Dedicated 20 Amp Line for Audio

Lots of threads on the subject already, but I’m a little confused on one thing. Is the dedicated line just for the amplifier (in my case an integrated) and another line for the other components? Or, is it just one line for everything in the complete audio system?



One thought is to run 2 lines (circuits). One for digital and one for analog. That said, one line is sufficcient, especially if you have a power conditioner which separates the components plugged into it.

For the current draw of most audio systems, one should suffice nicely. The amp is the most significant draw, and many really don’t draw a lot. CD players, DACs, TTs draw very little. Isolating the analog and digital components is a nice approach.


The vast majority of home circuits are run in a daisy chain from one outlet to the next. Every connection introduces micro-arcing and noise. All the current running to the last component had to go through all those connections. Also every wire is an antenna and brings RFI into the line. So even if your system is the first outlet merely by running to the others introduces more RFI.

The main reason for a dedicated line is to remove all these sources of noise. The difference is big and easy to hear. This noise is present on all AC lines, just much less without all those extra connections. It is not just for the amp, every component benefits. Running more than one line is unnecessary and may even be worse, in that it runs the risk of introducing noise in the form of ground plane differentials. 


It's fine to run more than one dedicated circuit. Run them on the same rail at the main. If you run a pair of 20s run BOTH on L1 or L2 don't distribute the load between the two. That is a good way to pick up noise.

To tell the truth these days with class D amps and high effeciency speakers a single 15 or a pair of 15s will work without a hitch.. Same rail, separate breakers.



No RFI I’m lines here MC. You need a reality check.

And lose the uncalled for YouTube crapola.

oldhvymec. Nothing but the truth. And try to keep stuff with random motors (refig. etc .) on the other rail.

I would run at least two dedicated 20 amp lines for audio. IMO, amps should be on their own dedicated 10 gauge ac line, nothing else on that line.

I ran 4 seperate 20A lines to my room. Recommendation of my daughter in law and she is an EE. 

Thanks to all. OK, I think I’m going to run two, 20’ long, dedicated lines. One for analog & one for digital. Both of those on the opposite rails to that of "noisier" items on the panel.

14/2 I presume and is Home Depot stuff OK?

Someone in a past thread recommended armored cable, maybe overkill?


Post removed 

Remember when you get ground loop hum, move the phono over to the same as everything else. 

Fremer is OK

Video on an audio forum is insulting and generally time wasting.
I do not doubt that you WILL go lower. Keep diggin'.

I should clarify - no RFI emanating from any wall lines around here.


Go with at least 12/3 otherwise maybe not worth the bother. One 12/3 should be sufficient.  Armored or conduit is necessary to shield from RFI.

The advice I followed was to do multiple lines, but to make them with the same length of wire.

I have the following:

1 line for amps

1 line for preamps, with the same length of wire

1 line for digital components

I also ran 1 for subwoofers and 1 spare.

10 awg. 20 amps.

Post removed 

Run the 20A line from your breaker to non ferromagnetic outlets such as from Shunyata Research and others. Then use high end power cables to good power conditioning units or regenerators of your choice. I use PS Audio PowerPlants. Then run good cables from the PowerPlants or power conditioners (eg AQ Niagaras) to your components. Extra credit for using a Synergistic Research Ground Block of some type and ground leads. Lastly, I use a dozen or wo GreenWave RFI/EMI line filter units plugged into open outlets in my listening room and around the house to reduce the overall EMI and RFI in my home. This is easy to measure with a simple digital and audio meter. 

Fremer is okay. But Fremer on video is time wasting. Even when cued up to say exactly what is relevant thereby wasting zero time. fuzzball, your MDS is showing.


IMHO, I would run a 10/AWG BX/MC cable with solid copper core conductors from the breaker panel to a metal receptacle box. The metal sheathing on the BX/MC cable absorbs the (EF)) electric fields emitted by the wires and shunts it to ground. Now from panel to plug is shielded. The upside is low line noise and reduced antenna effect on AC power lines/branch circuits.
Downside BX/MC cable is pricier. I would run at least two dedicated 20 amp lines for audio. I have four in my audio rig. All four dedicated audio circuits are 250 volts 20 amps. With no noise or ground loops. Also, all four dedicated audio circuits are at the top of the breaker panel numbers 1-8. See the links below. Hope that helps. Mike                                                                                                              

Both of those on the opposite rails to that of "noisier" items on the panel.

that's fine, but make sure your 20A audio lines are ON THE SAME 110V RAIL/LEG.

Also, I would not use 14/2 Romex or stranded wire.  You really need 10/2 Romex (Romex is always solid-core which is better than any armored stranded wire).  If you can't do 10/2, then 12/2 is acceptable. 

I don't know that you need a separate 20A line for each device like hilde45 recommends.  It's all about current draw.  You could probably run all source/digital components on one 20A circuit just fine.  The other 20A would go to amplifier only. 

That being said, I have six 20A circuits run to my room.  Each amp circuit only has one or two amps, but I'm totally overkill on my setup.  You can probably run two small/medium sized amps on one 20A circuit just fine.


Another option:

VH Audio sells cryogenic treated 10 awg romex wire.  It's a lot more expensive, but if you want the best that's the way to go. 

I am not currently running cryo-romex in my setup at this time (maybe in the future).

He needs 14/2 for 15 amp, 12/2 for 20 amp. He does not need 12/3...that includes 3 conductors, one of which is red. Both 14/2 and 12/2 contain the ground, it is not counted in the number designation. Keep it at one circuit run to avoid ground issues/loops etc. To assist in noise, buy at least an audioquest Niagara 1200. I’d also buy the audioquest Edison outlet or a furutech, beryllium-copper. I would top that off with a Fuutech faceplate designed to block rf signal interference...I also run a seperate furman power conditioner for all my low draw stuff. Only power hungry components are on the niagara...this also frees up plug space. Both of course are plugged into the Edison outlet. Don’t forget the power chords to complete this....I use AQ thunder, Z3, and X3 throughout. Also a Nordost blue heaven on my Technics TT.

I have GoldenEar Triton Reference powered speakers. 1800 watts each (15 amps). I installed a 3 gang duplex receptacle with 3 separate 20 amp circuits to my panel. Separate power and neutrals, one common #10 ground. Plenty of power, No ground loop issues.


Thanks for sharing the Fremer video...unlike some others here, I thoroughly enjoyed it....

Post removed 

As my Audiophile friend electrician stated ,and Proved that a 4 wire ,

dual ground is very important one common ,the other a insulated isolated ground 

and preferred awg 11 or 10 li have awg10 Copper , even lower resistance 

and I use Pangea top gold Copper outlets, not a big name brand but very well built.

and less then $100 each.

OK, here’s what I got so far:

I can run one circuit or two, or three, or four, or five, or six, either way.

One line for digital and one for analog, but for the current draw of most audio systems, one should suffice.

Every wire brings RFI into the line, but there’s no RFI’s here.

10 gauge wire for 20 amp circuit, 12 gauge wire for 20 amp circuit, but if you don’t want to hurt your hands, 14 gauge wire for 15 amp circuit.

12/3 - 12/2 (fortunately, I know the difference).

hilde45 & auxinput - completely over the top!

I didn’t ask about power cables or power conditioners?

Metal sheathed wire is ok but so is Romex 14/2, 12/2, 12/3 or 10/2.

Run conduit.

Wait, that is all wrong! I need cryo- Romex, now what size was it?

Great video, crapola video

Heck, if I had chickens to feed they’d all be dead from starvation. No time to feed ’em, let alone watch the Fremer video (yet).

I’m confused

Easy fix.. find a licensed electrician with years of knowledge. Then you won't have to wade through piles of miss guided and silly information. 

I've almost finished revising my system with additional lines of #8 wire.

One line is for digital ( CD & DAC ), another for the woofer amps & subs and one line for everything else.

Each AC line has its own dedicated PS Audio power plant. 

A question I would ask is what amp are you using?  Difference between a 8 watt tube and a 500 watt ss can determine if you want to go with 14g

My advice is 12/2 (likely will not hurt your hands) and will cover all amps

RFI is everywhere (if you are on planet Earth that is lol)

If you have 6 open legs in your breaker box make sure your box is not oversized for your line into the house.



I have a very unusual house. Built in 1979, it is some kind of kit that was imported from Canada. It measures 20’ x 40’ with a vaulted ceiling running lengthwise.
The really weird thing about it is it is built-in panels that consist of 5/8" OSB used for the interior walls, floors and ceilings then 3/8" OSB for the exterior sheathing. Then sandwiched in between the 6" walls, floors and ceilings are rigid, styrofoam insulation and glued onto each surface. This was all done as an insulating factor. You can heat the house with a candle!

Most 110V outlets are currently on the floor as it is near impossible to get a wire up the wall from the crawl space. The bottom of the ground sill of the wall sits almost center over the concrete foundation with no room to get a bit at the right angle in there. You have to drill at an angle through the exterior sheathing, outside the house in order to get the right angle down into the crawlspace. Then you drill another hole in the interior wall to line up with where you drilled on the outside the house and fish your wire through that way.

Then comes the fun part, you have to bust out all the white styrofoam. It’s as hard as concrete and sticks to you like glue, it’s a real messy situation. Also, I have found no 2 x 6 studs in the wall so far, just foam!

The idea here is I thought I would save some money and do some of this work myself. Like running in this dedicated line for the stereo system rather than paying an electrician $100 an hour to fight with this. I’m sure they would not be very happy doing this job as well.

Once I figure out what size, type and how many lines to run, I will purchase some wire, run it in, leave them long, and let the electrician terminate them accordingly, once on-site.

That’s all.

dseltz - currently (no pun intended) I have a Luxman 507 uXII integrated amp on a layaway plan with a local dealer.  



Thanks for sharing the Fremer video...unlike some others here, I thoroughly enjoyed it....

Probably because you came to learn and Fremer and I came to share what we've learned. There is so much to learn. Like, did you notice? Fremer started out saying "lines" then caught himself. So he learned. But first he learned "lines" and had to unlearn to get better, and old habits die hard. I don't know how Fremer did it but I actually ran my room wired several different ways and heard the difference first hand. This was several years of my life figuring this stuff out. Same for Fremer too I bet.

Am I reading that right, jw? 944 Turbo S?

A dedicated 20 amp line will be able to supply about 2400 watts.

I am assuming you are using the appropriate cable for your 20 amp outlet (12 awg romex is more than enough).

You SHOULD connect EVERYTHING to it without hesitation.

Contrary to popular advice of spreading your devices to multiple outlets, connecting ALL devices to a SINGLE outlet will give you additional benefit of minimizing or completely eliminating ground loops.

You have nothing to worry about.... unless you intend to connect a welding machine to the same outlet too :-)

I have 1 30 amp circuit for components and a 20 amp for subwoofer. Seems to work fine.

14awg is the MINIMUM you can do for a 15A circuit.  If it's a long run, then 12awg is recommended.  That is based on electrical code requirements. 

However, there is a definite difference in current capability between 14awg and 12awg romex, even on low current source components.  I've tested this in my room when I tried 14awg romex to my preamp/processor.  It just did not sound as open and the sound did not hit with as much authority as when I did a 10awg romex. 

You can use 8awg, but you are only going to get stranded wire and you will need to run this in conduit (per electrical codes).  Only romex can be run bare through walls and in ceiling/attic.  I would rather have solid-core 10awg or 12awg romex than stranded 8awg (but there are others with different opinions).

auxinput - thank you. I am kind of narrowing this all down with the help of you and the others that have so kindly posted here!

I am currently in the process of doing this wiring and in fact just today installed the 20 amp breaker in the panel and pulled and tacked the 8-gauge from the box up through the attic and to the wall where it will come down to the entertainment center.

I still need to come down through the wall and will probably just cut and remove the old 15 amp wire and use that as the wire pull through the wall.

All plugs are 20-amp hospital grade (with the green dot) and will accept the 8-gauge wire.

We have solar panels and an inverter. I’ve heard that these can add noise on the line. I put a ferrite bead over the wire right where it comes out of the panel. May not help anything..., but couldn’t hoit.

I recently had a room built for audio only (18 months ago? how time flies). My audio conscience electician wired a 20 amp dedicated line (less than 20 feet from the box) to a single outlet. I have a conditioner/distribution unit with all electronics hooked into it. My lights and electrostatic speakers are on a separate new line.

Happily, my house is the second one from the local transformer and I live in a residential neighbourhood far from any Industrial or Retail complex. Very little to zero line noise.

I am happy....

I ran 2 dedicated 20 amp lines with 10 ga wire from my breaker box.  Using some audiophile plugs.  The run is about 65 feet so opted for the larger guage wire.  If you can run dedicated lines, you won't be disappointed.  

 You can use 8awg, but you are only going to get stranded wire...


That's not true, you can buy 8 gauge Romex that is solid.

Why a "dedicated circuit" when everything gets lumped together upstream of the comnpponent?  Separate line for digital?  Horse schlockey.  If the line goes through a fuse box with "analog" circuits, then the purpose is defeated.  If the dedicated line comes into the house seperately, then it will still be pary of a general cirsuit somewhere upstream without any filtration.   And there's typically enough RF in the air that using a separate circuit will still end up being a long radio antenna.

If an audio user really desires isolation, it might be better to get a hospital grade isolation transformer of sufficient capacity to handle .the equipment load  Or two.  Or three.  Whatever tickles your fancy.  Be careful to check the grounding across equipment in different transformers.

Why a "dedicated circuit" when everything gets lumped together upstream of the comnpponent?

Dedicated lines can avoid the noise and voltage drop that may result from daisy chained convenience circuits. It’s a difference you can measure, so it’s silly to debate it.

If an audio user really desires isolation, it might be better to get a hospital grade isolation transformer of sufficient capacity to handle.

Many users do both. It's not an either/or choice.

A search on The Cable Company site shows audiophile grade in-wall cable from JPS Labs and Audience. There is also a highly regarded British cable manufacturer who offers an audiophile grade in-wall cable, but the name escapes me at the moment. They are not inexpensive, but in the context of an upper echelon system they are not outrageous.

longplayet - Not sure if I would qualify for upper echelon, but I definitely want to go above domestic grade. Thank you for the leads! I will check it out

A note on 10awg romex.  Yes, the wire is extremely stiff and you may not be able to install it.  You CANNOT fold this wire when pushing the outlet back into the box.  It is just too stiff.  When I did mine, I had to run the Romex straight through the wall from behind into the junction box and then "square bend" one wire at right angles so that there's enough space.  A 12awg romex would definitely be much easier to handle.

auxinput - Thanks, but I'm not even so sure about handling 12 awg, just ask oldhvymec. His hands hurt jusut talkin’ about 12 awg! (sorry I can’t paste his comments, as he removed his post?)