audiophile grade sub panel and breakers?


Does anyone know of a high quality "audiophile" grade sub panel? I read an article from someone in the audio industry where he mentioned having used a GE industrial grade 225 amp panel with a super duty silver plated copper bus bar and bolt on low noise silver contact breakers. Anyone have any ideas? I only need a 100 amp sub panel. All input would be appreciated.
keithmundy
I did a little research on this when I upgraded my panel during a renovation. I hear the Square D panel with the copper bus bars is a good way to go. I ended up with a Murray panel and had copper bus bars ordered as an upgrade. Make sure your electrician does a good job grounding the whole system and consider mounting an Environmental Potentials waveform correction device to the panel--excellent surge/lightening protection and also eliminates noise and hash in the line.

Good luck.
Thank you Dodgealum. I appreciate your response.
You may want to contact Audiowaves here on agon. I recently met Jeff W and he really seems to know electrical stuff. Best, Jeff L
I run a 100 amp 8 position Square D QO sub panel. I use four of the eight 20 amp breakers and keep all four on the same phase. Better grounding at your electric meter helps alot too. I'm using two 10' 3/4" grounding rods, spaced 10" apart, and connected to the electric meter with a 3 gauge grounding wire. If your electric meter grounds directly to a copper water pipe, I'd recommend beefing up your grounding wire. Good luck! Stan
The grounding rods should read "spaced 10' apart", not 10". I went to correct it, but Jj2468 posted as I was making my change. I've done alot with dedicated power, including installing a NEMA box next to my electric meter. It's all on my system page. You could also look at Cincy_bob's system. Mine is a variation of his. Stan
Equi Tech makes a high grade subpanel that creates balanced power for all breakers right at the panel. They are usually used in high-end recording studios, but if you want to go all-out, and price is no object then they are the real deal. If I ever get to build a dream theater for myself or someone else then that would be my choice for the theater subpanel.

The above suggestions for grounding from other posters are excellent. There is also some great info on the Equi Tech website about optimum grounding procedures, some of which I will soon follow in my showroom theater.

Basic city electrical codes only require a minimum grounding effort. If you want better, which will greatly help your system then you have to do it yourself or pay an electrician. They may seem expensive, but they are worth it because they know what they are doing and know how to NOT get fried. Some of them will tell you that your extra grounding efforts are unnecessary because they don't really get what you are trying to do. On some of my theaters I have had to finally tell them to just do as I say, even though they don't grok the benefits. Then when they hear the theater and their jaw drops open they finally get it.

Good luck with it all, and don't forget to take extra caution with anything electrical.
DaddyO brought up a good point about Equi-Tech. When I was researching dedicated power a few years ago, I went to Equi-Tech's website and down loaded the following white papers: "Installing a Technical Grounding System", "Lifting the Grounding Enigma" and "Audio Wiring and Grounding". All three white papers were a tremendous help. Also, using a good electrician is a must. I've occasionally done subpanel work myself (with the power turned off at the main power feed), but the closer I get to the electric meter, the more I rely on my electrician. Stan
Thank you all for your input. I appreciate you all taking the time to help me. The Equi-Tech website is great! Thanks again.

Keith
Dodgealum, I finally found an electrician who is ready to work with this special requirement of copper bus panel.
Can you please let me know how you special ordered copper bus for murray panel. Can you give supply house phone/details etc ?

Thank you very much
Diwakarv
If using the excellent Equitech sub panel be aware there are some excellent power conditioners that wont be effective without a ground reference. In other words they may be useful 'ahead' of the balanced output of the Equitech. I use a 2Q and it's great, but I have improved the power with other units as well. Is there such a thing as a dummy ground for this?
The secondary side center-tap of Equi=Tech products connect to the incoming ground on the primary side, so there is a ground reference all the way back to the electrical service panel main grounding electrode.

http://www.equitech.com/images/bpng5.jpg
My comment was based on manufactures of other products stating the centre ground is before the balanced power output. Mistake?
Here's a good reference:http://www.msbtech.com/support/wiring.php?Page=supportHome

To BudBurma: Thank you for the referral to the MSB wiring upgrade article. Have you had this work done to your listening room? I'm interested to learn about your experience.

I had been leaning toward an Equi-Tech conditioner to balance the power delivery to my system ( hybrid solid state and tube ) and lower the noise floor but there are other fine products, including Isoclean, that I've considered in the past.

I've read the 6 Moons evaluation of the in-wall Equi-Tech panel and followed up with pertinent technical articles about balanced power and the effects of correctly performed wiring. It's clearly a subject that requires both theoretical and practical information to make an informed decision.

Cheers,
David
Hey David (Cdk54) … I looked at and read about the Equitech offerings, too, and think, like you apparently do, that it makes sense and is probably amazing. I met a guy from LA who has his entire studio wire with Equitech and swears by it. It seems like you can find someone who swears by almost every type of power conditioning system out there.

Full disclosure: Electricity scares the bejesus out of me and I am a neophyte muddling through this as best I can…

My priorities are cleaned and isolated power and less boxes/conditioners in my actual listening room…I spoke with Vince Galbo and have spoke with or emailed a lot of others including members Lak and Jmcgrogran2 her and Chris VenHaus. A good number of conditioners have passed through my system as well and I have been pretty happy with my present suppressor/conditioner (Elgar 5kVA, 0.0005pf) in the basement on a dedicated 20A line feeding everything through a single bank of 3 duplex Avatar Afterburner 8's wired in series.

Chris VH was kind enough to contact the engineers at Environmental Potentials for me regarding placement of their surge protection/wave correction and ground devices.....

SO, as my final assault, I plan to follow the white paper and suggestions from everyone above with some additions:

30A dedicated line/circuit through a Topaz Ulta Contitioner (5kVA, 0.0005pf) to a subpanel. Topaz on solid stand with four soft outdoor hockey pucks underneath (variation on a Lak theme!). Sub Panel with as good copper busses as can be reasonably found. All breakers with silver plated or silver alloy contacts. All contacts treated with high silver content contact grease. Solid copper wire everywhere. Cryo'ed 10g Essex Diamond Handiwire (rec from Alan Kafton) from subpanel to the outlets. 3 separate dedicated lines. 1 each for amp, preamp and tt, and digital…all on the same phase/leg from the sub panel. Environmental Potentials 2050 on the subpanel and 2775's on each line. All Avatar Afterburner 8 outlets (I already have 3 duplexes and trying to choose between the R and G GTX's was driving me a little nuts).

I have the Topaz, outlets, contact grease, hockey pucks, Handiwire, and EP 2050 in hand. The circuit breakers and panel are being researched and money for the 2775's is being squirreled away....An industrious chipmunk in the Spring!

In the end, I am going by intuition and desire…Antennae akimbo…OH, and, of course, suffering through the incredulous head wagging, snickerings and wide eyed guffaws of my non-audiophile friends and electricians and loving it!!

I move slowly through this type of project, but am getting closer and gathering steam. Although I tend to only participate intermittently in these forums, I'll try to follow up and post my progress for you and whoever might be interested.

AND, I am happy to get any other suggestions or insights that might be interesting or helpful.

Hope that helps. Don't forget to enjoy the tunes!

Warmly, Art

30A dedicated line/circuit through a Topaz Ulta Contitioner (5kVA, 0.0005pf) to a subpanel. Topaz on solid stand with four soft outdoor hockey pucks underneath (variation on a Lak theme!). Sub Panel with as good copper busses as can be reasonably found. All breakers with silver plated or silver alloy contacts. All contacts treated with high silver content contact grease. Solid copper wire everywhere. Cryo'ed 10g Essex Diamond Handiwire (rec from Alan Kafton) from subpanel to the outlets. 3 separate dedicated lines. 1 each for amp, preamp and tt, and digital…all on the same phase/leg from the sub panel.
06-02-15: Budburma

Budburma,

If the 5KVA transformer has dual primary and dual secondary windings I would recommend you configure the primary to be fed by 240V. Wire size minimum #10awg. Breaker size, 2 pole 30 amp.

Secondary winding configured for 120V out, not 120/240V out. (Two secondary windings paralleled). Minimum wire size from transformer to new main electrical panel #6 copper.
(New panel is not a sub panel.)
You will not need a main breaker in the new electrical panel provided you will not be installing more than 6 breakers, handles. The electrical panel will only need to be a MOL, Main Lug Only panel. 100 amp busing is plenty big.

How far will the 5KVA transformer be from the new electrical panel?

Your electrician will need to create a new AC grounded system. He will intentionally connect one of the Hot 120V secondary output legs of the transformer to earth. This grounded conductor will become the neutral conductor.

By NEC Code the earth connection shall be connected at any point on the main earth grounding electrode system of your home's main electrical service. He will not drive a new dedicated ground rod outside for the earth connection. If he does, per NEC Code, he will have to connect the new ground rod to the existing main grounding system of your home's electrical service with a minimum #6awg copper wire.... The safety equipment grounding conductor of the 240V circuit that feeds the primary winding of the transformer cannot be used for the earth connection.

As for the new electrical panel the Square D QO panel has copper plated busing. The Square D QO breakers are second to none.

If money is no object check out the Square D NQOD electrical panel board that uses QOB bolt on breakers.
QOB bolt on breaker.

Note. The electrician you hire from your area will know what is required by the State and Local electrical codes for your area. For example, local code may require AFCI breakers in the new electrical panel.
.
Jim
JIM! I have the manual for those connections. Thank you! That all looks very well thought out, presented and understood. Warm regards and enjoy the tunes, art