Dedicated AC Line For Hi-Fi Setup

mtemur

Active Member
Mar 26, 2019
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I am using a dedicated line for my setup for more than 15 years. it makes a significant improvement over a wall receptacle. I tried lost of different cables and figured out a couple of things:
  • it has to be made of solid cores
  • it should be uninterrupted from electric meter to audio system
  • there should be only one fuse (right after the meter)
  • it should be made of good quality copper.
  • area of the conductors should be at least 2.5 square mm for 220V and 4 square mm for 110V
  • finally a good grounding is a must
these are my observations but they may not be right for everybody.

recently I came across Oyaide 102 SSC EE / F-S 2.6 in wall cable at a hi-fi dealer.

http://www.oyaide.com/ENGLISH/AUDIO/products_category/power_cord/pg466.html
https://www.monoandstereo.com/2014/12/oyaide-102-ssc-copper-cable-new.html

it has 3x5.3 square mm (2.6mm) solid cores with copper shield. I was very happy with 15 years burned in Pirelli cable but it wasn’t made for hi-fi by a hi-fi company. so I thought I should give it a try and bought that Oyaide cable.
I am really impressed by build quality. copper wires have shiny smooth surfaces and a color like gold.
it needs a lot of time to burn in but better bass control and smooth presentation are immediately noticeable over Pirelli cable which is very very good.
for quick burn in newly installed Oyaide AC line is arranged to the back of the refrigerator. after a while I will rearrange it to back of my audio system and hopefully I will get a better sound. now I’m just getting better refrigeration :)
 

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GertSterlingSilver

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Aug 13, 2016
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How would one ensure good surface area connection between the wire and terminals when using a solid core wire?
Stranded wire conforms better to whatever shape it's terminated in surely.
What about skin effect? There's less surface are on a single wire than there is in multi-stranded wires, how much of a difference this makes is above me but if anyone can enlighten us that would be choice.
 

mtemur

Active Member
Mar 26, 2019
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How would one ensure good surface area connection between the wire and terminals when using a solid core wire?
I use Oyaide receptacles. their high clamping power on terminals ensure a good connection. there are lots of hi-fi brands such as furutech, synergistresearch etc. offering same or better terminals on their receptacles. so that's not an issue if you use one of them.
What about skin effect? There's less surface are on a single wire than there is in multi-stranded wires, how much of a difference this makes is above me but if anyone can enlighten us that would be choice.
if you're making a powercord or an extension cable up to 5 meters than it's a good idea to use stranded wire, but if it's longer than 5 meters or a dedicated line from electric meter than solid core is the right choice. the difference is about speed and energy you get from your audio system. I used both of them for a long time and always prefer the line with solid core. I should make a note that it takes a long time to fully burn in.
by the way 5 meters is not an exact value maybe it's 4 or maybe 6 meters I don't know but if it's short stranded wire is better if it's long solid core is better.
 

Cellcbern

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Jul 31, 2015
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I ran a 30A line from the main breaker panel to a separate breaker box, and a dedicated 20A line from there to an Oyaide R-1 wall outlet, which both clamps tightly and accepts 10 awg wire, unlike a lot of cheaper wall plugs. Both JPS Labs and Audience make good 10 awg (the ground wire is 12 awg) in-wall wire - much better sounding than cheap Romex. I used the JPS.
 

adyc

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Jan 6, 2013
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Skin effect is not relevant for frequency 50 or 60 Hz. For RF frequency, skin effect is a good thing as it will increase resistance for RF. You don’t want RF to pollute your equipments from AC.
 
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Big Dog RJ

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Feb 3, 2012
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Melbourne
Around Feb, just after the monoblocks went through a final SE upgrade, there was a grounding issue with the right monoblock. So I called in an expert electrical contractor to attend to it. Very interesting comments and advise given by them, I'll summarise below:

1. Having a dedicated AC line / lines for the audio system is a fantastic way to optimise its performance. Isolated on separate switches with their dedicated CB's wired directly to the mains board is great!

2. However, this mains board also carries and holds other fuses, CB's and other wiring throughout the house... hence it's NOT truly "dedicated" wiring, since this main board actually sits on ONE phase, which powers the whole house, referred to as "Single- phase."

3. The best and only way to have absolute dedicated wiring, is to have the audio wired on a completely separate phase, separate from the primary phase that powers the house. Thus, this would be referred to as a two-phase mains or three-phase mains if you want to take things further...

4. For much larger houses, single-phase mains may not be adequate, so they install two to three phases to power the house, according to building codes. However, if your particular home is coded to have only a single phase according to local building codes/plans, there's nothing more you can do towards dedicated AC lines.

This is where I guess, in certain other countries, especially my previous hometown, if you know such & such... things can be done but not in Aus! Infact, back in home land, we had three-phase AC mains, so I was able to load the audio onto its dedicated mains, this is a true form of dedicated AC line.

So, with that the best I could do, was I asked the electrical chap to rearrange a few things. Have a wider gap between the audio CB/ fuse from the rest of the wiring points, and install a thicker wire, just like what they've done for our electrical cooker! And so he did, 10awg installed, carrying 20amps in total, out of which the system only requires 10amps nothing more, and that's pretty much as dedicated as it gets! All on a single-phase. Sounds great!

So next time someone says they've got separate dedicated AC lines just for the audio, doesn't necessarily mean dedicated on a separate phase. The majority are on the same phase that's used for the fridge, kettle, microwave, washing machine, dishwasher and the list goes on...

It is only dedicated if it was installed on a separate phase. Ha! Something new I learnt from the electrician!

Cheers, and enjoy those fine tunes!
RJ
 

Addicted to hifi

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Sep 8, 2020
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I don’t have a dedicated line and don’t believe I need it. Our house is only ten years old and has two separate lines one for half front of house and the second for the half back of house which my stereo runs of.the second half is only bedrooms and laundry so the power is separate to front half which has the fridge,kettle dish washer.
 

Lampie519

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Mar 14, 2021
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Hoofddorp, Holland
I think that depends on many factors. In my case i do not need it (i think so now) but a friend of mine lives in an area where the infrastructure in not up to date. He uses all kinds of filtering and conditioners.

I found some real nice power cords though : SpinX by Spindeco.

SpinX Technology - YouTube
 
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mtemur

Active Member
Mar 26, 2019
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the problem with an AC line is it's polluted neutral. even if you have a separate phase for your audio system still you're using the same neutral. best is to get rid of neutral completely. in order to do that you use two phases from a 3 phase AC system and connect it to a step down/isolation transformer. for example you have 230V 3 phase AC mains in your home and you connect 2 of the 3 phases to the transformer with a dedicated line. you don't connect neutral and get 2 phases out. exactly 400V AC goes in and 230V goes out from the transformer. in this particular case I can think of only audio consulting transformer which is specially made for this purpose and doesn't have a bad impact on sound.
I tried all of them, including "the audio wired on a completely separate phase, separate from the primary phase that powers the house".
the best is to use two phase but no neutral which I described above.
single phase powering your house and audio gear or a separate phase for audio does not make a huge difference as no neutral does. cause even if you dedicate a phase for your audio gear your neighbour is using that phase for owen. but an uninterrupted good quality cable wired from switchboard to the back of your audio makes a huge difference.
by the way I'm against anything in between audio gear and AC line such as extra breakers and transformers. I can not stand those things slowing the sound, diminishing the energy and impact but that is not the case with audio consulting transformer.
 
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Lampie519

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Where on this planet do you have your set installed?

As stated earlier, it all depends... "my neutral" is not as "noisy" as others maybe.
 

mtemur

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Mar 26, 2019
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As stated earlier, it all depends... "my neutral" is not as "noisy" as others maybe.
your AC mains' neutral may not be too noisy but it is still certainly noisy. cause unlike live lines like phases there is only one neutral for your home or for the whole apartment and everything is connected to that.
 
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Lampie519

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It still important where on earth you have your set as in some countries we do not have 3 phase mains....
 
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Lampie519

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Mar 14, 2021
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As my entire system is balanced i have less issues with the mains noise (that is if done correctly).

That beeing said, does not mean it is perfect in every sense..
 
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microstrip

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Just to point that the mains distribution system and electrical code in the US and Europe are different. Unless we know clearly where the poster is living the situation is confusing and can be misleading.
 
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Big Dog RJ

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Feb 3, 2012
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Melbourne
the problem with an AC line is it's polluted neutral. even if you have a separate phase for your audio system still you're using the same neutral. best is to get rid of neutral completely. in order to do that you use two phases from a 3 phase AC system and connect it to a step down/isolation transformer. for example you have 230V 3 phase AC mains in your home and you connect 2 of the 3 phases to the transformer with a dedicated line. you don't connect neutral and get 2 phases out. exactly 400V AC goes in and 230V goes out from the transformer. in this particular case I can think of only audio consulting transformer which is specially made for this purpose and doesn't have a bad impact on sound.
I tried all of them, including "the audio wired on a completely separate phase, separate from the primary phase that powers the house".
the best is to use two phase but no neutral which I described above.
single phase powering your house and audio gear or a separate phase for audio does not make a huge difference as no neutral does. cause even if you dedicate a phase for your audio gear your neighbour is using that phase for owen. but an uninterrupted good quality cable wired from switchboard to the back of your audio makes a huge difference.
by the way I'm against anything in between audio gear and AC line such as extra breakers and transformers. I can not stand those things slowing the sound, diminishing the energy and impact but that is not the case with audio consulting transformer.
Very valid points, and definitely makes sense because I've actually tried the isolation/ separate transformers installation. This is was recommended by Eve Anne Manley, President Manley Labs. Although it worked back in hometown since the power grid was absolutely terrible over there, this type of installation did make a difference and helped with serious voltage fluctuations.

However, there was one massive issue, that isolator / transformer hummed like crazy! It was so annoying that the only solution was to house it in a different room. We imported isolators from the UK and US, all of them hummed, there was no way around it.

Now all of that is in the past, we now reside in Aus. They have very strict building codes and you cannot wire things directly to your mains board without/ bypassing CB's. This is a fire hazard and building/ electrical code compliance issue. Anything going out from the mains must have CB's.

At the end of the day, if you like what you're hearing- pure musicality, great dynamics, natural soundstage and natural tones unhindered, that's all that matters.

I sincerely think the best AC solution is to get a long ass wire directly connected from the power plant to your audio! That's the ultimate and no country on our planet will allow it!

Might as well just sit back and enjoy the music, as long as the system has achieved those points I mentioned.
Cheers, RJ
 
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Addicted to hifi

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Balanced xlrs lower the noise floor it’s unbelievable. I cart even hear the hiss sound I was getting before thru my klipschorns on the tweeters.
 

Big Dog RJ

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Feb 3, 2012
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I believe Paul McGowan's AC re-generator is a pretty good solution if one was having issues with voltage fluctuations and AC line snubs...

Luckily for us down unda, they are pretty strict when it comes to providing good AC power at best possible voltage stability within uninterrupted power grids. If they can't supply the power within the required codes/ guidelines, then we can sue. So far they've been consistent on high deliverables.

I've lived and visited the Sth East Asian region, Thailand, HK, Malaysia, SL & India, Dubai, Singapore, UK & the US, and now Aus, all I can say is our power grids over here are the most stable amongst those countries I've lived and visited. I would consider that quite lucky, plus with newer residential estates, the voltage stability is far greater compared to very old established suburbs. It also helps the audio!

Cheers, and enjoy those fine tunes!
RJ
 

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