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Dedicate 20 amp circuit and subwoofers?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Gabriel.H, May 21, 2010.

  1. Gabriel.H

    Gabriel.H Stunt Coordinator

    May 9, 2005
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    I've recently upgraded my old sub and got a Paradigm Studio Sub 12. The manual indicates that it is recommended that a dedicated circuit is used for any subwoofer that uses over 1200 watts in power consumption. The sub 12 is 1700 watts rms and I feel as if the sub is lacking and wondering if it is due to not being connected to a dedicated power circuit.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Aug 22, 2000
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    Real Name:
    Can you measure the voltage?

    When I was having my house built, I had the electrician run 3 different 20amp circuits to my theater room. Part of the that is the larger wire they use. But I can tell a difference even on my receiver. At ear bleeding volumes, a gun-shot will shut down my Pioneer receiver when connected to a 15amp circuit. On the 20amp circuit, it plays the audio without any issue. If an upgrade is in your budget, do it.
  3. Daniel K

    Daniel K Extra

    May 25, 2006
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    Sorry, I know this is from May but can help...

    Look at the current the amp draws from the wall which should be listed on the back of the plate amp. 1700W is what it outputs to your driver, not what it pulls from your outlet. Most homes have 15 amp circuits using 14AWG wire that can take 1800W, a 20 amp with 12AWG can take 2400W.

    My living room is on a 15A circuit that contains a 50" plasma, an Onkyo TX-SR703, an SVS 20-39PCI, a Monster Power center, misc components and lamps and I have never tripped my breaker.
  4. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

    May 10, 1999
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    Yeah, and the sub may indicate it's load in watts or amps. At a nominal 120v, you can allegedly run 1800w on a 15a circuit. This is assuming the wire is free-and-clear to "breath," et cetera, et cetera. By code, in a conduit with other stuff, there'd be a derate applied, suggesting you shouldn't put more than 1440w sustained on a 15a breaker. (We've got a lot of 20a circuits at work that are officially rated at 1940w... which bugs the crap out of me. From my theater background, you give me a 20a circuit, I expect to be able to run 2400w on it, for two hours! None of this 20% de-rate!)

    And it is possible that your voltage is dropping enough, due to distance, wire-losses, et cetera, et cetera, that you might be loosing some of that "umph!" that you're expecting.

    I'd suggest "try it," but most people don't want to invest in a 10ga extension cord running through their house from their panel..


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