Installing dedicated lines. Which cable to use?

Hi guys

I'm having some dedicated lines put in. I've already purchased some Porter Ports (what a great guy that Albert P.!), and have a couple of questions concerning which cable to use. I want to use 10-2 solid core, but am confused about a couple of things:

-the runs from the breaker box will be relatively short (15-20 feet). Should I use shielded Romex or unshielded? I do have some problems with noise (hum, buzz)in my setup when using unshielded interconnects (Nordost). I am told that unshielded sounds better but is noisier. Experiences?

-I am having trouble locating brand name Romex. The local HD and Lowe's don't carry it, but do have a Romex-like 10-2 copper wire. Is real Romex worth the search? Lots of references in the archives to Romex from HD. What gives? Is the name Romex used generically to mean any similar cable? What is a good source for real Romex?

Thanks in advance and any other suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated.
Call Lee at, He will help you out.
Great guy & great products.
Good Luck
Bypass HD adn Lowes and go to the hardware store (True Value, ACE, etc.). They will have what you need, will know where it is located in the store, and cut it without complaining and talking on their cell phone while doning it. Just don't expect them to have any patience or sympathy for audiophilia.

Good luck!
Unshielded 10-2 should be fine for your estimated lengths and for circuits up to 20amps. The dedicated circuits should help to eliminate some of the hum/buzz you're experiencing, but it all depends on where it is coming from.

Romex is a brand name, but like Kleenex, has become the de facto name for standard interior electrical cable. Romex in shorter lengths often is packaged in boxes, so check that out. I doubt that there's much difference between brands, but be sure it's all copper (not aluminum!) and that the jacket is sturdy.

Hope that helps!

I've been recommending Diamond Handiwire for many years. It can be found at Ace Hardware in various boxed lengths (25', 50', 100'). Home Depot used to stock it, but no longer. They have a 10/2 and 12/2 (which is the more versatile), and in listening tests over the years I (and others) found that the Handiwire sounded superior to the Romex guess is that it's a better copper formulation that translates into better sonics. Just pure luck, but we get the benefit. And for the bargain-minded, it's less costly than the Romex brand.

I've also cryogenically treated the Handiwire (for in-wall use) with excellent results as well.

audio excellence az
If you're going to the trouble and expense of dedicated lines then you might want to first check out the home wiring cable from Virtual Dynamics Home Wiring Products
Since you have such short runs, you might want to think about making your own cable. Using two individual runs of solid core 10 gauge, simply twist them together i.e. make a twisted pair out of them. The twists don't have to be consistently spaced, but should be done at a rate of appr 3 - 4 turns per foot. This will be used for the hot and the neutral. The ground wire can be run individually outside of the twisted pair.

One suggestion here. If your runs are going to be 20 foot, start off with 25 - 28 foot of wire or so. You WILL lose length as the wire is twisted. For your own sanity, it is best to cut individual runs and work with the shortest lengths possible. That is, don't try and twist 100 ft of cabling together and then cut to length. Having another person to hold the far end and rotate it accordingly can make things go MUCH quicker and easier. Sean

Never mind mind making your own wire. You must meet bldg. codes. In case of fire, failure to do so might result in your liability. The insur. co. won`t pay a red cent.
Thank you all for the suggestions; much appreciated. Please keep them coming, and I will keep you posted as to my choices and results.

Making your own wire from two CL3 rated runs of 10AWG should meet code. As long as you have the ability to properly terminate and attach both ends it should be no problem.
Now the fact that you are making your own Romex is another discussion entirely. That may not meet teh standards for good mental health.

Porziob is completely wrong. Making your own wires as Sean suggested is economical and completely up to code. Lots of electricians do it every day. My office was wired that way, FWIW.

The only thing I would change from Seans recommendation is to run the ground seperately. Not just outside the jacketed romex, but one feet away from the others is possible. I did that at home and the results were worth the effort.

Bignerd is right with his last comment, but look where you are right now...
As Bignerd stated and Nrchy affirmed, so long as one uses the appropriate wiring, the geometric configuration of the wiring isn't critical so long as it is properly terminated. If in doubt, check with the local inspector and / or discuss it with a licensed electrician.

As to Nrchy's comments about separating the ground wires as much as possible, i agree. This is especially true if the grounding system has been optimised. Having said that, just getting the ground wire outside of the hot / neutral bundle is of benefit, hence my recommendation to do so.

How far one wants to take all of this is up to the capacity of their wallet. Obviously, better performance can be had over what i recommended. In terms of bang for the buck, convenience and effort required, the approach that i mentioned will be hard to beat. You could do FAR worse for a helluva lot more time, money and effort using much more expensive "audiophile approved" gear and methods. Sean
So, is it recommended to use solid 10 ga. wire, or will stranded suffice? What would the difference be?
Follow up questions, and thanks again to all:

-My outlet boxes will be surface mounted in order to protect antique wood moulding. Anyone know a good source for sturdy plastic surface mount boxes?

-Also, does it make sense to run one of the three dedicated lines off of a different phase from the other two? This line would be used for the digital gear. Will this arrangement further isolate the digital from the analogue gear?

-Am I losing my mind? :)
You can melt your own copper, make your own dielectric, etc. At the end of the day you MUST MEET CODE.
Yeah and everyone knows the wire you buy from the hardware store won't meet code!!! What is your major malfunction?
Different codes call for different wire & different methods. I realize this is very difficult for you to grasp.
There is no difference in code for 10-2. What city/county/state in this country does not allow the use of 10-2 romex or its equivelent??? Don't be an imbecile.
In NYC, code requires the use of BX cable. Romex doesn`t meet code here. Code must be met where the DIYer resides. Those with IQs over 100 have no problem complying with code. Obviously, some seem challenged in this area.
OK, I have stayed out of this childish breast beating display, but I have to chime in; this is, after all, a thread that "I" started in the hopes of getting some good info and tips. Please get your facts straight, NYC (I live there), amended it's code to allow the use of Romex some time ago.

I have no intention of doing anything that does not comply with local code. To those possibly put off, and kept away, by the attemps to hijack this thread, please ignore the bs, and keep the suggestions coming.

Thanks again to all; well, to most of you.
I use those orange extension cords, just try to get a long one with lotsa plugs. Just cut that half round part off and they work great. And if you plug em into that plug outside your neighbors, they can even lower your electrical bill!
I have been told by several people to make sure all lines are on the same phase.
(I think it has to do with the remote possibility of a short, thus giving you 220 volts into your equipment?, maybe someone could confirm this)

You should also try to run the lines as far apart from each other and all other lines as possible
Nrchy, for your edification (assuming it`s possible) BX is required in NYC by code. Call a local electrician since you doubt me.
Sorry Porziob, never having had the misfortune of living near you I was wrong! I guess that law is similar to the union plumbers in philly that forced a builder to install miles of plumbing that will never be used simply to keep the union happy.

I guess it doesn't surprise me that NYC is stupid enough to disallow a product that is proven to be more than adaquate throughout the rest of the country.

Your ego must be smiling today for having won this meaningless arguement.
I guess that we all learned something in this thread. It's good to see that there are others paying attention that can help prevent "bad situations" from potentially coming into play.

While i don't think that Romex type wiring would result in any type of problem i.e. fire or shock hazard, it could make the difference between an insurance claim being approved or denied if some other electrical problem come into play.

Maybe we all need to work on our "bedside manners" and take things a little less personally. This includes me too : ) Sean
Hi there I got a real kick reading all these threads.12-2 is rated for a 20 amp circuit. 10-2 for 30amp. The line will run cooler with 10-2 very very difficult to work with! Romex is national code, and refeers to the insulating jacket. Your
other code approved option would be THNN and conduit. More importantly than your wire options should be the service panel itself. Other than Square D QO line ,and another midwest company all panel companies do not use a solid copper buss bar! Good Luck!!
Msunco19 makes a very good point,I think.Since I've been there and done that,I know first hand how difficult can be to run Romex through 2x6 or 2x4 wood-studs walls.I understand that some people use 10/2 for 20A applications but why?The 12/2 I used was not easy to run my 6 dedicated lines from the basement(where the main panel is) to the attic on the 3rd floor where my listening room is.Having to go through 1/2 holes on every stud on 16 inches,and then to protect all the holes on BOTH sides with metal plates before drywall ,was a LOT of work.I can't see myself doing it again with 10/2,forget it.Some people probably run short straight lines from the panel to the room next door e.t.c.
That's OK but to go through 3 floors without any SPLICE is something else.Then why would I want to risk all my work having an electrical inspector come over to my home and say something like "10/2 for 20A? No no good,change it,or I wont approve it!!!".
BX in my city(Toronto) is used in commercial applications inside metal studs walls ,because it uses the flexible metal jacket,other than that Romex and BX are the same.