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I have some quality earbuds that have no sheath on the wires, because the copper unwinds all by itself, it's held in some thin nylon loose fibres that acts as the insulating material.

it's seems very difficult to work with. what is it? how do i solder it and prevent the wires from unfurling as they arent properly sheathed?

enter image description here

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There's some sort of lacquer on the wires to prevent them from shorting. You can try to scrape this off and solder them - soldering will also prevent them from fraying. A bit of heatshrink wouldn't hurt either.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Heatshrink is a bit too thick for something like this. A bit of clear nail polish works wonders though. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Apr 30 '14 at 22:42

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