• WARNING: Tube/Valve amplifiers use potentially LETHAL HIGH VOLTAGES.
    Building, troubleshooting and testing of these amplifiers should only be
    performed by someone who is thoroughly familiar with
    the safety precautions around high voltages.

Holy cow! Can anyone tell me why this wire is so pricey?

bst

Member
2005-10-01 5:43 pm
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?
 
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.
 
Bst,

You have legally STOLEN all the top quality ground bus bar you will need for the rest of your life. :D 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.
 
Last edited:
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!
 
A dollar a foot still sounds remarkably expensive for plain old wire. Are all the wire prices equally swollen?

$875 for 12.5 pounds sounds like $70 a pound to me. I mean solder is "only" $25 a pound.

I imagine all over, but in this area, homes are being broken into and copper plumbing stolen. The house next door is not currently rented, and we found the back door open and all the copper plumbing removed recently. This was the second time. The landlord replaced it all with PVC. They recently arrested a gang of copper thieves. Hopefully PVC won;t go on the scrap market.
 
A dollar a foot still sounds remarkably expensive for plain old wire. Are all the wire prices equally swollen?

$875 for 12.5 pounds sounds like $70 a pound to me. I mean solder is "only" $25 a pound.

I imagine all over, but in this area, homes are being broken into and copper plumbing stolen. The house next door is not currently rented, and we found the back door open and all the copper plumbing removed recently. This was the second time. The landlord replaced it all with PVC. They recently arrested a gang of copper thieves. Hopefully PVC won;t go on the scrap market.

I thought they make a lot of copper plated pipes and use those now.