William, in my opinion there's a lot of RF everywhere. But obviously a bit more in your local.
To me, the advice is the same. I would recommend a 10guage 99.95% OFC that you can pick relatively cheap at partsexpress.com or some similar site.
Then to address the RF and general noise on the AC lines, I would recommend some type of power conditioner.
In my case, I'm using Foundation Research LC-1 and LC-2 dedicated in-line power conditioners that actually take the place of the power cord and cost about the same as a good power cord. Yet, the LC's do much more than power cord in the way of cleaning up the electrical noise.
Hope this helps.
What ever kind of wire you get it should be shielded... the shielding is what will protect it from the RF. You can get regular household wire 12-2 w/ground for example in a metal shielded version.
A couple of other ideas (assuming you are not going to a higher end audiophile cable that is very expensive), depending on the length of your run you should probably run an extra line at the same time for your Gonzo Krell or ARC amps. Or you can run 12-3 w/ground (for 20 amp service) and use the red line for a second dedicated outlet, eliminating the need for a complete second cable. Also, you should drain to ground the shielding on the cable to further eliminate RF.
Then if you need it, consider conditioning.
I was talking with a guy I know that owns a company that makes power cables about this subject and he recommened steel-shielded BX cable, or at least I think that is what he said he uses for his own lines.
If you want some good advice on this issue,contact Serguei Timotev;he sells stealth audio cables and he helped me chose the wire and gave me great advice on grounding,etc. Doesn't hurt to have another opinion and he can get some wire for you as well.He is active on Audiogon.
Rick at Virtual Dynamics Cryogenically treats the 10 Gauge BX Armoured House wire. Here's the link to the product:Cryo'd BX Cable
If the Cryo treatment has the same effect as it does on his other cables I'm sure you'll be quite happy at $3.50 a foot for the treated BX :)
Problem with shielding AC is there is a ton of noise in the ground plane. Just 'scope it out and you will see. Some folks would rather use a power regenerator like the PS audio for clean, stable power.
I resell Belden 83802 for dedicated lines ($2.50/ft first 25 ft, $2.25/ft above....)
It's 2x12AWG tinned stranded (7x20AWG), in FEP, twisted pair in FULL shiield, then in a nice red, slippery, thin outer jacket. Threads easily through walls, and isn't too stiff. Fireproof, too. The shield twists up to a nice beefy 12AWG ground.
Makes GREAT PCs, too, for which I assemble DIY Kits for $32 ea. RSVP your needs. This is VERY FINE commercial wire that performs admirably outright, and stupidly-good value.
RSVP your needs.
Use MC type cable. This is similar to BX/AC only it provides better EMI noise suppression and uses a dedicated grounding conductor. Run the grounding conductor to the ground bar of the main panel; NOT the neutral bar. If the panel does not have a seperate ground bar, any electrician can install it. It's also a relatively easy DIY. This cable doesn't cost a small fortune.
Low impedance balanced interconnects are a must. RCA's will pick up the electric field radiated by the RF antenna and cause some serious humming.
Consider a power conditioning shielded (isolation) transformer for your dedicated circuit. Use a 2.0 or 3.0 kVA. Your other circuits will pick up the elecric field and infect your system. This adds many degrees of isolation.
Consider MIT power cables such as the Z-1 or Z-II. Yes, they dont have the heavy gage super-duper exotic copper and have molded rubber plugs - but they are probably the best in keeping out EMF/RFI noise, which sounds like your top priority. And, keep the cables (power and IC) as far away from each other as practical. Doubling the distance decreases noise by 6db.
That's how I would go about it. Hope this helps.
I have experimented over the last 6 months with various wires to use for dedicated 20-amp circuits. I have the following wire in use in no special order:
1) 10 gage Romex
2) 10 gage UV
3) Belden 83802
4) Virtual Dynamics 10 gage BX Cryogenically treated with Cryoed circuit breaker. *
I have not tried the following but I’m sure it works, 10 gage solid THHN (white/black/green) manually (electric drill) spiral twist and snake through conduit.
To my ears on my revealing system I hear NO difference between (1-4)! I think simply using a dedicated circuit with 10 gage copper makes the biggest difference. I also think Gs5556 over the year’s gives excellent electrical advice.
I hope all that read this find it helpful, it’s cost me about $500 (out of my own pocket) to complete the testing for my own peace of mind.
* There might be other positive factors to using cryogenically treated wiring besides sonics. It might lower the operating temperature of equipment.
Lak, thanks for your work as recall when I tested various duplexes over a decade ago it was like watching paint dry......10ga Romex is highly inductive and best to just install it and use all that inductance to separate digital from analog gear using separate lines on the same phase. RF is best treated externally with a box of caps across the line.....
I agree with Lak and Rcrump. Having dedicated lines of around 30A (for the 230V supply here) appears from my experience to be all that is required in the wall - OFC etc makes no discernable difference. Using 5 to 10 feet of good power cord seems to do the rest. Note that having dedicated lines will accentuate the differences between good PCs and stock PCs. Using significantly longer lengths of power cord or more costly cable in the wall have no great effect. One often overlooked issue is that even the standard Romex is VERY directional. Try it both directions before you put it in the wall. The difference is large - so don't gamble. A further overlooked issue is the mains fuse. A poor mains fuse will do more damage than any noise the cable will pick up. The best in my opinion are the ceramic fuses. The glass ones are hopeless. The breakers sound OK until they get 6 months or more old. One of the big advantages of the ceramic fuses is also you can take them out and clean and tighten the contacts. This makes a big difference, as does getting you electricity supplier out to clean and tighten the contacts where your drop feeder is joined. An then there is the grounding arrangement...
I would use 10 gauge romex.
I recall reading here on Audiogon about an "industrial grade" cable that is superior to Romex and designed for industrial/commercial settings. (Actually, I read about it soon after I ran 10-gauge Romex for my dedicated lines, and have stayed with the Romex.)
You raise several points that I do not recall having seen in previous threads, or that..speaking for myself..I would like to hear you elaborate upon....
..having dedicated lines will accentuate the differences between stock and good PCs
..Romex is VERY directional
..your experience with and selection of grounding arrangements
Appreciate all the advice and suggestions. I will try to post some info after this project is complete.
How long did you burn-in the 83802? The advantages of Teflon over PVC should become more apparent over time. I trust your front-end is resolving enough to yield a perceiptible difference.
My order of preference:
1. 83802 (12AWG)
2. 10AWG Romex
3. 12AWG Romex
Something about a quieter background yielding greater perceived dynamics, especially at lower listening levels.
Its as though subtle details are more discernable, so that loudness doesn't have to be increased. In my case it means more satisfaction in very late night listening sessions....
Red, nice to bump into you again. Is there a "thanksgiving" analog in kiwiland?
I agree with you that setting up dedicated lines is primary, but if you ARE going to do all that labor it seems to make sense to use a finer cable if lengths aren't TOO long, as $2/ft is still a relatively cheap investment toward improvement in our systems. I installed BOTH lines AND PCs made from 83802, and the composite improvement is significant. As to the causation distribution amounts I can't say. I'm getting strong feedback re the improvements in just introducing short DIY 83802 PCs, but I still suspect the more significant improvement lies in using IT from start to finish. I've become a devotee of this red "firewire", and am such a sucket that I'm assembling DIY kits of the stuff with good connectors for what amounts to minimum wage! If some systems don't benefit from it, then at least it's cheap, and it has high WAF when that bright red "firewire" is set in clear 1/2" PVC. Ha.
Keep well, all. Ern
Ern, It is possible that the Beldon 83802 will improve with more time on it. I'll continue to burn it in and get back to you in a few days. I'm using a run of 43'.
Jeffcott. I have found that if you use stock PCs then when you put a dedicated line in, that you will hear an improvement in dynamics and soundstage size, but you will find the sound can be brighter and with a coarser grain. Systems that sounded acceptable with stock PCs, became more fatiguing to listen to with a dedicated feed. When decent PCs are used for every component, then the overall improvement over a non-dedicated feed can be stunning. I have experienced this with around a dozen instalations.
The Romex you have in the US may be different from what we use in NZ (and we call it TPC). But of the three types I have tried, each was quite directional. When used in the wrong direction the sound was relatively thin and flat with a fat indistinct bass. When used in the right direction the sound was more vivid and natural, with better depth, better bass articulation and rhythm. What I have done each time is run the cable from the switch board to the components through the house (ie. not in the wall yet), in one direction and then the other. The difference in sound has been quite marked with each of the three makes of cable available here.
I won't comment on grounding. For a start the topic is big, and has been covered elsewhere in Audiogon. More importantly, when reading through what Americans found was best to do I discovered how different the 115V supply there is to the 230V supply here - with critical differences about ground arrangements.
A year ago I read posts from Redkiwi and others regarding Romex etc being directional. I tested the Romex and UV both directions. Redkiwi and others are correct, it does sound better run one direction versus the other. You have to try it both directions to see what sounds better!
Lak, I do NOT find that the Belden 83802 is directional. ALL the PCs I've made sound the same. Since the cable is NOT marked, I'd imagine that 50% are each way....interesting about the Romex, though.
Red, do you mean that USED Romex sounds worse when reversed?
That I could buy in a hurry.
The stuff we get here (New Zealand)is directional from new, and it is possible that the Romex you get there is manufactured differently, and may be of quite different quality. The stuff we get here is usually called TPC, not Romex, and as some will know, stands for tough pitched copper - ie. made by archaic methods.
...swept off the floor at the smelter! A gazillion crystals/inch!
OK, I’m sure the 43’ run of Belden 83802 is burned in and sounding good. In a blind A/B comparison test Belden 83802 (v) 10 gauge solid UV and Romex with identical Hubbell 8200 cryoed outlets I cannot hear a difference, they all sound good! That’s not saying anything negative about any wire.
I would guess that if one were to make a power cord, the Belden 83802 would be the way to go, as a matter of fact I own one and really like it!
Thank You!, for your response to my query. Your experience is greater than mine, but....I am just getting to the point at which I was beginning to wonder about the characteristics you describe as "brighter and with a coarser grain". I have made too many changes (in the midst of a house remodel) to be sure, but your words strike me as having the distinct ring of truth.
Your methodology of testing Romex makes perfect sense. I will definitely be using your method.
I can understand your remarks about grounds. I had not considered the issues of the voltage variation, but I can easily understand why you would find differences. For myself, I have found the greatest success with dedicated circuits coupled with true isolated grounds, seperated from the remainder of the household circuits. I understand the issues of potential ground differential, but I have placed the rods in close proximity, and have done my best to create identical parallel systems.
Ended up running shielded 10-3 with ground for 20 watt service, grounded to a discrete copper dedicated grounding rod.
Dollar for dollar, this is probably one of the most effective "tweaks" I've done for my system, and could go on at great length re: the sonic benefits.
Bottom line: If you've ever considered it and can; do it.
Yup. I recommend Belden 83802/3 for oustandingly pure and noisefree dedicated lines. May NOT be code-approved in all states. RSVP for details.
Subaruguru, I've heard good things about the Belden cable you sell. However, I'm finding it extremely difficult to believe that any wire is 'noise free'.
A wire may be very good, but without proper line conditioning, I doubt that anyone could make the claim 'noise free' with credibility.
If you mean, the wire does not introduce any more noise that's perhaps one thing. But to say the wire removes ALL noise and hence the term 'noise free', well that's another story.
Even with the very best wiring and the very best line-conditioner, I would still doubt that the line is 'noise free'.
Correct me if I am wrong.
Hi Stehno. The point is that the cable matrix is well-shielded from outside influence, as you surmise. Re self-noise, it's thought that by using the very best (practical) dielectric (all-teflon), phase, echo, and hysteresis-like distortions are minimized too. Here in Boston we have a very stiff power grid, and perhaps my dedicated 83802 lines are unusually quiet without further enhancement. It's pretty clear that the noisefloor dropped after I introduced these lines and PCs vs the old Romex and other PCs (stock, Absolute Chinese, Belden 19364, Harm tech ProAcC11, and VD P3) I had on hand. No cable can FILTER out noise, of course.
But sly devil's advocacy can be fun, eh? Cheers.