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Fender Amp Braided Ground Wire

mscaggs

Member
Messages
629
Builders and Techs,

I am looking for resources to buy the braided ground wire found on older Fender amps. For example, the cathode grounds, pots, bright switch, etc... Thanks

Mike
Nashville
 

Jeff Gehring

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,355
I'd just get some decent small Teflon jacketed coax (like RG-174 for size) that has a nice silver plated braid, then cut some small lengths and extract the shield. It'll pull down to about that diameter... Or you could get some of the reproduction unjacketed reverb cable and pull the center conductor out of that.

Like the 20 AWG single conductor PTFE available here: http://www.apexjr.com/wire.html#Teflon
 

mscaggs

Member
Messages
629
Thanks for the suggestion. I do frame off restos and want to use the proper stuff whenever possible...
 

OlAndrew

Member
Messages
2,345
Might try a large auto parts store. They use stuff like that to tie ground from the engine to the frame, etc.
 

EFK

Member
Messages
1,048
Look into the smallest size solder wick. Usually looks like the same stuff once tinned. And cheap.
 

Jeff Gehring

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,355
That is a short snip of old school reverb cable. The center conductor pulls out easily, then pulling on the braid thins it to the desired appearance...
 

Bruce Gerard

Member
Messages
136
That is a tough one. Problem with all of the braided wires people have suggested is that they aren't flexible enough. If you tin plain copper braid, it will become rock hard. I hope the sample being sent to you is the correct stuff. The only braid I can think of that would come close was used in vintage phonographs for the pickup lead. It was extremely flexible and could bend back and forth without breaking down. You could pull the center lead out, then use the braided shield only. The only other close thing I can think of is tinsel wire for high powered speakers, but then that is almost too flexible. If I encounter one of these amps with the cathode wires damaged, I just replace them with a bit of 14ga copper buss wire - not original, but clean install & will never break.
 

mscaggs

Member
Messages
629
That is a tough one. Problem with all of the braided wires people have suggested is that they aren't flexible enough. If you tin plain copper braid, it will become rock hard. I hope the sample being sent to you is the correct stuff. The only braid I can think of that would come close was used in vintage phonographs for the pickup lead. It was extremely flexible and could bend back and forth without breaking down. You could pull the center lead out, then use the braided shield only. The only other close thing I can think of is tinsel wire for high powered speakers, but then that is almost too flexible. If I encounter one of these amps with the cathode wires damaged, I just replace them with a bit of 14ga copper buss wire - not original, but clean install & will never break.
I know, I have been using solid wire myself but would like to use the braid if I can find something that satisfies me. We will see how the sample turns out when I get it.
 

Jeff Gehring

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,355
Problem with all of the braided wires people have suggested is that they aren't flexible enough.
I have to disagree here. We are not talking about a high flexibility requirement application in the first place, what we're talking about (I think) is a restoration application for older Fender braided grounds like this:



And as to the flexibility of the reverb cable shield I mentioned, I don't see that it is any different than that of the braid depicted above. They still will be rigid for the portion that is soldered, but that's how braid works. This is a clip showing the reverb cable braid material flexibility...

 

wyatt

Member
Messages
4,167
I always just used the Alphawire tinned copper braid from Mouser. I believe I used the 3/16 width, but I use it so rarely I haven't have to buy in in years...I think my last batch came via Amazon.
 

Bruce Gerard

Member
Messages
136
I have to disagree here. We are not talking about a high flexibility requirement application in the first place, what we're talking about (I think) is a restoration application for older Fender braided grounds like this:
I have to admit - in your video, that stuff looks really supple - just like the old stuff used to look. Is it NOS, or a new production? the reason I ask, is that nearly all of the new production braided wire I have dealt with isn't nearly as supple as what you showed. The braids tend to crack near the solder point, probably because the metal wasn't properly annealed at the factory. The stuff you show would totally work.
 

Jeff Gehring

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,355
That's new production replacement reverb cable, that is, with the center conductor pulled out. I say 'new production', but I must have bought the stuff at least 10 years ago, I think from Magic Parts. It's a decent braid, it wets well and looks pretty close to the original animal for these applications. I need to go back and add some Warner Bros cartoon approved sound effects to that vid where I'm twangin' away on the braid.
 

jay42

Member
Messages
7,054
I kind of hate that stuff in Fender amps. Speaker tinsel is generally overpriced, but what the OP wants.
 

telewired

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
307
Jeff Gehring----are you still working on amps?? would love to know if you can install the London Power Power Scaling kit----
ken
 




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