AC wiring tips for audio

July 12, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

9 comments on “AC wiring tips for audio”

  1. I have incorporated an Audioquest Niagara 5000 which eliminates the need to have a separate, dedicated circuit for my audio equipment since I live in an apartment which does not allow alterations to the electrical system. As you are probably aware, the Niagara 5000 provides “Transient Power Correction: 90 amps peak. Provides a current reservoir for any power amplifier (up to 25mS)” to handle peaks of power demand by amplifiers. So with that, the need for a #10 wire home run is eliminated, so I can use the existing #12 wire branch circuit (all the branch circuit wiring to receptacles in this apt. is done with #12 wire, all copper).

  2. I grew up in a house that was built in 1956.
    But when I was in my late twenties, I quickly discovered the very thing that Paul was talking about in his video.
    I don’t know about transistor and class D amplifiers doing that.
    But I do know that large vacuum tube amplifiers will feed music back in to the power lines.
    So, yes, I agree with everything that Paul said.
    When in doubt, get a really good power conditioner.
    But if you want to do better then that, buy a power plant from Paul.
    After you do that, all your power problems with your audio gear, will be solved.

  3. At the moment I’m renting and there’s no way I’m going to hire an electrician to improve my AC wiring situation that I do admit needs to be improved where my system is located other than installing new wall sockets and running extension cords to keep my amplifiers on their own AC circuit. Or buy a power plant. My landlord is not going to pay for that either without raising my rent. He doesn’t care about my audiophile needs. I will save AC wall wiring modification costs for when I own my home again or if I have a new build home built with a dedicated room.

    1. Me too Joe. I’m renting whilst waiting to start my new place which has been delayed by COVID and now the worldwide timber shortage which has at least affected Australia. I’m running on what I think is less than adequate wiring for my system. Fortunately I’m using 3 P10s (one each for the monoblocks and one for the other stuff) to augment the power supply. According to PowerPlay they appear to be handling the peaks and generally coping OK but (gasp) I’m running the P10s from just one double outlet! Fortunately it’s only 3m (10ft) from the distribution board. Haven’t tripped the circuit breaker yet (fingers crossed). 🙂

      1. MikeK, I would love to run 10 independent outlets from the box in the basement to the front wall behind my speakers to supply my amplifiers, preamplifiers, powered subwoofers, source components and video gear, but I’m not doing that in this place which I don’t own. I live upstairs to complicate that type modification. I will just have to make the best of a bad situation. Like Paul said it’s overkill but I love overkill and why not do it when it’s least costly to do? My last house was a ranch style one story home and the wiring from the basement to any part of the house was a piece of cake being that I had easy access within arms reach of the entire floor of my house. Fishing wires from the basement through the floor was less than a foot to the wall outlet.

      2. MikeK,
        I wonder how important dedicated AC power-lines are if you are using a high quality power regenerator; would having both be over-kill?

        1. Overkill’s a tough word to answer because it’s so individual on what level one assigns importance. That said, it does make a difference, even with a regenerator and that is because like any device, the better its source the better the outcome. If a regenerator were perfect, which a Power Plant is not, then it would probably matter less.

        2. That’s a great question FR. Simple answer is I don’t really know. My instinct is along the lines of what Paul says above. At any rate, I’m still going to wire in ‘home runs’ in my new place. It certainly won’t hurt! And I will have fun testing the theory.

          Additionally, I’ll feel a bit happier about having PowerPlants between my system and the mains supply being a mix of solar, battery (Tesla PowerWall) and standard grid power. The solar/battery system has been designed to handle my power needs for 10 months of the year. I’m not sure how clean the potential cutover from battery to grid will be during those 2 winter months when there may be insufficient sunlight available to keep the PowerWall charged.

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