Dedicated power circuits

I’m having some electrical work done including a whole house

generator, surge suppressor, and a new panel box. I am also going to have two dedicated power lines run for my stereo. I’ve read a lot on here about how this is a really nice upgrade and would greatly appreciate any advice to help me along on my project. Right now the plan is two 20 amp circuits with 10 gauge wire. One for my amp and one for my preamp and sources. My equipment is a McIntosh MC 452, a C47 right now but a C22 in the future, Rega P8, Rose hifi 150b,  McIntosh MR 74 tuner and Aerial 7t speakers. I’m also replacing my panel box with a new one. It’s a brand from a company that’s out of business and the quality and safety is suspect plus there are no new breakers available.


So starting with the breakers, then the wire and finally the receptacles what should I be looking for? The electrician that just left here is planning on the new panel being a Cutler Hammer brand. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



I have two dedicated circuits using MC 12 AWG.  Each branch is less than 40 feet long.  One feeds the front end and one the mono amps.  Originally, I had the two breakers side by side, ie. separate legs.  Somewhere in these forums I read that it is better to have the dedicated circuits on the same leg.  So I moved one breaker one space apart from the other which puts both circuits on the same leg.  I think the stereo sounds better.  Could I discern the difference in an A/B?  I’m not sure.  

The two mono amps are pulling 740W, the front end is pulling up to 500W if everything is turned on.  That’s 10 amps on one leg.  (Same as running a microwave oven).  I have a little voltmeter plugged into one of the dedicated outlets.  It shows 120V right now and did not change when I turned everything on.  (It does not show tenths of a volt.). Right now it is cold and all three heat pumps are running.  I normally see 122V.

That’s right, I just turned my stereo on at 6AM.  I’ll listen to some morning music until the weather warms up outside.  Retired living yeah!

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So the electricians are here today putting in my 3 dedicated power lines. I had a new square D QO 200 amp panel box installed with all new breakers. They also installed a 26kw standby Generac generator along with a whole house surge protector. For my new lines I’m using 10 gauge aluminum clad mc wire and eventually Hubbell 5362 outlets. I realize I could have done more, and in the end I may go with some kind of power conditioner for my front end, but for now this is going to be it. Looking forward to a better and cleaner sound.

I have Pass Labs mono amps.  Combined they pull 740 Watts at idle.  Nice little heaters.  Until I exceed the Class A bias current that wattage is constant.  I think they are Class A up to around 80 Watts if memory serves.  
My preamps and DAC use tubes so their wattage is a little higher than a typical SS setup.  The line stage and phono stage preamps pull 140 Watts each, for example. 

@gphill do whatever you fell is best for you.

I'm not trying to argue with anyone here, however, ground loops occur if there is a voltage potential between the neutral and ground wires.

The only difference between the two hots coming into a home is the phase difference in the AC legs.  However, when that AC is converted to DC the PHase difference goes completely away.

That is it.

As I mentioned previously, sometimes people would connect to a hot leg that has noisy equipment connected to it or the grounding scheme in some audio equipment was improperly designed which causes ground loop issues.

Dedicated lines have the hot, neutral and ground go back to the service panel without sharing.  All circuit neutrals tie together at the service panel and all grounds tie together at the service panel.

If the leg has noisy components (AND) the internal power supply of certain audio equipment isn't up to snuff to eliminate noise properly, then, you MAY have noise.  if the grounding scheme in a particular audio equipment isn't designed properly (star ground, etc.), then you MAY have a ground loop.

But, like I said before, connecting to two legs is okay as long as you know what is on the legs.  Connecting everything to one leg is fine as long as you don't have arc welder amps that unbalance the system (noise anyone?) by drawing too much on one leg and unbalancing the system.

This is why Refrigerators, microwaves, electric washing machines, etc. as connected as balanced loads on home systems.

But I can tell you that people that claim to hear differences between all on one leg of split leg service, didn't do A/B comparisons (kind of hard to do that) and if they did, there was something else that caused the problem. like a really noisy equipment that was on that particular leg or worse, some audio component that didn't have a properly designed ground scheme.

In older equipment you would find the signal ground (for audio) and the chassis ground was connected.  not a good idea is it?  Many people know that now but back then?  not so much.  Or there were multiple signal ground points in a circuit instead of star grounding at the same point (physically).  Literally asking for a ground loop or hum problem. Has nothing at all to do with which AC leg was used.

In my experience, I have never seen an issue with all low level components tied to a decent power conditioner and then to a dedicated line and separate amps tied to their own dedicated line.

I have however many times found ground loops by the following method.

unplug everything.  Connecting the amp and speakers together only and turn the amp on. Noise?  yes, amp is the problem.  No?  then connect the pre-amp to the amp/speaker combination.  Noise?  yes, pre-amp or (interconnect cables) is the problem.  see where I'm going with this?  

Anyway, enjoy you system.  I know you will.