dedicated curcuit question????

I am in the process of having an electrician friend run a dedicated curcuit to my HT-2 channel system.I currently have 2 seperate systems in the same rack.My 2 channel(power amp,cd player,preamp,DAC.My HT system consists of an AV reciever,DVD player,5 channel amp,vcr,cable box and a 36 inch TV.I have most of my gear plugged into a power conditioner,surge protector(Monster Cable HTS 5000) My question is: I can run whatever I want everything is very accesible(its in my basement) Should I run 2 seperate lines from 2 dedicated curcuits? Should I use a 20 amp breaker? What about an isolated ground? I was going to use the PS Audio power ports for outlets.Are these worth 50 bucks apiece or is it overkill? I would greatly appreciate any advice?
Run two or three seperate dedicated lines using 20 amp breakers with 10 gage wire. If you can afford it the power ports are a nice touch. As you probably already know if you do a search in audiogon regarding dedicated circuits, there is a huge amount already written about all the questions you ask!
Hi. Dedicated grounds are always best, run large copper conductors(minimum 10 gauge or smaller) to a copper ground rod, ask you electrician buddy about installing one, they are cheap, but sometimes hard to find. If no ground rod is possible, run dedicated ground to your water pipe, before your water meter, and make sure that your lines coming in from the road are copper or metalic. Also, attach dedicated ground BEFORE any other grounds that may be attached to your water pipe.

The PS Audio Power Ports are excellent, but, the most improvements heard with an accessory like this depends on the quality and resolution of your system components. You know, is your gear going to benefit from the costs of the Power Ports? Or are you going to upgrade down the road and be able to use the PS outlets to thier maximum potential? Either way, they are excellent, and if you are installing dedicated lines anyhow, and have the extra money, why not install them?

Also, top quality after market power cords can do wonders, but thats another story, and they should be investigated.

I would suggest running 3 or 4 dedicated lines for your system, if you have the spare spaces in your board. Use 12 guage, or less, solid core conductors, and Audiophile in wall conductors would also be nice, but pricey, but not neccesary. Use the 20 amp breakers, some say 30 amp breakers, but be careful, the breaker will not trip on overload until, well, ask your electrician about it! But we all agree that the 20 amp breakers sound better than the standard 15 amp jobs.

You can also try the system with everything on the same phase, unless you have monoblocks, in which case you could try running the amps on opposite phase, for a poormans balanced scheme. But many agree that everything on the same phase sounds real nice, but perhaps the HT system would not benefit too much by this, but keep you 2 channel on the same phase unless you have mono amps.

Definately keep your digital on one dedicated circuit, amps on another, then your analog/preamp equipment on another.
Especially the digital needs to be isolated, but if you are using power conditioners, this may help alot, if you cannot efficiently isolate everything. But the digital isolation should have priority, then the preamp(s), then the amp(s).

The HT5000 has some isolated outlets for digital, and I would still use them, perhaps to take the edge off the digital, but I still might want to isolate the HT5000 on its own dedicated 20 amp line, and keep the digital on it, and perhaps some other non-priority sources.
Many preamps sound better without power conditioning, experimenting may be in order, its up to your ears.
Also, you could probably plug the TV into the Monster unit, should make a difference, just check the power ratings of the units.
As always, check things out with a liscensed electrician, and check your local state/fire/electrical codes first.

You could get by on 2 dedicated lines, but 3 or 4 would be much better, especially since you seem serious about the install.


Regards, Bill M.

This has turned out to be an interesting thread IMO. There is a lot of information already given. Some I agree with, some I don't. You should use the search feature to find many threads to do with this subject. KEY WORDS LIKE *Dedicated* *Dedicated circuits* and *Voltage drop* should bring up plenty.

It is never my intention to bash anyone’s comments as I can see their intent is genuine and sincere. Having said that I will say that I am an Electrician in a very High Tech area (Silicon Valley) And I have the mindset of an audiophile. Which is to say I believe in the best possible installation for the money invested.

I have installed six dedicated circuits in my own home and many in other peoples homes not to mention twenty-years in the commercial end of the industry (Impressed yet?)

My 2-cents on this topic would be run four or even five dedicated circuits (Mainly because you have a lot of gear) each with it's own dedicated neutral. Also add an isolated ground and a dirty ground to the receptacle location.

Use I.G. rated receptacles; you should probably run a 1" conduit between your panel and new location to cut down on labor and material. You will be required to pull #10 wire by code because of a de-rating issue when pulling more than five current carrying conductors in a raceway. THHN wire will work fine and personally I'd use stranded because it's easier to work with.

I recommend 5-hots 5-neutrals 1-isolated ground and 1-dirty ground.

Try to get a Commercial grade Electrician to do the work as opposed to a Residential Electrician. A Residental Electrician won't understand what you’re trying to accomplish, and may look at you funny.

Keep in mind the issue is not the current demand of your system but rather the isolating of different types of components from each other. This will lower the noise floor dramatically.

Don't forget to report back when it's all done.
Good luck!!! :^)
Krelldog, checkout the cryo/silver ACME plugs.
Spoken highly of at AA, I just picked up 4. Maybe today or next weekend I'll have them installed, into 4 20amp runs.

LAK,KILLERPIGLET,GLEN,andBILLM- Thank you all for great advice.I am going to have to live with 2 dedicated lines.Thats all the room I have left in my panel.I am going to use Hubbell 20 amp isolated ground outlets.My electrician can get them from a hospital he's doing work at.I will print out the reply's I got and show him .But for the record he thinks its a great idea,and its not like he's charging me much(a case of beer and a good bottle of whiskey)of course for after the job is done.LOL Thanks again.This website is awesome. Thanks John
Krelldog - don't skimp on the whisky...a good single malt can lower your noise floor up to 5 dB!
He could easily run a sub box off your main panel so that you could run additional 20 amp dedicated circuits (or what ever where ever you want), if you desire. It's easier to do it all at one time than have to come back at a latter time and redo the job (but not the end of the world).
I also use the 20 amp Hubbell isolated ground outlets, they work well.
Q. Should I run 2 seperate lines from 2 dedicated curcuits?
A. Absolutely. In fact, you should have a minimum of 3 dedicated circuits. One 20 amp dedicated circuit for the amplifier, one 15 amp dedicated circuit for your digital cd player, and one 15 amp dedicated circuit for your pre-amp. This is the only way to ensure max. power draw to expand the dynamic headroom of the amplifier, as well as keeping the digital noise generated by a cd player back into the power line from entering your analog components i.e. preamp and amp. Not to mention keep AC noises from entering your equipment via every other electrical thing in the house like dimmers, vacuums, microwaves, blowdryers, etc..

Q. Should I use a 20 amp breaker?
A. 15 amp breakers for the digital and preamp circuits. 20 amp breaker for the amplifier's circuit.

Q. What about an isolated ground?
A. The best sounding ground is no ground. Grounding has a way of generating noise into the lines and eventually into the sonics. There are those here that would vehemently state that you should never lift or float the ground, but the best sonics are achieved only when that is down. The next best thing would be to have all of your audio components except perhaps the digital source sharing the same isolated ground.

Q. I was going to use the PS Audio power ports for outlets. Are these worth 50 bucks apiece or is it overkill?
A. It depends on what another had already stated. If you've already got an extremely revealing, high-end system, then yes, and at $50 a pop, why not? I am using the PS Audio Power Ports on each of my dedicated circuits. The main thing you want is to ensure that good strong grasping contact is made between the outlet and the plug. A hospital-grade $10 20 amp outlet from Home Depot will also provide this same taught grasp between outlet and plug. In fact, most $2.00 20 amp outlets generally will grasp a plug much tighter than a $0.59 15 amp outlet.

An audio-grade wall outlet removes doubt that you could do better. However, if you install an audio-grade outlet, 10 gauge 99.95% OFC romex straight from the service panel with no breaks, etc. (like I've done), you would still have that cheap middle-of-the-road poorly crafted service panel to deal with. I have a friend who installed a new $1200 service panel to eliminate that as a potential problem. Most service panels would cost you about $100 to $175 at Home Depot. And that service panel you and I are currently using probably cost $8.00 back when our houses were built.

IMO, -John
Stehno, that’s some pretty good information though I still do not agree with lifting the ground. I guess I've been hit to many times by every type of electricity known to mankind.

If you insist on cleaning up the ground how about dedicated grounds? One per I.G. receptacle. You know I damn near installed them myself in my home :^) but after bouncing the idea off a few of my friends at work and thinking seriously on the subject for a few days I finally passed on the idea. Though theoretically it almost seems feasible.

This is the part of the forms I enjoy the most. The sharing of good information. I couldn't agree with you more on the Commercial grade service. I trust your using bolt on breakers? Oversized the rating of the panel? Pure copper bussing? I personally would have added the Opt. I.G. ground bar and surge suppresion on the mains but that's just me.

The point I always try to stress is that lifting the ground posses an incredible safety issue. Did you know if your gear blows up and there is no reference to ground the breaker will probably not trip? Not until the receptacle burns up enough to short the hot to the neutral. THIS STUFF REALLY HAPPENS!! I know first hand, I've seen more than a couple dozen fires caused by faulty electrical wiring. When the insurance investigator finds out you lifted a ground wire which prevented a breaker from tripping guess what YOUR SCREWED!

Of course this is only my two cents. Lift the ground if you'd like. Leave your gear on when you’re away from the house or sleeping. Sweet Dreams :^)
Glen, could you elaborate on some of the real experiences you've encountered or heard from non-grounded environments?

I shut off all components if I'm not in the house and when I go to bed.

If I hear a storm is coming or go on vacation, I unplug all equipment.

What are some of the possible situations I could encounter with my non-grounded application? And what is the possibility of such events occurring?

I do have a whole house surge protector installed by the electric co.. Also, most outlets are non-grounded anyway since the house was built 42 years ago.

Also, my Sony SCD-1 SACD/cd player came with a cheater plug. If things are so scary, why would they provide that as well as plenty of mfg'ers supply permanent 2 pronged power cords?

I'm asking because perhaps I really don't understand the risks I may be taking.

Thanks much,

I guess the most obvious scenario would be a lead wire coming lose in one of your components and touching the casing or anything bonded to the casing. The odds of this happening are probably pretty slim, but if it happened while your ground was lifted you could get a severe shock when touching the equipment. With the ground attached your breaker would trip instantaneously and would not reset.

As far as real life experiences go. I've been an electrician all my life. I've seen lots of burned up stuff. (As in whole buildings /houses etc.)

I myself have been injured by electricity on several occasions. Therefore I respect it. I don't toy around with it.

In the old days people didn't realize how important and effective grounding was. Today they do. That's why everything associated with electricity is usually grounded.

When appliances have a two-prong cord cap and a UL listing that usually means the product is double insulated and will not transmit voltage to the outer casing should something become defective inside the product?

As far as the two-prong cheater plug. I have no idea why manufacturers supply it. Sounds like a law suite waiting to happen.

I know all my gear warns against disconnecting the ground and voids the warranty should you choose to.

I acknowledge lifting the ground to be a quick fix for ground loops, amp hum and a few other problems, but personally I don't agree with this solution. In the trade we call it a band-aid. It does not solve the real problem.

I basically agree with everything you've said so far on the subject except the grounding comments.

I run six dedicated circuits with dedicated neutrals one isolated ground and a dirty ground to my gear. I connect one ground to an I.G recptacle the other to the box(If metal) I never compromise the ground when doing electrical work.
What I end up with is very clean power and no noise. My noise floor dropped so low I sold both my power conditioners.

I hope this helps. It seems to me you are asking some valid questions politely so I don't mind addressing them. Even though it is my day off :^)
Thanks, Glen. Much appreciate your answers to my questions especially on your day off. :)

In the future, I think I will refrain from mentioning lifting the ground.

And, yes, there certainly is a risk anytime one dabbles with electricity.

It scared the cheese out of me when I moved a couple of breakers around on my service panel from one phase to the other.

BTW, Have you ever thought or tried the balanced power (230 volt) route with your amp?
There is no issue with using either side of your panel or should I say both sides. As long as you bring in a separate neutral (white wire) with each hot. DO NOT BALANCE TWO HOTS ON ONE NEUTRAL IF BOTH HOTS ARE CONNECTED TO THE SAME BUSS IN YOUR PANEL. Did you notice I didn't say same phase?

A residential service is Single phase. Both 120volt lines in your panel are derived from a single transformer provided by your power company. (Thus single phase) There is no such thing as A-phase and B-phase in a residential panel. unless of course the house is huge and has a three phase service coming in. This would only apply to around 5% of the population.

If you are balancing two hots on one neutral they must be on opposing buses in your panel. Otherwise you could very easily overload the neutral and burn it up. This will cause an electrical fire in your walls long before you trip a breaker. This is not a grounding issue.

Anyway I hope I helped a little on this thread.