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Thread: Power delivery from panel to component

  1. #1
    Addicted to Best! PeterA's Avatar
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    Power delivery from panel to component

    There was some interesting discussion on the recently shut down power cable/bass performance thread. It has me wondering if my particular approach can be improved. I currently have three dedicated 20 amp circuits with three runs of JPS Labs In-Wall AC cable running directly from the panel, through the floor, and terminated into three Furutech IEC connectors. Two of these connectors are plugged directly into my amplifiers and the third goes into my Transparent Audio AC distribution box and then Transparent PCs to my front end components. This approach avoids all wall outlets with their extra connections, and I found the noise to drop significantly ten years ago when I first did this.

    I would like to further reduce the noise of my system and improve the power delivery. Here are some of the ideas I am considering:

    1. Buying a new JPS Labs In-Wall cable so that all three lengths match and terminating them with the latest/best Furutech FI-50 NCF IEC connectors and plugging them into my two amps and Transparent distribution box. Currently, the run to my rack is shorter in length than the two going to my amps, creating a potential ground loop issue, though I have very little hum.

    2. Installing four new Furutech NCF outlets connected to three separate dedicated 20 amp circuits and using power cables to connect to my equipment. One to each amp, and two (four outlets) to my front end rack components.

    3. Installing a total of five new runs of JPS In-Wall cables of equal length from five separate circuits plus five Furutech NCF IEC connectors to plug directly into my five components bypassing the Transparent distribution box and all outlets, thus minimizing connections and creating the most direct AC path from panel circuit to component.

    Basically, I'm wondering if bypassing outlets and plugging directly into the components is preferable to high quality outlets and power cords. I am open to any and all suggestions that anyone might make. At this point, I am leaning towards the notion that simpler is better because I have had success with that approach in the past. I am not quite ready to experiment with lots of competing power cords to see if they sound different, or audition the latest Shunyata Denali or various grounding boxes to see what they might do i my system.

    Here is an old photo showing the red JPS cable coming up through the floor plugged directly into one of my amps.

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  2. #2
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor]
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    It's best to avoid extra connectors. The weird shapes of the connectors may be their worst offending attributes, that NCF tries to combat, so I'd say what you're doing makes the best sense from an audio standpoint, but I can't actually recommend it since it's illegal.
    Industry Affiliation: Folsom

  3. #3
    [Industry Expert] Addicted to Best! DaveC's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd stick to code and spend the cash on decent connectors, the main reason being the possibility your insurance wouldn't cover a fire if it was the result of a non-professional electrical installation that was not done to code. And even if it wasn't the cause of a fire, they may bring it up and make it an issue. And the possibility of personal liability if anyone was ever hurt. That said, what you're doing makes some sense from a performance perspective... at least until the NCF receptacles came out as they are doing some filtering/noise reduction so it's likely they may be an improvement over nothing at all. But obviously a lot of cash vs nothing at all too.

    As far as the actual wire runs, It's probably best to run a sub-panel for multiple lines but I would not change what you have now. The biggest issue with multiple runs is the grounding, and the issue gets worse the longer the length of wires are from the service panel to the receptacles. Then there is potentially a second issue with ground loops as the grounds are going to be combined at your system with the interconnect cables, and depending on the geometry of the wire runs this could form a ground loop. Basically, you are combining grounds from multiple circuits which wouldn't be to code if it was done within the walls, but you're doing it outside the walls anyways, and maybe the component designer used some sort of ground isolation to prevent ground loops... but maybe not, you have no idea unless you look and there aren't any standards to go by here.

    IMO, the ideal way to go would be to keep the in-wall wire you have but add an NCF receptacle for each line. Then, a decent power conditioner/surge eliminator with a binding post for external ground connection and have all 3 conditioners' grounds connected with a heavy gauge ground cable that is as short as possible.

    Another option would be to simply not use more than one line. You don't need it and right now it's causing more problems than it's solving because of your sub-optimal grounding/AC delivery system. If you use one line you have one ground wire, not three, and you can use one power distributor that combines the grounds from all of your components, minimizing the resistance between component grounds and hence minimizing noise, and also elimination ground loop possibilities. I mean, needing more than a single 20A line to power most systems doesn't make much sense except for instantaneous current delivery and a single 20A line run using 10g wire that isn't super-long is not going to cause problems or reduce dynamics. Also, not having amps on some sort of power conditioner is likely a problem, but that depends on how clean your AC power is. Personally, plugging $$ amps right into the wall without noise filtration and surge protection doesn't make any sense to me, except so many of these products perform so poorly it's now CW to skip them. Power quality often changes by the hour and the season, so your system will sound better in the middle of night and in the winter when ACs aren't running, a decent conditioner will reduce this effect to insignificance.

    Overall the big issue is grounding and how it is sub-optimal in most multi-line installations. If you're not going to deal with grounding outside the walls then run a sub-panel to the room as close to your system as possible and run your multiple lines from the dedicated sub-panel. Then at least your grounds will be combined at the sub panel and not the service entrance.
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  4. #4
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    Skipping past large isolation transformers wired as Separately Derived Systems.
    As Dave just wrote:
    Best is to run a large feeder to near your audio equipment then split it in a small sub-panel.
    The idea is to shorten the length of the Safety Ground/Protective Earth wires from component to component. Then they will all return to the main panel Neutral on one large SG/PE wire. The ground reference is the power company Neutral, not the stake in the garden as too many people think.

    Most home hi-fi's can be wired on on 15 or 20 Amp circuit. (bur there are exceptions)
    Kevin

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