Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Silver and Gold

 I've used this title before around the holidays and this time I'll take it 100% literal.



Being a huge fan of silver wound things and loving the sound of silver wound cartridges I decided to take my game up a notch and see what 0.9999 gold coils sound like. 


It has been posed to me by Dick Sequerra that it is the oxide semiconductor boundaries within wire that that make silver a better sonic choice since silver oxide is a more benign conductor than copper oxide which creates a diode.  Dick made the compelling argument a few months ago that since gold doesn't oxidize at all it should be the ultimate choice for the low level signals found in an MC cartridge coils.

Stay Tuned.

8 comments:

  1. How do you keep the turns from shorting?

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  2. The wire has a thin enamel coating for winding coils.

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  3. Are you experimenting just with cartridges or are SUT also in play?

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  4. Just cartridges. My understanding with gold is a small amount can be glorious but you can quickly go overboard. they suggest a single gold IC early on in the system is sublime... more than that gets to be too much.

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  5. Interesting. Then, following the logic of Sequerra, would the benefits of conductive efficiency be limited to very short windings?

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  6. actually the gold is a rather poor conductor with around 70% the conductivity of copper. It is close to aluminum in resistivity. Where it is expected to excel is in the crystal boundaries. Both copper and silver crystal boundaries oxidize and it is rumored by some that silver oxide still being a good conductor explains the improved sound. The Ohno OFCC copper has 1/5000 of the copper crystal boundaries of ofc copper which could explain the improved sound. Gold does not oxidize so the crystal boundary issue does not exist. The thinking is at the extremely low levels, the oxide has a greater impact hence my desire to try gold wound coils. This is not a new idea, several carts out there use gold coils and given the improvement moving from copper to silver it seems gold is worth a try. When it really comes down to where the rubber meets the road is if the gold sounds better than the silver I will use it. If not lesson learned.

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  7. as an interesting aside.... the resistivity of metals is ohms per cubic meter and in order to do that actual measurement on gold you would need a cool billion euros worth.

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  8. This is interesting to see - I'm a materials scientist in my day job and never guessed I'd be reading about grain boundaries when I clicked over here. Worth noting that for Ohno copper, the concentration of grain boundaries will (greatly) increase as the wire is bent/moved around. I've always been skeptical for this reason. An argument could be made for annealing coils after winding, though. Curious to hear how the gold works out.

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