Dedicating circuits and fancy power outlets

I’ve assembled the following system primarily through fine Audiogon folks like you:

Conrad Johnson Premier 12 mono amps
Conrad Johnson Premier 16 preamp
Conrad Johnson DV 2b CD player
Conrad Johnson EF1 phono preamp
SOTA star, SME IV, Grado
Magnum Dynalab MD102 Tuner
Shunyata Hydra conditioner w/Python cord
Tannoy Turnberry speakers
Stealth PGS IC’s

I’m pretty content with this setup. The only thing I’m considering now is dedicating a 20 amp circuit and buying a Shunyata ZR-71 Audiophile Outlet. I talked with an electrician about doing the work and he said it would make NO difference in the quality of power supplied to my system (and thus no improvement in sound quality). With consideration that the quality of the electricity in my area is good, do you feel he’s correct?

Thank you,
If you have your electronics on a branch pretty much all by itself already, yeah, i agree with the electrician.
Generally electricians are not audiophiles.. and his opinion is severely biased.
If your current electrical branch is connected to dimmers, motors, etc, then getting your audio stuff away would help.
If not, then i would say getting a separate 20 amp branch may be a waste of money. It might not.??

A separate 20 amp circuit is not a magical panacea.. though some think it is.. LOL
I did it only because I have so much into my system as you seem to also. Did it make a difference Yes, Maybe, No I feel better about doing it so I guess it was worth it. And besides I did it myself so it didn't cost much. It certainly couldn't hurt.

For me when I added dedicated circuits it did lower the noise floor. Nothing earth shattering but a nice difference.
My buddies and I have all gone this way: dedicated power lines with armoured cable and audiophile grade wall plugs

The Result: Graphic and dynamic on both the audio and video

I can't comment on the Shunyata ZR-71 Audiophile Outlet plug - we test drove/used several other audiophile brands.

We did find that once you hit at least a hospital grade of audiophile wall plug, the insertion of a super premium $$ alternate brand of wall plug itself was very diminishing (if any dependning on the kit) vis-a-vis improvement in additional audio or video quality improvement

BUT clearly the system was demonstratably improved in having the dedicated power lines installed.

PS: SEPARATE power lines run for video and audio also msde a difference


Intuitively, You also need to have high quality audiophile power chords for each piece you are plugging into the wallpligs. The use a hi-end power chord on the TV plasma display was most startling.

based on listening, the INSERTION of a power conditioner sandwiched in the middle between the kit and the wall plugs may have a SLIGHT BUT noticeable deterioration in audio quality versus direct plug into the wall
You will not regret making the investment in a dedicated circuit for your system. I've done it three times, in three difference houses, and it's always made a nice improvement.

Some additional thoughts for you:

1) Consider installing at least 2 circuits (possibly 3) while you're doing it. Put your power amps on one circuit and your preamp and analog system on the other circuit. (Yes, I know you think you should plug everything into your Hydra. But do this first and take the Hydra out of your system for a couple of weeks. Then compare.)

2) Have your electrician make one continuous pull of cable from the breaker box to your outlet. No splices. No other intervening outlets.

3) Get some Walker Audio Extreme-SST contact enhancer and have your electrician apply it (per instructions) to all of the electrical connections as they are wired up, including the breaker in your panel.

4) If you're getting super spiffy audiophile outlets, get the Synergistic Research Tesla outlets. You can order them individually from Walker Audio.
I upgraded my power outlets, which were some 30 years old, and it had a definite impact on my stereo. Increase in focus and clarity, not a bad upgrade for 320 dollars. Keep us posted and Good Luck.
I went through the process in my current house about 6 years ago, and you could look up some of those threads if you want to know some of the ins-and outs i went through. Given that we live in a very old house (1780's) that had been added onto, enlarged, renovated and partially rewired god only knows how many times, I wanted to put any issues over the AC to rest. Did a fairly straightforward job, separate subpanel with high quality breakers, and 4 20 amp dedicated lines to high quality receptacles. (I bought mine from albert porter here, i think they are basically hubbell hospital grade that have been cryro'd and aren't terribly expensive). I use horns, so i can hear every nasty on the AC and the system is very quiet, but it took a long time to sort out grounding issues among the components. Keep in mind that separate dedicated lines create an additional issue- a potential for grounding differences between the outlets, so you might want to explore that with your electrician too. (I solved the problem through the use of one of those Granite Audio Ground Zero grounding boxes, which allows you to create a 'faux' star ground among the components. That said, right now, it's not even hooked up, because a recent switch in a couple of the components seemed to obviate the need for it). But, the dedicated lines are still susceptible to crap from appliances, lighting, etc. that are on the 'regular' household electrical system. And, fwiw, the airpump for my tonearm makes a nasty 'zap' when it cycles, and putting it on its own dedicated line didn't eliminate that problem. I wound up plugging the arm pump into a big stepdown transformer.
It is worth doing, particularly if there are question marks in your house's AC set-up, and I would think most homes do have those question marks, unless newly built, with some attention paid to the electrical at the outset.
BTW, I don't now use any line conditioning on my system, i had my share of that stuff, don't need it, and think if you can avoid it, the system has the potential to sound better. (Of course, if your AC is nasty, you may need to go that route, or a regenerator). I've been curious about the big balanced power systems, not the black boxes, but the full on wall panel system- I'm relocating in the near future, and will have to start from scratch, so we'll see!
I put in a dedicated line in with a PSAudio Power Port and it it did lower the noise floor.I believe a hospital grade outlet or "audiophile" outlet simply has a firmer grip on the plug and the dedicated line isn't broken up several times on it's way to my system in other outlets.It's a fact that electricity can leak out into dust and dirt from the bare wire ends in outlets,light switches,and light fixtures.Just makes sense to keep all connections from the breaker box onward clean and tight fitting.
As far as power conditioners,I never found one that didn't cause one or more problems so simple surge protection does it for now.Hope this helps with your decision.
"Generally electricians are not audiophiles.. and his opinion is severely biased."


"Generally audiophiles are not electricians. and their opinions are severely biased."

Listen to the man who knows about electricity.
Listen to the man who knows about electricity.
05-19-12: Snofun3

True! But that would not be the ignorant electrician of the OP's.

He knows not what he is talking about.
One man's opinions...

Yes, do it.
Yes, you will hear an improvement.
No, it won't be earth shattering.
Yes, you will still be happy you did it.

One man's suggestions...

-Consider using VH Audio's 10 gauge cryo'd Romex or something similar.

-Consider using a Maestro outlet or a SR Teslaplex. I've owned both. I've also owned the Shunyata SR-Z1, which I didn't care for. (I have no connection to any of these companies)

-Ask your electrician to run the shortest possible line, and to avoid running the new line close to other AC lines.

-Ask Jim (Jea48) any other questions. He knows this stuff backwards and forwards.

-Have fun.

Yes for the dedicated line! It provides peace of mind.

As for the outlet any hospital grade will do from Hubbell or Cooper. The audiophile brands such as Shunyata and others are simply these rebranded and then sold for three to five times the price.
I think Elizabeth has it right in a nutshell. I'm supposing, at least, this is why so many people have relative success with it: it gets rid of other devices on the AV circuit. No, in reality here, there's really no such thing as circuit isolation, not altogether anyway. That's what any good electrician will tell you and it's perfectly true. What audiophiles tend to not get right is that noise in fact travels on all 3 conductors, neutral, ground AND hot. This alone makes the breaker box grand central for distributing both power and noise. Everything you plug into the wall in your home generates noise, period. Anything that's on or has a sleep mode (pretty much everything any more) will be sending noise back to the panel where it's then sent throughout the home...the farther away (the longer the wiring runs) the other stuff is from the AV circuit the better the noise reduction to a small degree (noise begins to fade the farther away from the source), but the real solution is proper power conditioning. The only problem THERE is that almost nobody makes a proper one (and even if we are to believe that the all-in-one box solutions are of an appropriate design - and I for one certainly don't), the $5000 starting point for any big-league solution can scare most folks away. From what others tell me, Shunyata makes at least a pretty good conditioner, but we audiophiles probably don't really need increasingly "better" (and ever-more expensive) all-in-one conditioners, so much as we simply need basically smarter and more effective solutions, all costs aside. Look, I know this all amounts to pretty much a shameless plug on my part, but it's the only game in town that I know I can point to here. There is a relative newcomer I've tried and have become a fan of by the name of Alan Maher (Alan Maher Designs, facebook only). His is the ONLY gear I know of that DOESN'T constrict or curtail the audio band in the pursuit of filtering (in fact it extends it)...and I believe that's THE reason why power conditioning in general fails for so many. Even the megabuck ones (check any forum for the score on all that). Alan's gear is different because the filtering principle is unique and because he's selling you a variety of different smaller pieces that are located at different points throughout the home (directly at the noise sources) as well as at the breaker box and your AV circuit. All of this reduces electrical noise (and the AV noisefloor) like you'd expect, but by a LOT!, not just somewhat - but, like I say, withOUT the usual audio bandwidth problems - no loss of dynamics or frequency shifts. A HiFi hobbyist, Alan is a roadie by profession and has a ton of professional and practical experience. I find him to be as knowledgable as any ee, but without the fatal flaw of insisting that there's no answer to any technical, HiFi-oriented issue that can't simply be looked up in a book...(hogwash, I say). Alan's the first one so far to successfully bridge the gap between the 2 worlds, that I know of. Couldn't help but like his overall remarkably unbiased and yet take-no-prisoners, no-bs approach. I can recommend you give him a try. Been a customer of his for about a couple years now and, as far as I'm concerned, you can take every word he says as gospel - even if I don't have the wherewithall to 'prove' he's right in any forum...not many people in this hobby I'm willing to say that about...probly 2 or 3, but he's definitely one. Anyway, he has already answered EVERY one of the questions in your OP on his website, or you can message him, if you want. Whether you'd want to trade your Hydra in for what IMHO is likely a more cost effective solution is certainly up to you, but Alan's gear can generally be used in conjunction with or apart from other brands of power conditioners.
I ran a group of four sets of wires (two quad twist 12 gauge MilSpec silver plaated teflon insulated wire with separate pair of grounds betwwen the quads, tightly wrapped with teflon tape) from an islated 20 amp single outlet (it's own breaker) up over the ceiling and over to the stereo setup. two plugs in the one duplex at the wall with two sets of the wires each quad twisted up and over to two direct to two power conditioners, two extra to duplex receptical boxes.
(and yeah i got the management to approve before I did it)
It is as close as i can get to custom lines in my apartment. ;)
I cannot say it was a game changer.. But as one poster said, it is a peace of mind sort of attempt.

As for outlets. i use $3 heavy duty Pass and Seymour outlets. They are great and 95% of what $100 outlets do.
I did get bullied into buying a pair of cryoed outlets $35 each, last year,, I use them too, but swear they are no different than my $3 Pass & Seymour
And I use pangea Power cables. better than stock, but not too expensive.
i originally ran 12/3 dedicated romex to my rig. it was a major improvement. total length to breaker < 10ft.

then, fancier outlets (first Oyaide R1s, then Maestros). another good (less dramatic) improvement.

adding Oyaide WPZ plate, another incremental improvement.

finally, i saw that the dedicated line had a splice in it, and replaced with oyaide 10ga romex...another nice improvement.

it ALL makes a difference. (and i still use a power conditioner, by TG Audio---passive only though).
Thank you all for the responses. Sorry, I've been away a bit and haven't had the opportunity to respond.

Anyway, alot of good food for thought here - yum-yum. Now, I'll try to digest it with the expectation that fulfillment will soon follow as I believe I'll be albe to put this issue to rest.

Thank you,