Dedicated power line to stereo ... ground fault breaker or not?


#1

I’m getting ready to run a dedicated power line from breaker panel to my stereo and I’m wondering if I should use a ground fault breaker on that circuit or not? If I do will it have any negative effect on the sound quality?


#2

Without knowing what you AHJ ( authority having jurisdiction ) requires, me being an audiophile, with 40 years in the trade, I am saying no.

The GFI componentry inside the breaker will ad a sonic signature, I have experimented with it with regards to the NEC requiring all balanced power to be protected by a GFI, because balanced power does not have a grounded conductor. ( neutral )

While you are not using balanced power, the negative effects will still be present using a GFI device on the line and neutral.

Now if your AHJ sais that all convenience outlets require GFI protection, state that it is not a convenience outlet, it is a DEDICATED use outlet. This may get you a break from needing to install a GFI per your AHJ, but they may then require it to be a single receptacle, not a duplex.

If you have any questions or concerns, message me, I prefer tp keep electrical related discussions private.


#3

I am not sure I agree for what it’s worth. GFIs in my experience add no more sonic signature than circuit breakers, which is in fact what they are. They trip whenever a small voltage appears across a coil of wire which engages a solenoid of sorts. What this means is the GFI part of a circuit breaker is not actually in the circuit. Think of it as a hand that simply flips off the circuit breaker when there’s a current present to ground.

That said, a circuit breaker will have a sonic signature. So, focus on that first.


#4

Thank you gentlemen for both your replies.

As to the first, a GFI is not required by code so it my choice. Adding one would be done as safety measure to potentially protect my equipment. That may be a false premise as the GFI would not trip unless there is already a fault from the equipment side of the circuit …. I assume.

“That said, a circuit breaker will have a sonic signature. So, focus on that first.”

Paul could you give me some direction on this? I did not realize that some breakers/GFI’s maybe more sonically neutral than just a standard of the shelf one.

Also, and I hesitate to bring it up as it may be “snake oil” but do think there is any benefit to using silver paste type products on the electrical connections? I have read claims of sonic improvement … but anything can be claimed on the internet.


#5

It’s a good question and one I don’t have a good answer for. I know they can sound different I have just never personally paid much attention. Most of us only have the bandwidth for so much tweakery.

In my room, I made sure to use a new 20 amp breaker with a 10 gauge dedicated line for each duplex outlet. I then used Power Ports which do not benefit from pastes or treatments. After that foundation was built, I added a P10 Power Plant to each circuit and that completes near-perfect power to my satisfaction. I suppose one could tweak harder to some benefit, I just didn’t have the time or inclination to go further.


#6

Would a great new product be a PS audio audiophile circuit breaker?

Are there too many breaker box types to make this profitable? Could it be fused instead? Would that sound better?


#7

What a can of worms that would be for our customer service department making sure people put the right breaker in the right way…yikes!!


#8

Here’s a related discussion: http://www.psaudio.com/forum/accessories-cables-tweaks-tuning/dedicated-power-line/