AC Dedicated Line


Hello guys
I will run three (3) dedicated AC power lines: one for my stereo system (power amp, preamp, DAC, etc) and two for my stereo subwoofers (one line for each one).

These three circuits will be connected directly to the main AC board of the Electrical Comany wich provides me the service right at my door.

They will all share the same ground cable, wich I will connect to a dedicated ground bar, but I would like your opinion about sharing the "same neutral line" on these circuits. Could it affect the sound quality? 

If I have to send three different neutral cables, one for each circuit, I will need more cable to run through the house and it will be more expensive and complicated.

Please I would appreciate responses with real experiences. I don't want to start a technical discussion. I know at the end, in the main board, they all will share the same neutral line, so electrically it should be the same, but in this crazy audio world who knows for sure if soundwise it will be the same....

PS: by the way, I will run 4 or 6 mm2 cables (I guess about 11 to 9 AWG on the US scale). Here in Argentina we measure cables by square millimitres.
plga
You should check your local code. In the US, if you’re sharing neutrals, you’d need to have each of the circuits connected so that if one trips, they all trip, such as by using double breakers. That means the lines would be on different legs, which many think isn't ideal. I think common audiophile advice would recommend against doing that.
You should consult or hire an electrician. If you run 3 lines of Romex 12/2, you will connect at the service panel to 3 separate circuit breakers (typically 20 amp).
Each line should have it’s own neutral and ground from wall receptacle to circuit panel. Plus this way the lines can all be wired to the same leg, or phase.

Cleeds states an important reason why you shouldn't share neutral and ground. Possible code violation and  sound quality may suffer.



Okay, actual experience here. Installed panels, drilled holes, run wires, done it all. Run my system off the conventional wiring, then ran my own dedicated line, upgraded that with a transformer, built my own- well you get it. I know what I'm talking about.

The 3 circuits you are planning are almost guaranteed to be a waste of time and money and even worse than that create more hum. Electricity always seeks the least resistance. The subs and all the rest of your system are all connected together. If it all has one ground on one circuit no problem. Using three there will be three paths to ground which almost guarantees hum.

One mistake often made is to take the wattage or amperage of each component and add them all up and assume that is how much power you need the circuit to handle. But almost never do any of them draw full power. And even less often do they draw it all at once. People think of playing full volume. When in fact the greatest power draw is usually right when first turned on. That is when the component power supply is empty and so that is when it draws full power for a second or two as the caps charge. So worst case is not blasting full power music. Worst case is having everything turned on and plugged into one switch and then you flip the switch. Even then worst that happens it trips a breaker.

Hope I made the point. You will get by just fine with one circuit. One 20A for sure. According to the interweb Argentina uses 220-240V so using a 20A with 240V is equivalent to a 40A with the 120V we have here in the States. My whole system runs on the equivalent of one 15A circuit so for sure you will be okay with 20A. 10A even should do you fine.

Whatever you decide, use whatever gauge wire and breaker Argentina code says is required for that load. 

Ideally you would run the one circuit to your system, connect a power conditioner, and plug everything into the conditioner. 

The extra dedicated earth ground may or may not help. My system uses one but it also uses a step-down transformer so its a special case. Before that when it was on a dedicated circuit, everything the same except the transformer, I used it both ways- common house ground and dedicated system ground. Never did notice the ground made any difference. It has however been reported to cause problems for some people. If it was me I would not go to the trouble unless there were ground/noise problems. Even then I would do my best to eliminate all other causes first.

So run just one circuit for your system. Then run another circuit for everything else in the room- lights, outlets, etc. As long as you are careful to make sure nothing connected to your system gets plugged into any of those outlets you should be fine.

 
With AC the neutral wire carries as much amperage as the hot wire (the current goes back and forth). You cant hook up 3 hots to one neural and expect the neutral line to carry 3X the current. And how were you planning on wiring one neutral to three different breakers?
Were you planning on using just one 4 strand romex and using 3 as hots and one as neutral. I am pretty sure that would be against all codes in any country. You would be better off installing two outlets with the 4 strand cable with one hot and one neural to every breaker.(assuming that is allowed). Two 20 amp breakers should be more than enough for any sane system. You don’t need 60 amps with incorrect wiring.
I would just add to the foregoing comments that using a single neutral run for the three dedicated lines, all of which would presumably be on a single phase in your country, would seem likely to negate whatever benefit having multiple dedicated lines might otherwise provide. As indicated in the preceding post whatever amount of current is conducted by the hot wire that is connected to a given component is also conducted by the neutral wire that is connected to that component. So commingling the AC currents drawn by all of the components in that single neutral wire would seem likely to make the three dedicated lines essentially non-dedicated in terms of any potential benefits.

Regards,
-- Al

Use a separate common for  each circuit from the receptical to the power board. You should consider a quality power condishiner.  I hooked one up to my tube amp and all the hum dissapeared without any need for extra wiring . I was going to do the same thing as you have planned. Good luck. 
I don’t agree that running 1 - 20amp circuit is all you need. Without knowing all the equipment you have today or you will get in the future, why only put in 1 circuit when running wire for 2 or more circuits isn’t that much more?
I agree, you need to see how much power you are pulling when everything gets powered up. To do this, have an electrician place their meter around the wire in the box to see the actual amps you are pulling. I did this 20 years ago and you would be surprised to see how many actual amps you draw. 
On top of that, you want to give yourself some headroom, meaning if you are pulling 12 -15 amps, I would go with multiple dedicated circuits.
I built my last 2 houses with dedicated listening rooms and each room I had them pull 4 dedicated 20 amp circuits, I think it cost me $450 for these. Better to do it before the drywall goes up or it gets much more expensive
Thank you guys!

Im sorry, may be I wasn't clear enough.

The main power of my home is triphasic and, from the main board, all the monophasic circuits are connected to somehow balance each phase with similar current.

All the circuits share the same neutral. Its been running ok since 10 years and the electricity bill is cheaper here with triphasic. 

I first thought that connecting each of the three circuits to a different phase would provide better results as each one would be better isolated from the rest. Nevertheless, I think I find millercarbon's advice very useful and I will make it simple and just run one circuit with dedicated ground for the whole system and the subs.

PS: I already have two budget power conditioners (AC filter and a DC Blocker) and they are doing a great job, but at nights, when the power is cleaner, the sound is just so incredible that I want to give it a shot and try this dedicated circuit to see if it makes a difference. Many people claim that it helps a lot. 
Im sorry Rbstehno, I didnt see your post as we wrote it at the same time. 

I just measured last week my system and the subs consumption and, even at loud volume, more than what I hear normally, my system didnt consumed more than 1 amp and neither did the subs.

At first I thought the meter was wrong, but then I remembered that the DC Blocker had also a meter and I saw it measured very similar to the external meter.

I think the low consumption must be because my power amp is class D, the same as the subs, and of course the preamp and the DAC dont consume much. 

So, in my case, 10 Amps should be more than enough. Nevertheless, if I decide to run just one circuit, I will go with a 10 AWG wire and a 32 amp breaker. 
Ignoring science, just instinct,

I keep my amp and preamp on one dedicated circuit, and all the source equipment powered from any household outlet on any circuit without equipment that surges on/off like refrigerators, fans, compressors ...


I’ve often wondered why so many folks think they need a 20A circuit for their 2-channel audio systems. I have a 120W Class AB tube amp, tube preamp, tube phono pre, streamer/DAC, and TT. I’ve measured my power and amp draw with everything running at once and it’s about 400watts and 3.8amps. What are all you guys running that requires a 20amp circuit? 15amps seems like plenty to me. is there some hidden advantage of 20amp that I’m unaware of? I’m no electrical guru so perhaps I’m missing something obvious.
three_easy_payments
I’ve often wondered why so many folks think they need a 20A circuit for their 2-channel audio systems.

It helps reduce voltage drop.

And there are other reasons to run multiple dedicated lines, such as keeping digital components on a different circuit from analog components. If you have high power amplifiers as I do, it’s nice to have each amp on its own circuit. That way, when big crescendos emerge, you know full current is still available to the rest of the system.
@cleeds 

It helps reduce voltage drop.

Thanks.  Again, no electrical prowess here.  What would I notice in terms of sound quality during a transient voltage drop caused (at least in part theoretically) by not having enough amperage headroom (i.e. 20A circuit).  Just curious if I could hear the issue when voltage drops, even just briefly.  I guess exploring the power side of audio could be the next rabbit hole for me to obsess over.  ha.
three_easy_payments
What would I notice in terms of sound quality during a transient voltage drop ...
Sorry, but I'm not one of the users here who instruct others on what they will or will not hear. I suggest you listen for yourself.
Well, thats exactly the problem with this "hobby"!!

You have to try it for your self to see the results as YMMV and that's exactly what I will do with this AC dedicated line experiment. 

I will do it in a couple of months and I will let you know my experience.
That way, when big crescendos emerge, you know full current is still available to the rest of the system.
Not so. Full current is supplied by the PSU caps. The wall only supplies current when the cap voltage is lower than the line voltage plus 1 diode drop. See Rod Elliot's http://sound.whsites.net/power-supplies.htm and http://sound.whsites.net/power-supplies.htm#s51 in particular.

In the case of any peak that is out of sync with the line voltage the line supplies ZERO current.

In case of any frequency below the line frequency, the line only supplies current for a portion of the cycle.

In the case of frequencies above the line frequency, the line only supplies current for some of the frequency.

The increase in headroom for over size wiring amounts to about 0.25db. See https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/headroom-loss-for-1600w-on-14ga-120v
Wouldn’t it be riskier to use a larger breaker on a circuit than necessary?  If you only draw 5 amps a 30 amp circuit may never trip. That was my understanding. Electricians, here, is that right?
plga
I just measured last week my system and the subs consumption and, even at loud volume, more than what I hear normally, my system didnt consumed more than 1 amp and neither did the subs.

At first I thought the meter was wrong, but then I remembered that the DC Blocker had also a meter and I saw it measured very similar to the external meter.
rbstehno
I don’t agree that running 1 - 20amp circuit is all you need. Without knowing all the equipment you have today or you will get in the future, why only put in 1 circuit when running wire for 2 or more circuits isn’t that much more?


Here we see the difference between people who actually know what they’re talking about and flat out unsubstantiated opinion. Just like I said, now confirmed (and the best kind of confirmation, objectively measured, twice) audio circuits do indeed draw a whole lot less power than people think. Even I would never have said so little but there you go. Measured. Twice.

Well again max power draw occurs most often when devices are first turned on and the empty caps are charging. After that its pretty minimal, even at full volume.

plga again
The main power of my home is triphasic and, from the main board, all the monophasic circuits are connected to somehow balance each phase with similar current.

Thanks for that. We have three phase here in the US as well but here its mostly used commercially and residentially only when people request and pay for it. I know one guy with a killer wood shop running three phase. That’s it.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Not for what you’re doing. The advantage of three phase is its cheaper because it allows transmission of twice the electricity with the same amount of conductor material. Once it gets to your house panel though then you work with it just the same as our two phase AC. The panels in all our homes have two rows of breakers, one for each phase. Yours has three. Looks different but really the same. Because in both cases each circuit runs from one of the hot phases to neutral.

So you can do everything just like I said. Only little wrinkle would be you want to pull your hot from whichever one of the three has the least draw already on it. In other words try and keep it balanced. Same as you would here.

Probably should mention, I got a PM about this, the biggest best value of all this is if before installing you have all your wire cryo’d. Anyone with liquid nitrogen and a chest freezer can do this for you. Don’t pay a lot and don’t pay shipping. Find someone local or don’t bother. For sure don’t waste your money on anyone touting special audiophile treatment. They are full of it. But do cryo if you can. Huge improvement.
Wouldn’t it be riskier to use a larger breaker on a circuit than necessary? If you only draw 5 amps a 30 amp circuit may never trip. That was my understanding. Electricians, here, is that right?

@jbhiller

I’m an EE rather than an electrician, but keep in mind that the purpose of a breaker is to prevent the AC wiring from overheating, if more current is drawn through it than it is rated to handle. Its purpose is not to protect audio components or other devices that may be powered via that wiring. So if the AC wiring and the outlets are rated to handle 30 amps or more, a 30 amp breaker is suitable.

@ieales
Ian, thanks for providing a quantitative perspective on these matters, especially in the analysis you provided in the thread you linked to. My perception over the years, generally speaking, is that in the absence of a quantitative perspective it becomes very easy to attribute a perceived sonic effect to the wrong variable. As you said in that thread:

... many of the wiring ’improvements’ noted result from having a new clean home run with no quick-connects, aged connections and sockets. Heavier wire is used and any improvements are falsely ascribed to the wire gauge rather than the drastic reduction in line resistance.

Best regards,
-- Al


ieales
Not so. Full current is supplied by the PSU caps.
You’re either deliberately splitting hairs here, or just not reading carefully. Obviously, the PSU caps can’t supply current to components not connected to it, but which are connected to other dedicated lines and power supplies. Those components are indeed powered by their individual caps which are charged by ... the line. They can’t be charged by the line if it has run out of current - hence the advantage of dedicated lines. (And a reason to not power all components from the same leg - but that’s a separate and debatable issue.)
Its a common misconception, that the big benefit of the dedicated line is current. It sure does not seem that way to me. And I think I've done the comparisons that would show this to be the case if it were.

Originally, thanks to my electrician/contractor/FIL who insisted, my room was a normal 15A circuit. Normal in gauge. Normal in the circuit running from outlet to outlet, four or five of them, including lights, with my system outlet sort of in the middle of this mess. Pretty much like every normal house.

When I replaced this with one wire run directly to the one system outlet the improvement was huge, obvious, unambiguous. Even though it was the same breaker, same wire. Only thing different, one continuous wire not going outlet to outlet with multiple connections at each.

Next I replaced the normal gauge (10/2 I think, whatever) with overkill 4 ga. Many times thicker, mega overkill, never would do it today but didn't know as much back then. Thought it would be mega better. It was only barely better. 

Again, almost all the improvement with a dedicated circuit comes from eliminating extra connections. Connections. Not current.

For my next trick I found a local guy with a cryo tank, chatted him up, learned more than you can imagine about cryo, had all my wire done. Yes I pulled the wire out of my house and had it cryo'd.

Cryo makes a lot more improvement than anything you can do with gauge or voltage or whatever.

Finally, or close enough, I changed the same wire from 120V to 240V and added a crazy overkill silver wire step down transformer. Thought it would be mega, turned out minor. 

By far the biggest benefit is to just run one wire direct to your system outlet. Next after that, cryo. Anything beyond that gets into a whole lot more time and money and work and yes it is better but not by much.


millercarbon
Its a common misconception, that the big benefit of the dedicated line is current. It sure does not seem that way to me.
I have found it to be a major benefit, but I have a complex biamplified system with big amplifiers.
Originally ... my room was a normal 15A circuit. Normal in gauge. Normal in the circuit running from outlet to outlet, four or five of them, including lights, with my system outlet sort of in the middle of this mess. When I replaced this with one wire run directly to the one system outlet the improvement was huge, obvious, unambiguous. Even though it was the same breaker, same wire. Only thing different, one continuous wire not going outlet to outlet with multiple connections at each.
Yup, I'm not surprised that resulted in improvement. Tight, direct connections; simple, direct grounds; those things make a big difference.
Next I replaced the normal gauge (10/2 I think, whatever) with overkill 4 ga.
Whoa, 4AWG! That's huge, and difficult to install. For a 20A line, 8 or 10 AWG should be fine and is still way beyond code.
Yes it would be hard the normal way, pulled through holes drilled in studs. Would also use more wire. Mine is hung under the floor in almost a straight line and through just two holes, one at either end. 

Current definitely does drop with load. I don't deny it. Why? All you have to do is watch the light dim when you turn a blow drier on to know there's a drop with load. The question is, does it then sound better to use thicker wire to get more current? Sure didn't sound like it to me. I mean it did sound better. Just not anywhere near what you'd think for such a huge increase in gauge.
ieales
Not so. Full current is supplied by the PSU caps.
You’re either deliberately splitting hairs here, or just not reading carefully. Obviously, the PSU caps can’t supply current to components not connected to it, but which are connected to other dedicated lines and power supplies. Those components are indeed powered by their individual caps which are charged by ... the line. They can’t be charged by the line if it has run out of current - hence the advantage of dedicated lines. (And a reason to not power all components from the same leg - but that’s a separate and debatable issue.)
If the line has run out of current, the breaker has tripped. AGAIN, cap charging is almost completely asynchronous to the music. 

In the studio, we had a stack 4 of Bryston 3B for the tri-amped mains. Dual woofer, 1 mid & 1 tweet. 8 amplifiers. All on one 20A circuit. In LA, we had frequent brownouts and full outs. When power was restored, EVERYTHING came on at once. If the breaker doesn't blow when powering them all on at the same time, the line can handle the load.

In round numbers:
A 200W amplifier supply is 40V, 8 200w amplifiers could supply 40A TOTAL into 8Ω. On 120V, that is a 3:1 transformer turns ratio. So a 20A circuit could supply ≈120A to the amplifiers. Add in the FACT that a 20A breaker can supply peaks of several times 20A. A Class B resistive breaker has a 3-5x multiple of rated capacity for a couple of seconds. THAT'S 500A IN THE AMPLIFIER!!! See  https://www.c3controls.com/blog/understanding-trip-curves/ 

The advantage of one circuit is earth reference with improperly designed gear, which IMO is far more prevalent in HiFi that properly designed. Balanced gear can have some immunity, but unbalanced could be a nightmare on multiple circuits.

And for the 999th time, the power loss, even at worst case conditions is under 1db. For that loss to occur, the peak must be in sync with the line frequency.


Post removed 
@ plga,

All dedicated circuits should have their own Hot, Neutral, and safety equipment grounding conductors. Do not install multiwire branch circuits that share a common neutral. Three phase multiwire branch circuits are the worst for audio equipment.

When feeding audio and or video equipment that is connected together by wire interconnects all dedicated circuits should be fed from the same phase. All from phase A, or all from Phase B, or all from Phase C.
.**(Assuming the Utility Power Company’s transformer, that feeds your home, has a 3 phase 4 wire WYE secondary.)


25

Integrating Electronic Equipment and Power into Rack Enclosures © 2002-2010Middle Atlantic Products, Inc.

Phasing of Supply Conductors

When designing power distribution systems, electrical engineers will typically balance the loads among all the phase conductors in order to reduce the load on individual phase portions of transformers and circuit breaker panels. This is not always the best design for AV systems.

Three Phase electrical service is most commonly found in commercial and industrial buildings where there are motors, air conditioners and lighting controllers. Due to leakage current and grounded filter capacitors found in most equipment, loads on each phase usually couple a small amount of noise onto the ground circuit. Any device that draws a pulse of current for less than the entire voltage wave generates harmonics. Because the phase conductors are separated by 120 degrees, some of the harmonic current in the neutral conductor combines in phase (adds), rather than canceling, as in the case of the 60Hz fundamental current. The problems with three phase service are mostly from harmonic-generating devices sharing the same neutral as the AV system. A shielded isolation transformer minimizes the coupling of these harmonics to the signal path by deriving a new neutral and neutral-ground bond point.
https://info.legrandav.com/l/71782/2018-12-14/7zh25n
I have 2 dedicated lines, each has its own breaker,  they share only the ground wire.  Electrician installed. Silent background.  
My Pro Electrician installed a separate 15 Amp AC line with its own separate Circuit Breaker Box which is (lucky) on the outside wall of my listening room (garage)..
I used a mix of the best Oyaide AC Plugs, installed upside down (Hospital style)..
I run my Freya Preamp into the wall directly (Pangea AC 15 feet) and everything else into a Furman 15i Elite..
I got rid of all fluorescent lights..
Black black sound..
No Electrical Problems ever.. I run PS Audio Steller M700 Mono Blocks..
He also put a small Tap for grounding if desired..
He said for me to call him when I’m ready for a 20 Amp hookup..
If using dedicated lines and keeping your musical signal pure 
don’t put the surge protection in a box to corrupt line conditioning 
a dedicated unit such as the Siemens is excellent handles med spikes to large 100k surge protection right at the breaker panel 
and uses 2 - 20 amp breakers right after the main breaker 1st in line protects both sides of the buss Siemens First surgeFS100
or 140. Great piece of mind  and 10 year warranty,and led sensing 
and audible alarm if fault detected.

audioman58
If using dedicated lines and keeping your musical signal pure
don’t put the surge protection in a box to corrupt line conditioning
a dedicated unit such as the Siemens is excellent handles med spikes to large 100k surge protection right at the breaker panel ...
I'm not sure exactly what this means regarding "keeping your musical signal pure" but using a dedicated line with surge protection at the service panel doesn't obviate the benefit of power conditioning between it and an audio component ... at least in some systems.
Good catch! What is the music signal? That’s what I’d like to know about. 
Some valid and some not so valid points on this subject.  
The amperage of a circuit breaker has several requirements.  Example: a 15 amp breaker should have the correct wire distribution...not to exceed the capability of the breaker....this should be 14 gauge 2 conductor + ground.  A 20 amp circuit should be a 20 amp breaker with 12 gauge 2 conductor + ground.  Exceeding the recommended wire gauge for a specific amperage breaker is just plain dangerous.
Attempting to wire 3 separate circuits to your hi-fi room to 3 separate outlets is a terrible waste of $$ and you will absolutely assure yourself of a serious ground loop & concomitant noise/hum.
Go ahead and bring in 1 dedicated 20 amp circuit to a good quality duplex (2 plugs like most household outlets) outlet.  
Many people are under the misconception that the electrical ground for your home/apartment/domicile (in the foregoing referred to as home) is provided by your electric company.  Very false.  The ground is a true earth ground made by the electrician that wired your home.  It is a 6' copper rod driven in the ground and connected to your electrical panel with a large single conductor to the ground bar in your service panel.
All of your grounds go to that ground bar in your service panel.
The only wires that your electric company brings into your service panel are the supply or positive wires (2) and a single common conductor.  
The 2 separate supply wires are 120 V and supply the 2 supply bars of your service panel and the single common conductor go to the 2 common bars of your service panel.
The breaker fits over the supply bar and common bar to make a circuit breaker perform. 
The best arrangement is to purchase a hi-quality (example: Furman) 15 amp power strip.  You can spend additional $$ for a power conditioner or the like but I would recommend just using the power strip first.

Best
Exceeding the recommended wire gauge for a specific amperage breaker is just plain dangerous.
To be clear, I assume you are saying that what is dangerous is using a wire gauge number that is higher than the gauge number that is normally specified for use with a breaker of a given current rating. Using a gauge having a larger diameter (i.e., a lower gauge number) than what is normally specified would not be dangerous, although as Ieales has pointed out doing so is unlikely to be beneficial.

Although your use of the phrase "the correct wire distribution...not to exceed the capability of the breaker" leads me to wonder if my assumption about the meaning of your statement is correct.  And if you are saying that using a heavier gauge (a lower gauge number) than what is normally specified for use with a given breaker is dangerous, I would have to disagree.

Regards,
-- Al



perazzi28
A 20 amp circuit should be a 20 amp breaker with 12 gauge 2 conductor + ground.
Not necessarily - it depends in part on the distance between the panel and the outlet. Always check NEC and your local authority.

Exceeding the recommended wire gauge for a specific amperage breaker is just plain dangerous.
It isn’t clear what you mean here, as Al has already noted. It is absolutely safe to use a thicker wire than is required by code.
Attempting to wire 3 separate circuits to your hi-fi room to 3 separate outlets is a terrible waste of $$ and you will absolutely assure yourself of a serious ground loop & concomitant noise/hum.
Hmmmm, not in my system. Just the opposite!
Many people are under the misconception that the electrical ground for your home/apartment/domicile (in the foregoing referred to as home) is provided by your electric company. Very false. The ground is a true earth ground made by the electrician that wired your home. It is a 6’ copper rod driven in the ground and connected to your electrical panel with a large single conductor to the ground bar in your service panel.
You are mistaken. Electricity flows back to the source. The grounding rods are safety grounds.
All of your grounds go to that ground bar in your service panel.
That’s true.

The ground is a true earth ground made by the electrician that wired your home. It is a 6' copper rod driven in the ground and connected to your electrical panel with a large single conductor to the ground bar in your service panel.
Very False.

Many locales permit Ufer grounding.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ufer_ground and https://www.ecmag.com/section/codes-standards/what-ufer-ground-concrete-encased-grounding-electrodes

Ufer efficacy, like most things audio, is contentious. Concrete resistivity varies dramatically [≈10^4]. Factor in construction vagaries, rebar fabrication code compliance, local soil and the likelihood of two installation being identical is slim.

Any ground rod MUST tie to the panel neutral. Any circuits that have the safety ground connected to 'earth rod' only are illegal and dangerous. The earth [dirt] is high impedance and insufficient breaker trip current will flow when an equipment fault makes the chassis live.

How many 'AC Dedicated Lines' are actually worse from using incorrect safety grounds and steel conduit and random wrap individual LNE than the plain old Romex it replaced?
My electrician retired and referred me to a Master Electrician that works the panels on nuke submarines at nearby Bath Iron works.  He seems generally interested in my audiophile pursuits.  I had already upgraded to dedicated 10ga wires to the sound studio, however, he reworked the single panel, keeping the larger draw appliances "away" from the music lines in, on the opposite side of the panel.  Subsequently, I have upgraded the outlet, cover and male ends of my plugs to Furutech top tier products, with justifiable success.  I unplug my gear during storms and trips away, and love the "grip" used by the outlets.  They are smooth and firm by design, unlike the vice grip of hospital grade outlets that can actually reduce contact over time.  Also, a reminder...I trip the main power circuit breaker and the individual circuits every 6 months or so to keep everything optimum.  So it goes...More Peace, Pinthrift
he reworked the single panel, keeping the larger draw appliances "away" from the music lines in, on the opposite side of the panel.


Well, that’s a new one.

Behind the panel where most never look are two great big bus bars. All the breakers attach to the bus bars. These things are so thick it can’t matter where on the bar you take off.

Regardless of which side of the panel they are mounted on all 240V breakers are run off of both bars. Otherwise they would be 120 instead of 240. That’s just how it works.

All the circuits, every single one of them, they are all just as electrically connected to every other circuit on one side as on another. The only thing putting a lot of them on one leg can accomplish is to draw more from that leg. This won’t have any effect, except for one thing- some amps have transformers that are susceptible to noise caused by DC on the line. Having less active drawing circuits on the system side might- might!- help lower this DC offset and lessen the liklihood of getting this kind of DC offset transformer hum.

The biggie though with panels is the RFI they bring into the system. I didn’t believe this until a simple test proved it. First I flipped all the breakers to every circuit except for my system. This is the only way to break the electrical connection between all the circuits. The sound with everything disconnected like this is like the sound you get late at night when the grid is quiet- blacker backgrounds, greater effortless detail, much less grain and glare.

This is different than turning everything off. Turn something off, it is still connected to the wires, to the panel, and back to your system. Don’t believe me, do like I did, try it both ways. Turn everything off and listen. Then flip the breakers off and listen.

Or do the other test I did, which is to flip off all the breakers with things that are running and listen. Then flip off the breakers with things that are NOT running and listen. Even disconnecting things that are turned off makes an improvement. Therefore it has to be that the wires themselves are acting like antennas bringing RFI into the system. Its not just EMF etc from running appliances. Its the wires.

I sound like Mark Wahlberg in that stupid MKnightSham I am movie, "Its the trees!"

Pretty sure this is the big secret that accounts for at least some of why The Gate works so well. Anyway, you want to hear what all those circuits are doing to your sound? Go flip em off.
he reworked the single panel, keeping the larger draw appliances "away" from the music lines in, on the opposite side of the panel.
There are many threads related to this concept, consensus seems to be keeping high-current-draw appliances and SMPS devices away from audio circuits. I mean keeping a physical distance on the service panel for the audio line’s hot and neutral; ie, audio line breakers near top of panel. Refrigerator, air conditioner, etc. located lower.

My panel with subpanel is wired this way, although I disagree with all high current appliances wired to the opposite leg. The service panel must have a relatively even current draw on each leg.

I differ to @jea48 and @almarg on this subject.



With regards to running everything through one outlet, what are the limits to this?  One Outlet/single circuit are rated to handle only so much?

Being my rig is split
- class A monos and dual subs behind spkrs all plugged into a good 4 plug distribution box (no conditioning) which is then plugged into single outlet on front wall

- my “front end” rack off to the side all plugged into a conditioner (tube pre, tube dac, streamer end point, fiber converter, LPS’s) and conditioner plugged into one outlet on aids wall.

Not that this is uncommon, but is the key in this config for all components in their respective “area” to be all plugged into a single distribution block, conditioner etc..?

i thought about running sep circuits but sev people in my circle say don’t bother as the power sub stations where we are are located have been “updated” and money would be better spent in other areas. 
I tried 2 x 20amp 12ga lines once and got hum.
I’ve been running 1 x 20amp 8ga line for years and it is super quiet and sounds great. (it did when I first implemented it so I guess it's still good.)
Electrical inspector was bemused but said it was fine.
Thanks millercarbon and lowrider57 for your thoughts around the positioning of the dedicated audio lines on the electrical panel.  I live about 1/2 mile from a large radio tower and pollution is a true concern.

As these things go, two days ago I began sampling a set of Varastarr Grand Illusion Evo Series 10' speaker cables that belong to a friend.  Varastarr claims RFI within and without one's audio chain is addressed by having their cables on-board.  Proof's in the puddin'...yep, more of my truth and these are stayin' put!  More Peace, Pin  
 
he reworked the single panel, keeping the larger draw appliances "away" from the music lines in, on the opposite side of the panel.


Well, that’s a new one.

Behind the panel where most never look are two great big bus bars. All the breakers attach to the bus bars. These things are so thick it can’t matter where on the bar you take off.
How about the magnetic field surrounding the breaker? Will the magnetic field be stronger in a higher current loaded breaker than one with a small connected load? How about them harmonics on the circuit?

All the circuits, every single one of them, they are all just as electrically connected to every other circuit on one side as on another. The only thing putting a lot of them on one leg can accomplish is to draw more from that leg.

What’s the average connected load of a typical audio system? 8 to 10 amps tops?


Why install all dedicated circuits on the same Line, Leg?

"Less than 300 microamps of ground loop current can cause hum as it flows in an unbalanced audio interconnect cable. However, harmonics of 60Hz that are generated from lighting dimmers or switch-mode power supplies sound like Buzzz mixed with a bit of Hummm and are more easily coupled by even smaller currents. Harmonics can add together when equipment is powered from different phases, so clearly there is an advantage to specifying same-phase electrical service to power the electronics systems in most cases....

Any leakage currents on the safety ground wires of split single phase load circuits fed by different phase legs will add together due to the 240V potential difference....

Power conditioners do not solve any of these common problems: Cross phase coupling (doubles hums & buzzes) .... What actually does solve them: Same phase power.

.

Split Single Phase electrical service is most commonly found in residences and smaller commercial buildings, and is commonly used to feed AV equipment. One key advantage that single phase has over three phase is that while harmonic currents are still present, it is not possible for the �triplen� components to add in the neutral. In addition, use of split single phase can result in at least a 6dB reduction in noise floor as compared to three phase if the capacitances of the connected equipment are relatively well balanced. However, any leakage currents on the safety ground wires of split single phase load circuits fed by different phase legs will add together due to the 240V potential difference."

http://www.exactpower.com/elite/assets/pdfs/theTRUTH.pdf
https://info.legrandav.com/l/71782/2018-12-14/7zh25n

Hi guys
Finally I will install tomorrow a 8/10 AWG (6 mm2) dedicated line for my system, using a 20 Amp breaker and plugging the line directly to the main breaker on the street. 

I will only connect my system to the line, not the subwoofers.

I will let you know the results ASAP.

PS: the system wich will be connnected to the line:

Holton DC Blocker
Bada LB-5600 Power Filter
Wyred4sound USB Reclocker

Gustard U16 USB converter to I2S
Audio-GD R8 DAC
Audio-GD Master 1 preamp
Nord Acoustics NC500 stereo power amp (class D)
Q Acoustics Concept 500 floorstanders
I don't understand how you can connect to the AC line on the street. Is that how a residence receives power in your country?

I'm sorry, may be I expressed it in a wrong way.

I will connect the line to the main breaker of the Electrical Company who supplies me the service. Not the street!!!   I meant I will by pass my house's main breaker. 

I will connect a dedicated positive, a neutral and ground. The latest will be connected to a new copper bar, wich I will bury on the ground.
plga said:
I will connect the line to the main breaker of the Electrical Company who supplies me the service. Not the street!!!  I meant I will by pass my house's main breaker.

I will connect a dedicated positive, a neutral and ground. The latest will be connected to a new copper bar, wich I will bury on the ground.
Total length, distance, of the new dedicated branch circuit wiring?

plga said:
I will only connect my system to the line, not the subwoofers.
Where will you feed the subs from?
How are the subs connected to the system?
From what you have described you are doing, (if I understand you correctly), you will more than likely end up with a ground loop, and subsequently a ground loop hum.

.

plga
I will connect the line to the main breaker of the Electrical Company who supplies me the service. Not the street!!!  I meant I will by pass my house's main breaker.
I do not think that complies with NEC - you'll also have to check your local code. That is definitely not allowed where I live.

I will connect a dedicated positive, a neutral and ground. The latest will be connected to a new copper bar, wich I will bury on the ground.
I'm not sure what you mean by "dedicated ground." All grounds and neutrals must be connected together inside the service panel. No exception - that's NEC. Also, some local codes require more than a single ground rod so again, so check local code.
I will only connect my system to the line, not the subwoofers.

I’ll add to what Jea48 has said above that IMO it would be far better to connect the subs to the new dedicated line, as well as the rest of the system.

Based on what has been said earlier, including your own measurements that you described, it seems clear that 20 amps at 220 volts should be sufficient to power everything.

And by having the safety grounds of different components in the system connected to different earth grounds the likelihood of hum problems, high frequency ground loop-related noise problems, and even serious damage to the system if lightning induced currents in the earth cause a potential difference (i.e., a voltage difference) between the two ground points, are all considerably increased.

In any event, good luck as you proceed. Regards,
-- Al


@cleeds,

He lives in San Juan, San Juan, Argentina



+1 Jea48 and Al. 
Heed their advice. Regarding your plan for the subs, expect to experience ground loop hum.