Dedicated Circuit wire alternatives?

Hey. I've been through the archives and found that the general concensus is that Belden 83803 is the wire of choice for dedicated circuits. At $2 a foot it's pretty pricey considering I would need 100 feet for just my amplifier line.

1) Does the analog/digital line need to be 12 gauge or can I use 14 gauge 83753?

2) Are there any cheaper alternatives (other brands maybe) that offer the same noise rejection traits for less momey? Romex doesn't seem to work as my equipment is the only thing plugged in to it's current line and I can hear the effects of the refridgerator turning on.


The Belden 83803 is a 12 gauge, two conductor tinned-stranded copper with ground. It's claim to fame is the copper braid which serves as a shield.

The specifications certainly are impressive, but since I have not tested it, I don't know if it outperforms traditional 12 gauge solid copper Romex. Or if the copper braided shield is the magic ( if any ).

The key here at least in your case, seems to be the shield. Another option is plugging the offending items into something like Magnum Line suppressors by Electronic Specialists of Mass.

I have my microwave, refrigerator, air conditioning system, computers and alarm system all plugged into Magnum suppressors. The suppressors make audio equipment sound bad when used to isolate the stereo, but used on the offending gear, it is not audible, except that it cures the problems.

Good news is when you move, all the isolators move with you to apply to the next group of appliances that are "bugging" your stereo.

Last, traditional 12 gauge Romex is improved by making a separate ground for the stereo runs. When you lift the ground (within the Romex) turn the ground back and clip it off at the wall receptacle end. Leave the other end attached to the neutral bar in the service (breaker) panel.

This serves as a partial shield at no charge. Another shied is traditional conduit. This would be the metal type and not the PVC.

Installing conduit and traditional Romex may cost less than the expensive shielded Belden, and in some cities improve your fire rating, qualifying you for lower insurance rates.

If these efforts do not lower the noise floor sufficiently, a package of Quiet Lines will make everything sound better and again, are portable.
Sounds like you have a bad capacitor in your fridge or it is on the same phase as the stereo and it should be on the other phase.....Go with 10ga Romex and use all that inductance as a filter and run separate lines for digital and analog making sure the phase is the same as well as on the opposite phase from the appliances....
Sounds like you have a bad capacitor in your fridge or it is on the same phase as the stereo and it should be on the other phase.....Go with 10ga Romex and use all that inductance as a filter and run separate lines for digital and analog making sure the phase is the same as well as on the opposite phase from the appliances....
Tinned conductors typically tend to lend a very "edgy" sound to the upper midrange, i.e. this is what is used in many "ribbon" cables in SS gear. Replacing the "ribbon cables" in many SS components with better quality copper wire gets rid of the "SS glare" that so many folks complain about.

With that in mind and since so many people appear to hear the effect of power cords on their systems, i would think that the tinned copper conductors of the aforementioned Belden would be a BAD thing. I am STRICTLY guessing here though as i have no first hand experience with it.

I agree with Albert and Bob and suggest using good basic wiring, running a dedicated ground and having it all installed in a shielded carrier ( conduit, aluminum flex tubing, etc... ). As mentioned, pay attention to which phase or leg of the breaker / fuse box that you're tieing into. Run seperate lines for the amp, analogue components, digital components, etc... The heavier the wire, the better. This is especially true for the amplification circuit with the others being less critical due to less current draw. Sean
How do I wire my new lines out of phase? Albert, I don't understand what you mean about lifting the ground within the Romex? How would I run a separate ground then?

Please excuse me if these questions are dumb (or scare you). I spent two years as an EE/CE major and regularly work on my car's DC system but I have no practical experience with house wiring (being that this is my first house).

Rcrump, I definitely have a bad something or other in the fridge. Until I replace it, it will provide a good benchmark for the power line changes to my audio gear.

Sean, you do have first hand experience with tin plated conductors in power cords....You also have a ton of first hand experience with tin plated copper conductors used on virtually every individual component as well as boards in your gear.....Tin ain't bright.....
Leoturetsky, I should have made that more clear in my post.

With a dedicated ground attached to your wall outlet (the ground screw) and running to a dedicated ground rod, the "original" ground wire within the Romex becomes useless.

By simply clipping it back BUT attaching the other end to the breaker panel, you get a little additional benefit.
Albert, I'll probably wind up running three lines to my audio system (amp, analog, digital). I should have one common ground for all three lines separate of the house ground, right? I don't want three rods for the three lines as that would/could produce a ground loop, right? I also see what you're saying about leaving the neutral wire in tact but unconnected. I was just being dense.

All three lines to your audio system should have one common ground.

On my system I achieved "preferential" grounding for the stereo. This is achieved by driving a copper ground rod deep in the earth, or using an existing copper cold water pipe. Keep these dedicated ground runs as short as possible.

Then run another wire ( I used 6 gauge ) from that same copper ground rod or copper water pipe, BACK to the ground for the house.

The stereo gets preferential ground by way of extremely short ground run, without ground potential and ground loop problems.

It is possible to experiment with the two grounds. You may listen with the grounds TOTALLY separate OR with the 6 gauge run between the dedicated run and whole house ground. The electrical code will favor tying the two together but I doubt your facing personal safety issues either way. The equipment could suffer from a catastrophic event, but the possibilities are so endless that it could fill another thread.

A word of advice if you are on a pier and beam foundation. Purchase a bus bar like those found in a breaker panel. Attach it to a copper ground clamp and attach the whole rig to the dedicated ground.

If you add additional dedicated runs to the stereo, their dedicated grounds attach to an open slot in the bus bar.

Last, saturate the copper wire connections, the screws and clamp at the bus bar with Oxguard, Cramalin or other oxidation retardant material.

Wrap the entire thing HEAVY with Scotch 2228 rubber mastic. This is a thick stretchy rubber seal (adhesive one side) that remains pliable and is pretty much water and insect proof. The connections should maintain their conductivity for many years before needing attention.