Need help in AC for my sound room

tony22

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Nov 4, 2019
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This is not a purpose built sound room, unfortunately, but it will be the dedicated space for my sound system once I move. I am looking for advice on how to handle the AC power distribution from the incoming, to the outlets in the room. I’ve read conflicting recommendations for all outlets on one circuit vs. each outlet on its own circuit, but that’s just one of many questions. So i have some observations / questions that I hope can lead to an approach.

It seems getting a sub-panel installed is a good idea. Assuming I can afford the cost for all this, would this be a good starting point?

Should I couple a sub-panel with a balanced power subsystem? If so, would I go - external power (240VAC) to balanced sybsystem to sub-panel?

Which brand of circuit breakers should be used? Siemens? Cutler Hammer? Someone else?

I will probably wire from the sub-panel to the room using JPS Labs in wall cable, but that uses a smaller ground lead IIRC. I know Audience and Ven Haus also offer in wall cables but I’m not sure which if any is better.

I plan to keep the lights on a separate circuit, and in fact maybe left on the main panel.

So do the outlets each get their own circuit breaker, or not?

I’m assuming that if the answer to above is “yes”, each would be the same length and all the grounds be brought back to a single common point.

20 amp lines to the outlets?

What else?
 

LenWhite

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Feb 11, 2011
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My media room equipment (not lighting) is served by a dedicated 100A electrical sub-panel with (4) 20A circuits and 20A Furutech GTX-D duplex receptacles. Twisted pair wiring (#12) is used for each circuit with the neutral and hot wires wrapped on 2" centers and the ground wire placed parallel in PVC conduit. A paper presented at the 2010 AES 129th Convention shows this method has the lowest ground voltage induction tested. The electrician used #12 stranded copper wiring. The length of wire for each circuit was dedicated by location only.

I considered a balanced power system but discarded the idea when I found the local electrical code would not allow a 220V system like that in a residential home. I'm glad I didn't install it because a couple of years later I decided to build an addition with a dedicated room. I've not compared my SQ with a listening room having that kind of setup, but my speakers are dead quiet with the equipment on and nothing playing. I do use an Ansuz Mains8 DTC conditioner/distributor.

You can see more detail of my media room at https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/5013

Good luck.
 

kach22i

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Apr 21, 2010
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I planned/dreamed of doing similar, but after trying and living with my existing 60 amp service and feeding everything off a single outlet from a Furman (not even a top of the line one) I decided that I can live with it for now.

The other outlet in the duplex has the power amp plugged directly in.

I only turn on what I am using.

I unplugged a back up CD changer as it would make sounds even when the power button was off.

I also have about 8 Quiet Line wall warts plugged into every available outlet in my walk-out basement where the system is.

No compact florescent lights, very few LED's, mostly old fashion incandescent lights and just one or two of those are ever on while listening.

Battery LED clip lights for reading, and record changing/dust hunting on LP surfaces plus a flashlight if I need task lighting.
 
Last edited:

Hi-FiGuy

Member Sponsor
Feb 24, 2015
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My media room equipment (not lighting) is served by a dedicated 100A electrical sub-panel with (4) 20A circuits and 20A Furutech GTX-D duplex receptacles. Twisted pair wiring (#12) is used for each circuit with the neutral and hot wires wrapped on 2" centers and the ground wire placed parallel in PVC conduit. A paper presented at the 2010 AES 129th Convention shows this method has the lowest ground voltage induction tested. The electrician used #12 stranded copper wiring. The length of wire for each circuit was dedicated by location only.

I considered a balanced power system but discarded the idea when I found the local electrical code would not allow a 220V system like that in a residential home. I'm glad I didn't install it because a couple of years later I decided to build an addition with a dedicated room. I've not compared my SQ with a listening room having that kind of setup, but my speakers are dead quiet with the equipment on and nothing playing. I do use an Ansuz Mains8 DTC conditioner/distributor.

You can see more detail of my media room at https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/5013

Good luck.
Len would love to see it but the link is dead.
 

BlueFox

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Nov 8, 2013
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Don't overthink it. I have 3 dedicated 20 amp circuits. One for each amp, and one for the source gear. Each circuit has a Shunyata AC outlet.
 

LenWhite

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Feb 11, 2011
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tony22

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Nov 4, 2019
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Beautiful room, Len. Did your electrician do wrapping of the wires on 2” centers? I wouldn’t have thought an electrician would do that kind of extra work.

Interesting about the balanced power approach and your local codes. I wonder if Central Florida would have similar prohibitions?

I unfortunately do not have access to the AES papers.
 
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Kingrex

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Feb 4, 2019
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If you want to know what works and how much it cost, PM me and we can talk on the phone. I'm a master electrician. I can tell you what a local guy should charge. There are a lot of variables. For starters, we need to assess what is there and how well it was done. Then you need to figure how to build out from the foundation of what powers your home.
 

Kingrex

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Feb 4, 2019
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I thought only Audience offered in wall NEC wire. I use ofc cord. A friend uses Furutech ofc cord. Its a nice subtle upgrade. But cord is not legal for in wall. Audience is OFC. PVC or Steel with wire pulled is also a good choice. My least favorite is 10 awg romex. Its not bad and what everyone uses. I just think there is better. Its quick, inexpensive and legal.

Power conditioning is a last resort. IMO

Sub Panels are always a benefit. Sq D QO. Buy copper ground bars.

You have to do your main panel correct to have a sub panel work right.

You have to addresss the grounding at your main panel or you will exacerbate the micro voltage that will accumulate in in the feeder and branch circuit lines.

Only feed audio from your sub panel.

Zip tie an additional ground wire to your non metalic feeder cable. You want your ground as large or larger than your branch circuit.

The amount of circuits that sounds best is dependant on your system. Don't listen to what people say. Listen to your stereo. It will tell you where its most quiet.

That is my take on the very basics. We can talk later.
 
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LenWhite

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Feb 11, 2011
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Beautiful room, Len. Did your electrician do wrapping of the wires on 2” centers? I wouldn’t have thought an electrician would do that kind of extra work.

Interesting about the balanced power approach and your local codes. I wonder if Central Florida would have similar prohibitions?

I unfortunately do not have access to the AES papers.

Yes the electrician that wired the 2015 addition including the media room did the wrapping.

I'm attaching that AES paper if you care to read it.
 

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Hoffman

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Apr 22, 2020
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You have to do your main panel correct to have a sub panel work right.

You have to addresss the grounding at your main panel or you will exacerbate the micro voltage that will accumulate in in the feeder and branch circuit lines.

Could you elaborate on this a bit Kingrex? What are the biggest issues to be addressed in the main panel?
 

tony22

Well-Known Member
Nov 4, 2019
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Yes the electrician that wired the 2015 addition including the media room did the wrapping.

I'm attaching that AES paper if you care to read it.

Thanks Len!
 

CKKeung

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Jun 18, 2011
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