Holy cow! Can anyone tell me why this wire is so pricey? - diyAudio
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Old 13th October 2010, 06:28 PM   #1
bst is offline bst  United States
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Default Holy cow! Can anyone tell me why this wire is so pricey?

I just returned from the local industrial surplus store, having purchased a roll of Alpha type 286 14-ga. wire. Both I and the counter clerk assumed it was a roll of safety wire for securing threaded fasteners.

It turns out that it's tin-plated, soft-drawn copper buss-bar wire; not lockwire.

I paid $26 plus tax for a 1000' roll. The price at suppliers like Newark and DigiKey is -- hold onto your hat -- over $875 per roll!

What makes this wire so expensive, and have I stumbled onto the perfect hook-up wire for my tube amp projects?
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Old 13th October 2010, 06:47 PM   #2
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A little more web surfing reveals that Allied carries it, too -- at well over a thousand dollars per 1000' roll! Maybe I should sell this stuff and buy some of that 'cheap' solid-silver wire...
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Old 13th October 2010, 06:48 PM   #3
badman is offline badman  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bst View Post
I just returned from the local industrial surplus store, having purchased a roll of Alpha type 286 14-ga. wire. Both I and the counter clerk assumed it was a roll of safety wire for securing threaded fasteners.

It turns out that it's tin-plated, soft-drawn copper buss-bar wire; not lockwire.

I paid $26 plus tax for a 1000' roll. The price at suppliers like Newark and DigiKey is -- hold onto your hat -- over $875 per roll!

What makes this wire so expensive, and have I stumbled onto the perfect hook-up wire for my tube amp projects?
You dramatically underpaid, is part of it. Copper is pricey nowadays. The newark/digikey price is quite high though.
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Old 13th October 2010, 07:02 PM   #4
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Bst,

You have legally STOLEN all the top quality ground bus bar you will need for the rest of your life. At 14 AWG it's too thick for "routine" signal work.

Hell yes, sell some of it at a profit. Don't get greedy.

Jeff (badman) made the important point. There's been a big run up in the cost of raw materials, over the last few years. Copper and Tin command mucho dinero.
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Last edited by Eli Duttman; 13th October 2010 at 07:03 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 13th October 2010, 07:47 PM   #5
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Copper scrap is over $3.00 per lb for low grade scrap. OUCH!!!!
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Old 13th October 2010, 07:54 PM   #6
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Thats correct, Copper has certainly gone up in the last few years.
What probably has happened is that the company you bought it from has had it in stock for a few years and purchased it way before the price went to the current levels.
Or maybe it's an error :-)

Hard to believe but true.

Apple stock was below US$15.00 in September of 2001. It was at US$300.53 this morning!
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Old 13th October 2010, 08:01 PM   #7
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At 80 feet of 14 gauge per pound, you have 125 pounds of copper there. Worth about $375 as scrap copper...
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Old 13th October 2010, 08:10 PM   #8
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That's 12.5 lbs
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Old 13th October 2010, 08:18 PM   #9
bst is offline bst  United States
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Tom, I think you've misplaced a decimal point. The spool is about 10" in diameter, and I can pick it up with one hand. I'd guesstimate it's about 12 1/2 pounds, rather than 125.
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Old 13th October 2010, 08:49 PM   #10
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Ah, yes... too late to fix my arithmetic! Still less than scrap value!
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