Cables explanation

May someone please explain cable terms to me.

What are the differences between copper and silver cables?

What does Litz mean? the N after numbers such as 5N, 7N and 12N?

What about OCC or AWG?

Thank you, Felix

Copper vs Silver:

They have different electrical resistance values. Beyond that you start getting into murky water with respect to actual discernible differences in sound. Some people say “While copper tends to sound warmer and has more body it is a bit slower and less harmonically rich, silver does exactly the opposite. Silver tends to sound livelier, while offering more clarity and harmonic richness but at the cost of a colder character, thinner and lighter body.”

Litz:

The big difference between Litz and regular standed wire is that each strand of Litz wire is insulated. And the N numbers usually refer to how many strands each wire is comprised of.

OCC:

Basically trying to make wire strands as “pure” as possible.

AWG:

Basically how thick a wire is. The lower the number, the thicker the wire.

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Perfect, thanks!

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5N is 5 nines pure 99.999%, 7N 99.99999% etc
Litz cables are multistranded and each strand is individually insulated, it reduces the skin effect.
To make cables with Litz wire you have to be able to remove the enamel insulator on the outside, which makes them a pain to use for DIY unless you have a solder pot.

This maybe a language/semantic thing, but AFAIK Litz (German = Litze) just describes a conductor made from multiple wires.

In networks for example, you use solid-core for installations and litz for “moving” cables. Same for industrial automation.
To my knowledge, the biggest difference is that thinner wires are more flexible and less prone to “work hardening” (= metal becomming brittle). The disadvantage is that litz takes up more space (because circles don’t stack without gaps) to get the same effective cross section.


Wire - drawn (or extruded) metal
Conductor - (group of) conducting element(s), like wires or bus bars
Cable - one or more conductors

any of the above can be insulated or not


That particular article in German talks about “HF-Litze”, wich is a special type of cable for high frequency (1MHz and up).

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I’ve read in several places that silver tends to oxidise more easily than copper, though I don’t know how big a deal that is when they’re wrapped in plastic.