Anyone compared Premium AC wire to regular romex?

I am curious. Am getting ready to build a dedicated room, with dedicated AC Lines and was wondering if there really is a SOUND difference in the premium AC wire (Virtual Dynamics, JPS, etc.) compared to regular good ole' Romex??

Does the extra cost really go beyond just having the overall benefit of dedicated AC lines?
Hi Denf; 3 yrs. ago I had a dedicated AC system installed using a 60 ft. run of stranded 6/3 awg stranded from our main breaker box to a sub-main breaker box, and regular 12 awg THHN wire to Hubbell 8300 outlets. It was a really nice improvement over the regular old Romex house wiring (which was noisy and soft). Noise floor was lowered significantly and music had much greater clarity. However, there was also a slight but distinct overall brightness associated with this system, and I could only control the brightness with high quality power cords.

About 3 weeks ago I replaced (by electricians) the large Zaner 6/3 wire from main to submain with a new 60 ft. run of Virtual Dynamics Armored 10/4 BX cryo treated and cable cooked wire. Improvement in music quality/character was definitely worthwhile-- much more mellow, natural, and smooth w/o the previous brightness. I also replaced the old 50 amp standard breaker in our main breaker box with the Virtual Dynamics 30 amp cryo'ed breaker to match the 10/4 wire.

Obviously, I can't separate what part of the VD wire and breaker was most important in improving music quality, ie new wire, cryo treatment, cable cooking, new, cryo'ed breaker-- it all came as a package. But I can say that this VD wire/breaker combo produced an excellent benefit.

If I were building a dedicated listening room, I would put in better quality wire as the room is being built, rather than trying to (maybe) add it on later as I've done. Breakers and outlets can be easily changed later, but changing in-wall wiring can be a real hassle when done after construction and finishing is done.

In phase 2 of my ded. AC up-grade, I plan to change the existing 12/3 THHN with the Virtual Dynamics 10/4 cryo'ed wire to each of my 5 ded. outlets. I'm also going to add the VD cryo'ed Hubbell outlets and 20 amp cryo breakers in my sub-main panel.

It's my sense that the cryo treatment is an important part of this up-grade as 3 years ago I compared 4 different non-cryo'ed wires and non had this nice natural mellow sounding character. I'd also suggest checking the archives under cryo. There are some good posts on cryo product use there. A'Gon member Lak had some very good posts in this section. Good Luck, and Cheers. Craig
Regarding the use of "custom" in-wall or ac wiring, isn't it more important to have a wire that is as neutral sounding as possible? Why would you want your in-wall wiring to add an effect which may or may not really be positive. Perhaps a person might like this upgrade in some situations but perhaps not in others.

I would say that as long as the dedicated wire is shielded and has the ability to deliver good current as per your components needs, the improvement yielded should be enough for that type of upgrade.

If I am to color the sound, I'd rather have more control of it downstream. I could be wrong though.

I'd like to see what others may write about this too.
Thanks for the info. "Garfish"!!

BTW, what exactly is "TNNH" wire that you mention? Where can you puchase and what is the cost? (I'll probably use SOME of the V. Dynamics wire, but as my main panel is 50+' from my room, I can't afford to use more than one "run"!).
Denf; 12 awg THHN is just regular 12 gauge stranded copper wire. Each outlet required a hot, neutral, and ground of the THHN wire. It's used for running in conduit. The electrical company supplied it and it's pretty cheap-- any electrical supply store should have it. As my sub-main breaker box is on an outside wall, the THHN wires had to be put in plastic conduit against the outside wall of my listening room.

If your listening room is 50 ft. from your main breaker panel, you might consider having a sub-main breaker panel put in (as I did), and then run dedicated wires from the sub-main to each outlet. The downside of this is that the sub-main panel and conduit on the outside of the house is sort of ugly. Fortunately mine is in the backyard.

Avnut brings up a good point, ie you don't want a "colored wire". However, it's been my (limited) experience that any wire has it's own sonic signature, ie I found 12/3 Romex between main and sub-main to be sort of soft and uninvolving, whereas the big Zaner 6/3 stranded was much more live and dynamic when run the correct direction-- but it was also a little bright.

Lak (in the archives) compared 4 different "house" wires including regular Romex and Virtual Dynamics 10/4 cryo, and was not able to hear a difference among them, and I respect his experience. In my case, I think the old Zaner 6/3 was just inherently bright, and replacing it w/ the VD 10/4 (very live, natural, and relaxed, but IMO neutral)corrected a problem in my ded. AC system. Let us know how your ded. AC system works out. Cheers. Craig
I should have added that I think the dedicated AC system for your stereo gear is much more important than the type of wire used. I suspect that dedicated 12/3 Romex would be fine, and a huge improvement over plugging your stereo gear into the general house AC system.
Is it possible to add another, seperate breaker box, say 20 feet away from the main panel, on the same inside wall as the main breaker??
Yes, you would just need an available space for a standard double wide breaker in your main breaker box. I used a 30 amp Square D breaker in my main breaker panel from VD that had been cryo'ed. I can run 4-5 outlets from this 30 amp breaker.

If you can do it this way, you would avoid the need for any exterior rated wires, panels, etc. I'm assuming you could then run ded. lines in the wall from the sub-main to your individual outlets. Craig
Disclaimer: I sell the stuff cause I like it so much!
I DO find that using all-Teflon dielectric for dedicated lines DOES result in a cleaner top octave and absence of low-level noise or "phasey" artifacts from dielectric effects from cheap insulation like THHN or Romex.
At $2300/1000' spool Belden's 83803 12AWG/3 is hideously expensive for commercial/industrial/household use, but at $3.50/ft for audiophool use it's a GREAT tweak.
Certainly establishing a dedicated line of almost ANY type is more important, but if you can do it in Teflon for only a hundred or two you WILL hear the improvement. Cheers.
Thanks for all the great tips, advice and input guys!

BTW Subaruguru, where can you purchase the Belden cable?