You really don't have too many options. Each panel manufacturer uses different breakers (their own) which are not interchangeable. Breakers also must be sized so as to not allow too much current to a specific wire gage. I'd stay away from GFI (ground fault interrupter) type breakers with their extra sensing circuitry.
The National Electric Code sets the standards regarding electric panels and breakers. Any licensed electrical contractor can inform you better of the permissible options.
Breakers are inferior to fuses, both protection-wise & sound-wise. I've tried some different fuses on my dedicated line & found that a glass fuse sounded brighter/harsher than a ceramic fuse, which was noticably better.
This was an interesting experience because of the way it happened. We had storms in the area one day, so the audio rig was shut down as a precaution. I was downstairs & decided to try a different fuse, because I had read about it here. So I changed it & then forgot about it.
The next morning weather was clear, so I fired up the rig just playing the tuner. I thought things sounded warmer / more mellow, but just went about my Saturday's work outside. Coming in & out of the house I kept hearing the improvement & wondering what had happened (I had forgotten about the fuse change)? Even my wife was asking about the improvement later that day, so then I got to thinking & finally remembered the new fuse. So we played some CD's & there was no doubt once we began critical listening & the rig was warmed up again.
Regarding your electrical panel Clark, I suggest adding an outboard FUSEbox alongside your house breaker box & run the audio circuits from that point.
While I do not doubt Bobs experience really happened. I have to question the outboard box suggestion. The current must still flow through 100 or 200 amp mains breakers as well as the branch off breaker to the outboard box.The best A/C panel to use is SQUARE D company; The industry standard.
Bob is absolutely correct though,fuses are, without question better than circuit breakers from a sonic standpoint
You don't go thru the mains breakers at all. You stub directly off the mains lugs with large (#8 or #6) stranded wire to your good ole' fuse panel located right next door. Since I'm 'fanatic' I burnished all contacts with crocus cloth, including the fuse itself, all wire connections, etc. then followed up with Kontact.
Now I wonder if anyone has tried a plastic fuse? Ceramic was recommended here & is definitely better sounding than glass. But I've since seen plastic-housed fuses & wondered about them sonically? Anyone?
Bob is right. Avoid circuit breakers. Use ceramic fuses if you can and keep them spotlessly clean. Then listen and (perhaps) be amazed. (My husband did and we both were amazed) ( We didn't do any double-deaf testing though)
what does ceramic fuses look like.ive been doing some work and the fuses ive seen do not mention what material is used.The ones i have our brass ends with grayish material between the ends, is this what?
Steve that sounds like you have ceramic there. That gray-ish stuff looks like a stone surface. Glass housings are obvious of course. The plastic ones I saw were kinda shiny surfaced (you know that plastic sheen).
Kath: "double-deaf testing" ROFLMAO. Appears that we're like-minded in that respect.
You bet, Bob and thanks for your kind mail!
So, on a related but slightly different topic, what about using the two phases of the powerline? Is there any advantage to putting power amps on one phase, the rest of the electronics on the other? Or maybe putting digital on one phase, analog on the other?
It is pretty well documented that phase independance ensures that small signal distortion is not communicated between phases, so perhaps it could keep digital junk out of analog?
At the same time, having power amps on two different phases would perhaps result in more available power to the amps as you now have twice the wire gage, and twice the transformer (At the pole) to drive them?
I guess a drawback I see is that the power will be out of phase, which might make some audible difference?
I have no technical knowledge to back any of this up, just crossed my mind and was wondering if anyone has experience with this?
In response to Njonker, Don't use seperate phases. If there ever is a ground fault you can have the entire potential of one or both phases to make noise, damage your equipment or kill you.
Although I have no experience to share regarding the opposite phases question, it has been recommended here by those whose opinons I respect & who definitely are more knowledgable than I am in that regard.
Bob, be careful on what you recommend. Where I live, the local electrical code states there must be only one shutoff that removes power from the entire dwelling. By connecting another box before the main shutoff, if you lived in my area, you would be in violation of the local codes and possibly jepordize your fire insurance. I realize the codes are different all over the country but it may not be something I would want to recomment or suggest.
Bob thanks for that. I just redid my wiring with the fuses and there is a big improvement in the whole system.THE BEST TWEAK AN AUDIOPHILE CAN MAKE FOR THE MONEY.
Use 8g.braided wire with isolated grounds and changed the outlet with pass seymore hospital grades,(didnt have hubbel here on guam).
I recently heard that all new breaker boxes will be interchangable. The new standard is all will work with any other companies breaker panel. Just heard this about a week ago from my brother in law who is in the process of building a new home.