Dedicated Power Lines

Been thinking about running dedicated Romex circuits from my circuit breaker box for my rig. No . . . I decline paying for specialty wire, Romex will do. The question is how many discreet lines and the amp capability of each line. I'm still trying to figure out how to do the installation in accordance with Code, without tearing my finished basement apart. For that, I'll consult a licensed electrician.

My rig consists of the following gear: (1) self powered sub that is rated at 1500 "Class D" watts; 4500 watts on a surge; (2) ARC tube CDP; (3) ARC tube line stage; (4) ARC tube power amp rated at 120 wpc - supposedly draws 700-800 watts when driven hard; (5) ARC tube phono pre; and VPI TT. I have a large screen plasma TV and a DVD player. I think that stuff can run off the house circuits.

Right now, everything I just listed is sucking juice off the same line. I gotta believe no good is coming from that set-up. Funny story -- one day my kid was playing Rosetta. I think it's a band that plays music, or at least that what my kid says. Tons of bass. When the band kicked into "low gear," first the basement lights dimmed, then the circuit breaker tripped.

Oh, my house is tied into the utility lines with a 100 amp service. If I change that out, that's the next project. But not right now. Other than Rosetta, no other power delivery problems noted.

Bifwynne; In response to your question, the answer is no, the signals will not be out of phase if connected to different phases of the electrical panel. I suggest to the OP to be very clear in the instructions to the electrician. If you want 10 gauge conductor and are willing to pay for it, then so instruct the electrician. If you want 20 amp service per dedicated line, then also so instruct the electrician. Same for separate conductors as opposed to "Romex" style conductors. You can't go wrong with 10 gauge, 20 amp service per dedicated line. Each dedicated line having its own ground, hot and neutral back to the panel and will not be shared. If you want to place all your electronics on one phase at the panel. Go for it. If the load is too high and unbalanced, a good electrician will not do it. However, some will. Also, you will not have ground loops or noise if you split the load to each phase on the panel. Not if the ground and neutral are dedicated and not shared. They all terminate (and I mean all of them) back at the same ground and neutral point in the panel anyway. But, go for it anyway you want. just don't violate code and risk issues as I mentioned previously. Be on the safe side, and follow proper electrial standards. Again 99% of ground loops are caused by improperly designed and constructed equipment with bad internal grounding schemes and poor interconnect cables. You will appreciate dedicated lines.

What is your take on the reason why you should put all your audio equipment on one leg and putting all your noisy devices on the other to avoid noise transfer. My understanding is a electrical device sucks electricity in and it's a one way street, the device then generates noise, etc., which then goes back into the system via the neutral or return line. The return line for both legs are then tied together along with the ground, making the ground a very important point to eliminate noise, and not the hot line as the key culprit.
There are many ways that noise can be added to the power lines. Large industrial motors, generators on the system, etc. However, when in your home, it can come from florescent lighting, refrigerator motors, microwaves, etc. You can actually scope the power line and see noise on it. A very good piece of equipment will have inherent internal power supply filtering that will remove the vast majority of this noise when converting to DC. Some have large coils in the power supply circuitry also that help with this. Your friendly neighborhood power company will acutally test your home system (if you complain and ask) and see if noise is present, or low voltage, or flickering (yes voltage flickering). Here is how you fix this. 1) remove all bad lighting,2) get a decent power conditioner for your low level electrics to plug into as I mentioned previously. I wouldn't swap around circuitry in the home. This is really a non-issue to me. If one is careful, run dedicated lines (with separate and unshared neutrals and ground conductors), proper interconnect cabling helps. I'm the first house off the power transformer for my area, so I have great voltage. Four dedicated lines for my system (which includes separate ground and neutrals for each dedicated line), CD, TT, Tuner, Pre-amp, Phono stage, DAC, electronic crossover all plugged into a very nice power conditioner and that is plugged into a dedicated circuit. Two stereo amps each plugged into its own dedicated circuit. Result, dead quiet.No ground loop, no refrigerator noise, no microwave noise, no lighting noise, no flickering, no voltage sagging, just music. However, I do believe it is important to not share neutrals or grounds on lines for the music system.
A few thoughts.
1.The home insurance issue is major. Be legal or very possibly be out of luck even if the fire fault was not the wiring you installed!
2.Go big guage (10)and just as important- quality well shielded wire. Best bet would to scavenge some excess wire used for robotic controls. It has stringent and valuable characteristics far surpassing the generics you speak of- and the design quality is for robust, failsafe accurate signal transmission-quite desirable for high quality power supply, regardless of the power level.
3.Remember that an average load of even 6 or 7 amps will probably result in instantaneous draws of up to 150 amps. Bigger guage is beneficial.
4. noise from equipment can reflect on all 3 lines.
5. I'm assuming what you want is adaquate clean power to your equipment.With the price of copper and labor today I highly suggest a consultation with an electrician regarding load distribution and economical ways of making what you have accomodate your requirements for power.
6. to clean your power consider installing 1, 2 or 3 of the Equitech (I have zero affiliation or interest)"blemished", cheap balanced transformers. Fabulous improvement-way ahead of dedicated line. Dedicated lines are still garbage laden from the outside power utility and noise from your home. Finely balanced power works miracles. (if its good enough for super delicate medical and research work , NASA, etc, it will benefit you.
(I have a so called state of the art preamp with a lauded separate ps. Adding the balanced transformer was like--magic. It clearly revealed the power supply to be the weakest link(very weak) in my otherwise terrific pre.
7. under no circumstances have digital,television,etc connected to same power source as your sensitive analog electronics. I've been fussy about power and conditioning for years and it has paid off; however, it wasn't until I established a separate isolation transformer for my digital source , on top of all dedicated lines and balanced transformer isolation for my pre and amp, that I really got the full benefit of years of working on my system.
It is magic for digital; all the big boys are well aware of it.
Best wishes. Pete