Dedicated circuit for each outlet pair?

tony22

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So I’ve been working through some things with my designated sound room in my new home. My first decision is that - while I could knock down a wall and remove a bathroom, to expand the space to 14x21x9, I’m going to see first if I can get the existing 14x16x9 size to work. I know it’s not as ideal dimensionally, but I was really not wanting to lose the very bathroom that would be used by other audio enthusiasts who’d come to listen to my system.

So electrically, across the front wall there are two perfectly placed outlets to drive my Pass monoblocks. There’s another outlet in the center of that wall if it turns out something needs to go there, and other outlets along the remaining walls for possible equipment location. So I intend to have a dedicated sub-panel installed for this room. But the question I have is - is it the right approach to run direct lines to each outlet location, and have those lines each run to its own breaker? I know in a lot of normal house wiring, there is a lot of series wiring done for, say, a room, so that one CB can typically handle a normal sized space. What’s the best approach for a dedicated sound room?
 

DonH50

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And wire for 20-A outlets. They are compatible with 15-A plugs but will boost the wire gauge used and give you margin for the gigantic power amp or three in your future... It will cost a little more now, and a little extra for the larger service (panel), but pays in performance and piece of mind later.

One thing our electrician suggested, and we did, was to wire one outlet in a duplex or fourplex in series through a light switch. No ceiling lights (floating ceiling and I did not want more holes) so that allowed us to place a couple of floor/tale lamps strategically we could turn on with a switch by the door. May be worth considering.

IMO - Don
 

tony22

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Thanks. Yes, I plan to run 20A lines and outlets into the room. But a question. Will a licensed electrician (I’m in the U.S.) use “audiophile” parts? For example, I would like to use either JPS Labs or Audience in wall AC cable, but neither of these are what a licensed electrician would normally use. I’m not sure if either one of these is UL listed.
 

sbnx

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Whether to run independent outlets for each components depends on whether you want to use a power conditioner to reduce the line noise. If you are going to go to the effort of installing a separate breaker box and run separate lines then I would go ahead and run 10 Gauge wire (30Amp). This will lower the impedance a substantial amount. And when you run the wire over to the subpanel use at least 4 Gauge wire. Also, as pointed out all of the different wire to the outlets needs to be the same length or you can create a ground loop and end up with hum. For outlets use at least hospital grade hubbles. Hopefully you don't have so many outlets that you can't get them all on the same electrical phase.

JPS labs in-wall AC is UL rated. From their website "Flexible, finely stranded 2 x 10 AWG copper alloy conductors, plus ground. Twisted design rejects noise. O.D. 0.6" (1.5 cm). UL®/CSA/FT-1 105C 600V VW-1 rated. Made in USA"

In my system I have 5 dedicated circuits. One for the front end. Two for the monoblock amps. And two for the subwoofers. All of this is ran from a dedicated subpanel.

On the other topic -- I would knock out the bathroom and make my listening room bigger. My friends would need to use one of the other bathrooms.
 
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tony22

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JPS labs in-wall AC is UL rated.

...snip...

On the other topic -- I would knock out the bathroom and make my listening room bigger. My friends would need to use one of the other bathrooms.

Thanks. I missed that the JPS in wall was UL listed. That will make things easier.

As to the room size, yes I can appreciate I’ll probably have only one chance to do this, but once I go (statistically likely - I’m a number of years older than my S.O.) I wouldn’t want her to try and sell a 4/2 that really is supposed to be a 4/3.
 

DonH50

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I'm not a real believer in "audiophile" wall sockets but anything a licensed electrician installs had better meet code, typically NEC, or risk losing their license. It also opens them, and you, to liability should something fail. I would guess (do not know)most major audiophile companies have gone through the process to certify their cables. "Best sounding" or not I would not run non-certified power lines, including CL-2/3 rating if in-wall.

The best performance upgrade you can make is likely to be going up a gauge (numerically lower) in wire size for less loss, using pure copper and not Al-clad copper (now against code for many uses, at least around here), and adding things like whole-house surge/transient protection. You could also isolate the service to the media room or even go balanced, depending on how deep are your pockets. Some places do prohibit fully-balanced power conversions and/or place restrictions upon their installation, however.

If you are in a noisy environment, due to noise sources within or without the house, running in conduit might help.

FWIWFM - Don
 
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BlueFox

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I went from one dedicated line (plug to breaker), then two dedicated lines, and now three dedicated lines to the panel. They are 10 gauge 20 amp lines terminating into Shunyata AC sockets. Each amp has its own line, and the other gear is on the other line. The reason I ended up with three lines was the breaker kept tripping with both amps on the same line. Of course, I was playing the music really loud to trip the breaker. Now there is no issue, and it even sounds better than before
 

sbnx

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FWIW I prefer the shunyata copper conn outlet to the furutech. See the shunyata video on it if you are wondering how much engineering could go into an outlet. The furutech doest have a strong grip on the cord.Another idea is to install the outlets sideways. This helps prevent cable droop.
 

BlueFox

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Another idea is to install the outlets sideways. This helps prevent cable droop.

In hindsight, I wish I had installed mine upside down. That is with the ground on the top of the socket. Then the weight of the power cord would force the AC pins into the socket.
 
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sbnx

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In hindsight, I wish I had installed mine upside down. That is with the ground on the top of the socket. Then the weight of the power cord would force the AC pins into the socket.
Upside down is pretty straight forward to fix if you want. Tunrn breaker off, remive cover plate, remove the two screws the hold the outlet in, carefully tun the outlet upside down. Repeat in reverse.
 

BlueFox

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Yes. Thanks. The issue is I am 71 and have gotten really lazy. :)
 
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tony22

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I'm not a real believer in "audiophile" wall sockets but anything a licensed electrician installs had better meet code, typically NEC, or risk losing their license. It also opens them, and you, to liability should something fail. I would guess (do not know)most major audiophile companies have gone through the process to certify their cables. "Best sounding" or not I would not run non-certified power lines, including CL-2/3 rating if in-wall.

Yes, Don. I asked because I’d want whatever I use to meet code. I’m not going to have an insurance claim (which I hope I’d never have to make) be denied because part of my house did not meet code. That’s all they’d have to see. o_O
 

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treitz3

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In hindsight, I wish I had installed mine upside down. That is with the ground on the top of the socket. Then the weight of the power cord would force the AC pins into the socket.

So, switch the outlets around. You do not need an electrician to do this....if you know what you are doing. It's just an outlet.

Tom
 

treitz3

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DonH50 said:
I'm not a real believer in "audiophile" wall sockets <snip>
I am surprised at that.

Tom
 
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sbnx

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tony22

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DonH50

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Yes, Don. I asked because I’d want whatever I use to meet code. I’m not going to have an insurance claim (which I hope I’d never have to make) be denied because part of my house did not meet code. That’s all they’d have to see. o_O

Sorry, I never know the technical level of the posters, glad you were already on top of it. I was an electrician long, long ago and sometimes had to explain why I couldn't do this or that, or use some cable the owner requested. Not always audio; one couple found some "house wire" with colored jackets they wanted to run outside the walls (that is inside the house, visible wires running along the walls) for effect and decoration. In the kitchen. Not only did it violate several codes, the wire itself was junk and itself violated several specs. It took my boss, the county code enforcer, and their insurance company to finally convince them it was a bad idea.

Years ago when I added a dishwasher to our house, I had to check into the codes, and the local code guy showed me an article for a house that had just had a fire caused by the homeowner improperly wiring a ceiling fan. The insurance company denied the claim.

I am surprised at that.

Tom

:) I assume that was sarcastic as my bias is well-known. Truth is, there are some wall outlet upgrades I think are worthwhile in some cases, and likely some of them are used by audio companies, but I don't agree with inflated prices and claims that do not make sense to me. Industrial jacks (outlets), medical (hospital) outlets, some specialty plugs made for sensitive test floors or harsh environments, can offer lower contact resistance and wiping action, better wire and plug retention (some are locking -- trip on a power cord and you fall but the cord stays put), etc. I rather doubt they provide audible benefits (I'm from MO -- "show me"), but I get killed anytime I suggest something like that here. There are times they make a difference, though, especially with high-power amplifiers. I've witnessed that in our test lab and at homes over the years. In one of the grossest examples, a high-power piece of test equipment turned a plug into slag melted into the socket. We replaced the cord and changed out the socket for an industrial variety and the plug no longer got warm.

There are outlets that include noise filtering, which can be useful if you have a very noisy environment. And so forth. By and large I am a believer in designing equipment that can handle line (and other, e.g. radiated EMI/RFI) noise by itself.

One of the rare failures I have seen that is relatively scary (maybe just to me) is when the connection from wire to blade inside a molded plug is bad. You won't normally know it, but sometimes the plug will run warmer than another cord, and in the worst case can arc and such inside the plug, causing noise and heat. Happened to me recently when I noticed a plug was warm and I could actually hear a little buzzing inside. Pulled it and sliced it open, and the wire fell off the blade. Yeesh. And it wasn't a cheap cord but one from a reputable maker. Things slip through sometimes.
 

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