dedicated power line

I am in the process of having and electrician upgrade our home service to 200 amps. While he is at this it is quite easy for him to run a dedicated line for my hifi closet. What are the cost effective measures that i can have him put in place that have proven to upgrade sonic (and for that matter video) performance.

Hi Neil, I think the basic cost effective way is to run two dedicated 20 amp lines, one for analog and one for digital, with good quality wire, 20 amp breakers, and 20 amp outlets, but not hospital grade.
Make sure he wires them on the same phase leg. Otherwise, you might get a ground loop.
Absolutely, same phase leg. Thanks for the additional comment.
Not hospital grade, get better ones; it makes a major difference. I don't know exactly what you mean by 20 amp outlets, the current is carried in the wire and while a 20 amp breaker is different than a 15 the receptacles I use are labeled neither and while the female end of a 20 power cord differs from a 15 amp cord the male end is the same. So I assume they can be used on either, I have mine on both. They are much better built than ordinary ones. I use 2 20 amp lines and have used one for analogue and one for digital but have found I get better sound by putting my power amp and one powered sub on one and the other sub and everything else on the other. I use a PS Audio Quintet to isolate the digital and analogue equipment on that side. YMMV.
Depending on where you live, you may want to CONSIDER a whole-house lightning / surge protector. They are not expensive and may save you some grief down the line....and, during an upgrade as you suggest, easy to do.

While your electrician is at it, you may want to have him install a more robust ground. Since he has to disconnect the service to install a new 200 amp box anyway, a better ground can make a big improvement. You should have both circuits on the same leg and ideally opposite of your major appliances.
One of the best ways to improve all your gear.
A suggested I didn't see in the thread is to make sure he uses 10awg wire.
Receptacles are rated for either 15a or 20a, but as you said, some are not labeled. Should be on the original spec sheet.
agree with all posters but now is the time to put a surge, lightning supressor on the box.
And don't forget to put those little stands under all the wires.

01-28-11: Davetherave
"And don't forget to put those little stands under all the wires."

Davetherave, now that is just silly. How will the electrician get stands into the walls? My guess is he will just pull the Romex through holes in the wall studs and let the studs hold them up.

Or were you implying that taking steps to improve the power from the main panel (dedicated lines, isolation transformer, power filtering, reducing ground loops, avoiding induced ground voltages, spike/surge protection, outlets that make better contact) deliver the same demonstrated audio/video improvement as cable elevators?

(tongue firmly in cheek)
I'm hoping someone can tell me about romex 10ga. vs. 10ga. wire that comes from a co. called Colonial, it says 600V on the wire. Will this wire do for dedicated lines? Thanks all for your responses.
Thank you all for this fantastic feedback. Reading through the above posts and other threads on this forum, i was thinking about running the following to my AV closet:
1 x 20 amp circuit terminated with a single receptacle; this will be used for by 12 channel ATI amp
1 x 15 amp circuit terminated with quad box; to be used for pre-amp, active crossover module for speakers and turntable
1 x 15 amp circuit terminated with quad box; used for DAC, Blu-ray
1 x 15 amp circuit terminated with quad box; used for TV, Mac Mini, Cable modem and external drives.

20 amp circuit to run with 10awg. All 4 circuits to be terminated on same leg at fuse box, opposite polarity to rest of house?
I'm hoping someone can tell me about romex 10ga. vs. 10ga. wire that comes from a co. called Colonial, it says 600V on the wire.
01-28-11: Phillykid


Building wire for power, (120V up to and including 480V carries a 600 V rating. The conductors inside of the sheath of NM-B, Romex trade name, is THHN 600V insulation rated.

Sorry, I do not have any first hand knowledge of
Colonial Wire. If the wire is single conductor it should have the type of insulation used. THHN, THWN, XHHW....

JMHO, use solid core copper wire instead of stranded....
Just to clarify the 15 amp vs 20 amp outlet, it's pretty easy to tell them apart by just looking at the front. Looking at the front of the 15 amp outlet you will see the two vertical slots and the round ground hole. With a 20 amp outlet there is a small horizontal slot coming off one of the vertical slots. Do a google images search for 20 amp outlet and you will see what I'm saying. By code though you should only use a 20 amp outlet on a 20 amp circuit.

I have found 10 gauge to be a bit excessive particularly for the length of runs we are talking about in a typical house. It's very stiff and difficult to work with especially stuffing it into the wall box with the outlet attached. I used 12/2 Romex with my dedicated 15 amp line to two 15 amp outlets and it's been a very worthwhile improvement to my system.
Hi Neil,
Did you notice any improvement with dedicated circuits ?
What electrical panel did you use ?