Mains Box Upgrade

2ndLiner

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Dec 16, 2015
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We are in the process of updating our 1930's fuse-laden mains box to a current vintage circuit breaker-laden one. I have been getting great input from @Kingrex and other contacts in audio world. We are going to be running 6 gauge wire from the mains box to an audio room dedicated sub-panel in our basement. We plan to use 10 gauge wire from the sub-panel to audio room receptacles. Regarding 10 gauge wire, does anyone have experience or thoughts on solid core vs. stranded?
 

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
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Depends on what your willing to spend. Solid is about $5 a foot to install. Stranded is $25 to $40 a foot. At $40 a foot you can purchase JPS Labs. So what do you want to do?

The foundation of how well the electrical infrastructure performs has less to do with solid vs stranded than so, so much else. Every project needs to be assessed for what it is trying to accomplish.

I probably spend 15 to 20 hours of my time assessing every project, creating a specification for the contractor and overseeing the installation. I generally ask between $550 to $1250 soup to nuts. I have over 40 hour into some jobs. I'm an idiot for offering my time for so little return. I was offered $2,000 a day last week to start physically wiring systems myself. Its a shit show out there on what contractors really know. Or what they are willing to do, based upon their knowledge. I just can't do the physical work myself. And really, I don't need to do it. Life has played out well for me. But I love audio. I get excited designing an excellent electrical infrastructure to support an audio/video system. Its my passion. And I won't let a sloppy electrician blow through a project. I then end up an owner rep validating the accuracy of the install and the billing. I don't get extra money for this. I do it because my clients become my friends, and I do what I can to protect them.

I'm making this a lot more than the original posters question. But designing you electrical infrastructure is far deeper than solid vs stranded.
 

MarkusBarkus

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Feb 7, 2021
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@Kingrex do you have an opinion regarding what would be "audiophile good" low-enough impedence at the outlet?

I have a couple of dedicated homeruns for audio, including a stranded 10ga. 35' THHN run in metallic flex conduit. I am contemplating the realistic SQ potential of running another dedicated line in a 6ga. version.

I recognize there would be caveats for any potential scheme. Thanks for your position on this topic.
 

Kingrex

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Feb 4, 2019
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You need to consider what your powering and how long the runs are. And code. I have never seen a receptacle that accepts #6. Could I fit a #6 on a duplex? Sure.
And I could do it safely too. It won't be a code legal install. I know receptacles that are rated to accept #8. But I have never seen one that robust that also has child proof shutters required by code.

If your able to add circuits easily. Add them. If you do it right, more is better. But doing it right is key. I just competed 2 projects and all I did was rearrange what was existing. Both system owners were very pleased with how they perceived the sonic change.

If you have big monoblocks, I would go even further. I would suggest ditching the audiophile power cords and make a set of cords with #8 wire and a 40 amp twist lock on the end. Think Boulder Amp power cords Why utize an inferior 20 amp duplex.
 

MarkusBarkus

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2021
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Thank you for your thoughts @Kingrex

Apparently there are some Hubbells that allow #6. I've not seen them, but am told they exist. Must be compression clamp type. Honestly, I could do it, but wouldn't rig-up even 8ga. into a 20a duplex. If I can source these other devices, well OK.

I have been considering alternative options for the amps, and the twist-lock 40s are interesting. Very interesting. Appreciate your reply. Happy Holiday listening...
 

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
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Why not an 8 awg? I have specified it on a couple jobs. There are good reasons to use it. Usually #10 is just fine. But I look at the whole of the system. There are times when a high current low impedance path is the optimal way to go.

And a Hubbell twist locks have much lower insertion losses than a duplex. I am trying to get my power conditioner friends to offer models with 30 Amp rated twist lock mains. There are a lot of reasons to prefer the increased current delivery.
 

Cellcbern

VIP/Donor
Jul 31, 2015
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Washington, DC
We are in the process of updating our 1930's fuse-laden mains box to a current vintage circuit breaker-laden one. I have been getting great input from @Kingrex and other contacts in audio world. We are going to be running 6 gauge wire from the mains box to an audio room dedicated sub-panel in our basement. We plan to use 10 gauge wire from the sub-panel to audio room receptacles. Regarding 10 gauge wire, does anyone have experience or thoughts on solid core vs. stranded?
The JPS Labs "In Wall Wire" which I used from dedicated audio room breaker box to wall duplex is stranded 10 gauge as is the similar wire offered by Audience. Strongly recommend using the Oyaide R-1 with WPC-Z cast aluminum/carbon fiber anti-resonance/EMI mounting frame/cover, or Furutech GTX-D with similar mounting frame/cover. The ETI Legato wall outlet is just as good but doesn't come with the mounting frame/cover and I don't know if it fits in either the Oyaide or Furutech versions. All three sound significantly better than any Hubbell or other hospital grade outlet. Note that when I had the 6 gauge cable run from the main panel to the dedicated audio breaker box my electrician installed an Environmental Potentials EP2050 and EP2750 on the main panel.

FYI:



 
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