There's no doubt that dedicated lines would improve sound over a conventional line. A good power cable is much better than the stock cable supplied. But buying a power cable that long wouldn't be cost effective. I would try to relocate the rig if at all possible.
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If you already have one dedicated line that does not require long (and consequently potentially very expensive) power cords, I would be really cautious about saying you definitely will find an audible improvement adding the two extra lines under these circumstances. If you could plug straight into the wall, you probably would hear a clear improvement. But the really big sonic upgrade seems to be going from no dedicated lines to at least one, which if I understand your post, you already have. Depending on what power cords you are thinking about using, this could be a very expensive undertaking indeed. The lines themselves could be done for less than $500 in most cases, but power cords of this length could easily run many times this amount by themselves. And long runs in cords/cables are never a good thing sonically to begin with.
What do you mean "there is no way around it"?Can't you at the very least install them on the floor like commercial office spaces.Either surface installation or better recessed in the floor.Where is your room on the main floor or basement.Again my understanding is that there is no wall behind your system to install boxes so put them on the floor.
My home is a split level and the floor the room (quasi-basement)is on is concrete and is not accessible from below. Neither is it accessible from above as there is no way to fish a new line in. Yes I guess I could take power from inside to the outside of the house and run it 80 feet or so around my home and then bring it back into the house but thats unsightly as well as impractical. And I'll never be convinced that an 80' trench to hide the power line would be worth the benefit of dedicated power. I could move as well buts thats really not an option...
I could move the rig 20 feet to the other side of the room but then I'd have to get super long speaker cables that I'd have to hook up each time I was going to listen as they could not be left out for someone to trip over. I still have to do this with a long power cable but 2 long decently constructed power cables would cost less than comparable 20' speaker cables. I run Acoustic-Zen cables now and 20 footers would be serious money (at least for me)which in my estimation is much more than 2 long power cords.
I can accept that there might be some loss of power "quality" when using long cords but if the new dedicated lines from my box to the outlet is only about 20' and then an addtional 20' power cord right into the component would this not better than running say 80' around the house?
If you're going to run dedicated lines into the room that will still require 20' PC's from the outlets, how about extending the dedicated lines on the inside of your room instead of bringing it in from the outside, etc?
There is hollowed out moulding that is paintable that you can hide the Romex in, so as not to create an eyesore.
I'm sure there are other creative ways to get around your predicament but that's the first thing I thought of.
I don't understand. Why can't the dedicated line be brought up, right close to your rig? Dedicated lines, still, would be the preferred way to go. The reason for the dedicated lines is not to shorten the distance, anyway, but to isolate your rig from all other electrical interferrences, plus separte, most importantly, your digtal from analog. peace, warren
I installed a dedicted line for my equipment and did not hear a substantial improvement; maybe a blacker backgroound. So IMO depending on the quality of your power; mine is pretty good, you may or may not hear an impact. I would, if you havn't already, install a couple of good hospital grade outlets in the outlet box you are currently utilizing and upgrade the power cords on your equipment. I am not familiar with your power conditioning unit but you might want to try active power conditioning as well.
There is no-way I would use 20 foot power cords as the cost alone IMO would not be the most effective use of your dollars. I believe there are a couple of easier tweaks available to get you close to dedicated power; such as the ones mentioned above. I am not an electrician but maybe there is a way to install an isolation transformer on your existing line;again just some thoughts. In closing I would try and find an electrician who understands your situation and get some ideas.
If you decide you really do need to run 20' power cables it's possible to very easily make them up yourself. You can create a shielded power cable for about $75 with some of this:
One of these:
and one of these:
There's no soldering involved and it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to do.
Contrary to what Zenieth states, there is doubt.
I suggest that you get a long (40 ft?) heavy duty extension cord and plug it into an outlet near your electric service box. Turn off every electrical device on the same fuse/breaker as that outlet. Now you have a "dedicated" line, except that it uses the extension cord wire inastead of Romex. Plug your system into the extension cord, and fire it up. Does it sound different? Now YOU can decide if the cost of a "dedicated" power line is worth it.
By the way, I do have "dedicated" power lines, but that's because my power amps are in the cellar, where running Romex is no harder than an extension cord (well almost) and my front end equipment rear side is in the cellar stairway about 6 feet from the electrical service entrance.
Driver has the right idea, but the wrong product; what is needed is a product that goes by the tradename "Wiremold" or its equivalent. It's a form of wall-surface-mounted, decent-looking, paintable metallic conduit that will meet NEC requirements. The hollowed-out molding will not meet NEC req's. Wiremold sells pre-formed inner and outer corners, surface-mount outlet boxes and other useful accessories for successful completion of your "impossible" job.
BTW, I would have the electrician use STEEL (not aluminum) BX armored cable up to the point where you make the transition to the Wiremold because of its superior magnetic shielding properties.
If the power coming to your house is crap then it won't matter how many taps or dedicated lines you have. The best thing to have is a power conditioner and they are mega buck if you want one that is respectable. I can't believe how many people are suckered into buying "Special Cable" that has absolutely no effect on their system. I am sure that everyone has a spectrum analyzer and an oscillator that they can sweep signals through their cables to make sure they are synergistic. Get a power conditioner and be done with it.
Below is just one example of a method for installing dedicated audio branch circuits and outlets by your audio equipment.
Wiremold products can be purchased in metallic and non metallic. The product is surface mounted to your existing walls.
Best to hire an electrical contractor for installation.
A commercial electrical contractor.
Specify solid awg wire not stranded. He will press for stranded, tell him no, you want solid.
When you talk to the contractor over the phone tell him you are thinking of Wiremold and have him bring a Wiremold material book with him. There is a multitude of different raceway sizes to choose from. The size will be determined by the number of dedicated circuits you want and the wire size.
Note..... No multi wire circuits.....No shared neutrals.....
Check out the picture supplied by Wiremold. You can install the Wiremold raceway and boxes above the top edge of the base trim around the wall.
If you could supply some pictures of your room that would allow more fine tuning of your situation.
I agree with Chuck, talk to your electrician and get his idea on how to best run dedicated lines close to where your rig is now. There are usually ways of snaking lines from the panel to the new location even without access to the space above or below. The electrician might have to open small holes (for snaking wires) in the walls and/or ceiling but these are easily repaired. Good Luck.
My dedicated line.
Don´t know if all of you may read it, but you could atleast scroll down and look at some pictures of how I did it. Just "next-page" it at bottom...
Shielded power-line. Dedicated fuse and line. High-quality wall-sockets.
If you ask me - worth the effort and money. Rewarded with calmer sound. Cleaner sound. Amp really enjoyed the bigger AWG ; )
I installed a dedicted line for my equipment and did not hear a substantial improvement; maybe a blacker backgroound.My experience has been that a blacker background is the primary benefit of all power tweaks, including dedicated lines, conditioning, and power cords. With a blacker background comes less "grain" in the upper mids and highs, and sometimes the illusion of more volume, since there is less hash in the power. All of this contributes to a "more real" musical reproduction.
A blacker background is not a subtle change, IMO.
I agree with your comment concerning blacker background as that is the goal with dedicated lines. But please do not take my comments out of context as I stated "MAYBE a blacker background" not definite. And given Rgd's situation it may not be worth the trouble. However, others have made good suggestions concerning the routing of the romex that might make it much easier.
Rannagarden, your pictures were interesting to look at. I am always interested how things are done in other countries.
Here in the United States the only thing that comes close to the cable you used is MC cable which is UL listed, for use in the USA.
I noticed in your pics the insulated pipes above your head. On the corners and one area against a wall, is that exposed asbestos?
I run 2 dedicated 20 amp lines across my carpeted basement floor from my panel to my equipment. I use 10 guage waterproof, shielded cable bought at Home Depot. I have seen this cable run outdoors at concerts so electrocution is not an issue.You can not run Romex solid core in this fashion.The waterproof cable also goes around corners and stays where you put it, much like a good power cord. Try an IEC connector at the end of the cord going to your power amp and forget about an after-market cord for awhile.
But please do not take my comments out of context as I stated "MAYBE a blacker background" not definite.Chuck, the only point I made was my perception of the importance of a black background.
Sometimes, folks expect Fireworks and a Happy Ending when installing dedicated lines or other tweaks. My intent was simply to discuss the significance of the subtle benefit of a black background.
I apologize for using your post to launch my comment.
Jea48 - No worries Jim. My cellar hides plenty of not so nice things... But no asbestos ;) I will clean that place up a bit when the rest of the house is done.
The cable I used is the "ÖLMASS" 3x13 AWG and is approved in all ways for this type of installation. The braided "shield" of the cabel is connected to "earth" at fusebox. The fuse is a 16A gold-fuse for audio use.
The only advantage to dedicated lines is the fact that you have more available power.However audio components use very little power so I doubt it is neccessary unless you are running multiple amps for a H.T setup as I am.
A dedicated line does not isolate noise as many audiophiles imagine.I have no idea where they get this idea from.All the wires in your house meet back at the fuse panel and so they all share the same bus bar and therefore share feedback.
No problem but that was the point of my comment that I heard very little if any improvement. I installed the dedicated circuit because it was easy. I was busy wiring my basement and figured why not. I ended creating a ground loop on my CD player; solved by lifting the ground. Budt3210 makes a good point in his comment about a dedicated circuit (share a common panel) versus a dedicated line (new run from source prior to meter). I had an opportunity to hear a system with an isolation transformer (audio consulting) and in theory this methodology IMO makes the most sense for creating good clean power. I played around with a passive conditioner and felt it made my sytem sound more closed in and compressed (rolled off); so I sold it. In closing adding a PS Audio power cord to my CD player made more of an impact (blacker background) than did any dedicated circuit. Given Rgd's situation I wouldn't go through the trouble.
>>"The only advantage to dedicated lines is the fact that you have more available power.However audio components use very little power so I doubt it is neccessary unless you are running multiple amps for a H.T setup as I am."<<
How do you explain the volumes of posts in the archives, of Audiogon, to the contrary. First hand experience that indeed dedicated branch circuits did improve the sound from their systems.