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  1. #1
    Forum Regular vr6ofpain's Avatar
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    Interesting aspect of Kimber Kable 4VS

    I picked up some kimber kable 4VS off ebay really cheap. I couldnt resist, because I was interested and they were so much cheaper than retail. (I paid $30.05 for 24 ft of it, shipped to my door. The retail is $3.30/ft. I paid $1.25/ft shipped, which is actually a little less than a local store sells the lower line 4PR.)

    Anyway. So I inspected the wires(actually had to cut off the "terminations" the previous owner did.....soldered tips. I never understand this. I mean I did it when I was in middle school, thinking I was all audiophile-like, but honestly I hate that. All it does is leave the wire all covered in green corrosion from the solder. NASTY.

    So upon inspecting an individual strand of the wire(the 4VS consists of 8 strands, 4 positive and 4 negative. the are equvalent to a normal set of 13 awg wires combined) I found that contrary to my belief, what looked to be just any old copper wire was not. It is actually made up of 7 strands of wire. 4 of them are very small, 2 are a little larger, and one is somewhat thick(like the strands of "cheesy" speaker wire, aka the cheap white or brown wire from radio shack, not "mega cable"). I compared that to some random piece of 24 awg wire I had. In this case the random wire, each lead had 20 strands of very small wire.


    Maybe this is what kimber means by "VariStrand"...

    With all the reading on here about wires being hype, I was glad that there are PHYSICAL differences between this wire and the run of the mill stuff I have dealt with. My RadioShack "mega-cable" is the same as the random wire, in the sense that it is just a large amount of very small strands making up each 16 awg lead. They just have the "nice" clear plastic insulation. Now I'm not arguing that this difference makes them better, or makes them sound better. I listened to them a little, after playing the exact same music (all levels/settings the same) with my old wire. It seemed like there was a difference, but I will have to do more comparisons. Obviously what differences in the sound there are(if they exist) are small. I'm not going to lie.


  2. #2
    Color me gone... Resident Loser's Avatar
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    Properly made...

    ...soldered joints should be bright, smooth and shiny...they seal the well-made mechanical joint...any "nasty" aspects are a result of "user error" and inexperience...any "green corrosion" is a product of the oxidzation of the copper...solder does not contain copper...you may see a brownish glaze, but that is flux, again, a result of improper technique...

    Judging from the photo and wire configuration, I would bet those wires have a higher capacitance than plain ol' zip...and may indeed "sound different"...however, is it actual improvement or simply a difference?

    jimHJJ(...good luck and good listening...)

  3. #3
    Forum Regular vr6ofpain's Avatar
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    Ya I will give them more of a listen this evening when I get home from work. What would be expected from the higher capacitance? Oh here are the "specs" from their site:

    4VS
    Basic Electrical Specifications
    DUT: 4VS 2.5m bare wire ends.

    (Cp) parallel capacitance:

    340.0 pF @ 20 kHz
    (Ls) series inductance:

    0.596 H @ 20 kHz
    (Rdc) dc loop resistance:

    0.041
    (Xt) total reactance:

    0.075 @ 20 kHz
    Frequency response 0.5 dB

    dc - 250 kHz

    http://www.kimber.com/Products/LoudS.../4VS_Spec.aspx

  4. #4
    Forum Regular vr6ofpain's Avatar
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    Here is a picture. You can see generic wire on the left and the Kimber 4VS on the right. Notice how the with the 4VS, there are 4 small, 2 medium, and 1 large strand. this is different than normal wire.


  5. #5
    Forum Regular vr6ofpain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resident Loser
    ...soldered joints should be bright, smooth and shiny...they seal the well-made mechanical joint...any "nasty" aspects are a result of "user error" and inexperience...any "green corrosion" is a product of the oxidzation of the copper...solder does not contain copper...you may see a brownish glaze, but that is flux, again, a result of improper technique...

    Judging from the photo and wire configuration, I would bet those wires have a higher capacitance than plain ol' zip...and may indeed "sound different"...however, is it actual improvement or simply a difference?

    jimHJJ(...good luck and good listening...)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Risch
    How is a tinned conductor a contaminated surface? Pure metals
    have a crystalline internal organization molecularly, this is
    basic metallurgy. Platings or coatings do not get applied in a
    manner so as to totally avoid disrupting the surface of the base
    metal. And the plating/coating itself is highly disordered, with
    a large region where the two metals are mixed haphazardly,
    severely disrupting the normal crystalline structure of both
    materials. Any plating or worse, a coating, further disorders
    the copper/silver metal's crystal structure at the surface,
    making worse whatever disorganization is already present due to
    wire drawing, extrusion into an insulator, bending, etc.
    From:
    http://www.geocities.com/jonrisch/s1.htm

  6. #6
    Forum Regular FLZapped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vr6ofpain
    How is a tinned conductor a contaminated surface? Pure metals
    have a crystalline internal organization molecularly, this is
    basic metallurgy. Platings or coatings do not get applied in a
    manner so as to totally avoid disrupting the surface of the base
    metal. And the plating/coating itself is highly disordered, with
    a large region where the two metals are mixed haphazardly,
    severely disrupting the normal crystalline structure of both
    materials. Any plating or worse, a coating, further disorders
    the copper/silver metal's crystal structure at the surface,
    making worse whatever disorganization is already present due to
    wire drawing, extrusion into an insulator, bending, etc.
    The quote from JRs website is without valid scientific merit.

    -Bruce

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vr6ofpain
    When a base metal, such as copper, it tinned, the following happens:

    First, the flux has to attack the oxides of the surface..nothing will happen otherwise. Typical activated fluxes you buy standalone, type RMA, or RA, have a halide included...halides are compounds formed with chlorine, flourine, bromine, or iodine..the most prevalent halide is zinc chloride..

    When the zinc chloride is heated, it breaks down into hydrogen chloride..that is what attacks the oxide of the wire. It forms copper chloride, green...

    From Kester:....."newer formulations form something called amine hydrochlorides (not the same as zinc chloride)", and form copper abietate (this is also green) and that is not so bad..Kester claims that is inert at room temperature, and I have no information to the contrary.

    As for the metallurgy: When copper is tinned, it forms two distinct copper-tin intermetallic alloys. The first is alloyed to the copper, the second is on top of the first...the first is rather yellowy, the second more silver colored..both are unsolderable if exposed to air. A well tinned copper surface will have a coating of solder alloy over both intermetallics, and will be comprised of the solder alloy plus some dissolved copper in solution, up to a maximum of about 4%...as the copper percentage increases, the surface will become grainy looking, not the typical smooth shiny we expect.

    The second quote you have pulled.... it an explanation for how the poor electrons have such problems overcoming the disordering of the atomic level lattice structure...it is entirely floobydust, there is nothing of merit there. If you are using the conductors in liquid helium, and need the additional conductivity afforded by electron mean free paths in the 1 to 10 cm range, then yes, you have to worry about the lattice structure..but for room temperature operation, the electrons "bounce" three million times per inch in monocrystalline copper, the lattice absorbing the energy of the electron by those impacts..that is the wire heating. Do not expect the electrons to worry about the plating or tinning part...the interface discontinuity is such a miniscule addition to the resistivity that we cannot measure it unless we series 30 or so joints and run a Kiloamp into #18 guage wire. (pulse, as if vaporizes rather quickly..)

    Just make the solder joints good...and be careful where you pull your "information" from..there are lots of sites out there that promote incorrect information, even if the wording is rather smooth and technical sounding..and mixed in with some good stuff.

    As for the wire, from what I can see, you have 45 pf per foot, and 80 nH per foot..not bad, little less than half a #12 zip..with an effective dielectric coefficient of 3.5..not bad..just is..

    Cheers, John

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