Should amps have own outlets?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Zos, Dec 27, 2002.

  1. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    I'm running three IRD 100 watt monoblocks for my front channels, and I read in another forum that monoblocks should not be plugged into powerstrips, which is how I have mine, but should be plugged into their own outlets. Has anyone else heard this and is there any truth to it?
     
  2. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    plugging amps into their own outlets is right up there with $5000 interconnects....

    it could be actually worse...if you get a surge and your amp is destroyed because you plugged it into an outlet with no protection...

    simple test....have a friend do a test...have your friend switch the plug...first in a surge protector and then direct...WITHOUT telling you which is which....

    if you can hear a difference, AND identify which is which...then do it....

    russ
     
  3. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Hi James,
    I own four of the IRD 100's (Le Amps) as you, and I can speak to the issue more directly. No gibberish here. No friends to switch ... whatever they switch....

    I have ALL my IRD's running into one dedicated circuit. That is critical. DO NOT run these amps into different circuits(if other devices are occupying them). Last week I had a personal conversation with Curt (the designer of the IRD's) about this issue (the conversation was about a repair I had done to my transformer by IRD due to a UPS "DROP-KICK" during shipping of one of my amps to Charlotte for a tightening (a used amp I bought from an unsavory HTF member !!!).
    Anyway, the dedicated circuit for EACH amp is way overkill, and IS NOT something I have read about the IRD. I have researched these amps for some time too. Whomever proposes this is either an unemployed electrician or an outlet distributor.
    Keep the amps SEPARATE from the digital side of your gear. This is from first hand experience. You will induce amp hum and a loss of dynamics, detail and the black background, as they say. They DO NOT LIKE digital hash, or an EMI, trash-laden circuit. Amps separate line only-- that is the magic.
    I currently have my monoblocks into a Monster HTS2000 power strip. Adequate, for now. I have on order a PS Audio Juice Bar. This is the connection I feel is the remedy for multiple outlets--- an audiophile grade power strip with no degredation. BTW, I have wasted some money on some aftermarket power cords for the IRD's too. They do respond to nicer power cords (but that is another topic).
    No surge protection with the PS unit, but that is not what I am after (but you may, so keep that in mind).

    Good Luck,

    BOK
     
  4. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    brian,

    sorry if i interjected "gibberish"....

     
  5. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    A dedicated circuit for EACH amp is overkill, IMO. I thought I mentioned that. Three outlets for each amp ?? Not necessary, unless you really want to go for it.
    Data ? wrong number.

    A single dedicated circuit for all THREE of James's IRD amps, is what I recommended. That is CRITICAL for these amps.
    Russ, you do not own these amps, correct ? I suspect not. I offer my experience with another user of the same equipment, and you offer something other than what he was truly looking for. Move on, nothing personal.

    Surge protection is definately recommended. My choice is my choice.

    BOK
     
  6. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    While you may differ in opinion, I nonetheless appreciate both of your answers. Thanks for taking the time to respond to my thread (which I meant to put in receivers/amps, not speakers.)

    Brian, by a single dedicated circuit, I take it you mean plugging them into a powerstrip which itself takes up one outlet? That sounds like an easy switch. I'll try it.
     
  7. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Yes James. All IRD's ,in a good power strip, into one dedicated duplex outlet.
    I have 5 monoblocks and early on had a couple amps plugged into different circuits (not dedicated). Proved to convenient, but very noisy and the amps responded by creating a rather noticible hum when idle.
    Changed to the Monster HTS2000 strip I had laying around and the IRD's quieted down considerably. Not to mention they just sounded cleaner and more dynamic.
    The surge protection issue is up to the individual, where they live, etc. I simply unplug my gear when inclement weather is in the area. Not a big deal.

    Good Luck,

    BOK
     
  8. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    "All IRD's ,in a good power strip, into one dedicated duplex outlet"

    I understand they are to occupy their own power strip, which is then plugged into the outlet. By "dedicated," do you mean nothing else should be plugged into that outlet? In other words, I can plug one powerstrip in, which still room for something else, but you're saying I should leave that second outlet bare, correct?

    "They do respond to nicer power cords (but that is another topic)."

    I have heard this said elsewhere as well. Which power cords are you using?

    By the way I tried all my MBs in one (cheap) powerstrip, and damned if it didn't make a difference, or at least it seemed to make a difference.
    So you are right, but this is also where RussKon is right, in my opinion, to suggest a "switching test," because I know I at least am very susceptible to the power of suggestion. What I think I will do is listen some more today and see if I still detect the same change I thought I heard last night, which did seem pretty impressive (subtle sounds I had never heard before on tracks I'm pretty familiar with, etc.)

    Thanks again for responding!
     
  9. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I would agree that a dedicated outlet for each amp is overkill but I could have all amps into one outlet that is not shared by any other component for best results, so that a sudden drain on the power line due to a high impact transient doesn't modulate the power going to other components.
     
  10. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Yogi shares my sentiment--- no other components to be plugged into that "amp outlet/dedicated circuit". A powered sub could be plugged into the lower half of the duplex, if you wish.

    Any digital gear into that "amp duplex outlet" just pollutes and injects line hash/EMI, and all the nasties switching power supplies emit.
    Power cords I will be/am using once the Juice bar arrives:
    Bolder Type 2, 12awg
    Harmonic Tech Pro AC11
    Harmonic Tech Fantasy 10 (from dedicated circuit to Juice Bar IEC)
    2 Signal Cable 12awg cords
    My fifth amp (for one of my surrounds) is the Marantz MA6100 monoblock. It has a fixed cord.

    I may switch out the Bolder Type 2 for a ZU Birth power cord. I will most likely try it to see if my DVD player like the Type 2.

    Russ certainly has a point. I would listen for a few days to both configurations. Then decide. Switching is probably the only way to convince yourself. It's fun too.

    Good Luck,

    And don't go crazy if you decide to try aftermarket power cords. The Signal Cables @$59. are much better than the IRD offering in the box. A Bolder Type 1 power cords is what many people use with the IRD's, and with great results.
    As with power cords, most of the benefits come with the high quality IEC and AC plug, IMHO. The wire in between is a necessary evil.

    Good Luck,

    BOK
     
  11. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Brian!
     
  12. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    I'm confused by what "dedicated circuit" means here. If I have three different outlets at various points in the room, but they're all controlled by the same circuit breaker, is that one "dedicated circuit" or three, as the term is being used here?

    Suppose I'm in a location where there's no reasonable alternative to plugging everything into a single outlet. Does that mean adding external amplification is a waste of money, since it will provide no benefit?
     
  13. Kirk Mango

    Kirk Mango Stunt Coordinator

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    HMMMM. When I read the manuals for my B&K 7250 amp (5 channel 200amp/per chnl), B&K2220(2 channel 220amp/per channel), my powered sub, etc. They all said that it is best to run dedicated circuits to each. My 7250 can pull up to 17 amps at peak and when cold will pop my 20 amp circuit breaker it is plugged into when it is powered up. My 2220 is rated up to 12 amps. That is a total of 29 amps max on one 20 amp circiut. Add to this the powered sub and you are in the 30 amp range on one 20 amp circuit. Now I know that you will probably never reach max amp draw out of any one amp, however, in my case I am way over if I use one dedicated circuit for all my amps. So, I ran a dedicated circuit with a 20 amp breaker to each amp and the subwoofer. My system runs off of 4 different circuits. 3 for 2 amps and sub and the 4th for everything else in the system. I also ran a seperate ground wire to my box for each amp and the sub. I have no hums whatsoever with regard to grounding problems. Since it is recomended by the manufacturer to do this, I took their suggestion. Overkill, maybe, but how can I expect to run my two amps which are rated up to 17 and 12 amps respectively as well as the sub amp off of 1-20 amp circuit?

    KM
     
  14. Mark R O

    Mark R O Stunt Coordinator

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    I often wonder at the resistance (pun intended) to the thought that clean, stable electricity delivered through high grade connectors will enhance a components performance. But I also hear differences between Rat Shack patch cords and quality interconnects so...
    And I can supply data as to why amplifiers should be on the same outlet, preferably on a circuit used for nothing else with a neutral that does not go back to the breaker buss, digital gear kept seperated, etc.
    James- before investing in hi-zoot, big buck conditioners, distribution blocks etc., do a little ground work (har!)yourself. Go to Home Depot and get Hubble hospital grade outlets for each location serving your system (25 amp for the monoblocs, 20 amp for the rest). Rather than a power strip for the amps, consider a quad outlet for the dedicated line. If you are not a qualified electrician, do not attempt to run or modify the line yourself. Look in the paper on Saturday in the home services ads for a tech. It will only cost 30 to 50 bucks to have it done. You can replace the other outlet(s) tho'. Also get a 25 amp double throw breaker. And don't forget new faceplates. As for power cords, you can buy the connectors and heavy guage 3-wire cable right in the same aisle and make them yourself for 1/3 the cost of pre-made.
    Brian has already blazed the trail for you and knows your amplifiers. Follow his advice. But rather than screwing around trying to evaluate power strips and plug in combinations, just go for it. Good luck and let us know how everything goes!
     
  15. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    A quick question (though be forwarned: in terms of electrical wiring, I'm the proverbial Dummie those books are written for).

    Does a different outlet necessarily entail a different circuit? That is, if I want my components on a different circuit than my amps, can I just plug the former into a different outlet (with a strip) and consider the job done?

    Or are things, as they so often are, more complicated than that?

    (And, dummie that I am, do you recommend that I not attempt to change out my current outlets with Hubble Hospital Grades... that is, without responsible adult supervision?)
     
  16. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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  17. Kirk Mango

    Kirk Mango Stunt Coordinator

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    That is not totally true. If I run a hair dryer and a vacum cleaner in the same 15 amp circuit it will pop the breaker. A dehumidifier and vacuum same thing. And as I stated earlier, if I rurn my 7250 off and let it drain. Then turn it back on when it is completely cold. It will pop the 20 amp breaker. It will all work in one circuit,, however, how well. The problem (according to B&K), if there is one at all, is when there are a lot of things going on at one time. Like say in the begining of LOTR, Or Say when the DVD for the Two Towers comes out next year in that final battle scene.

    Also, my amps are plugged directly into the wall. No power conditioner or surge protection. Again, B&K told me that there is no such conditioner or surge protection that does not limit current flow. It is in scenes like mentioned above where this might become an issue. A person would never know the difference unless they test it both ways. I do know that when I had all my gear plugged into a good quality surge protector and one 15 amp circuit turning the 7250 amp on, even when cold, did not pop the circuit breaker and this was only 15amps. This only occurred when I plugged it directly into its own seperate 20 amp circuit. This proved to me that the surge protector I was using limited current draw to my amps. As I researched this further I found that there is know surge protector that does not limit current draw at some point.

    So, I would assume that the reason the system you saw with the same amps I have did not draw any more then 12 amps was because it was in a surge protection/conditioner which will limit current draw. I am not an expert and could be misinformed, however, that is my experience to this point. Again, B&K and REl recomend seperate circuits for their products right in their manuals. Why would they do this if this was not best???

    KM
     
  18. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    "As I researched this further I found that there is know surge protector that does not limit current draw at some point."
    that is exactly the point in a well designed surge protector...it limits the inrush current that can pop your circuit breakers...
    a well designed surge protector can do this and not limit any current during operation....
    the following is from the surge-x website: www.surgex.com
    "SurgeX-ICE® Inrush Current Elimination is incorporated into all SurgeX remote turn-on and sequential products. SurgeX-ICE® solves an old problem and also provides an innovative new approach to power control for large systems.
    All electronic equipment has a power supply which charges-up when the power is first turned on. This causes a momentary inrush current which is typically five to ten times the normal operating current. Signal processing equipment and other low-power equipment will not individually have a problematic inrush current but, when several pieces of equipment are turned on simultaneously, there can be a large inrush. However, the real offenders are the big amplifiers, especially those with switching power supplies. Some amplifiers have inrush current limiting built-in but many do not. In the case of amplifiers with no limiting, the only thing that limits the inrush current is the resistance of the copper wire between the panel and the amplifier! Peak currents of 200 Amps have been measured with some amplifiers. Powering up even one of these amplifiers can blow a circuit breaker, and powering up two or three simultaneously almost certainly will. Relay and switch contacts can also eventually weld together when subjected to these huge inrush energies. SurgeX-ICE® soft turn-on totally eliminates inrush current problems. You can connect as many pieces of equipment as you like to a SurgeX-ICE® product (provided, of course, that the total load is not exceeded) and you never have to worry about the inrush current or the need to install expensive time-delay circuit breakers."
    the wiring inside the surgex units is 10 gauge wire...the same as a 20 gauge circuit....
    "Again, B&K and REl recomend seperate circuits for their products right in their manuals. Why would they do this if this was not best???"
    they recommend this because there are alot of pieces of crap surge protectors out there that do limit current...but don't put all surge protectors into that group...
    i won't even go into the risks of surges damaging your amplifier....and no warranty out there will replace your amp if it gets fried because of lightning damage...
    russ
     
  19. Wayne_T

    Wayne_T Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Russ, I met you in another forum. I'm still not sure that the above is a statement of fact or speculation. One of the members stated that he is waiting for an email reply from Bryston on this topic.

    BTW, do you sell surge protectors by any chance?
     
  20. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    wayne,

    i am not here to sell anything.....but i do sell pro audio gear including surge protectors...

    the fact is that i've not seen any warranty on any electronic gear that says it will cover lightning damage...on the avs thread your talking about..bryston and krell were mentioned specifically...the bryston warranty basically only covers manufacturing defects...you can read it yourself on their webpage...the krell warranty states:

    "This warranty does not cover acts of God or nature."

    here are two examples of high end consumer audio equipment NOT covering lightning damage....additionally, all the lines that i sell...shure, audio-technica, marantz pro, bogen, toa, electrovoice, telex, jbl, samson, qsc, crown, aiphone, peavy, soundtube, and many others DO NOT cover lightning damage!!!

    let's call it a very well-tested theory....

    by the way..we still haven't heard any response back from bryston....

    russ
     

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