New listening room electrical design

I'm moving to anew house in a few weeks, and trying to figure out the electrical design.
My current room was designed by Rives and I have numerous dedicated lines in it, so, I'm somewhat familiar with the topic.
The new system proposed outline:
New dedicated subpanel, exclusively for the audio components (main located in the garage, adjacent to the new room).
I have 2 speakers (Avantgarde) with powered subs
2 separate JL Fathom subs
2 mono block amps (lamm ML2)
and number of front end component, locate on stand, that going to be on the side wall
(Preamp, crossover, TT and CD player)
I'm thinking:
Two lines with 2 duplex receptacles each to power avant-garde and JL subs
Two lines with one duplex each for Lamm mono blocks
Here is my main question:
For the preamp, crossover, TT and digital I have the following options:
1.   One line with two duplexes for the analog stuff
       Another line for digital
       3 duplex recptacles on 2 separate lines
2. One line (or two) and one power distribution box with 3-4 duplex receptacle, connected to the wall receptacle
3. Two lines hardwired (no wall receptacle and no IEC and power cord in the Power distr. box) to power distribution box, separating analog from digital receptacles inside the box

What is a better approach for the front end components?
Multiple lines feeding one duplex each,
One line feeding multiple duplexes
One line feeding power distribution box?

However, not being an electrician, I’m having a hard time to picture having one or two lines with 6-8 outlets located in different locations?

First, my intent of my previous post was not to discourage you from installing multiple dedicated circuits.

As for feeding more than one receptacle outlet from the same branch circuit it is done all the time. The feed in and feed out wires in the outlet box are jointed together and pigtailed out for connection of the duplex receptacle. As for the wire connector used to make up the joints, connections, a spring type connector should be used. Example, Scotchlok brand made by 3M or equal as used in commercial/industrial facilities. Stab in connectors used in residential dwelling units are junk!, imo.


I was actually thinking of 8/2 just for the amps.

#8awg? Must be some really big powerful amps. #10 is more than big enough. VD will not be a problem for your short branch circuit runs. I would be willing to bet the plug on the power cord feeding the amps is only a 15 amp plug.


Since we are on this topic, what specific brand and model of the subpanel would you recommend?

First, copper bus only. Stay away from a panel with Aluminum bus. The problem isn’t that the bus is aluminum it has more to do with the bus breaker tie connection made to the branch circuit breaker bus tie connector connection.

I personally like the Square D QO series. It has copper bus. Stay away from the Square D Homeline series. It has aluminum bus and I don’t care for the branch circuit breakers.

How big of a feeder was you thinking about to feed the sub panel?

For house resale I would wire the panel 120/240V. Though you will/should still have all your audio equipment that is connected together by wire ICs all fed from the same Line, Leg. All from Line 1 or all from Line 2. Not from both.


You need to find a good licensed electrical contractor/electrician to work with you. He will know what is required for local electrical code in your area.

Worth noting if an electrical permit is pulled there is a very good chance the branch circuit breakers in the new sub panel will have to be AFCI (ARC Fault Circuit Interrupter) type. Maximum breaker size for a 20 amp branch circuit is 20 amp, no matter if the wire is #10awg.

The electrician more than likely will have to install tamper resistant duplex receptacles for the final electrical inspection and then change them out to your audio grade duplex receptacles, after the electrical inspector signs off on the job. Ask him up front if local code for your city requires them. If yes then ask him if he will change them out after the final inspection. He may say no. He may not have any problem with changing them out providing you say you did it and not him.

Beats me why the manufactures of the audio grade receptacles are not making them tamper resistant for a residential dwelling unit application.

thank you again
Great info.
one more question- how would you suggest to install 2, or 3 duplexes on the same line in the same location?
i don't know the feeder size, bu the one I have in my current home is pretty big
you can see it in my system pics
what size do you think I'd need?
And what is your opinion on twisting the wires?

The Synergistic Research Black outlet is a TR (tamper resistant) outlet. 
I do think it does a fabulous job of improving the system's sound.

David Pritchard

one more question- how would you suggest to install 2, or 3 duplexes on the same line in the same location?

The wiring method depends on the construction of the house. Without knowing the construction of the house there is no easy answer to your question. The electrician you hire will look over the construction of the house and will determine the options of the wiring methods he will have. He then should explain the options to you.

Things to consider:

Wood stick framing? Other?

Basement? Unfinished or finished ceiling in area below the audio room?

Foundation crawl space?

House/audio room built on a concrete slab?

Above ceiling attic accessible crawl space? Other?


i don’t know the feeder size, bu the one I have in my current home is pretty big
you can see it in my system pics
what size do you think I’d need?

Well if you are going to spend the money to have a sub panel installed the bare minimum size in my opinion would 70 amp. Wire size #4 copper. Or bump up to #3 which is good for 85 amps.

What is the aprox total length of the feeder? Include up down and all around in the calculation. Does the garage have an accessible attic crawl space to install the feeder? If so you might want to consider NM-B sheathed cable or MC instead of conduit with loose random conductors pulled inside. Depends on the total run, length, of the conduit and installed feeder conductors.

Read pages 1 through 36.


And what is your opinion on twisting the wires?

Twisting the wires? As in wires, conductors, that are pulled in an empty conduit? Not sure that meets NEC (National Electrical Code). Note: Dedicated branch circuits should never share the same conduit or raceway with other branch circuits. That includes multi conductor cables.

For the branch circuit wiring from the sub panel to the wall receptacle outlet boxes I would use NM-B cable, Romex. (If local code permits. And or the wiring method that must be used will meet local code for NM-B cable.) If the wiring must be in conduit ask the electrician if aluminum armor MC cable, 2 wire with ground, meets local code. Note: MC, not AC cable.

(MC comes in both solid core and strand copper conductors. Specify solid core only. Beings you will be using #10 wire the electrician will try to talk you into using stranded. He will tell you they are both rated for 30 amps. Stand your ground, Solid core only.

Example of 10-2 with ground MC cable with aluminum armor.