Dedicated mains supply unexpected result

I have a dedicated consumer unit supplying my Hifi as I know a lot of audio enthusiasts have. It was installed a couple of years ago and has rendered excellent sound quality.

l recently had my house electrics checked out and the electrician said I should install a heavier cable from the house mains inlet. It was rated at 70 amps and it should be 25mm sq, 100 amps. The copper cable in both cases is the standard UK domestic quality.

The replacement work has been carried out, however the sound quality has deteriorated, less powerful bass and a shrillness added to higher frequencies. Neither of these issues existed with the original supply cable. Nothing else has been changed in the system.

Anyone experienced this phenomenon?

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From what you're describing the amplifier is not working correctly  after the mains cable was replaced from the meter to the panel. Call the electrician back and explain the amplifier is not working correctly and can he please check over his work. From what you describe, the voltage is sagging when the amplifier is being presented with a low impedance load call from the speaker.

I suspect he didn't torque down a connection lug at the panel or at the meter pan. If that is the case, it is a fire hazard and must be addressed immediately.

I'm not totally sure I understand. But if the electrician installed a heavier gauge wire to your system, it may be a cable break in issue.


As an Electrician, I can say cable size increases with the demand on a new house service. The old houses were 70 amp, then the standard was 100 amp, now we are at 200 amp.That is a lot of load, at the same time the houses are becoming mansions and the demand is there for a large residential service. Huge panel boxes are installed due to code changes, damn near everything thing gets it's own breaker.


One thing that never changes is ohm's law. Fact a larger conductor has less resistance and allows more current to flow causing less heat on the conductor. The same amperage on a smaller conductor causes heat and breaks down the insulation causing fires.

Residential installations are  considered a single phase setup, 2 hot conductors a neutral wire and a ground wire. By adding new larger cable, that should not have cause any issues to your audio system in any way. At that position the new cable is most likely a better copper, and has way better insulation.

The neutral and ground conductors should be isolated from each other throughout the entire house the come back together in the breaker box, they are bonded there. Depending on how old your main breaker box is, there may have been something the electrician had to do to get the larger conductors to terminate. The new cables may not have fit in the original lugs, he may have had to change them? That alone should not have caused any issues. 

I assume that the work done was more than just a wire replacement but that you also had a new panel installed?

Get something like the Quille plug in voltage tester (9 pounds) on Amazon and watch it while playing music.  Pay attention to the Neutral to Earth as well as the Neutral to Hot voltages.

It could very well be a noise issue caused internally.  Try turning off every other circuit in the home to attempt to localize the problem.

Send pictures of your mains box open so I can see how its landed/wired

Per Eric, did they change the mains box.

Did they change your main breaker or add a AFCI.


Thank you for the responses, I have not replied untill now  so I had a chance to carry out some of the suggestions from posts to the thread (some of which seem to have disappeared?) and get the electrican back.

Anyway cleaned all the connections with contact cleaner, checked tightness of connections and the electrician checked continuity and impedence. Also the dedicated circuit is  now directly connected to the incoming mains supply. Ran the system for a couple of days and things did improve.

As a final possible improvement I replaced the house main fuse (the end caps were quite tarnished) and cleaned the fuse container/contacts. This seems to have brought about a noticable improvement over the original sound quality.

I don’t think it is my imagineation but some often played tracks have greater clarity and tighter bass.

Good to hear! It took my system couple of weeks to settle after the dedicated circuit was run. Cable break in and ears/brain getting used to new sound.

It is not your imagination. My system sounded bolder and more pronounced, after I ran a dedicated 20 amp CCT

Aluminum is for cans! Copper is for electrical wire and pennies.

Not so, they are using aluminum cables for distribution lines and connections from the street to the houses, at least where I live in BC. And there isn’t much copper in pennies these days, in the US anyway, we don't even have them in Canada.