Wiring New Room for Electrical
May 27, 2002 at 4:52 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

grancasa

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My parents just purchased a new home, and since I’m going to be living with them this summer they decided to refinish the basement as a place for me to stay.

So, I was thinking about ways to maximize my audio experience. I’m planning on an amp, source and cable upgrade after the Boston Headroom show. And since I have this fresh room, I wanted to go for an audio upgrade as well.

The house runs on 200 amps, and it is a fairly new, up to code, passed-inspection level system. I’d like to keep the costs fairly low (in the sub-$100 range, but recommend anything for future upgrades sake), as I’m a poor college student with too many expensive habits as it is.

-I know that I could get hospital/audiophile power outlets. Any recommended brands?
- I also read something about wiring a special ground for the outlet (line?) to remove ground noise.
-Special cables from breaker-outlet(s)?
-Any considerations as to the lighting of the room?

What other possible things can I do to get good quality power/audio from this room?

Also, since I get to help drywall the whole thing, any possible design tips for maximizing the little speaker/tv/dvd watching I do? The room is about 14ft by 14ft, NOT a perfect square though. Thanks for any help you folks can provide.
 
May 27, 2002 at 7:16 PM Post #3 of 23

Tuberoller

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If the electrical work is not yet complete it will not be expensive at all to run a dedicated(30 amp) line for your audio equipment.In keeping with your budget i can't recommend hard line installed voltage regulators and filters but "hospital"or "instrument" grade outlets will work great.Hubbell and Meyer labs make the high grade outlets I use.don't use outlets that just say they are hospital grade,your electrician will know what the real thing looks like.I would also recommend an earth ground.this is a grounding method that uses the house structure as a ground.this is usually room specific and has to be tested by the installer.It will work great in a basement but would be difficult to do in other upstairs rooms.When my wife made me move my listening room to the basement I was really upset at first,but this room has proven to be well siuted to this use.Good luck
 
May 28, 2002 at 2:35 AM Post #4 of 23

Dusty Chalk

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Quote:

Originally posted by grancasa
Also, since I get to help drywall the whole thing, any possible design tips for maximizing the little speaker/tv/dvd watching I do? The room is about 14ft by 14ft, NOT a perfect square though. Thanks for any help you folks can provide.


Even if it is anywhere near 14x14, you are going to have problems. Add as many asymmetries as possible. Make sure the walls are not parallel (I am serious!). Have one closet come into the room. Have another closet at an angle in an adjacent corner. Have the entry door stick out a bit. Any and everything you can do to undo the boxiness of the room (and I am not just talking about square -- which is really bad -- but rectangular is bad, too). Are there windows? Make sure the walls are not flush with the windows.

One of my favourite rooms I ever had in the world (other than it not being on a ground floor) was over a garage. It had a sloping roof on the front (which meant a sloping ceiling/wall inside), a window jut-out, two closets (one, the aforementioned weird corner closet).

It had the best acoustics. I loved playing my piano in that room (yes, that's right, the professional movers had to move a piano up a flight of stairs -- we tipped -- and paid, of course -- them handsomely for that).

PS Nice! 14x14 is a nice size room!
 
May 28, 2002 at 3:50 AM Post #5 of 23

phidauex

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Everyone has good suggestions. A strong dedicated line for audio, a true earth ground, non-parallel surfaces, hospital grade plugs, etc.

As far as your lighting question goes, I would recommend against flourescents or neon, the pulsing electric fields can make some things screwy, and are certainly not in keeping with an audiophile quality room. If I were you, I'd use those little 40/50watt halogen track lights. Put a big curvy track along the ceiling, and put scads of those little lights on it, and then just aim them wherever you need light. It would be good to make them dimmable, but silicon rectifier dimmers (like regular dimmers) and sometimes inject noise into an electrical system. It shouldn't be much of a problem because you are going to have a dedicated line for the audio, but I wonder if someone out there knows of a type of dimming system that is low noise.

Then add lots of fluffy pillows. Big ones. Velvet covered. A large soft futon is also a must. For dampening at first reflection points, use the acoustic foam of your choice, but accent it with the finest silks money can buy. Put a dorm fridge next to the futon, and stock it with champagne and strawberries.

A few exotic houseplants can really give a room that 'exotic' flavor, as well as purifying the air, and adding some color.

Then add some sultry music to your collection, such as Barry White. Then invite over the woman of your dreams, dim the lights with your low-noise dimmer, put on some soft jazz, so smooth, so delicious. Then serve her the champagne and strawberries. She will notice the crystal clear sound, the tastefully artistic lighting, and the creative use of colorful fabrics and plants, and she will melt into your arms. Lay sweet kisses all over her body, and let the love making commence.

..

At least, thats what I would do.

peace,
phidauex
 
May 28, 2002 at 4:16 AM Post #6 of 23

grancasa

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tongue.gif
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You had me laughing out loud. That sounds like the perfect summer plan to me!

Thanks for all the great suggestions.

One question regarding power that's been bothering me. So I get a dedicated line, earth ground, high quality outlets.... then is it going to hurt the sound at all to run it through my TrippLite Isobar Ultra 6? I've heard recommendations to just plug the devices right into the wall socket (just going to have SACD player and amp to start with). And would this system ever benifit from one of those $200 Monster filtering surge protectors? Thanks again.
 
May 28, 2002 at 7:20 PM Post #7 of 23

Anders

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The British company Russ Andrews has a downloadable booklet on mains power. Of course it promotes their products but it contains much good information on this subject. The PS Audio site recomended above is also of interest.
http://www.russandrews.com/home.html

Don't overdo it if it's only for the summer!
You probably get a bigger change if you do it in a house with old wires etc. But hospital grade outlets could nerver harm!
 
May 29, 2002 at 5:29 AM Post #8 of 23

Tuberoller

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Quote:

Originally posted by grancasa
tongue.gif
tongue.gif
tongue.gif

You had me laughing out loud. That sounds like the perfect summer plan to me!

Thanks for all the great suggestions.

One question regarding power that's been bothering me. So I get a dedicated line, earth ground, high quality outlets.... then is it going to hurt the sound at all to run it through my TrippLite Isobar Ultra 6? I've heard recommendations to just plug the devices right into the wall socket (just going to have SACD player and amp to start with). And would this system ever benifit from one of those $200 Monster filtering surge protectors? Thanks again.


If you are going to spend $200 for an after-the fact surge protector,you may as well just have your electrician install a hard line protector.these actually install at the circuit panel and some even have voltmeters and LED indicators.I use them all over my house and they work great.These cost about the same $200.00 as a really cheap surge protector.Ask your electrician.
 
May 30, 2002 at 1:14 PM Post #9 of 23

john_jcb

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Another suggestion or two completely unrelated to the audio equipment. In some areas basements have extremely high levels of Radon. It is always a good idea to test before you spend alot of time down there. If levels are detected there are steps that can be taken to reduce the level.

Make sure that the room is well ventilated and that your stuff is protected against flooding if that is a possability.

Sounds like a great project. have Fun
 
May 30, 2002 at 4:53 PM Post #10 of 23

eric343

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Oh, and take everything Tuberoller reccommends to heart. He is/was a professional electrician (or electrical contractor, I forget) who wired up a number of high-end audio shops.
 
May 30, 2002 at 9:43 PM Post #11 of 23

grancasa

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The radon suggestion was right on. We had it checked durring the inspection, and the levels were high enough that we are needing to set up a ventilation system for it.
 
May 31, 2002 at 5:06 AM Post #12 of 23

Dusty Chalk

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Is there a home kit for Radon testing? I live in a room that is pretty sealed, and I keep it closed most of the time (air filter).
 
Jun 1, 2002 at 8:27 AM Post #13 of 23

Tuberoller

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Quote:

Originally posted by eric343
Oh, and take everything Tuberoller reccommends to heart. He is/was a professional electrician (or electrical contractor, I forget) who wired up a number of high-end audio shops.


In my fantasy life I'm a well-hung ***** stud.In real life I'm a well-hung Firefighter and own an electrical contracting business.I have really only personally wired one audio store,my crews did the others we have done.I have done contracting work on both major Chicago airports and specialize in high voltage long run signal switching lines.In my Life story pics you can see that I like one and hate the other.BTW,my gut is not THAT big,I'm wearing a vest.

I hope that helps you buy some of the stuff i advise you to do.


Oh,I also dabble a bit in high end audio and have my own shop and am an investor in another
wink.gif
 
Jun 1, 2002 at 2:52 PM Post #14 of 23

eric343

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Wait... that's a sweatshirt you're wearing... Oh, the vest is *underneath*?

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But I was pretty close, regardless... Do you do phone/mail sales?
wink.gif
 
Jun 1, 2002 at 6:20 PM Post #15 of 23

john_jcb

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Another thought that my boss mentioned. He has a Theta Dreadnaught amp and found that he needed a dedicated line just for it. So if you ever are thinking about a higher end amp now is the time to wire for it.
 

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