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Old 07-05-2013, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello there, I'm looking for advice on the best, yet budget somewhat limited, way to solve a problem I'm having. I had part of my basement finished as a dedicated theater, looks great, works great, sounds fantastic.... At reasonable levels. The electrician who wired it (while I was at work and my ex wife watched TV) must have used rather thin wire for the outlets I would assume. The whole room is on one circuit, and all my gear (except for the projector) is plugged into one outlet. The problem is, when myself and my junior audiophile sons are working the system hard and having fun, the lights dim horribly and the amps start clipping well before I think they should. My oldest has played things like bassheads by bass nectar and we've measured 120db but the amps clip and lights dim quite a bit. My not so easy options are to either run a dedicated 12awg circuit through external conduit to power the amps, or possibly running a 220v circuit. Looked into power conditioners hoping for something that would act as a stiffening cap in car audio but it seems like that's not a realistic answer as they don't seem to do what I need. Our system (audio wise) is a denon 3310ci, which powers klipsch towers, center, and surrounds. A crown XLS 402 which powers 2 behringer 18s, and a crown XLS202 which powers 2 rockford fosgate T212s. If there is an easier answer than either a 220 circuit or bigger AWG 120 circuit I would love to hear it. Thanks in advance, we appreciate any help or advice.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:47 PM
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Any time current flows through a wire there is a voltage drop. The more current, the greater the voltage drop. Even a small change in voltage will result in a noticeable change in illumination with incandescent lamps while not noticeably affecting CFLs.

The voltage drop is a function of current and resistance. You can reduce the current by shifting some of the load to another circuit. You can reduce the resistance by using larger wire. Best to not have lighting on the same circuit as your gear. Even then you may still see some change in illumination because of voltage drop in the rest of the wiring out to the power company's transformer.

It is really a matter of having the right wiring for what you are running.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Locoelectrician View Post

H Our system (audio wise) is a denon 3310ci, which powers klipsch towers, center, and surrounds. A crown XLS 402 which powers 2 behringer 18s, and a crown XLS202 which powers 2 rockford fosgate T212s. If there is an easier answer than either a 220 circuit or bigger AWG 120 circuit I would love to hear it.

There is no reasonable alternative to adding more circuits. A 220 circuit and two 120 circuits are very comparable.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I agree yet there is no easy way to do that as all the walls and ceiling are finished. I'm thinking of finding a way to run that flat external wife way (used it for my projector). Just need to decide if I run a 12awg 110 circuit or a dedicated 220 circuit that I could split 110 off of for the Denon. The crowns will run 220 therefore halfing their current draw.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:41 AM
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I would say the minimum you need to do is add a 20A 120V (110V) circuit for the two Crown amps. They can draw well in excess of 15A between them under some conditions. But IIWY I would run a 240V (220V) circuit just for them and a 20A 120V circuit for all the rest of your gear to get it off the lighting circuit.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Locoelectrician View Post

Unfortunately I agree yet there is no easy way to do that as all the walls and ceiling are finished. I'm thinking of finding a way to run that flat external wife way (used it for my projector). Just need to decide if I run a 12awg 110 circuit or a dedicated 220 circuit that I could split 110 off of for the Denon. The crowns will run 220 therefore halfing their current draw.
Standard 3-wire 240 does not have a ground so it is not advisable to feed the 110 outlet that way (unless using GFCI). You could run a 4-wire feed and solve that problem. I don't know what the NEC says about branching off from a 240 outlet to a 120 without a subpanel. An alternative may be to test the Denon playing as loud as you need without the crowns running. If the lights don't dim and all is well, leave that on the current 120 circuit and simply power the crowns using the new 240 feed.

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Old 07-06-2013, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Standard 3-wire 240 does not have a ground so it is not advisable to feed the 110 outlet that way (unless using GFCI). You could run a 4-wire feed and solve that problem. I don't know what the NEC says about branching off from a 240 outlet to a 120 without a subpanel. An alternative may be to test the Denon playing as loud as you need without the crowns running. If the lights don't dim and all is well, leave that on the current 120 circuit and simply power the crowns using the new 240 feed.

I think that's the plan. Denon and other things as is and crowns on 220.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:12 PM
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Standard 3-wire 240 does not have a ground so it is not advisable to feed the 110 outlet that way (unless using GFCI).
I don't think is is permissible even with a GFCI receptacle. Adding a GFCI receptacle to an existing 2-wire circuit is OK, but if you are running a new circuit, I think you have to have the ground.
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I don't know what the NEC says about branching off from a 240 outlet to a 120 without a subpanel.
Taps are a convoluted subject in the NEC. There may be a way to do it, but like you I cannot say off the top of my head.
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Old 07-06-2013, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so here's the stupidest question of the year. Is there a separate plug I need to get to hook the crowns up to 220? If I remember right there is a switch on the back of them that needs moved but the plug they came with is for 110.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Locoelectrician View Post

Ok, so here's the stupidest question of the year. Is there a separate plug I need to get to hook the crowns up to 220? If I remember right there is a switch on the back of them that needs moved but the plug they came with is for 110.
Looking at the manual, it does not show any switch. Further, it says 240 is a different factory configuration. I know on some others it requires a power supply mod. So you may be out of luck there and have to just feed it 120. Call your dealer and have them confirm.

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Old 07-06-2013, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so I'm planning on running a new circuit with 12/3 wire. The 2 crowns are the obvious power hogs so I was wondering if I would be better off powering both of them with the new circuit or splitting them up and powering 1 with the denon on the existing circuit and the other with the new circuit?
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Locoelectrician View Post

Ok, so I'm planning on running a new circuit with 12/3 wire. The 2 crowns are the obvious power hogs so I was wondering if I would be better off powering both of them with the new circuit or splitting them up and powering 1 with the denon on the existing circuit and the other with the new circuit?

If you run a new power wiring and have visions of significant future upgrades, you probably want to run more than just 1 new circuit. 90% of the cost of the wiring will probably be pulling anything new at all, and 10% will be the wire and outlet(s). If there is just 1 circuit near your audio system in the basement now it probably has other non-audio stuff on it anyway, or it is exposed to having other non-audio stuff on it in the future.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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So I spent the day on this project. Went to lowes for something completely unrelated and they had 10/2 wire in the clearance rack for 50 cents a foot. Bought that and a 20 amp receptacle, then spent a few hours fishing it through rafters. I hooked it up to the side of my breaker box opposite of the side that has the AC, and any other high draw appliances. Haven't had a chance to test it out under load yet but it has to at least be an improvement.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Locoelectrician View Post

So I spent the day on this project. Went to lowes for something completely unrelated and they had 10/2 wire in the clearance rack for 50 cents a foot. Bought that and a 20 amp receptacle, then spent a few hours fishing it through rafters. I hooked it up to the side of my breaker box opposite of the side that has the AC, and any other high draw appliances. Haven't had a chance to test it out under load yet but it has to at least be an improvement.

So are you using 10ga wire for a 20amp circuit? If so that's a well practiced technique to reduce voltage drop. There is a caveat however, in that there is a limit to the wire size the receptive can accept. 10ga is the limit for standard Edison outlets.

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Old 07-08-2013, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Standard 3-wire 240 does not have a ground so it is not advisable to feed the 110 outlet that way (unless using GFCI). You could run a 4-wire feed and solve that problem. I don't know what the NEC says about branching off from a 240 outlet to a 120 without a subpanel. An alternative may be to test the Denon playing as loud as you need without the crowns running. If the lights don't dim and all is well, leave that on the current 120 circuit and simply power the crowns using the new 240 feed.

I think you may be confusing the new dryer law. 240v circuits have always required a ground since grounded systems became standard - 1940s? What a 240v circuit doesn't always have is a neutral wire so you can't getv120v from it. An HVAC condenser is a good example. They do not need 120v internally. But a range and dryer does. What used to be the standard was to pull an ungrounded feed to a dryer and bond the neutral to the dryer frame. Safe but now we have two neutral to ground bonds in the house - not so good, especially us here with good AV systems.

The NEC finally addressed this in 2008 IIRC and now all dryers must have four wire feeders. Neutral bonding is no longer allowed.

As for adding a 120v outlet to a 240v run, I can't see that as being legal but too lazy to look it up tonight. 240v circuits are typically dedicated purpose appliances. It's ok to derive 120v internally such as a dryer but I doubt you can tack on another convinience outlet.

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Old 07-08-2013, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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So are you using 10ga wire for a 20amp circuit? If so that's a well practiced technique to reduce voltage drop. There is a caveat however, in that there is a limit to the wire size the receptive can accept. 10ga is the limit for standard Edison outlets.

I used a 30amp breaker, 10/2 wire, and a 30 amp receptacle. Mistyped above. Couldn't get the 10/2 all the way to the amps so I made a short extension cord with 10/3 portable cord (that's what we call it, basically outdoor extension cord cable) and 30 amp plugs on each end.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:16 AM
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A standard 120- volt circuit has a dedicated ground wire, a hot wire, and a neutral wire. The neutral wire is also connected to the ground bus at the power panel, but it carries current, while the ground wire does not.

A 240-volt circuit has two hot wires that carry current and a dedicated ground wire (which carries no current).

The statement that a 240-volt circuit has no ground wire is completely wrong. It has a ground wire.

The only reason for a four-wire connection is if the circuit is a 3-phase circuit, which is an industrial circuit not normally found in residential wiring.




Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Standard 3-wire 240 does not have a ground so it is not advisable to feed the 110 outlet that way (unless using GFCI). You could run a 4-wire feed and solve that problem. I don't know what the NEC says about branching off from a 240 outlet to a 120 without a subpanel. An alternative may be to test the Denon playing as loud as you need without the crowns running. If the lights don't dim and all is well, leave that on the current 120 circuit and simply power the crowns using the new 240 feed.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:21 AM
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If there is a switch to change over to 220 volt operation provided by the manufacturer of the amplifier, you need to put the correct 240-volt plug on the cord.

That is all.



uote name="Locoelectrician" url="/t/1480390/power-problem-or-lack-thereof#post_23501939"]Ok, so here's the stupidest question of the year. Is there a separate plug I need to get to hook the crowns up to 220? If I remember right there is a switch on the back of them that needs moved but the plug they came with is for 110.[/quote]
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:28 AM
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If you are going to run the system that loud, you will damage the hearing of everyone.

Put some money aside for hearing aids.
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Originally Posted by Locoelectrician View Post

Hello there, I'm looking for advice on the best, yet budget somewhat limited, way to solve a problem I'm having. I had part of my basement finished as a dedicated theater, looks great, works great, sounds fantastic.... At reasonable levels. The electrician who wired it (while I was at work and my ex wife watched TV) must have used rather thin wire for the outlets I would assume. The whole room is on one circuit, and all my gear (except for the projector) is plugged into one outlet. The problem is, when myself and my junior audiophile sons are working the system hard and having fun, the lights dim horribly and the amps start clipping well before I think they should. My oldest has played things like bassheads by bass nectar and we've measured 120db but the amps clip and lights dim quite a bit. My not so easy options are to either run a dedicated 12awg circuit through external conduit to power the amps, or possibly running a 220v circuit. Looked into power conditioners hoping for something that would act as a stiffening cap in car audio but it seems like that's not a realistic answer as they don't seem to do what I need. Our system (audio wise) is a denon 3310ci, which powers klipsch towers, center, and surrounds. A crown XLS 402 which powers 2 behringer 18s, and a crown XLS202 which powers 2 rockford fosgate T212s. If there is an easier answer than either a 220 circuit or bigger AWG 120 circuit I would love to hear it. Thanks in advance, we appreciate any help or advice.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:03 AM
 
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The only reason for a four-wire connection is if the circuit is a 3-phase circuit, which is an industrial circuit not normally found in residential wiring.

...or a split phase 240, with 120V sub circuits.

you really aren't educated on these things, why make such absolutely wrong statements?
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:43 AM
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...or a split phase 240, with 120V sub circuits.

What's not clear is the other end of that 10/3 portable cordage. My big concern is he might be using cordage smaller than 14 guage connected into a 30 amp circuit IAW NEC 2008 240.5(B)(2). I'm sure some of the smaller gear may fall into that boat.
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you really aren't educated on these things, why make such absolutely wrong statements?
That didn't make sense to me either.

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Old 07-09-2013, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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What's not clear is the other end of that 10/3 portable cordage. My big concern is he might be using cordage smaller than 14 guage connected into a 30 amp circuit IAW NEC 2008 240.5(B)(2). I'm sure some of the smaller gear may fall into that boat.
That didn't make sense to me either.

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its 10awg from the breaker all the way to the monster 3500.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, the boys are at Boy Scout summercamp and after a long day of refinishing my deck, I had a few beers and took the system for a test drive (Daft punk doin it right followed by comfortably numb live from the pulse tour) and am happy to report that everything is perfect. No lights dimming whatsoever. Maybe it's just the beer talking but I'm pretty sure before, after a hard bass hit it would soften quite a bit before it had a chance to recuperate, not the case now. Sounds wonderful and for the minimal amount of money spent, it's a win. Just wanted to follow up because so many question threads end without a result.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locoelectrician View Post

Well, the boys are at Boy Scout summercamp and after a long day of refinishing my deck, I had a few beers and took the system for a test drive (Daft punk doin it right followed by comfortably numb live from the pulse tour) and am happy to report that everything is perfect. No lights dimming whatsoever. Maybe it's just the beer talking but I'm pretty sure before, after a hard bass hit it would soften quite a bit before it had a chance to recuperate, not the case now. Sounds wonderful and for the minimal amount of money spent, it's a win. Just wanted to follow up because so many question threads end without a result.

The follow-up is appreciated.

Many systems could likely benefit somewhat from better delivery of wall voltage/current. I don't think is always worth it to dig into existing walls. However, if one has ready access, dedicated circuits with up-sized wiring can be beneficial. With the proliferation of bigger subwoofers/multiple subwoofer systems, and more and more demanding/explosive recorded material, it's prudent to keep an eye on the line side of things.

I've experimented with loading up my entire system, on an already loaded circuit, to hear/measure for myself the impact of voltage drop/current delivery. It's truly amazing how much you can get away with on a circuit with little audible impact (SMPS help). I certainly don't recommend it for safety reasons, but I placed my entire 16kw system on an already loaded (~10a) circuit. Amazingly, it still had adequate punch, etc. Those not familiar, a breaker will pass huge amounts of current past it's rated amount for short periods of time.

The effects are subtle, clearly based upon playback level and spectral content of the material. But it had decent punch and impact. Conversely, once adequately powered, the playback has an added realism and ease ... and of course the bottom octaves are rendered more fully and just sound better .. especially the transients. No surprise there.

Anyway, dedicated/upsized circuits are a good idea for most any contemporary system. As someone above mentioned receptacles only can physically handle a certain size wiring, true. However one qualified to do so can always make joints at the receptacle reducing the wire size to #10, #12 etc. Very common and often used in dealing with voltage drop in commercial/industrial wiring.

The breaker will pass the current your system needs. So you eliminate the impact of the typical wiring by upsizing. The big pulses of high current can result in voltage drop, .. the current flow is impeded by the inadequate wire size. So, you size the wire for the big peaks. #10awg is very likely fine for most scenarios. But if it's a longer run, maybe larger wire is needed.

Either a single, or multiple runs of 10/3, on a dedicated circuit, should be good for most everyone.


In all cases, utilize someone qualified to perform electrical work safely.



Thanks

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------------------------------------
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