dedicated circuit advice needed

rogerfederer

Junior Member
in my new (to me) house, the room i use as my office needs 1 or 2 electrical lines run to it. long story short, when this room was added on to the house, they tacked it on to the electrical circuit that already runs the bathrooms and the garage. doesn't have enough juice for all my computer gear plus my big rig plus an oil heater i am using now that it is cold (they also didn't run HVAC out to the room when it was added).

this means i can get a dedicated line run to my rig with my altec 604s! i have read threads before about what others have done: PS audio electrical sockets, etc. i would love any advice re doing this!
 
When I was finishing the basement. I had the electrician put in a dedicated line just for my audio use. It helps to isolated noise from a major appliance in use.
 

DC

Active Member
I, too, recently ran a dedicated 20A circuit to my listening room.

I used 12/3 (metal-clad) cable - essentially a 240v circuit (like Dan), split into to two 120v circuits, so I could power the system on the "quieter" one. (The stand-up A/C in the adjacent room gets the other circuit, only in the hot summer.) I used 12ga as I was loathe to deal with the 10ga wire for the 30A rating, though there is some thinking that the 10ga wire does help with instantaneous current demand even if you're not using particularly "high current" gear (see Shunyata's DTCD research). If you can, make sure you have no other "connections" on the circuit between the panel and the outlet(s), or that the connections are very tight and secure if you must have any connections, to allow the best instantaneous current transfer and lowest noise. (An "Ideal 61-164 Circuit Analyzer" can measure the transient current capability of the branch circuit, but it's ~$300 and I haven't convinced myself that I need one... yet.)

In your situation, doing what I (and Dan) did and running a 240v circuit split in two may allow you to put the sound system on one leg, and the computers and oil heater on the other, further reducing interactions, at least in the winter. (EDIT: I re-read and see that you're considering 2 circuits. I'd highly recommend that, and forget my suggestion of a 240 split in two; I just did it that way out of necessity.)

I used the Leviton "Heavy Duty Industrial" outlets available at Home Depot, and they provide a strong, tight grip on the plugs. I have not yet upgraded those, and if I do, it will likely be the Shunyata/Hubbel SR-Z1 outlets, or the CopperCONNs if I'm feeling spendy.

For me, the upgrade was a sonic improvement, and subsequent refinements (cables, conditioner(s)) have been additionally fruitful.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
or the CopperCONNs if I'm feeling spendy.
I didn't know they had started selling those separate of the distribution products, originally they were only available that way and not separately, and only the SR-Z1 were available as a stand alone item.

And after seeing the price its moot (for me), too pricey, though I'm not dissing Shunyata in any way, they make really excellent AC products.
 

airdronian

Radar Member
I'm not using a dedicated circuit, but did go for a couple of cryo'd Hubbells. Pretty amazing the difference in solidity and grip compared with the cheap ass builder spec receptacles. The vendor I used is below, they also carry Furutech. Good deal with the exchange possibly.

 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I'm not using a dedicated circuit, but did go for a couple of cryo'd Hubbells. Pretty amazing the difference in solidity and grip compared with the cheap ass builder spec receptacles. The vendor I used is below, they also carry Furutech. Good deal with the exchange possibly.

I've got one of those too, cryogenically treated by Jena Labs.

As you said, no comparison to cheap contractor grade receptacles that lose their grip on the plugs after a surprisingly short time, or maybe it's not surprising, those things cost about $1.50. You get what you pay for.

That is a good deal from Take Five, a Hubbell 5262 is currently $29 on Amazon without any cryo treatment, though oddly the 20 amp rated 5362 and IG8300 are much less, I guess due to supply and demand, likely Amazon just sells far more of the 15 amp rated receptacles.

Essential Sound Products used to sell the Leviton branded version of a spec grade outlet with phosphor bronze contacts and cryo treatment for $55 some years ago, and I bought one at that price, it's in my bedroom powering that system. Then the price went to $80, and now its $119 on sale from a list price of $149. I guess their cost has steadily gone up over the years, or they are simply no longer able to order from Leviton in the required minimum quantities for the same discount they used to get.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
I'd go for the Hubbell and be done with it. Seems like diminishing returns (if any) as you get into the more exotic outlets.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I'd go for the Hubbell and be done with it. Seems like diminishing returns (if any) as you get into the more exotic outlets.
I'd agree, in my HiFi room I've got that Jena Labs cryo treated Hubbell, and also an Oyaide SWO-DX, which has phosphor bronze contacts that are both Silver and then Rhodium plated.

They don't sound exactly the same, the Hubbell is a bit smoother tonally and also slightly subdued or relaxed sounding. If I switch to the Oyaide outlet, things are bit more sparkling and detailed/dynamic sounding.

That switch involves moving the power cord for my DIY distribution bar from one outlet to the other, so the entire system is being powered by just the one outlet. The difference is audible but not profound, so in my case the double the cost Oyaide was not worth the outlay.

I believe both the Oyaide and Furutech AC receptacles are custom spec grade versions of stock outlets made by American Denki, which aren't American at all of course, they are Made in Japan.
 

DC

Active Member
I was advised on another forum (gasp) that Southwire at Home Depot/Lowe’s is actually good to use, apparently the strand or wire orientation in their Romex is maintained inside the jacket throughout the run, and as it’s made here, the copper quality is good. (As I used 3-conductor cable, they’re twisted and I have no idea if that matters.)
 

Redboy

Knobophobe
A word of advice, if I may.

Before you run your dedicated line, confirm that your electrical box has the capacity for one more circuit breaker.

Before, I say...

That is all.
 

rogerfederer

Junior Member
A word of advice, if I may.

Before you run your dedicated line, confirm that your electrical box has the capacity for one more circuit breaker.

Before, I say...

That is all.

yep, electrician already looked at the box. he is adding a sub-panel that will be hooked into existing panel. also having solar panels installed in the spring so had to get them to agree w my electrician.
 

billfort

Administrator
Staff member
When I did my room, I put in 2 dedicated circuits for audio - nothing fancy, just 12ga romex with Hubbell hospital grade outlets. The Hubbells work great mechanically which is what I was after at the time - a very tight, firm grip on plugs and when combined with the hospital grade plugs I used on some DIY power cords, form a clamp-like latch as you snap them into place.

At the time, I was going through a wire-agnostic period and did this more for 'what the hell, easy enough with the walls torn up' reasoning as apposed to thinking it would make a big sonic difference. Things change though and I am sure glad I did it now, as a lot of experimenting has me finding I do feel all this makes a difference.

A few years ago I took all this even further when realising that 'digital' noise is nasty stuff and keeping cheap wall-worts, switching mode digital power supplies, computers, etc. on a separate circuit and away from the analog audio is a very good thing.

Where I settled in; circuit 1 has my tube amp and turntable on it, circuit 2 tube pre-amp straight in and a Monster power bar for the tube phono-stage and SS bass amp. All the digital now uses the old room circuit for the rest of the in-wall outlets, which have computers, lamps, etc. plugged in already anyway. I did add a PartsConnexion power center to the digital room circuit so I could put the digital audio stuff (DACs, streamers, etc.) behind one SoundStrings digital power cord - which is a whole other story.
 
I agree with Billfort about the “digital nasty“...my offender was a Squeeze Box wall wart. I solved the problem by plugging the wall wart into a battery backup. I now have 4 battery backups that all my computers, TVs, and other digital electronics have between them and house wiring. The #1 function is power outage protection to safely shut down everything.

You can get deep into the weeds trying to isolate digital nasties because you have 2 lines coming into your house and all your electronics are on one of the two. How much can digitals corrupt each line? I don’t know, but almost all appliances digital controls. Power supplies for led lights is another problem. You can go through your breaker box and try to put the main offenders on the same leg, but then something like HVAC is going to be on both lines (as will anything that is 240AC).

I agree that a dedicated circuit is a good idea, but, as long as you are doing it, I would run 2...one for digital and one for analog and, of course, on different lines at the breaker box.

A possible solution if you can’t run a dedicated circuit is an isolation transformer for analog and battery backup for digital on the same circuit. This is what I have been using for many years. The isolation transformer has balanced power output 60-0-60. Does it make a difference? I’m not sure, but I haven’t found a reason to change things.
 
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