Can messy soldering rob your tone? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Can messy soldering rob your tone?

I'm an amateur tech to say the least and my pickup changing jobs have left messy gobs of solder on the pots of my RG550. I have a cheapo soldering iron and it's hard to get it hot enough (much left stay hot enough) to remove these things.

Of course I need to clean it up long term, but short term,am I losing any electronic signal because of this?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 03:15 PM
 
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Re: Can messy soldering rob your tone?

No. No you are not. There is nowhere NEAR enough material present to affect anything.

Think of a guitar cable. You will easily reach 20 feet of copper before signal loss becomes an issue, and even then, its not resistance, its capacitance, causing predictable and simple high frequency rolloff.

To put enough solder into your guitar, to have a noticable effect on the tone, would require using enough solder to completely fill the electronics cavity. Of course, if you did that, nothing would work anyway.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Can messy soldering rob your tone?

Thanks. Still hoping to get it cleaned up so I can make any future pickup swaps easier, but glad to know nothing's being lost.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 06:24 PM
 
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Re: Can messy soldering rob your tone?

a typical cat 5 cable like your computer uses to connect to a modem is good for around 300 ft. those are fairly small copper wires with a higher amount of resistance.

Your standard guitar cable runs around a 16 gauge copper wire. so it conducts better and generally has less signal loss.

As far as your wiring goes, it may not be a lot of signal loss due to sloppy wiring but you should always try to be as clean and neat as possible. Some tone purists will use the absolute minimum leads from their pickups or from output jack to pot, or wherever they can. I dont think it matters that much. As long as it looks good, functions right and isn't a jumble**** of wires.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2012, 01:18 AM
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Re: Can messy soldering rob your tone?

It's not going to hurt signal quality.
But, now that you're getting into electronic work--I highly suggest picking up a decent, but inexpensive adjustable heat soldering iron/station. Also get some desoldering braid and/or a solder suction pump--those really make your soldering jobs easier and cleaner.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2012, 05:33 AM
 
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Re: Can messy soldering rob your tone?

So we can conclude that tone is in fact not in the solder?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2012, 06:11 AM
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Re: Can messy soldering rob your tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hp29 View Post
So we can conclude that tone is in fact not in the solder?
Bwaaaah haaaaa haaaaaa!
Okay, waiting for Treva, now....
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2012, 06:19 AM
 
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Re: Can messy soldering rob your tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hp29 View Post
So we can conclude that tone is in fact not in the solder?
Well maybe just a little bit

-Wolfram
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2012, 05:03 PM
 
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Re: Can messy soldering rob your tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaBat View Post
Bwaaaah haaaaa haaaaaa!
Okay, waiting for Treva, now....
hahahahhahahahhahah
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2012, 05:58 PM
 
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Re: Can messy soldering rob your tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hp29 View Post
So we can conclude that tone is in fact not in the solder?
Well it is kinda, bad solder joints make for bad tone. If a connection is not good you will have issues with noise, shorts, all sorts of things!
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 10:16 PM
 
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Re: Can messy soldering rob your tone?

You can have a cold solder joint which can come from solder not getting hot enough to melt into one solid mass from one point to the other. These are fragile and can crack and tear creating a bad connection. This can happen when the iron doesn't get hot enough, you solder in a breezy area (ceiling fans, outside) or blow on it to speed up the cooling process. It's never a bad idea to reheat solder points until it's "wet" and let it cool slowly.

Just make sure ugly solder joints are covered up properly. No one likes to see a cavity that looks like terminator 2 pissed all over the goodies.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 12:57 PM
 
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Re: Can messy soldering rob your tone?

**THREADJACK**

What kind of tip do you fellows prefer to use? The pointier, finer tips or the wider ones?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 03:45 PM
 
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Re: Can messy soldering rob your tone?

I have a Weller wc100, I think it's the best cheap station, but sometimes I still have issues with larger metal objects heat sinking and making soldering difficult.

Last edited by axel_f; 06-15-2012 at 04:04 PM.
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