New Subpanel?

I am planning to install a new subpanel for the my dedicated stereo room. What is the recommend brand of panel and breakers should I install?


IMO it isn't gonna matter, for a few extra bucks I'd use 12 gauge wire. I've read good things about upgrading your outlets, but then again, you can't always believe what you read.
Square D QO MLO load center. Breakers plug in.

Better, more money, Square D NQOD. Bolt on or plug in breakers. Bolt on breakers are better. Panel can be ordered with plated copper buss. Most of todays panels have aluminum buss.

Example of prices for the NQOD

HD sells the Square D QO panels and breakers. Do not buy the Square D Home Line brand.
>What is the make-up of your Audio System?
>What size of wire are you planning on feeding the sub panel with?
>What is the distance the sub panel will be from the main panel?
>How far will the loads, receptacles, be from the sub panel?
>Will the sub panel be strictly 120V, or 120V/240V?
>Will the dedicated branch circuits be NM-B, (Romex trade name), or will they be installed in conduit?
>Are you planning on hiring an electrical contractor for the install?

If you're feeding it 220, make sure it has dual buses.
I used to work for electrical company. So I know all the basic of installing the subpanel. The subpanel will be 120/240 with 60 amp feeds and 4 dedicated circuit to the room with #10 wire with hubbel hospital grade plug. I am still debating Romex vs conduit. Is there any benefit to use conduit? Even thought I calculated all the load to be around 2300 watts which is a 20 amp circuit would do. As for the panel I would take your recommendation of the Square D Panel I prefer the bolt breaker which cost a little more :)

My audio systems list:

1. Mcintosh MC2000 Amp (2)
2. Mcintosh C2200 Preamp
3. Mcintosh MCD1000 Transport
4. Mcintosh MDA1000 DAC
5. B&W 802D Speakers

In the future I would add a plasma or LCD TV and make it into home theater for my other half.

Thanks again

I asked you questions about distances. Why do you need, want, a sub panel? Is your equipment a long distance from your main service panel? You mentioned the sub would be 120/240V, are you planning to feed the 120V audio branch circuits from each line to neutral. Best to feed audio equipment connected together by ics from the same line. L1 or L2, not from both. If you agree, why not wire the sub 120V only? If you would, finish answering the rest of my questions.
The distance from main panel is around 75 feet but when you wire around all the obstacle is around 110 feet. There is not enough room for more circuit breakers in the main. I didn't know that is best to use the same LINE (L1)or for all audio equipments.

Now I know why you want and need a sub panel. If you have the money you may want to consider another option, an isolation transformer with an electrostatic shield like that of a Topaz. Feed the transformer with 240V, transformer output 120V. The output would then feed a small panel by a main breaker. Do you have a space near your equipment for such?
Is interesting so you suggesting an isolation transformer. So the output power would be pure so I don't need to worry about power condition which in turn save me some money on the power condition or power cords which it will pay for the isolation transfer. What is the type of isolation transformer you suggesting. I do have room for the transformer.

If you decide to go with an isolation transformer you should consider looking for a used Xentech Extreme (5 KVA). Do the job correctly, once, the first time:
I'd go with STEEL (not aluminum) BX or the conduit. The reason? Shielding from RFI and EMI pickup.
Lak can you provide the link to Xantech Extreme transformer. I will go with the conduit route. Please add more suggestions.

If it's cost no object, then an Equitech wall mount unit. The downside--expensive and heavy, but they work unbelievably well. We use them for many of our recording studio designs and some high end listening rooms.
I agree with Rives, if money is no concern the Equi-Tech wall mount unit is the way to go. Sorry Rocky, I don’t have a website for the Xentech Extreme isolation transformer. You would have to do some research to locate it. New they are expensive, at times you can find them used/new on EBay.
I second the copper lugs and bus bars. But if you're going to spend the extra money, look into the Siemens Sentron panels and breakers. If you're familiar with the industry, then you probably heard that Siemens is preferred over Square D. Many union shops that construct panelboards from scratch use Siemens guts.
I agree with Lak in regards to the size of the transformer, 5KVA.
Note the 5KVA Xentek Extreme for $1595.00 used.
Thank for the link to transformer. I know most of the basic of the installation of the panel and line. Can you please fill me with the benefit of the isolation transformer.


Can you please fill me in with the benefit of the isolation transformer.

With an isolation transformer like the Topaz or the Xentech Extreme:
>Low capacitance coupling between the primary to secondary windings of the transformer.
>Electrostatic shielding between the primary and secondary windings.
In a nutshell, all the crap, EMI noise, RFI, and anything else you can think of on your AC mains will not cross over to the secondary of the transformer. The secondary is isolated from the primary.
Thanks Jea,

I might start with the subpanel first and leave enough main feeder wires for future upgrade if I decide to add the isolation transformer later on when save enough dought.
So in theory is the transformer will keep the secondary voltage constant and clean. No power conditioner is needed for the audio systems.

I might start with the subpanel first and leave enough main feeder wires for future upgrade if I decide to add the isolation transformer later on when save enough dought.

If you are thinking down the road you may install a transformer then I would install a 120/240V feeder. The problem I see with your situation is the distance from the main panel to the loads, 125 feet...... Jmho, unless you feed the sub panel with at least #4 awg cu I do not believe you will realize any benifit from your audio system. Still terminate the feeder at the main panel on a 2P60 amp breaker. You could get by with a #6 awg cu equipment grounding conductor. How tough would it be to run a 1" EMT conduit? 3 #4awg THHN cu / 1 #6 awg THHN grd.

So in theory is the transformer will keep the secondary voltage constant and clean. No power conditioner is needed for the audio systems.

Somewhat more constant, voltage fluctuations on the primary side of the xfmr will be half that on the secondary side. Clean yes, though some guys also install another small iso xfmr for digital loads. This helps stop the digital noise from traveling back on the power cord of the digital gear and reentering the analog gear.
Nobody ever said this hobby was cheap....
I always believe in BIGGER gauge wire and conduit. I usually used one size bigger. The conduit is 1-1/4" and the wire size is #4 copper wire since I already have one big roll in the basement. I think is a 500 feet roll so it might be enough for the ground wire :). I will use the PS-1000 for the digital end.

Thanks again for all your help to make this project come true.


Do I need any surge protector if I install the isolation transformer?

Do you recommend the 5Q wall mount?

Do you also use conditioners/filters. I believe the wall mount also has surge suppression?

I'm thinking about putting one in my basement.