UPgradeing dedicated line components


Six months ago I installed 3 dedicated lines for audio. One to amp, one to preamp, and one to digital. I used standard solid core 10ga romex for amp and 12 ga otherwise. I have a Square D box with distance to outlets not more than 20'. Used hospital grade outlets, however inexpensive ones.

I seek input on value of:
1) Upgrading the breakers in the square D box.
2) Replacing the romex for 10ga stranded cable for all lines.
3) Upgrading the outlets to PS audio or something of ~equal value.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts. Mike
mesch
I seek input on value of:
1) Upgrading the breakers in the square D box.
2) Replacing the romex for 10ga stranded cable for all lines.
3) Upgrading the outlets to PS audio or something of ~equal value.
#1) There is no upgrading the breakers. Hopefully you have a Square D QO panel and not the Homeline series.
QO has copper plated bus, Homeline has aluminum bus.

All three dedicated branch circuits should be fed from the same Line, leg, of the panel.

#2) #12 wire is plenty big for the preamp and digital for a 20' run. You will not hear any difference changing them out to #10. (I would not use stranded wire)

#3) I can't help you there. I will tell you all hospital grade recepts are not created equal. I am using the Hubbell 8300H hospital grade non plated contacts with a non plated brass backstrap. The recepts are cryoed.

Stay away from recepts that use nickel plating on the contacts and the mounting backstrap. Also you do not want a recept that has a ferrous steel backstrap.
Thanks Jea. I will look into the Hubbells.
You might want to check out the Porter Port.
Consider adding Environmental Potentials Ep-2050 and ground filter Ep-2750 at the panel.Plenty of info in the archives.
I have a similar system,in that my two power amps are on two separate dedicated lines, and so is the cd player on a third dedicated line.
The phono stage, TT,and Lightspeed attenuator(for the cd/sacd player)are plugged into a Hydra8 power conditioner, also on a foutrh separate, but not dedicated line.
Dedicated lines are great, but I wanted an even more direct route from the panel to my gear.
So I did away with power cords and outlets,and instead of those what I have done is to terminate each of the 3 dedicated lines with a Furutech F1 48(R) plug.So that's two mono power amps and one SACD being powered up with no breaks from the panel,except for the IEC's.
This I think is worth stating.

The money saved on after market power cords and outlets(I now have spare Shunyata Anncondas and my Furutech GTX D is on the 4th non dedicated line)could better be spent on upgrading the IEC at the end of your dedicated lines and plug them into your gear.
I find this has given me more of all the things we are always searching for.
I always believed in the less is more type of audio and this set up is proof enough for me.
A few years ago I rained down all manner of criticism towards those I labelled "wall pluggers".
I still feel upgraded power cords, conditioners,and wall outlets are still needed when dedicated lines aren't an option.
But becoming a "panel plugger" is now where I feel most comfortable.
Thanks Lacee, I did think about doing this myself. Makes sense to remove the outlets. Are the AC cables from the panel standard Romex?
Yes they are but # 10 guage, and the breakers are 20 amp.
Thanks again, I am using #10 with 20 amp also. I plan on getting a IEC plug.
I really wasn't expecting that much of an improvement when I replaced the entry level Cu IEC from Furutech with the Furutech FR 48 R.

Wow.
I was curious if I would notice much if any improvement,because the entry level IEC Furutechs were much better than the stock ones, how much better could it get?
I am glad my curiosity got the better of me.

A bit off topic,but I also did another upgrade to the RCA connectors on my 25 foot IC.
They had decent WBT type locking connectors.
I replaced those with Furutech CR 102 R.

Again I wasn't expecting a great difference,the IEC replacement was a gem, could I get lucky twice?

Yes.

The sound just tightened up even more, more reverb details and trails, and a smoother sound to massed violins.
I never heard Lambchop Mr M, Antony and the Johnsons strings sound as clean and full bodied as they do now, and I haven't even put more than 2 hours on these upgrades.
If more playing time brings further enhancements,this will have proven to be one of my better upgrades.

The lesson I have learned is that the connectors play a crucial role in shaping the sound.
Moved to a new home 3 weeks ago and have just installed an upgraded dedicated circuit. Main panel is Cutler-Hammer CH series with copper bus bar, subpanel is GE Master Load Center with copper bus-bar. The subpanel is tied to the main with massive 6/4 conduit and I'm using 10/2 Romex (for now,...other options too pricey at 16-25 dollars per foot, with 5 outlets I needed about 150 feet of cable) BUT I have installed an Environmental Potentials EP-2050 on the main house panel to protect everything and an EP-2750 Ground Filter on the dedicated circuit. I have heard nothing but good things about the EP units and that combined with the copper busbar panels should be a nice upgrade in the entire system's sound....very excited to hear the result once i finish unpacking!
I envy you.If I could I would do the same.
Looking forward to your posts.
After the first 2 days of hearing the new circuit with the sub-panel and the EP 2050 and 2750 installed I can report the circuit is whisper quiet and even though all the components had been shutdown and boxed up for just short of a month, the system wow'ed me from the start. The EP units are not inexpensive nor was the electric work that was done however it definitely was well worth the time and cost to make it all happen.

I had to live without a dedicated circuit and full sub-panel install for many years for various reasons; this was well worth the wait!

Lacee: Took a look at your system listing; do you have any pics to post? It looks like a very nice selection of gear and I'd like to know how you've treated your room as I've never done a lot in this area as other things had to come first. The other thing to consider is that in the last house, a sub-panel was impossible both due to WAF as well as physical limitations. What I was able to have done back in 2008 was a single dedicated circuit, 1st breaker off the main, pulled with flex conduit and individual 10-gauge conductors to a j-box that split off into 2 different banks of outlets. The results with that too were worth the stretch and time/cost. Are you able to run conduit/wire of any kind where you are?
I run three dedicated lines from 20 amp breakers using #10 solid core romex.Not a fancy professional job, but the results are worth the effort.
I run one line directly from the panel into my Shunyata power conditioner using a Furutech 20 amp connector.
Each power amp is also wired direct from the panel with Furutech connectors at the end of the wire and at the amp.

I was using mostly dIY room treatment,but in March I bought 2 ceiling mounted clouds and 4 corner traps for the wall behind my Acoustats(floor to ceiling).
I have a half trap 16 ASC trap in my third corner, the fourth corner is open to a stair way.First reflection points and the area behind and in the centre of the speakers are currently DIY absorbing panels, which will be replaced in the future with GIK products.
I also have an array of ASC mini traps on the wall behind the listening seat and a DIY centre absorber in the centre which I will also replace with a GIK product.

The power and room treatment aspects of this hobby were always put on the back burner,only to be considered when I had found a system that I could live with for the long haul.

I am sure in hindsite, had I addressed these issues in the past I could have saved myself a lot of money and frustration flitting from amp to amp, speaker to speaker.But that's all part of the game.

However,the room and the power delivery affects everything, so do it right and whatever you have will sound it's best.
A lesson learned, but never too late.
I run three dedicated lines from 20 amp breakers using #10 solid core romex.Not a fancy professional job, but the results are worth the effort.
I run one line directly from the panel into my Shunyata power conditioner using a Furutech 20 amp connector.
Each power amp is also wired direct from the panel with Furutech connectors at the end of the wire and at the amp.

I was using mostly dIY room treatment,but in March I bought 2 ceiling mounted clouds and 4 corner traps for the wall behind my Acoustats(floor to ceiling) from GIK.
I have a 16" ASC half trap in my third corner, the fourth corner is open to a stair way.First reflection points and the area behind and in the centre of the speakers are currently DIY absorbing panels, which will be replaced in the future with GIK products.
I also have an array of ASC mini traps on the wall behind the listening seat and a DIY centre absorber in the centre which I will also replace with a GIK product.

The power and room treatment aspects of this hobby were always put on the back burner,only to be considered when I had found a system that I could live with for the long haul.

I am sure in hindsite, had I addressed these issues in the past I could have saved myself a lot of money and frustration flitting from amp to amp, speaker to speaker.But that's all part of the game.

However,the room and the power delivery affects everything, so do it right and whatever you have will sound it's best.
A lesson learned, but never too late.
Romex coming out of the wall, directly connected to an IEC and then the equipment, is a violation of all safety codes, and will void your insurance in the event of a fire.
I could not agree more with all that you wrote,...thanks for the detail. Happy Listening!
Was referring to Lacee's statement about saving time and frustration moving from one piece of equipment and cable to another over a long period of time and the importance of room and power delivery both from things I've not done as well as those steps I have taken....
I understand my set up is not in compliance,but it works for me.
The wires are not in contact with any carpets or surfaces that could become flammable.

I think I have read about fires starting with electric wiring buried behind dry wall and wood framing, so perhaps the code has it's flaws.

In reality, what I am doing is no different than someone using extension cords.

I can break the signal at the amp, it's not hardwired, which I believe is a valid code violation.

So, are the folks who run extension cords to their amps from a wall socket also violating the electrical code?

How about the fellow with a current hungry amp using sub standard 18 guage extension cord?
I could see that wire overheating in this case.

10 guage romex, not so much.
If it's going to overheat and cause a fire, then there's more chance of that when it's buried behind insulation in a wall.

I am not stating that what I do should be done by anyonelse.

Your options will provide inconsequential improvements.
Consider isolation for your preamp and then digital and then amp. Digital hash plays havoc with sensitive amplification. Even fairly modest older MIT Z Stabilizer 2 (plugged in parallel) will likely improve your sound quite dramatically.
Very much appreciate the exchange between Lacee and Zephyr. I now have a focus on room 'tuning' .

Ptss, I have considered power conditioning for pre and digital. Currently using a Monster cable conditioner for digital. (DAC and DVP) Keeping digital isolated.
Why not install a small reactor in the basement and eliminate the 6 million feet of feed line, bad connection , inline service fuses , noisy transformers and years of oxidation. Ground it properly and use quality outlets that have a firm grip on your outlet and treat the room and spend the hundreds you save on music......
If such a reactor based system made the music sound better then I'm in favour of it.
It's all about the music afterall.

Just respect the music by doing all you can to reproduce as much of it as is possible.

What good is ten thousand lps' when all you can hear is 10% of the music that's in them?

That's just as absurd in my book.