Dedicated AC Line or Upgrade Equipment?

I am wondering how many of you out there have dedicated ac line for your audio system. I have heard that getting a dedicated ac line does wonders for your system.

By dedicated ac line I mean either having a sub-circuit totally dedicated to your audio, or in some cases, running a separate 20-amp ac line with its own electric meter. In the extreme case, I have heard that people have bought power generators (no - not the PS Audio kind) to power their entire audio system so that they can get the optimal audio performance.

I am thinking about upgrading to a class A amp on my system. However, I am concerned that without a dedicated 20 amp line, I may never get the optimal performance out of the class A amp. For example, I currently bi-amp my main left/right speakers with a Krell KAV-1500 5 channel amp (class AB). In the owners manual, Krell advises using a dedicated 20 amp line to get the optimal performance out of the amp.

So is it a moot point to even think about further equipment upgrades when the source of my audio system is not optimized - that is, when I don't have a dedicated ac line.

I like to hear from people who have experienced with dedicated ac line and whether they think it is worth getting a class A amp before one has a dedicated line.

Thank you for sharing your insight.
I saw tremendous benefit with the installation of a dedicated circut. I reccommend looking into the JPS Labs "in the wall" cable in lieu of standard romex. It is expensive, but can make an even greater difference. Then you can look at an audiophile grade dulex recepticle. I used an FIM, very reasonable. These upgrades will benefit all of your components.

good luck.
Avguy, it wouldn't surprise me that a dedicated line would improve your present system as well. If you want to do a mock up, purchase a new 12 gauge grounded extension cord and run it from your laundry outlet (of course temporarily disconnect your laundry appliances)to your sound system. If you have a dishwasher in the kitchen that has a plug in that would be an alternative as well. Avoid the kitchen counter top outlets and bathroom outlets that have ground fault protection. See if you detect an improvement.

I noticed a significant improvement with my dedicated line.

Plenty (hours) of additional info and input if you search the forum archives.
I have one dedicated 20 amp circuit/line for my amp and two dedicated 15 amp circuits/lines for my digital source and preamp.

I believe that so long as you have decent to excellent quality equipment, you should realize a significant improvement at both the micro- and macro-dynamic levels.

Therefore, assuming your equipment is decent quality or better, you should consider the dedicated line(s) no matter what you decide about upgrades.

And as far as audio upgrades and tweaks, the dedicated lines are among the cheapest tweak.

I would not recommend a sub-panel. Have your electrician replace the standard circuit breaker with a double circuit breaker.

You may also consider purchasing a roll of 10 gauge 99.95% OFC romex from perhaps at $100. It's better than the Home Depot standard romex variety.

While you're at it, you could also install some hospital or audio grade wall outlets. Even the cheap 20 amp wall outlets at Home Depot are usually significantly better than the even cheaper 15 amp outlets just in the way they grasp the plug.

Hi Avguy; I have 5 20 amp dedicated outlets and consider them the foundation of my system. Because of the number of outlets needed, and the distance, I did have to go with a sub-main panel (with space for 8 breakers) from my main breaker box. The ded. line (to sub-main) comes off a 50 amp breaker in the main. The sub-main is fed by a 6 ga. stranded cable-- overkill I know, but I had it and it was pretty much in place.

My sub-main has 4 20amp breakers, and BTW, I tried using a box with glass fuses, but it really sounded excessively soft, dull, and boring. Redkiwi (A'Gon) member said ceramic was much better, but I couldn't find ceramic fuses.

I also had the sub-main grounded to 3 six ft. copper rods driven into the ground within a few feet of my ded. outlets. The main house ground is still active of course. I use 4 Hubbell audio grade outlets ( from ), and one FIM (also 2 silver plated Acmes on speaker subs to nonn-ded. outlets). I replaced all stock power cords with good quality custom cords.

The benefits of this ded. system were huge, and initial cost was only $900. (not including power cords). Noise floor dropped dramatically, dynamics improved a lot, and silences (blackness) became much more silent. A good ded. system should imrove your existing system much more than an amp could. I had my system installed by a licensed electrician, and recommend that approach unless you're totally confident in doing the work yourself. Good Luck. Craig
I strongly advocate the use of several dedicated circuits for your system. I use four dedicated 20Amp circuits utilizing Hubbell Hospital-Grade receptacles and 8 AWG Romex (yes, it is harder, but by no means impossible, to get the 8 AWG cable connected to the receptacle). All the KRELL (both Class AB and noe Class A) gear I've ever owned has benefited greatly from the use of these circuits in dynamics, headroom, and speed; and it has allowed me to upgrade to monster amps without worry or compromise. You won't regret it.
I'll add my voice to the roar:
get the dedicated lines.

At least change the outlets!

I have a Krell KSA 150. This is cheap and easy to do to give you a sample. Run one 20 amp line to your amp. You will hear a noticeable difference. Warning it will lead to more dec lines!!!!!
I have the krell kas mono blocks and have two 30amp dedicated ac line to it. If you don't plane on haven a dedicated ac line than don't buy class a.
My electric box is all used up. The electrician said I would need an entire new box/electric upgrade for about $1700 or he could run a sub-box for about $650. Either way, it's not going to be an inexpensive tweak. He would run the sub off a 50 amp circuit that is dedicated to the heating system. It is an older house that used to be all electric heat and may have needed 50 amps, I don't know. I now have a high-efficiency heat-pump which I doubt ever needs 50 amps. Would a sub-panel in this arrangement "dirty" the current to my system? Would I only be able to listen on warm days? Which option would you go with? Any advice appreciated.
Agree with G M C and get the JPS cable and the dedicated lines. Also, Joe at JPS gave me some great advice on setting up dedicated lines, etc.
I installed dedicated 20 amp. 10 guage outlets and my wife noticed the difference in the picture on mitz 65907.