Electrical wiring for music room/studio...

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Jerrod, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a chance to start from scratch on wiring a room. I just need the usual: audio computer, monitors, too many amps, and a couple of pedal power supplies. Is there a definitive source for all of the steps that should be taken to wire the room to keep it quiet, avoid ground loops, etc?

    Thanks.
     
  2. zenas

    zenas Member

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    Get plenty of properly wired outlets and skip the light bulb dimmer. Oh skip florescent lights too. Of course the old style Edison types are on the way out now. Not real sure how the new fangled LEDs are yet.

    It's the gear page so I fully expect pages of discussion on the topic.
     
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  3. Structo

    Structo Member

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    You should run 12-2 romex on 20 amp breakers, like a kitchen circuit but minus the GFI.

    Place the receptacles about six foot apart.

    I suppose if you ran the 12-2 through conduit (which is grounded) would be a good way to shield the power wires.
     
  4. Sovereign_13

    Sovereign_13 Member

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    LEDs shouldn't hum. Magnetic fluorescent light ballasts are what hum. LEDs don't have those. You can even get LED "fluorescent" tubes now that use the same fixtures but without the ballasts.
     
  5. Kyle B

    Kyle B Supporting Member

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    LEDs don't hum, but they can buzz like mad. They generally have switching power supplies.

    I'd say... to minimize the chance of lighting induced noise, put the lights on a separate circuit. If you're doing a major build or rebuild, code states you gotta have two circuits feeding the room anyhow.
     
  6. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    So, if I have the outlets and lighting on separate circuits, is that sufficient? Can I use a dimmer on the lighting if I do that?
     
  7. zenas

    zenas Member

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    Last year I spent some time with my brother while he was building a new house. He does high end houses in southern Indiana.

    Anyways. In the basement they used the LEDs that fit in florescent fixtures. Had a hell of time getting those to work and had to change the ballasts out.
    Then upstairs in the "great room" (think basketball court with a loft and fireplace) it was the same thing but with a dimmer.
    Again a pain in the ass. The ballasts had to be changed yet again so the dimmers worked instead of turning into strobe lights.

    So there was ballasts with those. The technology is changing fast though. Already had a recall because of a fire hazard.
    If those things were "noisy" or not IDK.

    I've used the kind that just screw into an old socket with no problems.
     
  8. Sovereign_13

    Sovereign_13 Member

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    I guess it depends on what we're talking about with regards to hum? Switching power supplies in general can be buzzy, but are we worried about hearing the lights themselves or are we worried about picking up 60Hz hum in stuff like pickups and amps? The magnetic ballasts in fluorescent lights generate magnetic fields that can be picked up by guitar pickups and amps. Switching power supplies shouldn't be magnetic.

    There are, from my understanding, three types of fluorescent LEDs. One is compatible with only magnetic ballasts, one is compatible with both electronic and magnetic ballasts (electronic ballasts operate at frequencies outside of the human hearing range, typically), and one requires you to bypass the ballast altogether. I'm only pointing this out so that the information is here.

    CFLs (the ones that go into normal light sockets) have internal ballasts. Not sure if they're magnetic or not, though.
     
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  9. Sovereign_13

    Sovereign_13 Member

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    Modern dimmers (which aren't rheostats anymore) are essentially switching power supplies so they can also buzz. I'm not sure if that applies to CFL/LED dimmers, though (my guess is yes, since LEDs are pretty much either on or off).
     
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  10. Kyle B

    Kyle B Supporting Member

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    Fluorescents require ballasts because they run at high voltages (you need very high voltage just to strike the arc). A single LED can operate at about 5VDC. So the power supply in an LED "bulb" is indeed a very different animal than a fluorescent. They'll take the incoming AC and 'chop' it at high frequency... Basically turning the LEDs on/off very quickly. There's no boosting to high voltages going on (at least in the ones I've opened up). When they DO work on a ballast, it's in an effort to make something retro-fit an existing lighting fixture (hence the issues with using them).

    If you want a purely noise-free lighting source, HALOGEN bulbs are by far the best bang for the buck at this time. Beautiful white light, work on standard dimmers no problem if you are so inclined. (Any dimmer may cause noise, so take that with a grain of salt - But you CAN get dimmers that have extra RFI filtering built in). LED's will catch up eventually, but they're not there quite yet. Of course, they produce more HEAT than LEDs... so take that into account (but not as much heat as a standard incandescent bulb for a given number of lumens).

    If you wanna go with LEDs (a valid option certainly) - IMO your best bet is to buy fixtures that are designed with LED's from the get-go. And buy brand-name stuff (like Phillips). Sticking Yuang Jo Ding LED bulbs into a Fang Dou Crap fluorescent fixture is setting yourself up for compatibility issues.
     
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  11. sg~guy

    sg~guy Member

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    -nothing with a ballast-
    -nothing with a dimmer-(rheostat)-
    -nothing with any sort of motor-(beer fridge, ac, blender,)-
    -put your PUTA on a different circuit-
    -the "amp room" should definatley be on it's on circuit-

    -NO NEON BEER lights-
     
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  12. TimmyP

    TimmyP Member

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    The lights and gear should be on separate circuits that are on opposite legs (of the 240V coming in to the house). The furnace blower and fridge(s) should also be on the lighting leg (as opposed to the gear leg).
     
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  13. Kyle B

    Kyle B Supporting Member

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    Good point
     
  14. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    If you want "quiet".....really, truly, honestly quiet....talk to your installing electrician about a "separately-derived 60V-to-ground balanced distribution system". If my memory serves me (and it very well may NOT, and I don't have a codebook at hand at the moment), it's article 640 in NFPA70 (NEC).

    It works just like a humbucking pickup: because the "neutral" is not at ground potential, any induced hum that exists on the "hot" is also on the "neutral", but of opposite polarity.....which creates cancelation.

    This methodology is very commonly found in the recording industry, motion picture studios, etc.

    No system will compensate for a $hitty audio topology, but if you want to zero out the hash that typically lives on your electrical supply lines, this method works exceptionally well. In short, instead of trying to keep line hash out of your audio, this kills the hash at its source.

    Caveat: some local AHJs will tell you that this is not allowed in residential wiring. Although NFPA70 is is silent to that, remember that all deference is entirely in the hands of the AHJ. Still, if you're building from scratch, it's worth asking.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
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  15. sg~guy

    sg~guy Member

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    -I've never heard of what your suggesting, but I guess its feasable some place that has 3 phase power, definitely won't work at a residence,

    -go to your breaker box, take the cover off, you'll notice that the grounded-(common wire, usually white)-and the grounding wire-(the bare copper wire)-both go to the exact some center bus.

    -I'm SG~GUY and I support this post because I'm unfortunate enough to have an electrician's license-






     
  16. Kyle B

    Kyle B Supporting Member

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    I never heard of it either.

    Unless I'm grossly misunderstanding the concept, apparently it's simple as using 1:1 isolating transformer, with a center-tap on the secondary to serve as ground....

    http://ecmweb.com/code-basics/grounding-and-bonding-separately-derived-systems

    3-phase not required ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
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  17. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    Kyle is right.....this has nothing to do with 3 phase, and will function just fine in a residence. (AHJ caveat notwithstanding)

    IN a 60V-to-ground system, your panel feeds a 240V primary transformer*, the secondary of which is 120V-CT, with the CT grounded.

    It's something you'd want a licensed electrician to do, but you should be using one anyway....

    * could be a 120 pri, but why induce unbalanced crap on it? Better to use the 240.
     
  18. icr

    icr Member

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    Best to get information for electrical wiring on the internet or some other anonymous source. I'd avoid looking at any local building codes or having an electrician involved; what do they know about tone. Look at it this way, you can only kill yourself or anyone else that comes in that room, so that is not many people really.
     
  19. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    Why do you default to 100% jerk? Why do you imagine that there's not an electrician involved? Why would you assume that local building codes would not be adhered to? Why do you minimize the value of the information provided by the other posters here? Why don't you just go grab a couple of live wires and stop posting on my thread? Thanks!
     
  20. darkfenriz

    darkfenriz Member

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    Similar result can be obtained using IT-topology, where the phases are effectively 'floating' wrt. ground.
     

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