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Braided Or Solid Core Wire?


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Hey, guys! I am about to shield my strat as per the instructions at guitarnuts.com. The problem is that I bought solid core 20 gauge wire at radio shack yesterday and I think I may need braided wire instead? Will solid core do the trick as well or am I digging a hole for myself by using it?

Also, I have 18 gauge braided audio cable and I was wondering if that would be a suitable alternative or should I take the trip back to radio shack to get some regular braided wire? Thanks a bunch for responses!

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On paper, braided is more "efficient".

However, in addition to the fact that solid will still work and it's not likely you'd notice the difference anyhow:

The wires on the inside of your guitar are all short little jobbies. With that short a distance to travel, the electrons aren't going to be inconvenienced by travelling through a solid core rather than a braided one.

They wouldn't MAKE solid core wire if it didn't work. :D


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I think it will make no difference at all to your sound, whatever wire you use in the guitar, and whatever gage it is. The subtleties of electron flow in different wire configurations are not sugnifacnt at the tiny currents and moderate frequencies within a guitar. Solid can be easier to strip and shape. Braided is more resistant to breakage if, like me, you want to keep changing the wiring. Even a very thin wire has negligible resistance compared to the pickups.

Wires which go outside of the shielded cavity, to a jack socket, or to something like an Les Paul 3-way switch should be screened however.


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True that. Listen to LK!

Doesn't matter what you use. My only preference is stranded and between 20-14gauge. Other than that, who cares? Make sure it's easy to work, won't break with normal movement, and won't make a mess of you cavity. Nothing ticks me off more than a messy electronics cavity.

Oh yeah, and as for my own answer to your orignal question: Yes, by all means use the 20ga solid core wire, it makes no difference. Just try not to sling the harness around by the wires or anything. Solid core WILL break at solder points if it moves too much.

Edited by TeiscosRock
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Something I recently discovered is "pre-tinned" stranded wire - I got some from Small Bear electronics, when I was ordering parts for some pedals I've been building. It's great stuff, it's flexible without breaking like stranded, but being pre-tinned, it's got just firm enough to stay where you want it. It makes connections easier, and unlike the stuff I end up with from radioshack, the insulation can handle being next to a hot soldering iron for more than a second when you're trying to get something stuck to the back of a pot.

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