Got big amp-help with 20A line and receptacle


So, I just purchased a Krell FPB 400cx, which I'm told requires a dedicated 20 amp line. Yes, I have read some Agon threads on running dedicated lines, as well as 20 amp receptacles. But they are mostly several years old and I am interested in some current basic recommendations.

I am not looking for the most expensive or esoteric setup, but do want to do it as best I can. The receptacle location is in the family room, which I estimate will require about 50-60 feet of cable from the breaker box in the garage.

So, at first all I knew was that I would be running a new line from the breaker box and that it would be grounded there. But some posters here and elsewhere stated that I should have an isolated ground installed outside the house and at least 6 feet from the existing ground. There were also suggestions around exactly which location IN the breaker box to place the new line and breaker.

We do have three refrigerators here, one in the kitchen, one in the utility room, and another in the garage. Of course, we we have all the other typical appliances in the house. One good thing is that, in my current setup with no dedicated lines, I don't hear any noise through the speakers unless I use the dimmer in the family room. So, maybe the power in the house is pretty decent.

With regard to receptacles, I've read various comments about the different brands, as well as the various effects of gold, rhodium, or other plating. To start with, I would like to try the most neutral sound I can get.

I did speak with two electricians today, and neither seemed to have much familiarity with the considerations for audio quality that I mentioned to them. Therefore, I would like some input on what to ask of them. If I am making this too complicated and harder than it needs to be, I'd like to know that as well. I would really appreciate any tips and input!
mtrot
Contact any of the makers of "audiophile" grade outlets (PS Audio, Shunyata, etc.).
What I did in a similar situation was to run 8 AWG wire DIRECT from the breaker to a Wattgate IEC plug and into the amp. I seem to be blessed with good quiet power here; I know what to turn off when I sit down to really listen to music and haven't sensed the need for power remediation. (We will be adding a whole-house surge protector soon, I realize that my amp is at a bit of a risk right now.) This may eliminate a few expensive pieces of the puzzle, like a receptacle and fancy power cord. A separate earth ground is fine but may or may not be necessary, in my opinion.

Regards,
Oran
Whatever you end up doing, make sure it's up to code.

My electrician installed a pony box off the main breaker box that services my audio components. When I go on vacation or the system is not in use for extended periods of time, I can turn the power off to the entire system at a single flick of a switch without affecting the rest of the household.
With some help from fellow 'goners I had a couple dedicated lines installed a few years ago. Here are some of the important tips I got and follwed:

- if running multiple lines, run the lines on the same leg to avoid ground loops.
- Do not have lines share a neutral bus. Run each line back to the box independently.
- 12/2 Romex should be fine for most applications, and 10/2 is apparently much stiffer and harder to work with, but I guess if you need it you need it.
- Make sure the cable you use meets UL standards and code in your area.
- Run more lines than you think you need, but at least one for analog and one for digital.

This info was super helpful since my non-audiophile electrician had no clue as do I imagine most electricians. I'd also try to find some way to get that dimmer out of the circuit as they seem to be a universal no no for audio as you seem to have already discovered. Not sure what alternatives are out there but maybe someone here has some recommendations.

As for outlets, I used Porter Ports and they seem fine, but I'd be interested in trying the Audio Maestro and Furutech GTX-D outlets as well. Here's a review that may be helpful if you haven't seen it...

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0114/audiophile_ac_outlets.htm

Hope this helps and best of luck.
But some posters here and elsewhere stated that I should have an isolated ground installed outside the house and at least 6 feet from the existing ground.
Bad advice, forget the dedicated earth ground. The earth does not possess some magical mystical power that sucks nasties from our audio gear. The safety equipment ground main purpose is to provide a low impedance, resistive, path for ground fault current to return to the source, the electrical panel.

I did speak with two electricians today, and neither seemed to have much familiarity with the considerations for audio quality that I mentioned to them. Therefore, I would like some input on what to ask of them.

First off it depends on the local electrical code in your state and city what type of electrical installation can be used in your area. The electricians in your area will know what is allowed.

Because you are using an existing convenience receptacle outlet circuit to power your audio equipment I would suggest installing at least two new dedicated branch circuits. One dedicated circuit for the new power amp and one for the other equipment. With two dedicated circuit there is a less chance of a ground loop hum problem. This will lessen the chance of a difference of potential, voltage, existing between the two equipment grounding conductors of the two dedicated circuits.
If it were me I would feed my preamp and power amp from the same dedicated circuit. Use the other dedicated circuit for the other associated equipment.

You said the length of the run is around 50 to 60 feet. Did you figure up and down over and around in your calculation? If not that can add another 20 feet to the length.

IF you decide to plug the preamp into the same receptacle as the power amp I would install #10 AWG wire for this 20 amp dedicated circuit. With #10 AWG wire you won't have to worry about any dynamic power demand fluctuations from the power amp effecting the power being fed to the preamp.

For the other dedicated circuit use #12 Awg wire.

Type of wiring and wiring method used.

Probably the worst type of wiring method is to install conduit then pull the wires loosely randomly into the conduit. This method will assure you ground loop hum problems. Worse yet is to install more than one dedicated branch circuit in the same conduit.

If conduit is used, or must be used to meet local code, use aluminum armor MC Cable. One cable for each dedicated branch circuit. I would recommend solid core wire over stranded wire. MC is made both ways.

If code in your area allows NM-B cable,( Romex is a trade name of NM-B cable), works well providing long parallel runs are kept separated by at least 6 inches to reduce induced magnetic fields of the current carrying conductors from inducing a voltage onto the one another most importantly onto the equipment grounding conductors of the NM-B cable.

Make sure all the dedicated branch circuits are fed from the same Line, leg, of the electrical panel for all audio / video equipment that is connected together by interconnects.

A must read before you call the electrician.
Bill Whitlock, President of Jensen Transformers Inc.
http://centralindianaaes.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/indy-aes-2012-seminar-w-notes-v1-0.pdf
Pay close attention to pages 31 through 36
.
Jim
Hello...why won't you try Hubbell hbl5362 w for (white)
I did replace my main AC wall outlet "Oyaide R1"by réceptacle Hubbell HBL 5362 w And i never got Back.
Once burnt in ...!!!..beleive me i replaced all my power cell P.S audio réceptacles by Hubbell HBL 5362w And i realy discovred the meanings of
Réceptacle ..clarity..Music...And it has nothing to do with what i have heard before...i am now listening to analogique Sound "seat & relax" i never got Back .
Cost less than 30$.... (I have no link what so ever with Hubbell ...i am just a happy audiogoner audiophile Customer...hope that help you.chahed
I have three dedicated 20 amp lines using #10 Romex for my current system.
I went back to one line terminated in a Furutech GTX receptacle for the power amps.
The second line is terminated in a Shunyata RPZ outlet and that powers all the front end, analog gear out of a Hydra 8.
The third line is terminated in a 20 amp IEC that plugs into a Hydra 2 which is then mated to my cd/sacd player.
All my power cords are Shunyata, except for my temporary DIY to the power amps.
Isolating the digital gear from the rest of the system is very rewarding.
Some might call this overkill, but it's working very well for me.
Hi Mtrot, I have a modded new Krell 700cx stereo amp, currently, I am useing a 20amp circuit breaker, In the next two or three weeks, I am installing a single pole 30 amp breaker when I install my Furutech GTX-D Gold recepticle, I have a 10awg 3/1 romex cable that is 65 feet or longer I installed my self!, I use the ground in my inside house breaker box, this is code!, a dedicated ground WILL sound better, however, do not do a dedicated ground, your breakers will NOT flip when you have a surge, or ect..., your amp does NOT need a 30 amp breaker!, 20 amp beaker is perfect for your 400cx amp, my info comes from krell them selfs, they want me to use a 30 amp single pole breaker so that my amp will run smoother, less heat, draw more current on demand, my sound stage will sound bigger and taller, and everything else, remember, all this is what krell swears too, they run my amp and the 750mcx amps on a 30 amp breaker thier at the factory, also, Do NOT run anything else on the same breaker-circuit as your amp!, Big no,no!, your amp draws way to much current to do so, I know, I have made that mistake, it was quite funny actually when I attempted to do so, any way, reply back to me when you can if you have questions, cheers.
Hi all, after speaking with the prior owner of the FPB 400cx and learning that he had good results simply plugging in to a standard household outlet, I did the same. So far, so good. It is clearly more powerful than my McCormack DNA-1 Deluxe, but I am trying to decide if I have lost some clarity and presence in the high frequencies. Dialog seems to not be as clear now. One thing is that I do find that the sound and clarity does seem to improve after the amp has been playing for 2 hours or more.
Mtrot, please re-read my post, do exactly as I said here for best results, does not matter what the last owner has said, I have owned Krell FPB amps since 1998 and still have one now!, you will get best results with a dedicated line, 10 awg 3/1 romex electrical cable and 20 amp circuit breaker, you cannot go wrong, call krell, they know me, and agree with me, why, this is what they have told me, cheers, keep me posted as to what you decide to do, Happy listening.

they want me to use a 30 amp single pole breaker so that my amp will run smoother, less heat, draw more current on demand, my sound stage will sound bigger and taller, and everything else, remember, all this is what krell swears too, they run my amp and the 750mcx amps on a 30 amp breaker thier at the factory, also,
11-11-14: Audiolabyrinth

Audiolabyrinth'

"They" told you wrong. First off the current carrying guts inside of a 20 amp breaker are the same as a 30 amp breaker. Only the trip unit settings are different. A 20 amp breaker will pass short bursts of current of over 100 amps all day long.

Per NEC Code a 20 amp NEMA 5-20R receptacle can only be connected to a 20 amp breaker. Minimum size branch circuit wire, #12 awg. The breaker size determines the size of the branch circuit. If # 10 wire is used the breaker still has to be a 20 amp if the receptacle is a NEMA 5-20R receptacle.

IF by chance the breaker is tripping occasionally on start up from high inrush current most breaker manufactures make a breaker with a longer lag time for high inrush current.
Example
>http://www.cesco.com/b2c/product/33471?gdftrk=gdfV25445_a_7c1847_a_7c7081_a_7c33471&gclid=CIurm-rygMICFY6EaQodj0MAvg


Two or more 15 amp NEMA 5-15R receptacles can also be installed on a 20 amp branch circuit. Per Code a 20 amp receptacle cannot be installed on a 15 amp branch circuit.
Thankyou Jea48, You are correct, however, useing the 30 amp breaker on my 10 awg 3/1 romex cable will allow for more current with a furutech GTX-D recepticle, although the recepticle is 20 amps, it is overly built and will with stand a 30 amp load!,my amp will never continously play at these amps, we both know that, but krell said that my amp will spike over the 20 amps quite often, thus useing the 30 amp breaker will allow me to get more current, I can tell you for fact from exsperience that when I owned a Krell FPB 200 amp years ago, I pluged it into the house wireing recepticle, talking about a laughing matter, the amp litterally blew light bulbs and dimmed the others in a apartment I use to live at, when I installed the correct circuit, and back then I had a dedicated ground, all was well and sounded alot better, thanks for the info you posted, I enjoy learning all I can from you and others,BTW, My current 20 amp set-up does trip from time to time, mostly when I am breaking in some audio equipment or cables,that is very strange,, Jea48, also I have talked to many FPB 600 owners here on audiogon over the past couple of years that did the 30 amp breaker, their findings were the same as krell specified to me about the out come of doing so, cheers.
Audiolabyrinth,

Were you told by a Tech at Krell over the phone or through an email? Just guessing it was over the phone. See if the guy will send you an Email stating "Krell" recommends you use a 30 breaker to feed a 20 amp rated receptacle. Tell him you want to post it here on Agon.

As I said in my previous post the current carrying guts of a 20 amp breaker are the same as a 30 amp breaker, exactly the same.In fact they are the same as 40 amp breaker. Only the thermal and magnetic trip settings are different. And of course the number printed on the breaker handle.

As for the FLA rating of the Amp IF the amp is UL/CSA Listed the most continuous power the amp can draw is 16 amps, 80% of 20 amps. If it is over 16 amps the manufacture would then have to use a 30 plug mated to a 30 amp receptacle connected to a 30 amp branch circuit to get the UL/CSA Listing.
Jea, My amp can be accomidated to run 220!, it's their at the krell factory now!, I do not understand what you are saying, your facts are based in general, not my particular amp!, I know my amp very well, and I know what I am doing, I did all my electrical here, works with no issues at all, I will give my impressions when I am done with what I will do, read and learn what is possible from a Krell 700cx or 750mcx amplifier, I am sorry to come across so direct, when having the factory and many users tell me what i am doing is correct, it feels right for me to do what is said, cheers.
To the op and others considering doing this, please follow the advice of Jea48 and make sure that you follow electrical code in your area. Re read all of his posts and read the links. Great info. You seem to be doing the correct investigating before beginning.
It would be wise to be very leery of the advice from a person telling you to do it this way because I said so and it is how I did it. Heck, he still has breakers tripping and is not sure why. Think Tim "the tool man" Taylor from the show Home Improvement. More power! Woof, woof, woof. You know how that normally turned out for him.
Good luck with your project.
whatever!, I am doing electrical code!, nothing more or different!, I trust krell to accomidate my amp to code and to run smoother, many, many, users have revealed the same, really?, I care less what you want to dispute!, I am a builder!, over 30 years exsperience!, what may work for one given componet may not work for the next!
As any farmer will tell you, "You need to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff." I am sure that Krell can be trusted to tell any end user what their local electrical code says (sarcasm intended). LOL! You can't really be that goofy, can you? How in the world can they be able to do that? Keep going, maybe you can fit both feet in your mouth. I stand by the assertion that Jea48 has got it right. BTW, capitalization, punctuation, and sentence structure are your friends.
Golf dude, you do what you want, and I will certainly do the same!, BYE!
Please follow the local electrical code when performing this work. When installing dedicated lines, please make sure the qualified electrician runs a hot, neutral and ground for each dedicated line back to the panel. Do not allow the electrician to "share" neutral and ground with other lines. Basically, a Romex run of two conductor (hot and neutral) + ground per dedicated line back to the panel will be fine. At the correct amperage rating of course.

Do not violate the electrical code and do what others "suggested" that is very dangerous. They just haven't had a fault yet whereby they, someone they love or their pet has been electrocuted yet. Electrical faults happen when one least expects it. The electrical code is there in the event of a fault or to prevent a fault and damage to people or property.

I have a raised foundation, so running dedicated lines per code was relatively simple.

Please do it correctly and follow the electrical code.

Stay safe and enjoy
I agree with Minorl, all my electrical is exactly as he specified in his post, code!
How about if I invent a "Audiophile circuit breaker? I could call it, "Super Duper Circuit Breaker Deluxe".
It could make millions! But, first I need to order some gold paint, stickers and some crystals...
great humor ozzy, I got a good laugh.
There are a lot of good comments in this thread. I recently had some work done in my new house. I started calling electricians to get some estimates. I knew I had the right guy when he said, "music room? Then you will be wanting isolated 20 amp circuits."

The work was done to code (obviously) and cost about $750. Next phase of the projects is having the environmental potentials surge protection/waveform correction device and their modules for cleaning the grounds installed.

I'm sticking with my audio magic duplexes for now, but I may pick up one of the Hubbell recommended above for comparison. I should have the work finished before the end of the year.
There are a lot of good comments in this thread. I recently had some work done in my new house. I started calling electricians to get some estimates. I knew I had the right guy when he said, "music room? Then you will be wanting isolated 20 amp circuits."
11-22-14: Brownsfan
Brownsfan,

Isolated circuits? Do you mean dedicated circuits?
If isolated what type of wiring method was used? Is the wiring inside of a metal conduit?
Jim
Jim, yes they are what we call dedicated. I was quoting the electrician.
Jim, also, no conduit.
Hi Jea48, I would like your opinion of fact here please, question, although it may be a dumb question to many, I have been unpluging my equipment since 2012 when I am not listening to my system, whether the wheather is good or bad to protect my investment, I am tired of doing this!, will flipping my circuit breaker to each componet to off stop any power surges or lighting if I was not at home from getting to my equipment?, I have extreme High-end outlets and power cords that really has to re-settle a few hours from moving things around, and I do not want to wear out these very exspensive outlets I just bought and have not started burn-in process yet,just seems in my mind lighting could still get to my equipment with circuit breakers off? Thankyou in advance.