current scenarios because gold doesn't oxidize, which can hurt current carrying capability. So there is that. I did laugh at the empty wallet thing.

I was talking about snake oil wooden knobs for audiophiles. Clearly snake oil, but some people bought into it. I call it the P.T. Barnum effect.

Ken...
User avatar
Ken Baker
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4055
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:33 am
Location: Behind The Orange Curtain

Re: Solder joints "going dry???"

Postby derick » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:31 am

Wooden knobs for audiophiles? To avoid the capacitance of the human body fouling the pure fidelity of the circuit? Yeah, I'll take the gold contacts.

The amazing thing is what we bought (and paid!) for stereos in the seventies, and now everyone listens through a 5mm ear speaker.

Progress?

I'm not exactly certain when it happened, but I have obviously crossed the line into old fartdom.
User avatar
derick
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:31 am

Re: Solder joints "going dry???"

Postby Ken Baker » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:41 am

derick wrote:Wooden knobs for audiophiles? To avoid the capacitance of the human body fouling the pure fidelity of the circuit? Yeah, I'll take the gold contacts.

The amazing thing is what we bought (and paid!) for stereos in the seventies, and now everyone listens through a 5mm ear speaker.

Progress?


I still have my RSL Elans. I've had to replace both mids and the rear-firing passive woofers, but the systems work.

I'm not exactly certain when it happened, but I have obviously crossed the line into old fartdom.


I know that feeling all too well.

Ken...
User avatar
Ken Baker
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4055
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:33 am
Location: Behind The Orange Curtain

Re: Solder joints "going dry???"

Postby TDR1138 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:03 pm

Ken Baker wrote:I still have my RSL Elans. I've had to replace both mids and the rear-firing passive woofers, but the systems work.


My roommate in college had those, swore by them. Ah, the good ol' days. Now GET OFF MY LAWN!
User avatar
TDR1138
 
Posts: 904
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:06 am

Re: Solder joints "going dry???"

Postby Al Evans » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:15 am

Ken Baker wrote:Gold plating (it doesn't have to be horrendously expensive) can make a difference in high current scenarios because gold doesn't oxidize, which can hurt current carrying capability.
Ken...


If you have a high current going through your bass or guitar cable, your problems extend way beyond the surface of the connectors! :o

--Al Evans
Al Evans
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:32 am

Re: Solder joints "going dry???"

Postby Ken Baker » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:22 am

Al Evans wrote:If you have a high current going through your bass or guitar cable, your problems extend way beyond the surface of the connectors! :o


Yeah - 100 amps in the control cavity might just get exciting.

Ken...
User avatar
Ken Baker
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4055
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:33 am
Location: Behind The Orange Curtain


Return to Paul's Technicalities

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest