Dedicated line w/ upgraded parts or power cond?


Which would yield best results? A dedicated power line with upgraded outlet and power cable, or a power conditioner?
rockadanny
Dedicated line with a good outlet. I have two with Furutech outlets.
i can say in my case dedicated line was by far better than any power conditioner i used. in fact once i put the direct line in i found the power conditioner i was using actually hindered the sound, dynamics seemed to be restricted.

the other consideration, you can put a direct line in at a fraction of the cost of a power conditioner.
Theres no way to tell until you try it.
First: is you current AC line separate from others?
Or is the refrigerator on it?
If it is free of any appliances, and only say an incandescent lamp on it. then that is pretty much 80% of what a separte line will do.
If the outlet you use is the 'first in line' of a chain of outlets. better. If it is the last in a line, that is bad.
If it is both first and nothing else on it. the you HAVE a dedicated line. Just not one you paid a lot of money for.

I have such a line for my equipment.

The powerconditioner:
Do you want greater clarity? tigher bass? Yes to coonditioner.
Lack bass? no to conditioner.

Lack bass AND want greater clarity.. Jeez My problem. Took a lot to have both.

Powercords. the can of worms. Wayyyy too many possible powercords.
The one I recommend for amp if you want a little more solid bass is an AC9 pangea. two meter length at least.
Others good Shunyata Venom. I have all Pangea in my setup.
And two power conditioners.
I would start by adding dedicated power line. Actually 2 -3 if possible. One for amp/pre, one for digital. As Elizabeth stated, your existing line may serve as a dedicated.
ZD's answer is spot on. As far as I have been able to determine, this business is completely empirical. One can provide some general guidance, which Elizabeth has done, but the whole power supply thing is a case of how your unique AC is supplied to your listening room, and how the AC through your lines and outlets interact with your particular equipment. New, cryo treated outlets can be an inexpensive place to start the experiment. I use the Audio Magic outlets, which for a modest investment gave me a substantial return. I have also recently invested heavily (painfully, one might say) in VH Audio AirSine Power Chords. These PC's took my Cary amps to an entirely different level. But there is no such thing as a universally applicable "best PC for every application" so this is also a guessing game. The cable company can be an asset here. I also strongly suggest you e-mail Chris at VH Audio. He is a straight-shooter, and carries high bang for the buck stuff. Not just his own, but also gear from other vendors. As for dedicated lines, I will be running that experiment early next year. When my Cary amps pull enough current to dim the lights, I think I can safely conclude that there is work to be done in this area.
All of the above posts contain valuable info, but as to which approach is beneficial really boils down to YOUR environment and how YOUR system works within it.

Without knowing your environment/setup it is really difficult to assess which is "The Best" option.

One thing for certain - a dedicated power line and good outlets will reap benefits. e.g.

Getting other household appliances/lamps off the line can provide a significant reduction in interference and using a quality outlet provides better clamping of the plugs and hence a better electrical connection.

A good power-conditioner will also eliminate power line noise, but depending on the conditioner and your equipment you may experience some compression if you plug the amps into it - BTW this has supposedly been verified by the guys at Nordost, but then some might consider their opinions "extreme" :-)

Digital equipment (DAC, CD Player etc..) have been known to polute other sources and power-conditioners have been effective in addressing this.

External RF interference from our surroundings can also contribute to system noise. This however can be remedied either by ensuring a good grounding/shielding approach is taken in power cables, components and interconnects.

My personal journey started with a power conditioner, mainly because that was the recommendation at that time.

Once I installed the dedicated line I discovered my environment was not noisy at all, so I removed the power conditioner - today I even use interconnects without any shield - but that is in MY environment.

This may or may not be applicable in your case and as Zd542 says "There's no way to tell until you try it".

If it is relatively cheap to install a dedicated line in your environment then I would start there - even if you still require a power conditioner the benefits of a dedicated line will not be wasted.

Outlets I like - because they work and are reasonably priced are Pass & Seymour MRI grade @ $25/outlet - Take Fiver Audio sells cryo treated if you think that helps.

Cables I like - Furutech and DH Labs Power Plus

Power Connectors I like - Vanguard from Ebay - they are gold on copper and perform extremely well considering their $21 for an IEC and PLUG pair

There are some very good assembled after market power cables out there - some mentioned in this thread as well as many other threads throughout Agon - so do your research

If possible beg or borrow from friends or cosy up to a good hi-fi store and try as many products as you can.

Also - some of the noise you may hear could come from your components - caps do not last forever and can get noisy so consider this in your "quest for silence".

There is no quick answer - It took me two years to determine the root cause of my problems and how to fix them.

Here's a link that adresses some of the power supply issues and talks to available solutions
You Need A Goods Power Supply
I was able to eliminate power conditioners from my system after having
dedicated lines installed, but the latter will not guarantee elimination of
noise from the power line, or interference from appliances or lighting on
other lines. But, it is the right place to start, if your system is plugged in to a
branch that has a lot of other potentially noise inducing stuff on it. Elizabeth
and WillieW both did a nice job of capturing it.
When we put a new addition on the house a few years ago, we had to upgrade our panel. At the time, I added 3 dedicated lines for my new listening room. Ran 10 gauge Romex and used FIM receptacles.
The one thing we made sure of and this is very important, is to keep motors, refrigerators, dishwasher, and microwave circuits on the different leg from the dedicated listening room circuit(s).
You have two power legs (combined they are 220/240 volt) feeding your panel. You use a single hot leg to get 120 V. We made sure we pulled all the noisy circuits from one leg and the dedicated circuits from the other leg. Your electrician can advise you on this.

I have never felt the need for any kind of power conditioning. All my circuits are dead quiet
Wliiewonka hit it pretty much dead on. I prefer a dedicated circuit, being a retired marine/industrial electrician it's common knowledge to me. It's all about what you are feeding, your coin, and just how far are you willing to go for clean power. Clean power is an argument in itself that'll last for days, by then everyone needs sleep.

I will say if it's feasible and within your budget, by all means run that designated circuit. Throw it on a quality gfi breaker. The breaker and recept need to be hospital grade spec at the very least.
Whart - Did you try moving the dedicated line(s) to the other phase? or the same phase?

I keep all my stuff on one phase - just a foible I have - I used to work in a 3 phase environment and it could get a "little tense" at times - one phase is simple and you rarely kill yourself, but it does perk you up :-)

BTW - that's a very nice system
Willie- as i recall, all same phase, and the quietest leg. I actually received a fair amount of good input from this forum when I was doing the lines. I am in the process of relocating, and have the big Equi=Tech wall cabinet which I hope to install in the next set-up. Thanks for the props on the system. The horns are so efficient @ around 104 db that any noise, whether AC gremlins, grounding anomalies or simply the noise floor of a given component is readily apparent. I went through the tortures of the damned to quiet the system. Also the differences in grounding potential between separate dedicated lines is apparent. I have used an 'external' star grounding approach with mixed success.
Whart - have you tried a floating shield approach on your power and interconnect cables?
All good advice from the previous posts, and in my opinion it can be an individual system dependency and/or local AC power company issues.
I remember reading posts from past topics where some said dedicated power circuits made an improvement and others said they did not notice a difference.
Years ago I first used a power conditioner which was an improvement.
Next, I installed several dedicated 20 amp circuits with high end outlets, which was another big improvement.
I actually removed the power conditioner and injoyed the dedicated circuits and AC outlets, however I finally installed two Xentek Extreme Isolation Transformers which make up my major AC power filration system.
I use two 5 KVA Isolation Transformers into sub-panel that feeds all the dedicated AC power into my systems.
A picture of my power filtration system is shown in my virtual systems.
Willie- I haven't really fooled around with the interconnect pin configuration or wiring- I run XLR from phono stage to line stage, and xlr from line stage into Lamm ML2 amps, but the latter is not a true balanced input. I have floated grounds on power cords in the past to sort 60hz hum issues but try to ameliorate without any ground-lifting. I think some problems may arise from how individual components are internally grounded, but i'm not expert enough to determine that. The external star grounding approach has worked in some set-ups using the horns, although right now, the system is extremely quiet without it. I will occasionally hear noise over the system that comes from a power anomaly on the line, or a microphonic tube, but I've been pretty lucky. I did find that having separate dedicated lines created more potential grounding problems, but right now, fingers-crossed, the system seems to be in fine fettle.
I'll be interested to see how the Equi=Tech performs once I'm set up in a new room. That may be a while, though.
Go with a couple of dedicated lines and use good receptacles,the better they are the better the sound.

Then plug your power amp(s)into one line and the rest into the other.
I also like a third line for just the digital stuff.

This will improve your sound.

Next improve your power cords to all gear.
Keep them from the same company or DIY but use connectors and wire from the same manufacturer, and don't scrimp.

Then try a power conditioner,for the front end gear,one that isolates digital from analog as a starting point.

Then try some upgraded fuses, which should be the icing on the cake,but, after all the power upgrades are done before it. You should now be able to hear what they bring to the party.

When you've gotten the power taken care of you can then audition wires,because now you'll hear the differences between them when all the noise has been cleaned up.

In fact you'll be able to hear your system for the first time, and you may not feel the need to replace anything again.

Then go for a power conditioner for your front end gear
Whart - "floating shield" is not quite the same as "floating ground"

For instance, with floating shield, if you have a power cord with Positive, Neutral and Ground conductors, then all three should be connected at the IEC and mains connector - however, the shield ONLY is connected at the mains connector.

Theory is that any RFI is conducted away from the component connected to it

It works very well with a star grounding scheme

It could be accomplished with XLR using todays multi-shielded balanced connectors, but XLR cables generally are not constructed with a floating shield so I wouldn't consider changing anything with your XLR cables.

The occasional noise interference you attribute to power line anomolies may well be eliminated by the Equi=Tech solution

The explanation on their web site states that the noise on the incoming power line phases are 180 degrees opposed and therefore cancels out when put through their system.

If the noise on the phases are equal in amplitude - they would be correct - but we live in an imperfect world.

However, the differences would probably be so small as to render them innefective

One point of interest, they warn against floating shields - from their web site...
all audio cable shields be grounded at both ends.
Not quite sure as to why they state this - maybe they are assuming there is no seperate ground conductor and the shield is used as ground, by default - which may be true in some cables

Keep us posted on how it works out
Thank you all for you input thus far. I will definitely be putting in dedicated lines and upgraded outlets. But before I decide on power cords, it seems that I should first upgrade my IEC inlets. Do you agree?
Yes you should.This will make it easier to judge differences in power cords.
Lacee, I've currently swapped mine out with Furutechs, do you know of another option?
Rockdanny - replacing the iec inlets on hi-fi components is not always as easy as it sounds - so before ordering, open up each component to ensure it is something you are prepared to attempt or pay a technician to do.

Also, better quality components may well have perfectly good iec inlets. So you may be changing something that may make little or no perceivable improvement.

Having said that I have replaced iec inlets and the improvement was quite noticeable, but that was in one of my DIY projects where I was certain the one being replaced was pretty crappy.

If you are replacing them with Furutech or Oyaide quality iec's, then at least you are assured of their quality and as Lacee points out - you have no doubts that improvements are due to power cords.

Also, ensure that making these changes does not void any existing warranties or UL certifications

Replacing a power cable - simple - plug it in
Replacing a part in a component - a little more to consider

This type of tweak boils down to how much responsibility YOU are prepared to accept :-)
Willie- thanks for your clarification. I will know more once I dig into the E=T set up. It is easy enough to have the cables reworked by the manufacturer if needed. I also don't know how this corresponds with US electrical 'code' requirements, which is something I want to comply with for safety/fire hazard purposes. I have usually worked with a licensed electrician whenever I do anything re wall power- unfortunately, most garden variety electricians know little about sound.
I'm probably going to use someone versed in studio set-ups and commercial wiring once I get to the next room- since I'm relocating from NY to Texas. My goal has been to find a residential property with a separate outbuilding, or the space to build one, dedicated solely to 2 channel listening. Such space is now at a premium in downtown Austin, but we haven't committed to buying a property here yet.
I gather you are in UK or EU?
Had to chuckle about the "electricians know little about 'sound' comment". A good electrician will definately know what clean power is, it's not about just 'sound'. Clean power is a specification itself for various types of equipment, not just 'sound'. Basics would be pick up power from the main panel to a transformer, then to a sub panel with isolated grounds, from there to the specified equipment.

I love this forum...always a chuckle somewheres.

I replaced one set of receptacles in the 15 amp Furman with a spare Shunyata RZ1(?).
It was a bit of a squeeze wire wise,but the recptacle the Shunyata replaced was really quite shabby.

I use this Furman in my HT set up and I have the 5 channel ower amp plugged into the Shunyata receptacle along with the processor.

If I was seroious with the HT system I would replace all the receptacles in the Furman.
The 20 amp Furman version had more robust receptacles,but I still replaced one of those with an FIM at one time.

If there's no warranty,replacing the recptacles in power conditioner and the IEC with better ones,is worthwhile and not hard to do,just make sure you make a diagram or take a picture of how everything is wired up.

I'm not a klutz but I'm no EE either,if you're careful there's a lot of little things you can do to improve gear that is of good design but cheap parts were used to cut costs.

Call me a Furutech fan boy, but all the connectors I've sourced from them,as expensive as they are, haven't failed to impress me with their build, and reliability.
Sounding better than the stock parts they replace is pretty much a given.
I replaced one set of receptacles in the 15 amp Furman with a spare Shunyata RZ1(?).
It was a bit of a squeeze wire wise,but the recptacle the Shunyata replaced was really quite shabby.

I use this Furman in my HT set up and I have the 5 channel power amp plugged into the Shunyata receptacle along with the processor.

If I was more serious with the HT system I would replace all the receptacles in the Furman.
The 20 amp Furman version had more robust receptacles,but I still replaced one of those with an FIM at one time.

If there's no warranty,replacing the recptacles in power conditioner and the IEC with better ones,is worthwhile and not hard to do,just make sure you make a diagram or take a picture of how everything is wired up.

I'm not a klutz but I'm no EE either,if you're careful there's a lot of little things you can do to improve gear that is of good design replacing cheap parts that were used to cut costs.

Call me a Furutech fan boy, but all the connectors I've sourced from them,as expensive as they are, haven't failed to impress me with their build, and reliability.
Sounding better than the stock parts they replace is pretty much a given.
Whart - I'm in Toronto, but originally from the UK where I completed an apprenticeship in Electrical Engineering.

Floating the shield does not break any codes in Canada as long as the other three wires are connected at both ends - since most power cables are not shielded

I've never read the US codes, so I have no knowledge about them - should be fairly close though? (The Devil is in the details :-)

Not sure if floating the ground is a code violation up here, since the codes I have read only deals with wiring a building and not individual "appliances"

However you can bet that if your insurance company was to discover it they would declare it a coverage violation just to get out of paying.

My house/development is only 26 years old, so the subteranian power supply is pretty stable and not subject to "atmospheric conditions" that can effect overhead supplies.

Good luck with the property hunt and your future plans - sounds exciting. We are in the process of "downsizing", but a dedicated listening room is on the list

Maybe your next location will have a better power supply.

No matter how good it is, from what I've read on their web site I think the Equi=Tech is still a great investment.
Hey - Furutech Fan-Boy
- ME TOO! :-)
- but for me it's their power cables and RCA's that I find are outstanding performers.

Their mains, IEC connectors and receptacles, although extremely good are just too pricey for me - I just can't bring myself to part with that much cash for `a plug`

I guess we all have our limits :-)

Oh - to win that lottery ;-)
Mental, perhaps i have used the wrong electricians in the past, but none seemed to understand looking for the quieter leg, any notion of keeping the polarity consistent, the use of additional grounding, potential grounding differences among different dedicated lines, or even the use of higher hospital grade outlets. Though I'm sure all of those things are within the skill set and knowledge base of competent electrical engineers and electricians for clean power, most residential electricians don't seem to have this knowledge. Thus, my observation, based on my experience.
And when you say 'isolated' ground, my understanding is that code does not permit an isolated ground in the sense that it is separate from the ground for the rest of the service delivered to a residence. I gather that having a separate building, with separate service, may enable me to do so, which is something I plan on exploring in my new location, having already touched base with the city inspector here in Austin about the use of the large Equi=Tech to supply system power in my next room. For what it's worth, I'm also interested in finding electricians here with experience in installing such balanced power systems, but that's another story.
Seems to be confusion when the term ground is mentioned. White or gray, depending on volatge is the neutral and referred to as the ground. Green or bare is an equipment ground and referred to as the grounding conductor. Both carry noise. There is a difference between a dirty power dedicated line and a clean power dedicated line, whereas a dirty power dedicated line will clean most noise from the line, clean power does so much more efficiently.

The normal home owner can get away with a dirty power dedicated line for audio but...some will want to take it a step farther and demand the specs for clean power not only because of the amount of dinero tied up into the equipment but also some of that equipment is delicate and demands clean power.

You are correct in thinking that the apprentice electrician out there jerking romex in a housing complex has limited knowledge, thus the comment 'any good electrician' I made is directed to that electrician with the technical knowledge to pass a block exam for his J-Card. Now with that said, I will say I have run across one or two in my time with that J-card that had no place other than jerking romex simply because they were grandfathered in and able to get a masters licence or J-card but had no tech knowledge, much less able to pass that block exam. They had no business with that card! The electrical field is no different than any other field, it has it's faults.

You are correct with wanting to know just who is doing the work for you and just what kind of experience they carry, thats a given and a must.

I grew up as an electrician in the oil patch then onto the shipyards, from there to industrial plants and large commercial sites. I have done a few residential sites over the years when work was slack but I have never been fond of wood much less romex...lol

Good luck with your new sound room. I am impressed that you're taking the time to research. Cheers
Mental - I'm with Whart on this one - electricians of your calibre, who gained extensive knowledge via the industrial/shipyard fields, have been exposed to a much broader experience than Joe-Bloe household electrician.

I worked on 3-phase switchgear design and assembly for a while and my knowledge was totally different to friends in the electronics field

Your experience on the shipyard probably taught you a lot abour the more subtle intricacies of power due the the higher-tech equipment used and the need for a much more stable and balanced power supply throughout the ship.

To someone like yourself, it is second nature, but for those that only came through the housing industry - they may be less informed and those are the people you find via "yellow pages"

So yes, you should be able to sort the wheat from the chaf IF you know what to look for, but many don't.

I don't think for a minute Whart was painting all "lecies" with the same brush - he just had a hard time finding a good one.
heheh....willie, it's all good. I know your post had to of fallen into that moderator post que.
I notice quite a few of these topics in the tech section. I should probaly spend more time in here helping those inquiring minds.
Anyways, cheers.
Dedicated line, 1st.
Hi Whart. Correct polarity testing is done with an item as cheap as $10-$15; I haven't met an electrician w/o one.
What did the inspector in Austin say?
Don't want to dampen the enthusiasm for dedicated lines; but all power in the house is connected, wih outside and inside contamination. Kind of like the water supply and your various taps. If you want clean water out of one tap-what would you do? Remember, the water supply from outside is "not"clean.
Ptss- Based on an initial phone discussion with the inspector there, using the big Equi=Tech wall cabinet should not pose a problem, particularly if I am setting it up in an outbuilding separate from the residence. (It also doesn't seem to be a big deal to get extra service in residences there-a couple of places i was looking at there had 400 amps of service!). Obviously, once I have purchased a property and do a build-out, we will see if there are any code issues. I don't have a problem marking outlets as 'special' and the concept is, the building/room would be used exclusively for the system and my music-business related activities, i.e., it wouldn't be part of the residence, as such, though I may entertain visitors or clients there. I also don't let the cleaning lady into my present room, for obvious reasons. Thus, no reason to expect someone to plug a vacuum cleaner or light fixture into a balanced receptacle.
Whart,

Not all electrical inspectors are created equal. With that said the one you are dealing with, for your area, usually has the final say.

The out building needs to be considered a commercial space and not a residential dwelling unit to meet NEC code Article 647.

Use the word commercial space when talking with the AHJ, Authority Having Jurisdiction, when getting an electrical permit. When the inspector comes out to inspect the installation make sure when referring to the out building, refer to the space as a commercial space and not as a residential habitable space. There is a big difference between the two in the eyes of NEC code.

One other thing worth noting is zoning. Is the area you are buying the house with the out building zoned residential only or residential/light commercial?

[Quote] from Link below:

ARTICLE 647 -- SENSITIVE ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT
647.1 Scope. This article covers the installation and wiring of separately derived systems operating at 120 volts line-to-line and 60 volts to ground for sensitive electronic equipment.

647.3 General. Use of a separately derived 120-volt single-phase 3-wire system with 60 volts on each of two ungrounded conductors to a grounded neutral conductor shall be permitted for the purpose of reducing objectionable noise in sensitive electronic equipment locations provided that the following conditions apply.

(1) The system is installed only in commercial or industrial occupancies.
(2) The system's use is restricted to areas under close supervision by qualified personnel.
(3) All of the requirements in 647.4 through 647.8 are met.

647.4 Wiring Methods.
http://www.equitech.com/support/647.html
.
Yes, thank you Jea. I did look at the code before I talked with the inspector; I will make sure I dot the 'i's'; the building will not be used as a habitable structure, but for business office/listening room. That said, I will be working with appropriate authorities to make sure it is code compliant for the area. The neighborhood I'm focused on is on the edge of downtown and consists of a mix of residential and light commercial structures. But, we are still at least several months away from buying. And, I'm also considering the possibility of either an entirely separate location for the office/system, or using the smaller Equi=Tech units that are essentially black boxes, if I am forced to go that route. Right now, I already own the big wall cabinet, though it has not been put into service, and is in storage awaiting next steps.
Again, thanks.
Best,
Bill Hart
You may find very superior results with separate units. Isolate each piece as you like, with the power they need.
And you get to keep them.
Both be a sport!!
Something I like about a dedicated line is that it is a continuous run from the panel to where you plug your gear into it.

There are no cuts and tie ins to other wall plugs, at least in the dedicated lines that I run.

I also like to attach the dedicated ground wire to the main ground wire directly instead of inside the panel to the ground strip where all the other ground wires are connected.

Would this be considered a less dirty dedicated line?

Also,I am now upgrading to 10/2 romex and 30 amp breakers,yes it's overkill,but not dangerous is it?

I ran this way once before when I had solid state amps and liked the sound, so I'm trying it again with tube amps.
Lacee...code violation adding the to the main ground lug. Purpose of of a dedicated line is not to have it tied into other neutrals(ground) and equipment grounds(grounding conductor) of a branched circuit. Tie them in correctly at the main panel. Only other way to beat that is with a clean power system but for the home owner audio, that dedicated line will clean it up tremendously.
Lacee,

I also like to attach the dedicated ground wire to the main ground wire directly instead of inside the panel to the ground strip where all the other ground wires are connected.
06-02-13: Lacee
Per code the safety equipment ground wire has to connect to the ground bar in the electrical panel the branch circuit is fed from.

(Exception: An IG, insulated isolated equipment grounding conductor, for an IG grounding type receptacle can pass through a sub panel/s and connect to the main service electrical panel where the main service neutral is connected to earth.)

Also,I am now upgrading to 10/2 romex and 30 amp breakers,yes it's overkill,but not dangerous is it?
06-02-13: Lacee

#10 awg is fine but if the receptacle is a NEMA 5-15R (15 amp) duplex receptacle the breaker can be a 15 or 20 amp max per code. 15 amp breaker, 15 amp branch circuit. 20 amp breaker, a 20 amp branch circuit.

If a NEMA 5-20R receptacle is used the branch circuit breaker has to be a 20 amp. Minimum size awg wire #12 copper. Again #10 awg can be used. You just cannot connect the hot to a 30 amp breaker.

http://www.aes.org/sections/pnw/pnwrecaps/2005/whitlock/whitlock_pnw05.pdf
.

Thanks folks.
Much appreciated.

My receptacles are 20 amp,the romex is 10/2,so I will only install 20 amp breaker.
Quote: My receptacles are 20 amp,the romex is 10/2,so I will only install 20 amp breaker.

Heh...I was just picking on you for tying that neutral into the main ground lug. lol

It's all good :)
Mental is confirming using power conditioning to clean up the dedicated audio line if I read him right. I agree-essential.
Jea48 knows the code.
I use larger breakers for peak current dynamics.
dave 33 from may 17. What conditioner were you using.
I believe most are not that good so I appreciate your opinion.
But, some conditioners are hot/swell/great.
I'm somewhat confused(easily),can I safely use a 30 amp breaker if I wire the ground to the proper ground strip in the panel,even if my receptacles are 20 amp?

Most of us have gear that use 15 amp power cords which we plug into 20 amp receptacles on dedicated 20 amp line.
I'm somewhat confused(easily),can I safely use a 30 amp breaker if I wire the ground to the proper ground strip in the panel,even if my receptacles are 20 amp?
06-06-13: Lacee

NO, not per NEC code or your local AHJ.

Why would you want to? The current carrying guts inside a 20 amp breaker are the same as a 30 amp breaker. The difference between the two breakers is the thermal and magnetic trip mechanism.

A 20 amp Square D QO breaker will pass a one cycle inrush current of about 120 amps before it trips open.

A 30 amp QO will pass an inrush current of close to 300 amps for about 8 to 10 cycles before it trips open.

A 20 amp breaker will handle any dynamic peak current pulses from your power amp without any problem.
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30 amp breakers requires the entire circuit be 30 amp compliant...breaker, correct awg, correct receptacles and plugs. Compare the 30 amp receptacle to the 20 amp and you'll know then.