Dedicated line (almost)


As most people are suggesting a dedicated line for best audio results, I check mine (to see if I can install one easily) and I found that, besides my audio equipment, I just have 3 LED lights on this line (dimmers in fact. Yes I know, dimmers are the worst thing). I can easily move these on another line (as they are consuming next to nothing) but I was wondering : If I always keep these 3 switches / dimmers off while I was listening music, will I have the same results as a dedicated line? Do you know if switches / dimmers set to off induce noise in the line?


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Modern dimmers and LED replacement bulbs are much quieter (both electrically and mechanically) than old one’s, especially compared to LED lighting with plug in power adapters.

If you have new LED bulbs with old school, turn to dim controls you probably want to upgrade those dimmers, and I even recommend skipping new LED aware dimmers and going straight to smart switches.

I’ve found that the modern, but dumb dimmers are not only hard to calibrate, but tend to be far too voltage sensitive. After swapping out dimmers in my house a little voltage change from the AC or other appliance would cause the lights to dim or brighten noticeably. Replaced them with smart switches and those problems all went away.

Interesting!! I was not aware that modern / smart switches are quieter.

When I say I have 3 dimmers on the line, I would have say 3 smart dimmers / switches (enbrighten / Hilo one's). If these are really much quieter, I won't bother. I will try to find a way to measure this (anybody : If you know an easy way to check this?).


How long is the circuit and what gauge wire is it?  How many junctions in the wire and how well are they made up?  

I do not believe  you cannot cheat and get the majority of benefits. A direct line, takes the shortest distance between a breaker box and the outlet, it does not go wandering off and connect additional outlets (even if unused… these are sources of resistance), and is normally 10 gauge wire. The longer the run, the more likely it picks up noise.

So, a direct line is dedicated and direct, with thick gauge wire.

Do not know exactly the length of the circuit and the gauge. The breaker is 15 amps and the house is 10 years old so it is to new standards. Think I will buy a probe to try to follow the line and know better it's length and so on


Homes are wired so that’s single breaker has no outlets next to each other. But following them should be very illuminating.

A simple DC blocker ( Emotiva makes a good one) will take care of any LED or dimmer DC issues if you detect adverse hum coming from usually toroid core transformers. No impact to the sound from the speakers though.  Nothing more than a ferrite on a power cord is all that is needed for noise. Providing of course the equipment plugged in is not garbage. For protection of your equipment, a decent surge suppressor/filter is not a bad idea. Protection, not magic. Panamax, Isotrip etc. Even Monster made some decent ones.

I ran a line back when I had three modified Parasound 1200's and two subs. 10 Ga, 20A. I still had to run a Furman sequencer to get everything powered up as the surge was tremendous.  Valid reason for designed current draw. No magic. 

A lot of hub-bub is made about power by folks trying to sell something and folks who do not understand electronics.  I have no fancy power cords, dedicated circuits, regenerators etc. I can put my ear right to my tweeters, crank up the volume knob to higher than I normally listen to and guess what I hear?   Nothing. Not a darn thing. Black as black.   If you hear something, then track down your problem instead of grasping for straws. You can buy some really nice speakers for what an electrician costs. 

OH my gosh, terrible sound. Entrance cable is... ALUMINUM!   Can we get the power company to run a mono-crystal directional line from the transformer to our house?🙄



The proof is in the listening.  Do you hear a difference when the lights are out? :D



Erik : Yes I do. Until recently, I was not aware of the 'dimmer noise problem'....and I always felt my sound was better daytime (vs the evening). I thought it was due to the internet traffic (I'm not an expert as you can see) but when I read about dimmer's noise, I understood why my sound was better daytime as the 3 dimmers on my audio line were always at say 20% when I listen music in the evening. Will look for a blocker...or a dedicated line. Thanks everybody


Well in that case I think you have your answer.  I'm lucky enough to not have that particular mix.

I also use Furman with LiFT and SMP, so I may have better than average noise rejection.  In my past life as an apartment dweller I always knew when I didn't have a Furman in line.  Good luck!



@cagma7 standard home wiring is 14 gauge. Check to make sure. In any event I would suggest running two dedicated lines, 12awg each (10awg is obviously better but harder to work with) - one for the amp alone, another for source, preamp, phono, etc.

Moving the LED dimmers to another circuit is also an option and is going to be better than your current setup. Also, replacing the old dimmers with smart dimmers and leaving it all as is…not sure it will be an improvement. The new smart switches are wifi and may introduce noise. I know this contradicts @erik_squires recommendation but just thinking out loud here…that cure can potentially be worse than the disease but @erik_squires is a knowledgeable dude, so I will defer that to him to elaborate how that can be an improvement.

@audphile1 - I don’t have the switches on the same circuit as my outlets, but generally speaking, physical and electrical noise seems reduced compared to the old school turn to dim type of switches.

Also just a lot easier to set up correctly for LEDs.

Unfortunately it’s become impossible to fully exclude RFI (radio frequency interference) due to everything from streamers to laptops and home automation, doorbells, etc. from our lives. Best we can do is try to keep the big transmitters like routers, away from analog gear and use shielded power and interconnect cables.

Like I said though, that’s my experience, which may not be the OPs!

Also, the Furman conditioners I use are good down to 3 kHz or so, which is _very_ low compared to EMI/RFI filters. It may be I suffer less due to that filtering. I know for sure it made my system sound better when I lived in apartments close to many others with elevators in the building (but, of course, not on the same circuit! :D)

My past living situation may also influence my choices.  I am 100% into using shielded power cables after my conditioner, to make sure my clean power stays clean, and shielded interconnects.  I don't necessarily recommend you spend a lot of money, just make sure they are shielded.

If the switches are off there is no current flow through that section of line giving you a dedicated line.

Whether or not dedicated lines are an advantage depends mostly on the amount of power you have to draw. Most systems will do just fine on a 15 Amp line. If you have multiple large amps that can pull more than 15 amps then a dedicated 20 amp Line makes a lot of sense.

Any noise at the breaker box is going to find its way into all the lines dedicated or not. You would have to isolate those lines that are critical or isolate the equipment distally. There are a host of devices for this purpose. I do not think there is much benefit for amplifiers more for line level and lower equipment. The most sensitive device is the phono stage. I love the way Channel D handles the problem by running the stage by battery and disconnecting the power supply when it detects a signal. After 10 minutes of no signal it reconnects the power supply. 

Digital equipment is immune to extraneous noise as far as I can tell as long as you do not involve an analog section. I have a Lynx Hilo and nothing seems to bother it.  

'If the switches are 'off' there is no current flow through that section of line giving you a dedicated line'. Great. If it is the case / Mijostin is right, I will simply buy a probe to check if I have any other noise sources on my line (see the 13m video 'find noisy Hi-Fi gear with this probe' on Gabster You Tube channel - VERY interesting) and if I do not find any, I will simply put my 3 lights 'off' when listening music. This will save me a lot of $$$ (as my breaker box is full) while reaching almost the same results.

Thanks again...