PDA

View Full Version : I've GOT the POWER !!!



Steve Gonzales
12-19-2004, 11:19 PM
Over the years, I've debated the pros and cons of cabling and came to the conclusion that "all you need is some decent 12ga speakerwire and some $30-50 dollar a pair RCA interconnects, at least some that doesn't require a mortgage on me casa. Well, all these years I've neglected one VERY important thing; my 120 volt power source!. I've always asked my audio friends, Why does a $249.99 dollar Sony surround sound receiver rated at 110 wpc X 6 weigh 17lbs and my 250wpc X2, Yamaha M80 weigh 52lbs? -Jokingly-. Well the laughs were on me because after all these years of stressing how important an amp's power supply is to it's performance, I dropped the ball, until tonight. I went to the local Home Depot and picked up some 10/2 Romex and a hospital grade 30 amp outlet and proceeded to run myself a dedicated 30 amp circuit and HOLY CURRENT FLOW, BATMAN !!!!!. Never one to take the mega buck cable debate seriously, I had mistakenly thrown the dedicated circuit advice in with that bunch of crap!. Hearing IS believing ! From the first powerful note, it was a WONDERFUL, CLEAR difference!!! I realize that MANY of you are far ahead of the game, but for those newbies or non-believers, you have GOT to do this for yourself, it is worth far more, dollar for dollar, than ANY pipe smoking, Harvard professer type can deliver on his silly cables. Now don't get me wrong: there are some good expensive cables out there, and I'm sure what you paid for them, paid off in their "performance" return but the next time someone asks me what kind of cables I use, I'm going to simply reply: ROMEX !;)

subwoof
12-20-2004, 04:59 AM
AC 101

Well you can only get out what you put in...

Think of the ac circuit to your system as a simple mechanical spring.

Drag a thin steelspring ( like a slinky ) along the ground and and watch the end eventually catch up to the front in spurts and spits depending on obstructions, etc.

Now use a car's front end Mcpherson strut ( thick steel ) spring and drag it along..

wanna bet which one more accurately "follows" your waveform ( read: movement )

sub

Donald
12-20-2004, 06:59 AM
OK, you are now a Golden Ear.

I bet your hospital grade outlets aren't this good:

http://www.psaudio.com/products/ultimate_outlet.asp

Or your Romex is as good as this:

http://www.psaudio.com/products/xstream_ultimate.asp

You have taken the first step to financial ruin. :)

Robh3606
12-20-2004, 07:31 AM
Yes it does help to have a clean power source. I ran a dedicated line too and have a spare pre-run ready to install when I get the time. That will give me 40A. I have been doing that for a while now. Figure if your lights dim during loud passages you know you need more or at least a dedicated line. Lucky for you that you had the room in your box and the service.

Rob:)

stevem
12-20-2004, 09:21 AM
I've used dedicated circuits for almost twenty years. I does make a difference. Just be carefull if you use two separate circuits for amps and low-level equipment like I once did. You may be chasing ground loop hums if you do.

scott fitlin
12-20-2004, 09:55 AM
Im a home situation, where your not using huge amounts of current, you can do a 40 or 50 amp single pole, single phase run to your distro panel and break it down to 20 amp branches from there! Another part of doing a good dedicated AC service for your system, is no shared neutrals! Each outlet gets its own neutral wire, instead of outlets sharing a neutral like some electricians will do to save time, and work! This also makes a difference.

In a 120v system, I like my audio gear to be fed from the same phase of AC, so this requires quite a large dedicated AC panel, with big wire!

Power does make a difference!

Steve Gonzales
12-20-2004, 01:44 PM
My new dedicated line is a "home run" from a newer 100 amp sub-panel I installed some time back. It has nothing in common with any other outlet except that panel. I think of this like drag racers do their cars; when you first start making improvments, the $/ ET gain is pretty good - intake/carb/exhaust = significant gain as far as cost to lower ET ratio. If I win the Lotto, then maybe I would try the mega-bucks cables and such but I believe that the performance gain to cost ratio is WAY out of whack in that arena and while I don't discount that there may be some benifits realized, in my case they're not justified. Hell, look at the internal wiring in most ANY JBL speaker! With the exception of some SE 250ti's and XPL models, it's just plain ol' wire, small gauge at that. My lights did dim before and I know from years of car stereo installs and sales (on the side) that when the headlights dim, that is NOT a good sign! I have 2 Yamaha M80's powering a pair of L220's/L222's ( side by each;) ), I really needed this dedicated circuit. I'm very happy with the results because I like to HEAR the difference in an upgrade, no, I NEED to hear the difference in an upgrade or mod. I want to thank each member for their comments and input, Steve G

BTW: congrats Scottyj on your 1000th post !

Titanium Dome
12-20-2004, 03:46 PM
Im a home situation, where your not using huge amounts of current, you can do a 40 or 50 amp single pole, single phase run to your distro panel and break it down to 20 amp branches from there! Another part of doing a good dedicated AC service for your system, is no shared neutrals! Each outlet gets its own neutral wire, instead of outlets sharing a neutral like some electricians will do to save time, and work! This also makes a difference.

In a 120v system, I like my audio gear to be fed from the same phase of AC, so this requires quite a large dedicated AC panel, with big wire!

Power does make a difference!

Conceptually, this all makes sense to me, but what does this look like in reality? (Particularly the "each gets its own neutral wire" part.)

scott fitlin
12-20-2004, 03:57 PM
Conceptually, this all makes sense to me, but what does this look like in reality? (Particularly the "each gets its own neutral wire" part.)Depends on how neat you or your electricians work is!

My panels are laced and each wire is labeled.

But, the main wires, hot and neutral are attached to the panels wire lugs, which the hot lug feeds the breakers, and the main neutral is attached to a bus bar. Now each receptacle has its own breaker, and its own neutral wire coming off the neutral bus bar. All wire is run through pipe, each quad box is fed it wires from one pipe, and each receptacle is wired accordingly.

When I say " Shared neutrals " this means not to run one wire from the panel, and daisy chain from receptacle to receptacle! You,d be surprised at what you find when opening up AC panels and conduits!

Optimum wire size, and each receptacle having its own breaker, and neutral, and of course good ground, ensure optimum power, and current flow!

Steve Gonzales
12-20-2004, 04:32 PM
I second that and also, alot of homes have two "out of phase" 120v lines at their main panel in order to get 220v for dryers and other stuff, out of phase meaning that in the 120v 60hz a.c. sine wave, when one is at it's positive peak, the other is at it's most negative and the difference in "potential" between these two is 220v. I don't really know what the exact science is behind keeping all your dedicated outlets "the same phase" but it sounds like a good idea. It is said that you could run a small light bulb if you used just the neutrals of two out of phase lines, that tells me that there would likely be some hum induced if you were to indeed make that mistake with your dedicated audio outlet(s)

scott fitlin
12-20-2004, 05:14 PM
I second that and also, alot of homes have two "out of phase" 120v lines at their main panel in order to get 220v for dryers and other stuff, out of phase meaning that in the 120v 60hz a.c. sine wave, when one is at it's positive peak, the other is at it's most negative and the difference in "potential" between these two is 220v. I don't really know what the exact science is behind keeping all your dedicated outlets "the same phase" but it sounds like a good idea. It is said that you could run a small light bulb if you used just the neutrals of two out of phase lines, that tells me that there would likely be some hum induced if you were to indeed make that mistake with your dedicated audio outlet(s)Homes have two equal but opposite legs of 120v power, and commercial places, like mine have three!

The legs are out of phase with each other, and their is debate as to what is and isnt right, but I subscribe to, and have my systems AC setup on one phase of 120v AC power!

I have had split phase, as well as spread across the three phases, but I find that 120v gear sounds best when all the electronics of a system recieve the same phase of 120v AC!

There can be noise issues due to split phase, and their is debate on the subject as to whats right, and whats not! But it is my opinion that 120v gear sounds best when all powered by the same phase!

Of course, this does require a large panel, with large wire, but worth it in my opinion!

Steve Gonzales
12-20-2004, 05:57 PM
I agree and that's EXACTLY what I've done. I have, for a short time, worked as an oil field electrician and there are even more than three (phases) in industrial applications, I also worked for Metro Audio in Bakersfield when I was in my teens. My 100 amp sub panel is connected to the Main panel via 00 gauge 600v Romex, 2 hot (phases), 1 neutral and 1 earth . My dedicated 30 amp circuit is terminated at the sub-panel with it's OWN 30amp breaker and then that single 10/2 line goes only to the ONE outlet (home run). each of the 10/2's leads terminate like this Black (hot) to the 30 amp breaker then the White (neutral) terminates to the common bus bar and finally the earth ground is connected as per code to a real ground rod hammered into the ground and checked for proper conductivity. Does that sound right to you scottyj?

scott fitlin
12-20-2004, 06:05 PM
That is how its done!

Alex Lancaster
12-20-2004, 07:54 PM
:) Pls read "Markīs Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers" ( it is only a few thousand pages, he, he), and then We can argue. (it is by McGraw Hill)

I do not mean anything, basically, the bigger the wiring, the better, the mentioned book is extremely enlightening.

Steve Gonzales
12-20-2004, 09:19 PM
There has always been a debate on the merits of different cables. I was talking to a friend that lives in England and he was telling me about a SINGLE of pair "Kessler" RCA 1 meter interconnects that sell for SIXTY FRICKIN' THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!!!!!, I would challenge ANYONE to a double blind test of $50 RCA's and "ACME" brand 12ga speakerwire against mega buck cables. I'd bet $1k that the person COULD NOT pick the "megabuck" cabled system in a 3 out of 5 test! Common sense tell you that there is a difference in performance between the yardsale rca's and a $50 pair, likewise with the speaker cable. Heavier gauge IS better but the amount of performance gain to cost ratio gets smaller past the point of the cost of some decent OFC 12ga "X-Brand". I like to live in the real world where time, effort, and money spent MUST pay off in a big way or I can't afford it, and if I could, I probably wouldn't buy it anyway, it's just that simple. I will say one thing though, the day that someone demonstrates some kind of cables that indeed make a "SIGNIFICANT" difference beyond what I've got or heard, My bank account is gonna get drained, and that right quick! ;)

BTW: Subwoof- Excellent analogy !!!

kenratboy
12-21-2004, 09:54 PM
The lights in my room dim when the subwoofer hits, is that a bad thing :confused:

(Obviously it isn't a good thing)

Alex Lancaster
12-22-2004, 06:30 AM
:) Ken: Your wiring is way too thin, I have used the existing 2 wires for neutral, and added another, with twice the amp capacity for line; Donīt know if that is possible or will pass code in Your location.

paragon
12-22-2004, 08:10 AM
Only the light in your room or the whole town ? That will be bad !!
Look out of the window.:D

Eckhard