Whole big bunch.
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You are right, I did word it in a most ambiguous fashion. My bad.
My real intent was to find out the number of outlets that other folks are using and try to figure out what I would need in the future for more expansion. My APC has 16 outlets but I can only use about 10 of them since they are so close together. Plus, one of them has a wall wart power supply so that covers up two more outlets. I am sure if I had a full 16 I would be good with that.
The other part of the question is separating digital and analog. Most conditioners have separate digital and analog outlets since the filtering is usually more aggressive on digital components than analog.
Power outlets usually have different filtering as well, although I would find it hard to believe I would need more than 6 power outlets, assuming I had monoblocks on everything.
Most conditioners have separate digital and analog outlets since the filtering is usually more aggressive on digital components than analog.The main reason for separate outlets for digital is so that they are isolated from analogue components. Digital, especially those using wall-warts may return noise back to the mains.
I've never used a power strip with separate filters for digital, although I've used digital only power cords and didn't like how the filters affected the sound. The most important feature is isolated receptacles.
My power conditioner has 4 duplexes (8 outlets), all are being used.
I just found this device on Amazon, it has 8 outlets and can be interconnected for more outlets. It is cheap enough, only $125. I am not expecting much in the filtering section, as they don't even spec the number of surge joules it can handle or the bandwidth of the filters. But, what I do like about this is the fact it sequences the outlets on, which I do need. I recently blew a midrange driver when I accidentally flipped the control electronics power switch off before the power amps. That was a $3000 repair, with freight and insurance. Then, it morphed to $6000 when I discovered the manufacturer upgraded the speakers and the original drivers were no longer available, so both heavy speakers had to be shipped cross country. Granted, it was a pretty significant sound improvement, so I didn't feel so bad when I got them back. I ordered two of these units for 16 controlled outlets, I will check them out, and report back here on how well it works. https://smile.amazon.com/Outlet-Power-Sequencer-Conditioner-Controller/dp/B07P76C2PF/ref=sr_1_6?crid...
You need as many outlets as are required to plug in all your gear.
Another question to consider is, how many amps are required to effectively power your gear?
Finally, does it really matter whether you plug digital gear into a different outlet from your analog gear when both lines go back to the same place? Some advocate running the entire system off of one line. Is one 20 amp line enough, 30 amps?
@vegasears Thanks for that, I had to chuckle: yep, I hear you. If your are going to do it, why not overkill it and never but never have to do it again! Gotta love that philosophy!
@mitch2 The only reason for having separate digital and analog receptacles is whether or not the receptacles are independently filtered. Analog gear doesn't usually pollute the lines with noise but is rather susceptible to it while digital gear usually pollutes it quite well. If the receptacles are independently filtered, then noise from digital gear won't get into the analog stuff. If you have no filters, then you are right, it doesn't much matter. Note that some analog gear now uses switch mode power supplies, so they have their own pollution issues to deal with and from a noise standpoint, are not exactly pure analog.
Also, in researching this a bit further, I noticed that the Pangea Audio line of AC receptacles do not have isolated grounds while the PS Audio receptacle is an isolated grounded unit. A point to consider when buying one of these upscale receptacles.
Good point @spatialking. I use three separate 20A circuits (one for each monoblock and one for front end gear) and do maintain some level of filtering on the digital side, using an Isoclean unit. However, the quote below from the VH Audio site indicates the filtering protects the gear from grunge on the mains, although I suspect the filtering will also protect analog from digital as long as the analog gear is not plugged into the same side of the filter as the digital gear:
For the perfectionist, the IsoClean 60A3 II is fitted with two ultra low impedance Audio Grade 60+60 AMP RF noise filters to attenuate noise and RF associated with city mains. The dual filters of the 60A3 are separate and independent of each other, in order to reduce interactions between your system's components.
A 15 amp standard house outlet will supply about 1800 watts. To be conservative, say 1500 watts.
This will EASILY cover most amplifiers of up to about 300 watts rms/channel, as well as ALL the other paraphernalia like tt, preamp, dac, streamer, CD player, etc, etc.
It is actually best practice to connect ALL your equipment to the SAME outlet to avoid ground loops.
If you use more than one outlet and their grounds are not at EXACTLY at the same potential (even a tenth of a volt difference is enough), you will have a ground loop and you may not be able to get rid of the hum & buzz, unless you use a ground lifter, which may be illegal in your locale.
Stick to ONE outlet.
@cakyol Actually, all of the equipment is plugged into one outlet. I agree, everything should run from one potential. A while back I had one amp plugged into an outlet 6 feet away but it was wired to the opposite side of the distribution panel, so the second outlet was out of phase with the first outlet. I always had a hum problem until I got a breakout panel of 16 outlets that plug into the first outlet. The resulting annoyance is what started this thread. I am going to upgrade and I am trying to decide how many outlets my power conditioner should have for future proofing. It appears that 20 is plenty based on what everyone has posted, assuming wall warts and fat plugs don't cover up adjacent outlets.
As long as you are on a single outlet, you can have a walwart extender to plug in those wide annoying boxes :-) Since the plugs are very close to each other in electrical terms, it is unlikely you will have a ground loop problem.
This one has 10 physically widely spaced out ports for almost everything and rated at full 15 amps. I think you can connect an entire studio to it :-)
It is a question that cannot possibly be answered. It is dependant on what you own and what you intend to own. You could need anywhere from 4 to 20....who knows?? What is most important is not plugging the power strips/conditioners into different circuit legs. Keep them all plugged into one circuit, preferably a 20 amp dedicated circuit. The niagara 1200 is a great device. Also, the much cheaper furman pst-8. It is designed by the same guy. These two mentioned will give you I believe 15 outlets.
I use both plugged into a single AQ Edison receptacle wired with 12/2 romex (50 ft) to the service panel using a separate 20 amp breaker. Below are a list of what I have plugged into the two...
Turntable power supply
Phono preamp power supply
Headphone amp power supply
Total: 10 items currently...will be introducing my kenwood minidisc recorder and second turntable at some point, so that will be 12 outlets used.....
One circuit may be the optimal way to go, but some who have really powerful amplifiers may want more power than 15 (or even 20) amps for the whole system.
Also, some don't care for conditioners/filters and would rather plug their gear directly into the wall, particularly analog gear. If installing new power, having multiple lines should not be a problem if they are dedicated (i.e., directly wired to a single outlet so they do not power anything else) and all run from the same side of the panel. I believe there may be other best practices such as keeping audio circuits away from circuits powering noisy fans and resistive/variable type devices. Another option is to establish a sub-panel (like 50 amps) and then run all the audio system outlets from that. I am fortunate that my 3, dedicated, 20A lines are absolutely quiet.
@mitch2 @audioguy85 Thanks for the info, it was very helpful.
The two units from Amazon arrive today - these are the two I mentioned before . For $250, I am not expecting much in the filtering but the sequencing will be much appreciated. I will report back on the innards and performance. Hopefully it will serve as a stop gap for now until I find something suitable for long term use.
The two Pyle PS1000 units arrived today. The PS stands for Power Sequencer and it will sequence 8 outlets Overall, it is a clean build and well worth the $125 price for each. The sequencer can be daisy chained so up to 100 outlets can be sequenced, although each unit requires a connection to the AC mains. See it here - https://smile.amazon.com/Outlet-Power-Sequencer-Conditioner-Controller/dp/B07P76C2PF/ref=sr_1_6?crid...
The sequencer, voltmeter, temperature gauge, and relays are all controlled by a microprocessor. Looking at the manual, I see a 24 dBm / octave filter on each outlet. The filter is made up of two X caps and two common chokes so there are two 12 dBm / octave filters back to back on each outlet, making up the 24 dBm filter. No values are specified, so I can't sim it in Cadence.
That is the good news. They somewhat bad news is they also have the typical Y capacitors from line and neutral to ground, Although the Y caps can improve noise filtering somewhat, it also bleeds some line current onto the grounds, so it may induce a low level hum into the system. In general, I dislike inducing any current onto Earth ground, but it is a very common practice. [UL codes are pretty disgusting in this respect, as they allow multiple milliamps of bleed current.] The primary difference between regular line filters, like this one, and hospital grade line filters, are the lack of Y caps in medical grade filters.
I'll do some more involved listening tests this weekend and next weekend, if I get some time in the lab, I will see how much of that microprocessor clock bleeds onto the outlets and what the filter bandwidths are like. Hopefully, it is better than the APC unit I have now.
Only 6 MC?
Where do you plug all your Schumann resonators?
Despite other comments, I still plug a pair of big monoblocks into separate dedicated 20A rings. Doesn't happen with my Krell KRSs but on the ordinary 13A house ring my KSA50 (Krell's first product) dims the lights for a second when I power it up, while it fills its big toroidal.
"A 15 amp standard house outlet will supply about 1800 watts. To be conservative, say 1500 watts." Cakyol
Should say a 15A circuit will supply 1800W. As most circuits have a few outlets, other devices plugged in must be added into the burden on that circuit. Should unplug those if you want to 'dedicate' the circuit to your AV system, or install a one-outlet circuit, at which point that one should be a 20A. Why skimp--nothing should be ordinary in a high-performance system.
@jafreeman I agree, when you have a ton of money invested in a system, why skimp on dedicated 20A line? In general, it isn't too expensive to have an electrician install one and usually it's free to get a quote.
@clearthinker Those torridal transformers really do have a hefty turn on surge. We have some big ones at work which will blow a 30 A, 240 VAC breaker every single time the units are powered on if they didn't have a soft start circuit. That plus the higher cost of a torridal over a E Frame is the main reason they are not used for audio as often as they should. For power amps, they are just the perfect transformer. The reduced EMI footprint and better line noise immunity is also a big plus for both power amps and small signal devices.