Dedicated Lines and Wall Boxes

So, I've read up here on how to run dedicated lines, but I have one remaining question. Do people run the individual runs of 12-2 cable down between the same wall studs and use a multiple-gang box, or is it better to run the cables down seperate wall cavities and use seperate boxes?

I have both methods of wiring in my rig and honestly, testing between them I find no difference in performance.

I do like the rather inexpensive plastic receptacle boxes from Home Depot. Non magnetic, unbreakable and non conductive.
I've tried both ways too and not heard a differnce. Make sure to buy high quality wall outlets like Albert Porter's are equivalent.
The basic concept is to have any source of electrical interference from your home eliminated, therefore the logical answer is single runs. Use the larger guage wire so it will handle 20 amps in case you get into really big power amps. That being said I had to use a multiple outlet for 2 dedicated lines 2 outlets in the box one one dedicated circuit. Therefore allowing my one other piece of equipment to potentially interfere. I had to use an electrician and this was done for financial reasons. Like Albert and the others I found a minor improvement. I guess my electricity was rather clean to begin with, and have not experienced any interference with this set up. If you can afford to be a purist and you have grungy electrical interference from other household electronics in your circuit it makes sense to go with completely seperarate lines.
Perhaps this is a dumb question, but what is the deal with using a "non-magnetic" box or a "non-magnetic" cover plate? Why is the "magnetic" nature even an issue for these components?
From what little I remember from physics electrical energy is firstly derived from large magnetized generator motors (powered by fossil or nuclear fuel) and that all electricity creates a magnetc field around it which is obviously very low energy. Other than that I would have to forward your question to my Eletrical engineering uncles one of whom is a professor in that field. Let me know.

Steel is CONDUCTIVE, plastic is not. That means installing more than one electrical outlet within the wall box (say 2, 3, 4 or 6 gang), grounds are not connected through the walls of the box. If you don't understand why that is bad, there are countless threads here at Audiogon about dedicated lines, dedicated and/or preferential ground and isolated ground.

In addition to that, steel is magnetic and can contribute to the sound. This is why some designers of high end stereo gear use non magnetic chassis parts such as aluminum, copper and carbon fiber.
Can I sidestep you for a second with a question regarding cover plates?I need a 3 gang BRASS DUPLEX cover plate to replace the existing and damaged one on my Tice Powerblock?Any ideas for a source to buy one?
George. They should be available, I've seen them at Home Depot.

A quick search using Google I found these,

brass covers

If not exactly what you want, a search or two should find them.

I would greatly appreciate any comments you could make on my layout. I have an electrician coming next week, and I am not sure where to put the dedicated lines.

Here's a few options:

option #1
option #2
option #3

Marc, are you asking about room acoustics so you can place the electrical to match or what?

I am no expert on acoustics. I had a lot of help with my room. I did get one piece of advice that seemed logical and everyone could try at no charge.

While sitting in the preferred seat and speaker placed in ideal spot (I use George Cardas formula) have a helper slide a full length mirror along the wall.

Every place you can see the speaker from your listening chair is a reflection point.

Now granted that does not give you a formula to treat the room, but If your going to place absorptive panels along a wall, they should be in a spot where they stop that first reflection.

As for electrical in general, is the room under construction? If so, I would add as many lines as possible. They are CHEAP when the room is open and a pain in the butt later on.
Albert - I never thought such a simple question would lead to an unnecessarily harsh response. I hope I am just misreading it. Of the hundreds of posts I have read (out of the probable thousands for sure), much has been written, but little that actually provides a clear explanation regarding my question above. Everybody seems to assume these things; I am simply trying to find out why. Perhaps, instead, you could help by directing me to a post that addresses this if there is one, because I cannot find it.

More specifically to your reply, what if isolated outlets are used in a steel box? Then the grounds wouldn’t be shared…right? As far as the countless threads, doing searches on “preferential grounds,” “isolated grounds,” and “dedicated grounds” all yield “no matches.” Yes there are many threads on dedicated lines (like this one), but they don’t address my questions, which is why I thought it was appropriate here. The magnetic part of the question is also still obscure to me. There are no complicated parts inside the outlet box and no music signal, so how does a magnetic field there affect the sound, and is there actually a magnetic field in the box? I am sorry, I just cannot seem to find the answers/explanations to my questions and I HAVE spent much time reading other totally redundant posts/threads.

Marc - your room is very similar in dimensions to my daughter’s bedroom (13x12x8). Her room, even with a bed, desk with books, bookcase with books, lots of stuffed animals and so forth has horrible ringing and echo. Overall it is very loud, noticeably so. Meanwhile, the other bedrooms in the house, with different dimensions (smaller and larger) and even less absorptive and diffusive objects in them sound much better and quieter. The effect really is dramatic. I see you have acoustic treatments planned already, but if you have not already done so, perhaps finding a qualified acoustic consultant will speed your time to full enjoyment. It is amazing what an experienced acoustic guy can accomplish with little investment.

I would go with 3 dedicated lines 1 for your AMP/AMPS, 1 for your digital equipment and 1 for your analog equipment. As far as the location keep in mind that most power cords are 6' in length even for aftermarket unless you want to pay for the extra length. From a sound stage stand point your option 1 layout is the best.

As displayed in your other diagrams and per Alberts suggestion placing absorbution (SP) pannels at the first reflection points is a good idea. Also with your laminate flooring a nice wool throw rug infront of your speakers would help.

Good luck

I am not known for harsh responses and certainly did not think my reply was anything more than factual. Metal boxes conduct and plastic ones do not. Steel is magnetic and plastic is not.

More specifically to your reply, what if isolated outlets are used in a steel box? Then the grounds wouldn’t be shared…right?

That's true, but I have not found an outlet with isolated ground that sounds as good and even if substituting isolated outlets, that still does not deal with the issue of magnetics and the sound of a steel outlet box.

The magnetic part of the question is also still obscure to me. There are no complicated parts inside the outlet box and no music signal, so how does a magnetic field there affect the sound, and is there actually a magnetic field in the box?

Correct, there is no music signal. However, the electricity flowing through the box, outlet and power cords is part of the power supply of your equipment. The special care and feeding via better parts in those places pays off musically.

Anyway, what I was proposing was a cheap $1.69 solution by way of plastic outlet box. I stated my opinion that they had two strengths over their metal counterpoint.

Granted it would make no sense to tear apart ones home and pull out metal boxes, but most of the time the topic is ADDING new dedicated lines for as stereo.

Perhaps the question should be "Why do you prefer metal boxes?'

My bias comes from listening to both types of boxes and dozens of outlets as I experimented with my own system. What I wound up with is 14 dedicated lines with my outlets, preferential grounds and everything (except the breaker box) installed in plastic boxes (even the 240V runs).

By the way, I totally agree with your comment to Marc about getting help with his room acoustics. Acoustics is the "other half" of the stereo and can make or break all the electrical efforts.
Thanks Albert. I am sure you will forget more than I will ever know about AC for Audio. I always value experience over theory, and with these things you hear too much theory for my comfort. Nevertheless, I always like to know the "why" about things if possible.

Happy New Year to all.
Thank you for the kind words and sorry for any misunderstanding.

Happy New Year to you too, and everyone at Audiogon.
So I must design an audio grade non ferrous mechanically direct coupled brass electrical box.Tom
Albert - I understand that you either sell or have a good source for outlets. I'm getting ready to run 4 dedicated lines; 3 - 20amp 120v circuits and 1 - 20 amp 240v circuit. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to email me directly.

Thanks, Mark
It is of great importance to have your breakers in the first positions at the panel and also on the same line since most homes are feed by L1 and L2 out of phase by 90 degrees and one line can be noiser that the other.