PC & Dedicated Power Lines Questions

I'm about ready to upgrade my powerlines with dedicated 10awg 20A runs. To see what's in my system, click "system". I have just added a Shunyata Hydra 8, but haven't upgraded it's power cord yet (thought I'd make my own). A little background, I'm a electronic tech and I work on big servo looped systems (CNC mills, stretch presses that are analog feedback). So I know how important it is for good cableing with no noise. Most my power cords are DIY with either 10AWG wire or beldon 83803 with Oyaide P/C-79 connectors. My amps still have the OEM cords for now untill I get my incoming power straightened out.
Question 1) I was going to add 3 incoming lines with 10AWG wire on 20A curcuits off of the same leg or phase. One for each mono amp (might add my soround amps on them too) and a third to power all the front end stuff including a TV. Is this overkill? Should I just plug the hydra in my already supplied 15A line (it has a pass-Seymour outlet) and just add dedicated power for my amps?
Question 2) Power Cords. I just can't beleave the cost of these!! I can get hi quality fine strand 10awg copper twisted 4 conductor cable for free. I also have a bunch of 5 cond 16awg twisted with sheild. I was tempted to make power cords for my amps and Hydra from this and I have made some power strips already with Oyaide and Pass & Seymour outlets (see my system for pic under Oyaide). The Beldon 83803 is a PITA to work with and in my field it is considered cheap cable. I'm suriosly looking at VH Audio Flavor 4 DIY cords with Oyaide connectors. Flovor 4 for amps and Flavor 2 fro my Preamp. I have a sheilded beldon on my CD player now. What are your thoughts?? What PC cord should I use for the Hydra, was going to buy a used Shunyata Python Alpha, but just thinking of making a flavor 4 for it? Sorry for the long post but am curious to opinions. Thanks.
Scott, imo, running all three dedicated lines is not overkill. Each time I've done it I've not regretted running dedicated home runs (no splices, no intermediate receptacles) for each monoblock and the front-end. (And in my case it's always four lines so I can separate the digital from my analog.). I've also never regretted using the Jena Labs deep cryo'd receptacles and avoiding the various flavors of platings that seem to pervade other otions. Once you've completed your lines, I recommend you leave the Hydra out for a couple of weeks, give things some good playing time to break-in, and only then put the Hyrda back into your system to evaluate whether it is needed or makes a positive contribution.
Thanks for your opinion. I'll look into Jena Labs outlet, where did you get them. I didn't feel it was overkill, but I talked to someone about it and they thought I was nuts. I was wondering about 2 circuits for the front end, but getting the power up there will be a pain. I sort of have a plan. My panel is in my garage on the same wall I need to run power to upstares. It might be easier to put my outlets in the floor rather then drilling up through my ceieling and floor plates to snake the wire inside the walls. Any input on power cords??
Hi : I think Rushton makes a good point.Once up and running you maynot need to Hydra...I did the 3 line dedicated line upgrade ( 12 guage ) ,with 2 for analog and one for digital and it worked out great..I am using the Vh Audio flavor4 power cords you mentioned (with the Gold option..) Very good p/cords for amps...for the money ...You could also consider Albert Porters cryo Hubbles for plugs..They work very well and only cost $36 (aprox each)..
Interesting on the Hydra comments, I do get lots of power spikes and such from storms in the winter (WA State). I like the insurance of surge protection, but maybe I won't need the hydra which would free up some space. I've heard good things on the Hydra and they seem to sell fast. Thanks for the input and the VH Audio stuff. Not sure if I can pull off 2 lines for the front end being my box would full. But it's a thought worth considering. Thanks.
Scott, I find the surge protection clamping circuits in most conditioners often affect sonics, but more important, they don't adequately protect your equipment from the really bad stuff (lightening strikes.)

And as others already rightly pointed out, you probably will get best performance from the ded. cts. alone, so why add a dynamics-degrading conditioner just for surge protection?

Here's a great solution that's inexpensive (about $2.50 for four dedicated circuits ;-) and highly effective: wire a high speed diode (MOV device) between the "house" side of each dedicated circuit breaker, and ground, inside the panel. Any surge will close the diode and trip the breaker before it can even reach your equipment (that's why it's called a 'high speed' diode). You'll simply have to replace the poor little diode, which sacrificed its life for your gear ;-)
You can order the Jena Labs outlets direct from Jena Labs. Here's the web site link:

Lloyd Walker introduced me to these outlets. He uses them in his own system and in his incredible Velocitors. Jena Crock has Hubbell manufacture these for her in a special production run using some of their 30 amp back plane parts but configured as a 15-20m amp outlet. She then takes them through a deep immersion, long cycle cryo treatment.

I don't have any experience with power cords on a Hydra, sorry. I do like the Silent Source Signature power cords sold by Lloyd Walker and use them here on the Atma-Sphere MA-2 amps with good results.
Thanks for the comments and links. I feel PC can make a big difference but are the results worth some of the $$$ asked for the product being sold. Some of the stuff I see makes me laugh, some of it is just SO cord with a fancy cover and Pass & Seymore plugs from Home Depot!! I'm sure some results can be good some bad from a aftermarket PC. I was looking at Shunyata's Python, I'm sure it's a great cord, but I think I'm drawn in from the bling factor of them more than what it will do. I really don't think you need to spend thousands of dollars on power cords to gain advantages. I've been reading threads about them and I'm skeptical to a point. I do believe you need quality stuff, but I feel there's a limit to their gain for the dollar. Incomeing power is very important I feel, do I need 10 AWG?? Most likely not.. Prabaly # 12 would be fine, but knowing me, I'll run # 10. As for the MOV's, yes this something I have thought about and it's a good idea. I'm glad to hear your opinion. I can get them for free from work...LOL, as we use them allot on our CNC mills and equipment at work. We use clamping diodes allot for noise also on switching gear. Thanks for the comments and keep them coming, always like to learn things and value knowledgeable comments.
Porterports, from Albert are wonderful. You can try the Jena, but buy yourself a Porterport and do your best to compare.
Have you considered the "Olflex" sheilded european cable. I understand it's very high quality and in fact I am rewiring my main to stereo set up with the 190-unless I hear of something better in the next week. It is often available as excess from electrical contractors that install sensitive European industrial equipment whos manufacturers mandate the wire. Any comments? Cheers.

For what it’s worth I third the Porterports, from Albert. Read my review here: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?raccs&1065488253&openfrom&1&4#1

The Flavor 4 is not a bad way to go read my review here:

I totally agree with Rushton regarding I always separate the digital from everything else.

I did some extensive auditioning with several high end line conditioners in my systems and another audiophile’s high end system. We also both owned the original Hydra and had dedicated 10awg 20 amp runs. We found that the line conditioners we tried actually limited the dynamics of sound and detail. In other words the music sounded better when the components were plugged directly into a high end outlet on a dedicated circuit (excluding the Clear Image T-4). This may be system dependent or area dependent.

Finally take a look at my power filtration system in my systems that I have posted on Audiogon, it will give you another slightly different perspective.
Another vote for dedicated lines, first. That has been my experience as well. As said so well (above) dedicated lines are a basic correction to so many anomalies. Then try whatever else interests you in the way of power cords and conditioners.

Happy (regulated) Listening!
Lak, Thanks for the response. I read your reveiws and all the responses. I'm going to order some Porter Ports to try. I'll have to find your thread on your filtration system. I would like to check that out. For fun last night I plugged my amps into my hydra with nothing else plugged into the Hydra but the amps (used as a power strip). I than moved the Hydra power cord to a existing outlet (19 year old original when the house was new). Powered it all up and let everything warm up an hour. I listened to variuos stuff for over an hour (allot of female vocals). I then unplugged the Hydra (still just powering the amps) and moved it to an outlet I upgraded with just a Pass & Semour 5262-AW outlet. I was actually suprised by the difference in sound quality. I upgraded my outlets and made some power strips with the Pass & Semour outlets awahile back.

Psacnli, The Oflex is the sheilded 16 AWG 5 Cond. cable I refered to earlier in my post (though I didn't call it Oflex). I do have some of this and have used it for power strips and power cords I made. I wasn't sure if it was any good but I thought I'd try it. We have allot of it at work on our ABB Hydro Presses. I can't really take allot of it home but we are going to remove a material handleing system from the ABB and there will be a lot of scrap cable. Maybe they will let me take some or I can buy it from our suplus store. I'm not sure if the stuff can be legally run through walls, but it would be a cheap way to run some dedicated lines for my front end stuff (since it has a sheild). So you think this stuff is good to use?? Maybe I'll make a power cord on my CD player and see how it sounds.
I've always agreed with the dedicated lines, but now I wonder what to run as a conductor. The Oflex mentioned above?? I have enough for one run it has a braid sheild and 4 16 AWG conductors with a GND. # 16 is rated @ 10 Amps so I could double them up, (one outlet) and by code you can downsize your ground. This could be for the digital. I can get 10 AWG romex from VH audio that looks just like what Cardus sells. Or just romex from home depot. I do have some 12 AWG (twisted) in metal flex conduit left over from wiring up my shop?? It's going to be a bitch to feed that up from by basement walls ito the wall upstairs.
Dedicated lines are it-without a doubt. The Hydra will still be great for either your pre or digital- just experiment for optimum benefit. Dedicated lines, which I have used for 20+ years, do not replace good power conditioning in my experience.
The Hydra is a unique conditioner, it really doesn't have much in circuitry inside it. I know it uses MOV's and it's made in the beutifull state of WA where I live. We have lots of wind storms in the winter sometimes causing major power bumps and sags and outages. I lost my power for almost a week last year. So I hate to have all that $$ gear just plugged in the wall. But we'll see. So are running the Oflex cable in your walls?? I'm curious now if this cable might be a good idea to try. I have about 20' of it now. I'm off all week but when I return to work I'm going to check around and if I can find some laying around.
01-02-03: Lak
Here is some information from one of my posts on Audiogon (another similar topic).

“I have experimented over the last 6 months with various wires to use for dedicated 20-amp circuits. I have the following wire in use in no special order:
1) 10 gage Romex
2) 10 gage UV
3) Belden 83802
4) Virtual Dynamics 10 gage BX Cryogenically treated with Cryo’d circuit breaker. *

I have not tried the following but I’m sure it works, 10 gage solid THHN (white/black/green) manually (electric drill) spiral twist and snake through conduit.

To my ears on my revealing system I hear NO difference between (1-4)! I think simply using a dedicated circuit with 10 gage copper makes the biggest difference.

I hope all that read this find it helpful, it’s cost me about $500 (out of my own pocket) to complete the testing for my own peace of mind.

* There might be other positive factors to using cryogenically treated wiring besides sonics. It might lower the operating temperature of equipment.
Larry, thanks for the info and the email. Good stuff. I have been thinking about twisting solid (or stranded) 10 AWG with a drill and doing it that way also. Funny it was my dad that said to do it that way. He say's...LOL.. "in old analog tube computers (early 60's)we would just chuck the wire in a drill and twist it, we couldn't have any noise". What is the UV wire (item 2)? I do have a roll about 20' of that Oflex (mentioned earlier) in 10 AWG 4 cond twisted cable with no shield and 19' of 5 cond #16 with a braid sheild and clear covering over it. Enough for a couple of circuits. I could use stranded in 3/8" metal flex also, it sure beats solid wire for ease of work. I don't know about the cryo stuff that's all new to me. We freeze metal at work in big freezers before we mill it or stretch it (aluminum), it makes it softer and does something about alligning all ...I don't know atoms I guess.. Also bought 3 Porter Ports today from Albert.. I was going to get Wattgates or Oyaides, but I can get 4 ports for one Wattgate.. Any advice about getting it up my walls?? I was going to cut the sheetrock in my basement but to get it upstairs I have to go through allot of space.. Between the ceiling and the upstairs floor and floor plates. It's 2x6 construction, but lots of insulation.
UV is similar to Romex but it’s got the thick gray covering to be buried under ground.
I know it is opening pandora's box, but I have two dedicated lines in my room and only use one. I have only found limited success with ac filtering and none at all with surge protection devices. My house was once hit by lightening with a surge protector on my computer. Both were taken out by the strike. Later with my entire system on and plugged into a Sound Application filter, lightening struck the water heater only 6 feet away. The strike took out my garage opener, the intercom system, my wireless phones, and blew a hole in my gas line. My stereo system was unaffected. When we have a storm, I unplug everything.

If you get a surge device, get one with a guarantee. You will need it. Your sound will be worse as a result of using it.

I have everything plugged into a single IsoClean wall outlet but only the line stage has an ac ground. This is far superior to any sound I have had before, largely I think due to the Stealth Dream power cords.
Tbg: If your system is the one currently posted ;-) then I think you are doing the smart thing. I doesn't require high amperage; I'll bet it doesn't draw more than 500W with everything running. Grounding only the preamp (linestage) is a good way to insure lowest noise and hum (star grounding) and I totally agree, surge protectors ruin sonics and don't really protect anything from the kind of strikes that can cause real damage. If you live where there's lightening, unplug, unplug, unplug!!

IMO the only other thing one (might) need with a dedicated circuit(s) has to do with the quality of power being delivered by the utility company. If it isn't stable voltagewise, or carries noise in the line (not from your house) a regenerator is the only solution, not filter/conditioners.
Nsgarch, I do have the good fortune of having stable voltage. I borrowed a chart recorder from a friend in the EE department and monitored it for a week. It deviated .4 volts over the entire period. It is a municipal utility and has current equipment, but I was truly impressed. I have tried the PS Audio regenerators in their first version. Fortunately, I don't need them.

Thanks for the kind words.
I usually unplug things also when the power goes out, but if I'm not home I can't do that. We dodn't have to many problems with lightning. Nothing like the mid west, lightning usually strikes in the mountians here and causes fires. It's the wind. When it gets windy, trees (lots of trees around here)get blown on lines. It's the power bumps from transormers blowing or when the power comes back on that I worry about.

Wow struck by lightning twice??
Sgsoundnut, this was over a 30 year period. We have recently been twice missed by tornados by less than a block in one case and by being jumped over in another. Neither did anything to our electricity. Obviously, wind is a problem here but seldom affects our electricity. Good tree trimming I guess is responsible.
I live along the foothills of the Cascade Mountian Range. There is allot of thick tree growth. When it gets real windy, which for some reason the last couple of years have been bad, it blows trees down, especially if its freezing. Mostly big fir trees, but it takes them down all over the western state. No Tornados though, wow that sounds like you had a close call there. I guess it would be more like a Huricane type of storm that is the worst we get. I just know from my job experience allot of electrical gets taken out due to bumps and surges, especially when the power comes back on and than goes back off. Most power sub stations breakers will trip and then auto reset 3 times before the open up completely. So your electronic stuff gets hamored while the power is cycling. I had a Panamax that would reamin powered off for one minute untill incomeing power was stable. It was a nice feature.
UPDATE: Bought 3 Porter Ports. Went to install one in the outlet my amps are running off of and found a nice surprise. It was a 12 AWG 20A circuit tied to my dishwasher??? Don't know why it was wired like that. I decided I'd do a comparison, the porter (on a 12 AWG 20A circuit) to a Pass & Seymour on a 15A (14 AWG) circuit. I must admit I was skeptical an outlet would make a difference, but was I surprised. I listened for awhile with it in the Pass & Seymour than plugged the amps into the Porter Port and I was shocked. The first thing I noticed was the treble!! Everything seemed clean, than I turned it up with some Peter Gabriel. I couldn’t believe the sub bass output!! I swapped back and forth a few times. It seemed the like I changed the volume level when it was in the porter Port, but I never touched it. It was cleaner clearer sound. I’m sure the 12 AWG wire made some difference too as it is basically a dedicated circuit. These are a must buy for anyone. I will buy more as I have a few home-brewed power strips I made with 10 AWG wire and gold Oyaide (spelling??) connectors. These are a must buy, for $38.00!!!
Your Porterports will actually improve in performance with a few more days of break-in. Especially being cryo'd, they need to go through a brief burn-in period. Enjoy.
Yes, I have 10 Porterports. Glad to give the advise.